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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First Allgrain
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:05 PM   #1
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Default First Allgrain

Tomorrow, I'm gonna be attempting my first allgrain brew. Just would like some feedback/double checking on my numbers. As this is my first run, I don't have any idea what my efficiency is gonna look like.

I'm gonna be using 11lbs of grain. I'll be using 13qts of water to hit a ratio of around 1.18. I'll be heating the water to about 175 to preheat the cooler, and mash in at 168, aiming for a final temp of 154ish.

Now, my sparge data isn't set, as my beersmithfu is weak. I think I need to sparge with 3.5 gallons of 154 degree water. I do understand this may go up or down depending on my first runnings, but I'm trying to figure out a baseline.

After that, it's a normal day.

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Old 10-30-2010, 11:58 PM   #2
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Your strike water volume and temperature look about right.
Your sparge volume and temperature look to be way off base.

Grains absorb about 1 pt water per lb, so with 11 lbs grain, and 13 qt water, you should be able to collect about 13 qt - 11 pt = 7.5 qt of first runnings. If you have any dead space in your MLT, then your first runnings volume will be reduced by the amount of dead space. Then you add 3.5g sparge water, which will bring your pre-boil volume up to about 5.25g (assuming minimal dead space). I think you will need about an extra gallon of sparge water to account for evaporation (assuming a 5g batch).
As for the sparge water temperature, you want to raise the grain bed temp from 154F up to 168F (or at least > 165F). I don't batch sparge, so I can't recommend a sparge water temperature that will do this, but my gut feeling is that the temperature of the sparge water should be close to 185F. (A batch sparger could probably give you a more accurate estimate.)
As it is your first brew, I would also prepare about 1g extra sparge water, just in case you need it. For your next brew, you should have a much better idea about sparge water volumes and temperatures.

Good luck

-a.

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Old 10-31-2010, 03:41 AM   #3
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These are the numbers from beersmith. Your initial strike water of 13 qts needs to be 170 to hit 154, but I'd make it a little higher and keep a gallon of colder water on hand....well, that's what I do. I don't know why, beersmith is not giving me the right numbers on the mash profile, so I"ll tell you what I'd do. I"d figure out what my final amount of wort is going to be, then do the math above for absorption, and finally, if you know your evap rate, add that, and you'll have your number. Also keep in mind how many sparges yo u're going to do and split it accordingly. For example, if you want 5.5 gallons into the fermenter, you already mashed in with 3.25 gallons of water. so you want 2.25 gallons into the fermenter, so you take 2.25, add a little over a gallon (well, this is based on my system. I absorb about a gallon a pound, but you'd be better off doing the math) plus your evaporation over an hour, so mine is 2 gallons an hour. So that would give me roughly 5.5 gallons of sparge water. After you figure that out, you have to get your mash temp as close to 170 as possible, so for 5.5 gallons of water, your sparge needs to be 182 if you're doing one sparge, or if you want to split your sparge evenly, the first needs to be 195.3, and the second 168.

I know this seems like a lot, and it's a bit confusing at first, but once you do it once, or twice, it's not as bad. The biggest thing is knowing how much water you'll need, and how much you add. I don't really follow a strict schedule of water volumes, but I've become good at adjusting temps. Just today I brewed and wanted 12 gallons and wound up with 10. But I"ll still have an awesome beer. Brewing software really helps with the temperatures. Good luck to you, and hope I helped.

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Old 10-31-2010, 03:24 PM   #4
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for your first time Keep it Simple. Preheat your cooler with hot tap water. After about ten minutes dump that water into a bucket for cleaning stuff and close the coolers lid.
10 pounds grain will absorb about a gallon water so if you put 4 gals in, 3 will come out(with no loss to the mashtun). if you need 6.5 gals preboil to boil(evaporation rate) and finish with 5gals cooled, you measure what your first running are, then the sparge water volume gets adjusted to hit preboil volume.
Lets say 3 gallons comes out on the first runnings. that means you need 3.5 gallons of sparge water to hit the 6.5 gal preboil. Don't worry about trying to hit your sparge temps so you reach 168*. Just heat the 3.5 gals to 180* and dump it in, stir well, vorlauf till clear, and drain.

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