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Old 07-22-2011, 06:00 AM   #1
KC10Chief
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Default How do I end up with 6.5 gallons?

I've been doing all grain for a while now. I have a couple of Rubbermaid coolers that I'm using as a mash tun and a hot liquor tank. I have a 10 gallon Polarware brew pot. For example, tonight, I'm making a Fat Tire clone. I mash the grains in my mash tun and then use the HLT and a sparge arm and run the liquid into my brew pot. However, I always wind up with like 8 gallons of wort and am boiling forever to get it down to about 6.5 gallons so that I can add my hops and start my one hour boil time. Is this normal? Should I just cut it off at 6.5 gallons even though there is still good wort coming out of my mash tun? I figure that is just more sugars that get to ferment in my beer. What do you guys do? Here's a picture of my current setup.

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Old 07-22-2011, 06:14 AM   #2
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If you are using software you should be set to the correct volumes and try to stick with that. It doesn't make sense to over sparge and is potentially hurting your final product. So if the recipe calls for 6.5 gallons into the BK, that's what should go in.

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Old 07-22-2011, 10:38 AM   #3
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Seems to me the idea is to get the desired gravity at the desired volume...not an exercise to get the max sugars from a certain amount of grain. So if my goal is to collect 7 gallons pre-boil at 1.040, that's what I do. I'll even water it down pre-boil if it comes out too high. It should be about making the beer you're trying to make, not maximizing efficiency by sparging every last bit from the grain. But maybe that's just me.

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Old 07-22-2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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Palmer has a bit on that in his book, suggesting that you do not need to extract all of the sugars. The goal is to make the best beer you can out of the ingredients, not the maximum amount.
That being said, there is no reason not to add hops throughout a 120 minute boil, at least for an IPA.
Also, do you have problems with hot side aeration staling with that setup (as pictured).

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Old 07-22-2011, 11:25 AM   #5
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I always stop sparging when I reach my boil volume. It's currently 6.75 gallons for a 5.25 gallon batch.

You give a few efficiency points (especially with a large grain bill) but you then save money by using less propane so I think the cost is about the same.

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Old 07-22-2011, 01:03 PM   #6
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f85/all-...rew-day-45921/

I follow this guys procedure and it works great. The 1st ag for me went well just had too much liquid in the end. My og was missed by a few points but that was due to having 1 gallon more in the end. Since then I follow his system along with Papzians chart in TCJOHB. Works for me, great beer, better efficiency and have a ton of fun doing it. I only have 5 batches of ag under my belt but its way more fun than extract. The one thing ive learned so far is exact measuring is a great way to start off on the right foot.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I always stop sparging when I reach my boil volume. It's currently 6.75 gallons for a 5.25 gallon batch.

You give a few efficiency points (especially with a large grain bill) but you then save money by using less propane so I think the cost is about the same.
^^The old point of diminishing returns. Makes great sense.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StunnedMonkey View Post
Seems to me the idea is to get the desired gravity at the desired volume...not an exercise to get the max sugars from a certain amount of grain. So if my goal is to collect 7 gallons pre-boil at 1.040, that's what I do. I'll even water it down pre-boil if it comes out too high. It should be about making the beer you're trying to make, not maximizing efficiency by sparging every last bit from the grain. But maybe that's just me.
watering down 7 gallons of wort at 1.040 with a gallon of leaves the same amount of fermentables in the kettle unless you then don't add it all to your fermenter. This will have some affect on hop utilization though I wouldn't worry too much about it and if my memory serves (don't quote me) you get better utilization from a greater volume. But you are correct about "the idea is to get the desired gravity at the desired volume."
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC10Chief View Post
I've been doing all grain for a while now. I have a couple of Rubbermaid coolers that I'm using as a mash tun and a hot liquor tank. I have a 10 gallon Polarware brew pot. For example, tonight, I'm making a Fat Tire clone. I mash the grains in my mash tun and then use the HLT and a sparge arm and run the liquid into my brew pot. However, I always wind up with like 8 gallons of wort and am boiling forever to get it down to about 6.5 gallons so that I can add my hops and start my one hour boil time. Is this normal? Should I just cut it off at 6.5 gallons even though there is still good wort coming out of my mash tun? I figure that is just more sugars that get to ferment in my beer. What do you guys do? Here's a picture of my current setup.
I deleted the picture from the quote but boiling longer and sticking with your hop schedule doesn't hurt anything. If it were me, I'd bump my grains up a little and sparge until I got my desired volume. Bumping your grain bill up a little will compensate from the slight loss in efficiency you'll get when you don't extract as large of a percent of the available sugars but you'll still get the same amount of sugar and will save time as well as guarantee you get great wort. Yooper alluded to this idea as well.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:34 PM   #10
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Thanks guys! This makes sense. I always start out brewing with good intentions, but I usually start drinking when I'm brewing, get lazy and don't measure my original and final gravity. My beer always turns out good though. I'll try not to be so drunk and lazy.

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