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Old 05-05-2013, 10:04 PM   #1
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Default how to measure wort volume?

I did my first AG last week, and one thing that came up is this: I had no idea exactly how much wort I actually had in the pot, before, during, and after the boil. This seems like a pretty critical element that you would want to track.

you can't simply assume all of the water that goes into the tun comes out. there is some loss due to grain absorption, and a loss due to the tun drain not being exactly on the bottom. So, I'm assuming you typically sparge until you get you 6.5 gallons (or whatever you want to account for boil off) - how do you know when you are done?

During the boil, how do you track the volume inside the pot?

Is this important anyways, or am I over thinking this?

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:10 PM   #2
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It's pretty important, but it's pretty simple to measure volume inside the kettle. The measuring part is the easiest--you can mark your paddle or spoon with markings to let you know how many gallons you have. The first time you do this, take an old milk gallon, or your bottling bucket and pour in one gallon at a time, marking as you go.

The trickier part is determining how much water you need to sparge with, because it can vary based on your equipment. Start with a calculator, and eventually you'll get a handle for your equipment.

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:14 PM   #3
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The trickier part is determining how much water you need to sparge with, because it can vary based on your equipment. Start with a calculator, and eventually you'll get a handle for your equipment.
Not at all... the sparge amount will be exactly what you are short for your batch size.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazaar View Post
It's pretty important, but it's pretty simple to measure volume inside the kettle. The measuring part is the easiest--you can mark your paddle or spoon with markings to let you know how many gallons you have. The first time you do this, take an old milk gallon, or your bottling bucket and pour in one gallon at a time, marking as you go.

The trickier part is determining how much water you need to sparge with, because it can vary based on your equipment. Start with a calculator, and eventually you'll get a handle for your equipment.
hmm...my spoon is stainless steel, tough to mark. I wonder if I can find a stainless ruler marked off in inches, and use that to keep track of depth in the pot - then it's a simple inches/gallon conversion. Seems to me like that would have a better accuracy than marked delineations on the spoon.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:32 PM   #5
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I filed some notches in my paddle as mentioned above. Works like a charm. Whatever the difference in volume is between your first runnings and your pre boil target is how much you have to sparge with. My system is actually that calculation plus 1/2 gallon. Not sure why, but I always need to sparge with an extra half gallon.

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:40 PM   #6
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Prior to getting kettles with sight glasses I used a metal ruler, which worked like a champ.

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Old 05-05-2013, 11:55 PM   #7
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Learn early on what your boil off rate is, it's different for different setups, even the weather affects this. Wind and barometric pressure included. Time and trial run works best. I use a stainless brewpot, I usually try to start a 5 gallon batch with 6.5 to 7 gallon preboil. I took my angle grinder and made a slight indention inside the brew pot to mark my beginning mark and another lower for my ending mark. This is where I want to be for my beginning fermentation amount.
Another way is to slowly fill your brewpot with hot water slowly and measure different points. Not all brew pots are flat on the bottom (my pot is a converted keg and is concaved on the bottom) so simple geometry might not work. This will tell you how many gallons per inch in case you want to brew smaller batches.
But in answer to your question..yes it is pretty important.

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Old 05-06-2013, 12:08 AM   #8
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:28 AM   #9
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I learned many years ago, where you are has a huge impact on boil off (relative to humidity & ambient temp). either way, I marked my old boil spoon. it works great. I'm still trying to get a handle on AG, but boil volume is one less thing I have to worry about. thank you magic spoon!

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Old 05-09-2013, 04:06 AM   #10
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I measured out all the volumes on my paddle for my kettle and used a dremmel to carve them into the wood. Bad pic but works.

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