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Old 11-23-2007, 05:16 PM   #1
gkeusch
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Default how much sparge water?

Here is something I don't understand about sparge water quantity. I am using a picnic cooler approach to mashing. Is it possible to use too much sparge water (except for the obvious constraint of getting too much wort into the boiler)? Maybe another way of asking my question is, will too much sparge water have some negative effect like causing astringency or something? My follow up question is, once I use some maximum amount of sparge water per pound of grain (or whatever measurement is used), is that the best yield I can get to the boiler or can I add water (hot liquor) so that after boiling I still get a 5 gallon yield to the fermenter?

I very much appreciate somebody helping me with this.

Thanks,
Greg

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Old 11-23-2007, 05:55 PM   #2
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If you sparge too much, it's possible to get some undesired tannin extraction. The general rule is to sparge until you get your desired boil volume or until your runnings are really thin (1.010-ish), whichever happens first. You can certainly top up your boil with more water, but you'll lower the gravity a bit, so make sure the wort is well over the target OG before topping up.

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Old 11-24-2007, 03:09 AM   #3
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Try 1/2 gal per Lb of grain for sparge.That puts you roughly there.
Cheers

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Old 11-24-2007, 03:53 PM   #4
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If you're not getting 5 gals into the fermenter, you're probably under-sparging and not getting all the sugars out that you could.

I use Beersmith (get the trial version!!!), but here's how it calculates how much water you need. I'll use lots of ~ and round to the nearest 1/2 qt - that's close enough for me. I'll also ignore MLT dead space and cooling losses, but these could add another 1-2 qts to your sparge water needed.

Your final volume will be ~ 85% of your volume into the boiler.
Your volume into the boiler will be your strike water - 0.12 gal/lb of grain + sparge water.

So say you're using 10 lbs of grain. You strike with 1.25 qts/lb = 12.5 qts. You lose ~ 1.2 gal to grain absorbtion. You've got ~ 7.5 qts left.

Suppose you want 5.5 gals into the fermenter. Then you need to have 6.5 gals (26 qts) into the boil kettle, because you'll lose ~ 1 gal in evaporation.

Now you're ready to figure your sparge water.
Sparge water = volume into kettle - volume out of mash = 26 qts - 7.5 qts = 18.5 qts =~ 4.5 gals

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Old 11-25-2007, 02:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onescalerguy
Try 1/2 gal per Lb of grain for sparge.That puts you roughly there.
Cheers
That's crazy. Your saying that on my brew yesterday I would have had to sparge with 13 gallons for a 10 gallon batch.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:28 AM   #6
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Just a ball park, but I use (Initial Strike x 1.5).

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Old 11-25-2007, 02:45 AM   #7
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Did a 12g batch today and sparged with 9 gals for 19lbs of grain.Mashed with 6.5 gals. and ended up boiling near 14 gals to net 12.5gal in the fermenters.So the .5 g per lb. works.I got 84% effic. today.BTW.i AM crazy .
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onescalerguy
Did a 12g batch today and sparged with 9 gals for 19lbs of grain.Mashed with 6.5 gals. and ended up boiling near 14 gals to net 12.5gal in the fermenters.So the .5 g per lb. works.I got 84% effic. today.BTW.i AM crazy .
Cheers
My 12 gallons into the fermenter Friday was this.
Strike with 7.2 gallons, mashout with 4.3 gallons and sparge with 5.6 gallons giving me 14 gallons in the boil. That's with 25.7# of grain. So had I gone with your way and not what Beersmith says I would have had 21.25 gallos in a 15 gallon pot.

you striked with 6.5 for 19#? That's only .7qt/pound. That's way on the low side. So my "quess" is that your high effic is do to a lot of unfermentables produced with the large sparge (while the grain temp is coming up). Let us know where it finishes out at. I see it now... "Help, I can't get my FG under 1.022"

By the way. I hit 89.9%, not that it means much.
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSR402
So my "quess" is that your high effic is do to a lot of unfermentables produced with the large sparge (while the grain temp is coming up).
not to change the subject, but what is it that happens here? I'm an AG n00b.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:15 PM   #10
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Will too much sparge water have some negative effect like causing astringency or something? Yes, it will tend to extract more astringent compounds than a lower volume sparge. I do it by taste: when the extract starts to taste like unsweetened tea, it is time to stop.

Once I use some maximum amount of sparge water per pound of grain (or whatever measurement is used), is that the best yield I can get to the boiler or can I add water (hot liquor) so that after boiling I still get a 5 gallon yield to the fermenter? OK to add water during or after fermentation (boiled and cooled)
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