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Old 02-21-2013, 02:20 PM   #21
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For those that cant afford a site glass...

  • get a piece of 1 inch PVC or something... 6 inches to a foot longer than your kettle is tall
  • Get an accurate measurement vessel (Restaurant supply store's carry them or a milk jug if you are cheap)
  • Pour 1 gallon into your kettle at a time and mark the PVC or whatever stick you are using
  • Measure out and mark up to 8-9 gallons or so if you are doing 5 gallon batches

Then to check your volume roughly, just stick the pipe or stick into your kettle and eye it. During a rolling boil or while heated it will read a little high due to roughly 4% expansion and the motion of the boil. When chilled to room temperature it should be pretty accurate if you did it right.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApothecaryBrewing View Post
For those that cant afford a site glass...
  • get a piece of 1 inch PVC or something... 6 inches to a foot longer than your kettle is tall
  • Get an accurate measurement vessel (Restaurant supply store's carry them or a milk jug if you are cheap)
  • Pour 1 gallon into your kettle at a time and mark the PVC or whatever stick you are using
  • Measure out and mark up to 8-9 gallons or so if you are doing 5 gallon batches

Then to check your volume roughly, just stick the pipe or stick into your kettle and eye it. During a rolling boil or while heated it will read a little high due to roughly 4% expansion and the motion of the boil. When chilled to room temperature it should be pretty accurate if you did it right.


thanks thats awesome info. What is the best way to mark the pvc? Marker notch it? what do you suggest?

I have been trying to configure and learn beersmith, but i think its serving more to confuse me rather than make things easier. which is unfortunate cause it wasnt free. im sure it will help me out soon.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:45 PM   #23
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If you want to avoid sharpie somehow washing off into your beer... you can mark it with a thin sharpie then go at it with a hacksaw or dremel to remove the sharpie and turn it into a notch or groove.

Also poke around for a material that wont melt or seep chemicals into your beer if you are dropping it in the boil. I just mentioned PVC but I am unsure of the temperature rating on it. There are plenty of cheap materials out there.. just needs to withstand 212F

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Old 02-21-2013, 02:51 PM   #24
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I used my mash spoon which happens to be the same stainless steel spatula that I use for grilling and marked gallon ticks on it with a file. It aint pretty but it works

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Old 02-21-2013, 03:27 PM   #25
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I mark my spoon also.

I drain my mash and measure the volume. Then for sparging I just add enough water to make it to the pre-boil volume I want.

For example. If I use 4 gallons for the mash, and get 2 1/2 in the pot after draining. I then know that I need 4 more gallons of sparge to hit 6 1/2 gallon pre-boil volume. The grain will not absorb any more water and the dead space that does not drain is already filled, so adding just enough sparge water to get final volume works every time for me.

The first few brews are about getting your system figured out. Volumes and efficiency.

Here is a good calculator for figuring out your efficiency. http://www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency/

This comes in handy when you are doing a recipe. Just set your efficiency in your software to what your average efficiency is. You want to try to get consistent efficiency.

I always get about 73% efficiency within a percent or two. There is no need to chase really high efficiency, just get to the point where you get a consistent efficiency.

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Old 02-21-2013, 03:31 PM   #26
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Oh and it is wise to talk to your wife before taking a file to her favorite spatula...Just saying

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Old 02-21-2013, 03:34 PM   #27
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I was considering buying myself a stainless mash paddle and using that.
I have a 21 inch stainless spoon already but i dont know if its tall enough or not at this point.

My wife is super supportive, but didnt like it when i told her what SWMBO meant, lol

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Old 02-21-2013, 03:45 PM   #28
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Beer Smith takes a little to get use to, watch the video. It saves me so much time I love it, I could never go back.

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Old 02-21-2013, 04:23 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PastorofMuppets View Post
My wife is super supportive, but didnt like it when i told her what SWMBO meant, lol
My GF responded in an opposite manner. She was okay with me brewing but once she found out about SWMBO and what it meant, she wears that badge with honor... too much honor... i am scared for my life.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:38 PM   #30
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Walk yourself, literally, through your process the day before. Stop and think at each step, what do I need here? Helped me tons before my first brewday, realized what equipment I needed on hand for example that I needed another bucket in order to transport water back and forth (mashing in the house) etc...

I missed whether or not your grains are precrushed, if not, do that the night before, just saves a ton of time and one less thing to worry about on your first AG day.

I wish I had mash temp adjustment calculators handy, looks like thats been mentioned.

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