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Old 01-10-2009, 10:24 AM   #1
mgo737
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Default Last Minute Questions Before 1st AG

Hey. So today is the day. It's 5 AM and I have been up since 3:30AM. Why? B/C today is the day I will be doing my 1st AG and I'm fired up! Anyway, some last minute questions...

I will be batch sparging...

1. Do I have to mash out?

2. What temperature should the sparge water be that I add? Seems there are no calculators for this. I have seen 175 and 180 listed. Does it make a difference?

3. As far as my volumes go, slightly confused...
-for mashing 1.25 quarts / 1 lb grain; that I get
-for sparging 2 quarts / 1 lb grain
*My problem is this, I will be using a small grain bill, 6.25 lbs total
-that should require 12.5 quarts of sparge water
-however, using the linked sparge water calculator, it gives me a value of 6 gallons of sparge water needed!
-Is this b/c they are using the fly sparging method?
-Or perhaps b/c the basic formulas above do not include what you will lose in the boil?

4. I plan to use a ration of 1.35 for my 6.25 lbs of grain which requires
-8.4 quarts or 2.1 gallons of water for mashing
-12.5 quarts or 3.1 gallons of water for sparging
-total 20.9 quarts or 5.2 gallons of water ?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Is this right? 5.2 gallons of water and my small grain bill will give me enough volume to boil for an hour and be left w/ 5 gallons of wert?


Anyway, thanks for answering all of these last minute questions...

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Old 01-10-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgo737 View Post
1. Do I have to mash out?
You don't have to, and I recommend you don't on your first go-round.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgo737 View Post
2. What temperature should the sparge water be that I add? Seems there are no calculators for this. I have seen 175 and 180 listed. Does it make a difference?
It makes a difference, but not enough to worry about today. Go with 175 and do the research on it later. Lots of threads to read through on here. It's probably more important to stir your mash REALLY good after you add your sparge additions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgo737 View Post
3. As far as my volumes go, slightly confused...
-for mashing 1.25 quarts / 1 lb grain; that I get
-for sparging 2 quarts / 1 lb grain
*My problem is this, I will be using a small grain bill, 6.25 lbs total
-that should require 12.5 quarts of sparge water
-however, using the linked sparge water calculator, it gives me a value of 6 gallons of sparge water needed!
-Is this b/c they are using the fly sparging method?
-Or perhaps b/c the basic formulas above do not include what you will lose in the boil?
Hard to tell, since there's a lot of variables that go into those calculations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgo737 View Post
4. I plan to use a ration of 1.35 for my 6.25 lbs of grain which requires
-8.4 quarts or 2.1 gallons of water for mashing
-12.5 quarts or 3.1 gallons of water for sparging
-total 20.9 quarts or 5.2 gallons of water ?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Is this right? 5.2 gallons of water and my small grain bill will give me enough volume to boil for an hour and be left w/ 5 gallons of wert?
No, that's not enough water. You start with the final volume you want and work backwards, accounting for boil-off, grain absorbtion, and other losses in your system such as MLT dead space. I used to do it by hand, but I use beersmith now. I highly recommend it - worth every penny.

Here's what beersmith gives me if I plug in your numbers with a target post-boil volume of 5.5 gals. Pre-boil volume = 6.74 gals. Strike volume: 8.4 qts (like you said). Sparge volume: 5.63 gals. Beersmith has a lot of settings to dial in your own system, but this should get you close, anyway. If you want 5 gals post-boil, use 1/2 gal less sparge.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:43 AM   #3
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Very good answer. Just remember brewing is supposed to be fun. Don't worry too much about every little detail. Take your time and everything will work out fine.

Enjoy,
~d

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
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just go with the flow today, i didnt mash out on my first few AG's and they turned out great. I'd suggest getting something like beersmith or promash or any of the others out there. i find it really helpful for all your temp, volumn and other calculations

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Old 01-10-2009, 01:10 PM   #5
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it looks like your questions have already been answered for the most part, so I will just throw in my agreement for getting some software. I use promash, but others on here also really like beersmith. These programs really do make things so much easier. sorry I am on my work computer right now and don't have the software accessible or I would run some #'s for you as well, but it looks like lil sparky has gotten you closer to what you need there.

As far as the mashout, I have always done them, but that is because that is how promash calculates water volume when batch sparging. If you have your water figured out without it it is definitely an added step that I would not worry about. Also as far as sparge water goes, I would not worry as much about the temp of the water and worry more about the temp of the grainbed itself. You don't want it to be above 168 or so as to not extract tannins (something I have learned the hard way). .

Oh and good luck on your brewday. . .and as everyone else has said, remember it is supposed to be fun so RDWHAHB

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Last edited by pava; 01-10-2009 at 01:13 PM.
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