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Old 04-17-2012, 07:25 PM   #1
jeffdill
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Default Mash/Sparge Water Volume

So I know the rule of thumb is 1-1.25 qts/lb for mash water and 1/2 gal/lb for sparge water. Here's the recipe I made:

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Hopalong Scarlet Ale

11.75 lbs Pale Malt (2 row) US
1.5 lbs Munich Malt
5 oz Crystal 120L
2 oz Black (Patent) Malt
1.5 oz Columbus (20 min)
1.5 oz Coumbus (10 min)
2 oz Columbus (flameout)
2 oz Columbus (dry hop)

SG = 1.065
ABV = 7.0%
IBU's = 57.5
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So that is 13.6875 lbs of grain.

I calculated about 4.25 gallons for the mash and 6.75 gallons for the sparge.

Few questions:
-This is 11 gallons of total volume. How much would I expect to lose from grain absorption?
-Am I supposed to boil this volume of water down until ~7 gallons before I start the 60 min clock for my boil? I calculated the recipe for a 5.5 gallon batch so I'm assuming that is how much I'm supposed to put in the fermenter. It seems like that could take a long time and a lot of propane...I also only have a 35qt kettle (and 48 qt mash tun)
-How do I split the sparge volume up between the first runnings and the second runnings?

Thanks for the help...this is all pretty confusing to me, and my first AG brew was a total mess.

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Old 04-17-2012, 07:39 PM   #2
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Try using brew365.com it is what I normally use. Its best to split the sparge into two equal sparges. What I use since I only have one kettle right now, is I take my runnings and put them in my 5 gallon bucket. That way I can use my kettle to heat the sparge water. Then when I do my last sparge I put the wort back in my kettle. It also helps me because it has the volume marks and I know exactly how much I put in my kettle.

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Old 04-17-2012, 07:40 PM   #3
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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Generally, you "lose" about .125 gallons per pound of grain in absorption.

That means if you use 1.25 quarts/pound you'd use 17.1 quarts of water for the mash (4.25 gallons). About 1.7 gallons will be "lost" in absorption. That gives you 2.55 gallons of first runnings.

Then, you just sparge up to your boil volume. If you want to start boiling with 6.5 gallons of wort, then you'd sparge with 4 gallons of water.

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Old 04-17-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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In summary. I hate "sparge ratio" rules of thumb because it doesn't account for variations in OG target, efficiency or grain bill size.

The grain will absorb about 1/2 quart per pound so if you go with 1.5 qts/lb mash, you'll end up with about 1 qt per pound in first runnings. Figure out how much of your preboil volume target is missing after that amount and that's the sparge amount. This strict calculation of sparge volume is really only applicable to batch sparging. Once you get to fly sparging, it's easier to figure on a couple extra gallons of sparge water so that the grain bed isn't bone dry when you stop collecting.

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Old 04-17-2012, 09:22 PM   #6
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So to be clear - you'll lose the water to grain absorption with the mash water, but then the grain is saturated enough that you will be able to put the entire sparge volume into the kettle?

And when I batch sparge, do I add the first sparge to the mash water, drain it, then add the second one, stir, wait 10 min, and drain again? Would I split that volume 50/50 or put more on the later sparge? tally said to split them 50/50 but EdWort's instructions has a lot more on the second sparge.

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Old 04-17-2012, 09:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdill View Post
So to be clear - you'll lose the water to grain absorption with the mash water, but then the grain is saturated enough that you will be able to put the entire sparge volume into the kettle?

And if I batch sparge, do I add the first sparge to the mash water, drain it, then add the second one, stir, wait 10 min, and drain again? Would I split that volume 50/50 or put more on the later sparge?
Correct. Once the grain is saturated it won't absorb any more liquid.

When I batch sparge, I split it 50/50. But if you have a large grain bill and only a small amount of sparge water, it's easiest to add it in one round.

I don't wait 10 minutes for the sparge. The idea is to add the water in a "batch", stir very well, vorlauf and run off. Then repeat if doing a second round. There isn't any gain in waiting, and the beauty of batch sparging is the time savings with little efficiency loss.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:42 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone...I have a much better understanding of this now! This time I'll have to dial the heat back a bit during the boil too, I lost about 1.9 gallons in an hour last time!

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Old 04-18-2012, 03:17 AM   #9
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One more question - do I add the first sparge water before draining the mash water, or do I drain all the mash water before I add the first sparge water?

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Old 04-18-2012, 03:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdill View Post
One more question - do I add the first sparge water before draining the mash water, or do I drain all the mash water before I add the first sparge water?
Drain the mash first..
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