Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mash and sparge water volume calcs

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-07-2009, 01:53 AM   #1
pretzelb
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 478
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Mash and sparge water volume calcs

How much variance is there with water volume for mashing and sparging? So far I'm just following what a recipe tells me but I've seen variation in some books. For example I think I've seen calculations for mash volume from 1qt per pound all the way to 2qts pr pound of grain. What I don't know is whether you are free to pick whatever value you want or if it depends on your equipment and grains.

My goal is to try and keep using my 5g pot for heating water. To do that I need to have volumes less that 5g obviously. I thought if I moved more water into the mash side of things, then my batch sparging volumes could be toned down. I'm just not sure how much freedom I have with this or what guidelines there might be.

__________________
pretzelb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2009, 02:01 AM   #2
annasdadhockey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kingston, PA
Posts: 1,814
Liked 41 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 36

Default

There really are no set guidelines for your qt/lb ratio of mash water to grains. Some people use 1 qt/lb, some 1.5/lb, still others use 2+qt/lb. I think that some of it has to do with your equipment as well as personal preference and also what works best for you.

__________________
Anybody can be a rockstar when the rest of the room is wearing helmets and drooling on themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfc View Post
Things are going great too. I think I've only punched her in the face 3 times!
FERMENTING: Heady Topper Clone?
CONDITIONING: 40 gallons KBS clone in a Jim Beam Barrel (since 11/24/12)
DRINKING: Smoked Robust Porter, Orange Coriander Pale Ale #5
THINKING: first foray into lagers?
annasdadhockey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2009, 04:05 AM   #3
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,616
Liked 53 Times on 50 Posts

Default

You can use basically whatever you want. Keep in mind that if you steal TOO much from the sparge, you may reduce your latuer eff.

Chew on this. People that use a SET MASH RATIO on thier beers are actually sparging small grain bills MORE and larger grain bills LESS...

1.0qt/lb on an 8lb grain bill is 8 qts in the mash
Mash will absorb 3 qts.
You get 5 qts out
Have to sparge with 23 qts

1.0qt/lb on a 15lb grain bill is 15qts in the mash
Mash will absorb 6 qts
You get 9 qts out
Have to sparge with 19 qts

Odd, isnt it... that the "standard" procedure for determining the mash ratio, has this affect on the sparge. Wouldnt you want to sparge a deeper, larger grain bed with MORE water than a shallower, smaller grain bed? But you will do the inverse if you start your brew with a set mash ratio.

This is why I am working on "balanced sparging" on my system now. Where I first determine the sparge water volume as a ratio of the grain bill size. Then what else it left as far as water requirements for the boil, is used as mash water.

10lb grain bill would use 2.5 gallons of sparge water
8lb grain bill would use 2 gallons
16lb grain bill would use 4 gallons
etc....

This is why lauter eff. seems to suffer in some systems when the grain bills get larger. People are sparging thier larger grain bills with less water than thier smaller grain bills... that doesnt make sense, does it?

"balanced sparging"... my new experiment. Chew on that...

__________________

Last edited by The Pol; 12-07-2009 at 04:09 AM.
The Pol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2009, 03:22 PM   #4
pretzelb
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 478
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
Odd, isnt it... that the "standard" procedure for determining the mash ratio, has this affect on the sparge. Wouldnt you want to sparge a deeper, larger grain bed with MORE water than a shallower, smaller grain bed? But you will do the inverse if you start your brew with a set mash ratio.
You make a good point but this gets way more complicated then I was hoping, especially with only 1 AG batch under my belt. I have no clue what science would cover the fluid dynamics of the effect of the deeper grain bed, but in my mind it comes down to the grains being saturated. If the the absorption rate is fixed and you mash to the point where they can't hold any more (plus a bit more for float), then I would assume they are suspended in the water slightly floating. If that level is maintained by constant water additions to match the sparge rate, then the amount of water needed for output should be a fixed amount. None of the grains should absorb any more water than before the sparge. The key would be if the water is restricted because with more grains it has a more resistance from the top to the bottom spigot. But I'm not sure if that makes sense in the science part.

I re-read a bit of Palmer and Papazian and there was some talk about the mash quantity of water translating into more or less body in the resulting wort. So there might be some wiggle room for brewer preference and equipment but there is an effect to the outcome that you should watch out for. I think I need to read up more.
__________________
pretzelb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2009, 03:54 PM   #5
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,895
Liked 935 Times on 622 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post

Chew on this. People that use a SET MASH RATIO on thier beers are actually sparging small grain bills MORE and larger grain bills LESS...
.....

This is why lauter eff. seems to suffer in some systems when the grain bills get larger. People are sparging thier larger grain bills with less water than thier smaller grain bills... that doesnt make sense, does it?
....
"balanced sparging"... my new experiment. Chew on that...
Reasonable idea but within bounds of a certain mash thickness range. Certainly you need to keep it fluid for recirculation which you can't do at .75qt/lb for instance. Ideally first runnings volume = sparge volume.
__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2009, 05:47 PM   #6
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,616
Liked 53 Times on 50 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
You make a good point but this gets way more complicated then I was hoping, especially with only 1 AG batch under my belt. I have no clue what science would cover the fluid dynamics of the effect of the deeper grain bed, but in my mind it comes down to the grains being saturated. If the the absorption rate is fixed and you mash to the point where they can't hold any more (plus a bit more for float), then I would assume they are suspended in the water slightly floating. If that level is maintained by constant water additions to match the sparge rate, then the amount of water needed for output should be a fixed amount. None of the grains should absorb any more water than before the sparge. The key would be if the water is restricted because with more grains it has a more resistance from the top to the bottom spigot. But I'm not sure if that makes sense in the science part.

I re-read a bit of Palmer and Papazian and there was some talk about the mash quantity of water translating into more or less body in the resulting wort. So there might be some wiggle room for brewer preference and equipment but there is an effect to the outcome that you should watch out for. I think I need to read up more.

This idea has since been proven incorrect.
__________________
The Pol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2009, 05:49 PM   #7
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,616
Liked 53 Times on 50 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Reasonable idea but within bounds of a certain mash thickness range. Certainly you need to keep it fluid for recirculation which you can't do at .75qt/lb for instance. Ideally first runnings volume = sparge volume.
Yes, Bobby, there are limits that will be reached.

Luckily in my system it will work with 7-15 pounds of grain, meaning any batch between 1.041 - 1.087
__________________
The Pol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2009, 05:59 PM   #8
pretzelb
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 478
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
This idea has since been proven incorrect.
Can I ask by who and where? Unless I misunderstand what you are saying, here's what Palmer had to say (which I think is similar to what Papazian also said):

Quote:
The grist/water ratio is another factor influencing the performance of the mash. A thinner mash of >2 quarts of water per pound of grain dilutes the relative concentration of the enzymes, slowing the conversion, but ultimately leads to a more fermentable mash because the enzymes are not inhibited by a high concentration of sugars. A stiff mash of <1.25 quarts of water per pound is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer. A thicker mash is more gentle to the enzymes because of the lower heat capacity of grain compared to water. A thick mash is better for multirest mashes because the enzymes are not denatured as quickly by a rise in temperature.
I make no claim to understand half of this. Plus, like most beginners, Palmer and Papazian are my main published resources right now. My translation of this all is that water ratio does have an affect and therefore cannot be just adjusted willy nilly without consequence. Which is what caused me to ask the question.
__________________
pretzelb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2009, 06:14 PM   #9
Hermit
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Alternate Universe
Posts: 2,226
Liked 61 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
This idea has since been proven incorrect.
I've wondered about that. I could think of no mechanism that would explain it. Temp converts to sugar. Period? No? I just couldn't understand how that sugar would be different depending on water amount.

OK. Should have read one post more. Aren't the same two things also taken care of by temp/time then?
__________________

Last edited by Hermit; 12-07-2009 at 06:17 PM. Reason: one post too soon
Hermit is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2009, 08:13 PM   #10
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,895
Liked 935 Times on 622 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

Well, one thing I can think of as a reason for the typical adages is in the case of a mixture of base grains and adjuncts where base grain enzymes do the work for the whole bill. The thickness is going to determine the concentration of enzymes and conversely their ability to reach non-enzymatic grain particles. In practice, it seems that if you test for conversion in your typical mash (or experimental extremes) and keep getting good conversion, there's no problem going with either preference.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mash pH and Full Volume / No Sparge Mash bigjoe General Techniques 16 11-20-2009 04:11 PM
Batch Sparge and Water volume Chicago1948 General Techniques 12 05-26-2009 06:14 PM
Sparge water volume help HoppyDaze All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 11 02-27-2009 05:29 PM
Beersmith-Mash Thickness or Sparge Volume illinibrew04 Brewing Software 1 02-25-2009 10:32 PM
Sparge Water Volume jayhoz General Techniques 5 05-02-2007 12:57 AM