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Old 01-02-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
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Default Measuring sparge water volume

Hey all,

I'm about to do my first "real" AG batch this week, having done 3 BIAB batches previously...not a fan of the BIAB.

Anywhooo, I have a Rubbermaid 5 gallon MT and was wondering if it's sufficient to use the volume markings on the inside of the MT on top of the grain bed to calculate my sparge volume, ie: say the grain bed accounts for 1 gallon of volume and I need 3 gallons of sparge water, can I just pour the sparge water up to the 4 gallon mark?
Is it that simple or am I over thinking things?

Cheers!

Nick

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Old 01-02-2012, 04:34 PM   #2
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you would have to know the volume of the saturated grains. Just measure the water as you put it into the HLT to bring up to temp.

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Old 01-02-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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Well, I plan on doing batch sparging, so would I not drain the first runnings entirely before adding the sparge water? That way I imagine the grain bed would have settled and I'd see the volume of the saturated grain by using the volume markings inside the cooler.

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Old 01-02-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CanadianQuaffer View Post
Well, I plan on doing batch sparging, so would I not drain the first runnings entirely before adding the sparge water? That way I imagine the grain bed would have settled and I'd see the volume of the saturated grain by using the volume markings inside the cooler.
I don't know how accurate it would be. What I'd do is drain the first runnings, measure them, and then fill an ale pail or other container with the correct amount of sparge water needed to get you to your boil volume. If you need 4 gallons, I'd even suggest adding it in two 2-gallon additions, as to maximize the efficiency and to make stirring easier.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:52 PM   #5
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OK, maybe what I'll do then instead is to have a stir stick with gallon markings on the side.

I have two megapots, a 10 and 15 gallon, both with ball valves and brewmometers. for 5 gallon batches the 10 gallon will be the BK and the 15 gal will be the HLT. Once I get a 10 gallon cooler and I can do 10 gallon batches I'll switch their roles and the 15 gallon will be the BK and 10 gallon the HLT.

I just mentioned that to say that I am married to the idea of using that set-up/configuration. I'll just go to Home Despot and buy a piece of 1x4 maple and cut it out in the shape of a mash paddle. 10 gallon pot markings on one side and 15 gallon markings on the other.

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Old 01-02-2012, 04:54 PM   #6
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OK, maybe what I'll do then instead is to have a stir stick with gallon markings on the side.

I have two megapots, a 10 and 15 gallon, both with ball valves and brewmometers. for 5 gallon batches the 10 gallon will be the BK and the 15 gal will be the HLT. Once I get a 10 gallon cooler and I can do 10 gallon batches I'll switch their roles and the 15 gallon will be the BK and 10 gallon the HLT.

I just mentioned that to say that I am married to the idea of using that set-up/configuration. I'll just go to Home Despot and buy a piece of 1x4 maple and cut it out in the shape of a mash paddle. 10 gallon pot markings on one side and 15 gallon markings on the other.
If you have an HLT, that solves any measurement issues.
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:00 PM   #7
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If you have an HLT, that solves any measurement issues.
How so? Just by measuring the amount of water that leaves the HLT?
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:29 PM   #8
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Or instead of measuring the sparge water going in, measure the wort coming out. I'm talking about the sparge water, not the mash water. The mash water you need to measure so that you hit your target mash temp. But for sparge water, really, what you are trying to do is hit your target preboil volume. So, sparge until you hit your preboil volume.

For what its worth, I took this approach from Denny. You can read more about his easy peasy batch sparging approach at dennybrew

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Old 01-02-2012, 05:33 PM   #9
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Or instead of measuring the sparge water going in, measure the wort coming out. I'm talking about the sparge water, not the mash water. The mash water you need to measure so that you hit your target mash temp. But for sparge water, really, what you are trying to do is hit your target preboil volume. So, sparge until you hit your preboil volume.

For what its worth, I took this approach from Denny. You can read more about his easy peasy batch sparging approach at dennybrew
OK, thanks Pappers, that makes sense.
On a note related to pre-boil volume....recipies never (or rarely) mention what your pre-boil gravity should be...only what it should be after your boil. Is there any way to figure out what your pre-boil gravity should be so long as you know all the other factors? (pre-boil volume, post-boil volume and post-boil gravity)
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:40 PM   #10
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OK, thanks Pappers, that makes sense.
On a note related to pre-boil volume....recipies never (or rarely) mention what your pre-boil gravity should be...only what it should be after your boil. Is there any way to figure out what your pre-boil gravity should be so long as you know all the other factors? (pre-boil volume, post-boil volume and post-boil gravity)
Your preboil volume will be different than anybody else's volumes, as there are many factors that come into play. Relative humidity, your pot width, the strength of your boil, etc, all make a difference. Generally, you can plan on about 1 -1.5 gallons per hour with most pots and a pretty vigorous boil.

You could start with 6.25 gallons, and have some extra wort aside to add near the end of the boil if you are boiling too much off. (Add it with at least 15 minutes left, though!)
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