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Old 05-20-2012, 01:42 AM   #1
tkrafty
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Default Messed up mash water calculations

I had used http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php a few times before to calculate my mash water and strike temp. It had seemed to work, but this time it was way off.

I was brewing what should have been a nice dubbel, but ended up with over six gallons in the fermenter with a o.g. of 1.050 instead of 1.060.

This is what I used:

8.76 total water
3.36 Mash Water
5.40 Sparge water
165.56 Strike Temp
6.37 Pre-boil wort volume

I'm kind of figuring that I do usually have 6.4 gallons or so when I boil and end with a little over 5. But in this case, I had close to 6.5 gallons in the fermenter. I ended up pouring a gallon into a second fermenter because I had already chilled it (and pitched the yeast) when I completely understood my dilemma.

How do I set up my calculations so that this doesn't happen again? What would I have done to 'fix' this?

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Old 05-20-2012, 01:45 AM   #2
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Default Starter too

And oh yeah, this was my first batch for which I had done a starter.... I am quite upset at how this batch turned out on its way into the fermenter.

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Old 05-20-2012, 12:34 PM   #3
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Lots of things to take into consideration, if you provide the recipe, grain bill and your process of water additions we can help you out.

Things to consider:
Grain absorption
Dead space
Boil off
Kettle loss
Mash water volumes
Accurate volume measurements

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Old 05-23-2012, 09:07 PM   #4
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Default The recipe

10 lbs belgian pale
0.5 lbs Belgian Carmunich
.25 lbs Belgian Special B

I created the mash with 3.5 gallons of strike water, and then after the saccharification was done, I did a continuous sparge by hand with 5.40 gallons of water.

In a recent batches, I used 9 gallons mash water total and got the right volume. This one called for 8.76 and I way overshot. The only conclusion I can come to is that I must have mismeasured somehow and had a full gallon extra.

I haven't yet calculated all the particular volumes and losses, I am only about 5 batches in on all-grain, but here are the values I used on the last batch that worked:


Batch Size (gal): 5 gallons
Grain Bill (lbs.) :12.75
Boil Time (hrs.): 1
Trub Loss (gal.): .5
Equipment Loss (gal.): 1 gallon
Mash Thickness (qts/lb.): 1.33
Grain Temperature (deg.): 70
Target Mash Temperature (deg.): 149

Constants
Wort Shrinkage (pct): 4
Grain Absorption Constant (gal/lb): .13
Percent Boiloff per Hour (pct/hr): 10

Results
Total Water Needed (gal.): 9.02
Mash Water Needed (gal.): 4.24
Sparge Water Needed (gal.): 4.78
Strike Temperature (deg.): 161.00
Pre-Boil Wort Produced (gal.): 6.37

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Old 05-23-2012, 09:13 PM   #5
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All of the calculation based on the recipe are correct and so is the math so I can only assume you did not measure something properly to receive the greater volume. In the future use a calibrated stick to measure your pre-boil volume. If you wind up with too much you can then boil longer to drive off the extra water and achieve the correct volume and gravity.

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Old 05-23-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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Default Problems with long boils?

So if I am going to do a long boil to drive off water, I assume that I boil until I get to my standard pre-boil volume and then start the usual timers? Will there be undesirable effects on the beer such as over caramelization or darkening?

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Old 05-23-2012, 09:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkrafty View Post
So if I am going to do a long boil to drive off water, I assume that I boil until I get to my standard pre-boil volume and then start the usual timers? Will there be undesirable effects on the beer such as over caramelization or darkening?
Yes, you boil until you hit pre-boil volume, then start the timer.

As to your original predicament, I think you must have mis-measured along the way as there's no way you didn't boil off any (actually added) liquid.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tre9er

Yes, you boil until you hit pre-boil volume, then start the timer.

As to your original predicament, I think you must have mis-measured along the way as there's no way you didn't boil off any (actually added) liquid.
+1 and yes you may get a little darker color and carmelizatuin but it shouldn't be a problem, people do 90 minute boils all the time
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