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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > My first AG brew tonight and I have some Fly Sparge questions.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default My first AG brew tonight and I have some Fly Sparge questions.

Well 5 weeks into this very addicting hobby I'm ready for my 4th brew which will be my first AG brew.

My two How To Brew books are on loan to a buddy out of town and that couldn't come at a worse time.

My grain bill is below and I have the reciepe put into ProMash.

7.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) Great Britain
1.00 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt
1.00 lbs. Crystal 55L Great Britian
0.75 lbs. Chocolate Malt Great Britain
0.25 lbs. Black Patent Malt Great Britain

Questions:
1.) I'm trying to figure out how much water to dough in with. I clicked on "Mash Schedule" in ProMash, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for.
1a.) Is there a downside to doughing in with too much water?
2.)Is this the proper schedule below:

A. Dough in w/ 170deg and maintain 154 for 60mins
B. Fly sparge until 7gal of wort is in the kettle (What temp should the sparge water be at?)

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Old 05-17-2007, 10:52 PM   #2
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Hi Harv,
1) You should decide what kind of process you are going to use and what kind of style your are attempting before figuring out your water needs. I'm guessing that you are going to do a simple infusion mash with one temp. If that's the case then you will use between 1 to 1.4 qts/lb of grain. For more mouth feel/body go for a thicker mash (1.1 qts/lb) for a thinner more alcoholic brew go with a higher ratio. I use 1.25 qts/lb. Based off your recipe, that's 12.5 quarts of water.

1a) If you dough in with too much water you get a very thin mash and the enzymes won't be able to convert the starches to sugar very well.

2) That's the basic idea, but you need to figure out the temp of your grains first. Also are you using a cooler or a steel pot for your MLT? If you are using a cooler, you will want to pre-heat it with some water first. This will help it hold your temp. There is a calculator in promash that is called "Strike Temp." Use it to determine the temp of your strike water and you will hit your mash temp with no problem. 154 is a good temp for a well rounded beer with good mouth feel.

2a) If you are fly sparging you want to slowly add water over the grains keeping a 1 to 2 inch layer of hot water (168-170) over the grain bed. It should take you at least 60 minutes to collect all your runnings (restrict the flow of the MLT and add water on top of the grain bed as you see it dropping). If this a 5 gallon batch, then you will probably collect a little over 6 gallons.

In Promash, once you start a brewing session, there are buttons on the bottom of the session screen for most of these things such as "water needed", "efficiency", and so on. It will tell you what your pre-boil target gravity should be and pre-boil volume. Take readings before you start your boil and you will be able to make adjustments to compensate (i.e. add dme or water).

Good luck! AG is a ton of work but loads of fun!

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Old 05-17-2007, 10:59 PM   #3
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Oh, I forgot to tell you how much water you need for the sparge. I will heat 1/2 gallon of water per pound of grain. So you are going to need 5 gallons for the sparge. You will probably have a little left over and some will get absorbed into the grain, but I've never not had enough sparge water using this ratio.

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Old 05-17-2007, 11:52 PM   #4
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I think jdoiv gave some good answers, and I wouldn't disagree with anything (s)he said.
I use about 1 qt water per pound of grain for the mash. It's a matter of personal preference. Neither is right or wrong.
The water temp, grain temp, mash tun temp, ratio of water to grain and the thermal mass of the mash tun all affect the required strike water temperature. Make sure you have some really hot water to raise the mash temp if it is too low, and some cold water to lower it if it is too high, and take notes. If you may need to add extra water to adjust the temperature, it's a good idea to start with a fairly thick mash, so that the extra water doesn't dilute it too much. Take notes, and it will only take a few brews to get it dialed in.
At the end of the mash, I find it very useful to add and stir about 1g of near boiling water to raise the temperature to raise the mash temp to about 168 - 170 and then recirculate a few quarts before starting the sparge. Ideally, you want to keep the temperature in this range throughout the sparge. If the sparge temperature is much lower, you will lose efficiency. If much higher, you can get excessive tannin extraction. I heat my mash water to 185, but add it to a cooler that has not been pre-heated, and sparge slowly through a fairly long hose connected to a sparge arm. For me, this keeps the sparge temp very close to 170, but your mileage may vary. Again, it's a good idea to have some hot and cold water available to adjust the temperature of the sparge if necessary, and to take notes. The next time, you'll have a much better idea about the temperatures you need (if you read your notes).
The amount of wort you need to collect depends on how much you evaporate in the boil, and how much you leave in the kettle when racking to the fermenter. I need 6.75g pre-boil to end up with 5.25g post boil.

Hope this helps,

-a.

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Old 05-18-2007, 01:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoiv
Hi Harv,
1) You should decide what kind of process you are going to use and what kind of style your are attempting before figuring out your water needs. I'm guessing that you are going to do a simple infusion mash with one temp. If that's the case then you will use between 1 to 1.4 qts/lb of grain. For more mouth feel/body go for a thicker mash (1.1 qts/lb) for a thinner more alcoholic brew go with a higher ratio. I use 1.25 qts/lb. Based off your recipe, that's 12.5 quarts of water.
To start out I figured a single infusion mash would be the easiest to learn. I'm going to stick with your 1.25 qts/lb figure, since this is a stout I'd prefer more mouth feel/body
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoiv
1a) If you dough in with too much water you get a very thin mash and the enzymes won't be able to convert the starches to sugar very well.
That is exactly what I needed to know!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoiv
2) That's the basic idea, but you need to figure out the temp of your grains first. Also are you using a cooler or a steel pot for your MLT? If you are using a cooler, you will want to pre-heat it with some water first. This will help it hold your temp. There is a calculator in promash that is called "Strike Temp." Use it to determine the temp of your strike water and you will hit your mash temp with no problem. 154 is a good temp for a well rounded beer with good mouth feel.
I am using a 5gal Rubbermaid round beverage cooler for my MLT and my HLT? I will make sure to pre-heat it with some hot water. I'm looking at the Dough In Strike Water Temp Calculator now, and with 10# of grain, 12.5qts of water, desired strike temp of 154, and grain temp of 70deg my strike water should be 167deg with a total mash volume of 3.93gallons. Sound close?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoiv
2a) If you are fly sparging you want to slowly add water over the grains keeping a 1 to 2 inch layer of hot water (168-170) over the grain bed. It should take you at least 60 minutes to collect all your runnings (restrict the flow of the MLT and add water on top of the grain bed as you see it dropping). If this a 5 gallon batch, then you will probably collect a little over 6 gallons.
So I dough in, wait 60 mins then sparge another 60mins? Based upon the Water Needed Calculator I'll end up with just over 5gals after boil. Does my configuration look correct?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoiv
In Promash, once you start a brewing session, there are buttons on the bottom of the session screen for most of these things such as "water needed", "efficiency", and so on. It will tell you what your pre-boil target gravity should be and pre-boil volume. Take readings before you start your boil and you will be able to make adjustments to compensate (i.e. add dme or water).

Good luck! AG is a ton of work but loads of fun!
Thanks so much!

So just to recap here is what I have so far.

1. Dough in 3.25 galons @ 167deg, maintain 154deg for 60mins
2.) Sparge 5gal @ 170deg for 60mins
3.) Collect 6.8gals into kettle
4. Boil for 90mins, expect 5.27 after boil @ 15% evap rate

Look sound?
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Live in Saint Louis, MO? Then check out www.stlbrews.org and www.garagebrewers.com
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:38 AM   #6
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Isn't it the other way around? I thought you get more B-amylase and therefore a thinner more fermentable wort with a thick mash as the B-amylase is stabilized. See this BYO article: http://www.byo.com/feature/480.html

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Old 05-18-2007, 04:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got Trub?
Isn't it the other way around? I thought you get more B-amylase and therefore a thinner more fermentable wort with a thick mash as the B-amylase is stabilized. See this BYO article: http://www.byo.com/feature/480.html
I may have had it backwards, but I thought it was thicker, more mouthfeel, thinner more alcohol. I'll go read the article. I always get these things backwards just when I think I have it figured out.
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Old 05-18-2007, 04:52 AM   #8
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Harv,
It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it. Yes, you will mash for 60 and sparge for another 60. Don't forget to collect your first runnings and pour them back on the grain bed to filter before you start draining into your kettle.

I would also suggest taking a pocket therm and putting it into your grains for 10 minutes and plugging that into your strike calculator. You may find that you only need to be at 165 or 169 to hit your temp.

Good luck!

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Old 05-18-2007, 05:46 AM   #9
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Going pretty well right now. Preboil gravity was 1.059 and I was shooting for 1.056 so I'm happy with that.

This will be my first and last fly sparge thats for sure!

Kinda late, but I just started the 90 min boil so I'm on the home stretch. Time to go keg my 7 day IPA.

Thanks again for all the help!!!

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Old 05-18-2007, 09:13 AM   #10
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Am I supposed to take a gravity reading post boil? I did anyway and I got 1.072.

Surely that can't be right?

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