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Old 02-22-2013, 02:31 PM   #1
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Default My first all-grain

This Sunday I'm going to brew a bitter chocolate oatmeal stout. It's a clone of the Stone stout. Seems like a really interesting beer and should be a big, big beer. Final abv should be 9-10% and the recipe called for 20 lbs. of grain.

I know this question is probably asked a lot, so I've read through the sticky's at the top of this page, but I still am I little unclear.

I'll be mashing in the cooler mash tun I just built (pics below- pretty standard) and I have a 10 gallon kettle. I know that I should use 1.25 qt. per lbs. of grain, so by my math for 20 lbs. of grain I'll need 25 qt. or 6.25 gallons. That seems low actually. Should I use more water? Or, if I should only use the 6.25 gallons how much should I mash with. How much should I sparge with? Again, sorry if this is redundant, but I thought this would be something you Vets could answer quickly.

Here's the mash tun. I used the stainless steel supply line filter thing most guys used in their online vids. Pumped to give it a try.



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Old 02-22-2013, 02:41 PM   #2
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That's the water you should mash with. Your grain will then absorb around 10 quarts of that (0.5 qts per lb of grain) and you will lose about another quart or so to dead space in the mash tun. So when you drain your first runnings, you should get around 14 quarts (I'm assuming you're batch sparging). You then need to sparge with probably around 16 quarts to reach 30 quarts (7.5 gallons) of preboil volume. You can adjust the amount of sparge water in order to reach the preboil volume you want (I just used 7.5 because it's a fairly common preboil volume). You can also add a mashout in there if you want, you would just need to adjust your volumes so you end up with 30 qts. There's tons of calculators online that can help you with this kind of stuff. I use brewersfriend.com for almost everything. Good luck, and have fun brewing!

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Old 02-22-2013, 02:44 PM   #3
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The 1.25 qt/lb is for mashing. You will need additional water to sparge and to reach your boil volume. I know there is method to determine how much sparge water will be necessary, but it escapes me at the moment (I'm sure you can find it on this forum)

Dang - already answered while I was typing ...

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Old 02-22-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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I use the online calculators and if I put in 0.5gal for equipment loss with all else as defaults they come out very accurate for me.

I use this one usually: http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

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Old 02-22-2013, 03:18 PM   #5
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You guys rock! Thanks for the help.

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Old 02-22-2013, 03:41 PM   #6
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Just did the calculator. Total water needed is 9.8 gallons. 6.6 for mashing, 3.2 for sparging. Again, thanks guys.

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Old 02-22-2013, 03:59 PM   #7
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Actually, as I'm learning as I go here, I have one more question. Since this recipe is calling for 20 lbs. of grain which includes a half pound of oats, should I be using more water to mash to prevent the grain bed from plugging up my mash tun filter?

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Old 02-22-2013, 04:16 PM   #8
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No, don't use more water. A half pound of oats (2.5%) should be fine, most people worry about runoff problems when they have 20-50%+ of a huskless ingredient (malt, rye, pumpkin, etc.). If you're worried about things "plugging up" (called a stuck sparge) you want to add rice hulls.

This sounds like an awesome brew, but I would really suggest a lower OG beer for your first all grain. You're going to have a lot to dial in between boiloff rates, dead spaces, sparge method, mash efficiency, etc. Mash efficiency generally takes a big hit as your grain bill increases (since there's less available sparge water per pound of grain), so if you want to stick with this recipe I'd have some DME on hand. Measure your preboil SG, and if it's off you can add DME to correct it.

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Old 02-22-2013, 04:21 PM   #9
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Yeah, I know this is a lot to take on as my first AG. But it will be my 5th brew and I tend to jump into things with both feet and my socks on. That philosophy has worked for and against me, but it's too late to change now. haha

Good tip on the DME. I'll pick some up. I think I got this though. I'll post some pics when it's done.

It is a really cool recipe. Decent about of hops (no dry hopping though) and it even calls for some cocoa powder to be added.

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:18 PM   #10
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One tip: when you do beers over about 7% ABV you will have pretty bad efficiency (extraction of sugars from the grain). This is because you won't be sparging with much water and much of the sugars will be left in the grain.

So if your recipe is predicting OG based on a 75% efficiency you may want to adjust that down to 70% to be more accurate.

Alternately, what I do is a 90-120 min boil on my big beers, the calculator allows you to adjust the boil time to compensate for boil off. That way you can sparge with more water which increases sugar extraction from your grain bed.

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