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Old 02-22-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
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Right now I'm planning on sparging with 3 gallons. Is that not a lot? Not trying to be a smarta$$, I really don't know. Seems like a lot though.

This also calls for a 90 minute boil for the first hop addition.

With all that, and maybe even adding some dry malt extract, I think I'll get the abv up there. What do you think?

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:36 PM   #12
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You need to pick a boil time (sounds like 90 minutes) and batch size, then backcalculate a preboil volume from there. Add as much sparge water as you need to get that boil volume. Brewing software makes it all very easy.

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by muggs View Post
Right now I'm planning on sparging with 3 gallons. Is that not a lot? Not trying to be a smarta$$, I really don't know. Seems like a lot though.

This also calls for a 90 minute boil for the first hop addition.

With all that, and maybe even adding some dry malt extract, I think I'll get the abv up there. What do you think?
Are you sure you put 90 minutes into that calculator as 1.5 hours?

Because I just ran the calculator using .5 gal equipment loss, 90 min boil (1.5 hr) and 1.25qt/lb mash and it says you need to sparge with 4.09 gallons for a 5 gallon batch.

Generally you get the highest efficiency when your grain bill is smaller and you sparge with at least as much water as you mashed with. It just means that you have to waste more grain in order to brew a big all grain beer because of the efficiency loss. Boosting it with DME extract is a good idea actually.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:12 PM   #14
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Yeah, I did have it in there as 1.5 hours, but I may have changed other numbers.

At this point, I'm leaning towards just doing a full volume mash.

By chance, I just saw that my local home brewing stores is putting on a all-grain class tomorrow morning. Could not have been timed better for me. I called the guy and he said he'll be teaching how to calculate efficiency etc... So, I signed up. I have a 50 qt. mash tun, so I think it would be big enough to just do a full volume mash. I'll know for sure by noon tomorrow though. I'm planning on picking up some DME in case my effciency sucks, with 20 grains it obviously might.


I'll keep you all posted.

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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I agree with others that for such a big beer I'd either lower your efficiency estimates (to about 60%) -OR- increase boil time so you can mash/sparge with more water. Personally I mash thin, 1.5-2qts per pound and try to sparge with as much water as I mashed with (so I play around with the mash thickness until mash and sparge volumes are about equal). I get 80% every time in my cooler with braid. If I wanted to do this for a big beer, I'd need to boil longer, no big deal, just don't add your hops until you're supposed to (start paying attention when there's 60m left in the boil, for instance).

The calculators/software really tell you everything you need to do. It's always a math equation that determines what you need to do with brewing in order to get what you want.

Also, FWIW, my absorption is nearer to 0.15g/lb and boiloff is not quite 1g/hr in my keggle. Those getting 0.5g/lb and 1.5-2g/hr boiloff must have excellent lauter mediums and wide-arse kettles boiling hardcore.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:32 PM   #16
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Yes, I'm either planning on doing a full volume mash, or a fly sparge equal to mash volume. The only issue is I may not have a big enough mash tun. Mine is 52 qt. or 13 gallons so I should be good. I'll know exactly which method I'm going to have to use and how much water after this the class tomorrow.

I was planning a mash thickness of 1.5 but we'll see.

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:51 PM   #17
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Yes, I'm either planning on doing a full volume mash, or a fly sparge equal to mash volume. The only issue is I may not have a big enough mash tun. Mine is 52 qt. or 13 gallons so I should be good. I'll know exactly which method I'm going to have to use and how much water after this the class tomorrow.

I was planning a mash thickness of 1.5 but we'll see.
Just understand that whatever you learn tomorrow is just one matter of opinion. Often times LHBS guys "swear" that you "have" to do it a certain way...then you find hundreds of people who do it another way with as good or even better results. Take it all in, but remember, not everything is gospel. Do your own homework.
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:57 PM   #18
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Yes, I'm either planning on doing a full volume mash, or a fly sparge equal to mash volume. The only issue is I may not have a big enough mash tun. Mine is 52 qt. or 13 gallons so I should be good. I'll know exactly which method I'm going to have to use and how much water after this the class tomorrow.

I was planning a mash thickness of 1.5 but we'll see.
My mash cooler is also 52 qt. I can mash up to about 21 lbs of grains at 1.33qt/lb...any more than that and the cooler about overflows.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:16 PM   #19
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My mash cooler is also 52 qt. I can mash up to about 21 lbs of grains at 1.33qt/lb...any more than that and the cooler about overflows.
1.33qts/lb. with 21lbs. of grain is 8.66g total displacement. Your cooler is much larger than that. I'm lost...?
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:42 PM   #20
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Ok, I think I have a plan in place. I added accurate numbers into the brew365 calculator and it's coming up with total water needed of 12.05, 6.65 gallons for mashing and 5.40 for sparging.

Since I'm pretty sure my effeciency is going to suck with this many grains, I'm going to mash with 9 gallons without a sparge. Then I'll make the needed adjustments with DME to get my gravity up.

Then since there will be so many residual sugars still in the mash tun, I'm going to make a second brew. With the grain bill already in the mash, I think I can get a nice brown ale out of it. So, I pound an extra pound of cystral 20 and .25 pound of chocolate malt. I'll add the fresh grain on top of the grain bed in the tun, remash with more water, then do a second boil. I bought 2 oz. of Willamette hops for the boil. Plan to do a 60 min boil with 1 oz and finish with the other oz.

Hopefully, fingers crossed, I get two nice beers out of this. Heck, I think I may even like the second beer more.

Brew Day is tomorrow. I'll post pictures.

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