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Old 07-19-2013, 07:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by HappyDrunk View Post
This is the part I don't understand! Why not just start with more water?
If you're asking why not just HEAT all the water (mash + sparge) at once, I now understand what you are asking! If you have a vessel big enough to do that, it's an option, but it will take a lot longer to heat (more mass) and then you'd have to measure the amount of mash water on the way out when it's hot. The remaining (sparge) water will be sitting there for an hour and will cool, and it needs to be hotter than the initial water was, anyway, so you'd be re-heating it. It probably would retain a lot of its heat but I'd say it's just not worth it, for the sake of making measuring it all easier.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:01 PM   #22
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This is the part I don't understand! Why not just start with more water?
here's and option that I think folks aren't considering: You can start with more water, it's called no-sparge mashing.

The problem is, as someone mentioned, the enzymes need to be in close contact with the staches to efficiently convert them to sugars.

I think when people do no-sparge mashing (I've never done it) they have to constantly stir the mash to make sure full conversion occurs, since a portion of the enzymes are separated from the starchy grains

If you do that, use more grain than the recipe calls for, otherwise you risk poor efficiency, and a lower gravity than you want.

I highly suggest sparging though.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:08 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by HappyDrunk View Post
This is the part I don't understand! Why not just start with more water?
There's a thread out there that talks about just starting with total volume of water but I have no idea where its at. As from what you said about just having 9 gallons of 155 temp water and grains you can actually do it. However, the issue because do you have a big enough mash tun to hold all the water and grains. If you have a 10 gallon mash tun converted cooler it will hold 10 gallons of water. By adding a typical modest grain bill of 10 pounds you end up with over flow. I think you should be able to put 10 lbs of grain and have about 5 gallons of water and be near the top.

I did Brew in a bag to start off with 4 times and each batch came out well however, since I didnt know how much turb I had or my boil off it took me 5 batches to narrow it down to how much to extract out of the mash tun. I use SS keggles and when I do a 5 gallon batch I mash 12 lbs of grain with about 4 gallons of water. Then I Fly Sparge which means Draining my wort out slowly and when water is about 1 inch from the top of the grain bed I add 170 degree water with a laddle. It add about 45 mins to a brew day but you get better eff.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f244/bia...ml#post5085090

The other way which i havent done yet is to drain wort then get more water and add to grains at specified temp aka second running. One thing to note do not over sparge it will extract tannis into your wort which equals not so good flavors in beer. If you have a refractormeter stop when you extract enough wort but do not get below 1.010.

Hope this helps a little.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:14 PM   #24
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On the equipment front, I will add that you need to fit a ball valve and coupler to the igloo cooler to connect the false bottom to the valve and to be able to connect hose from the mash tun to the kettle. You can build them from parts at home depot, but a couple of online homebrew places will sell you all the parts (in stainless) as a kit. I highly recommend going that route, as it's hard to dig out all of the right set of parts in HD in one trip, and get them to fit in a leak free way, and they don't usually stock them all in stainless.

Also, Beersmith or similar software is a big help in formulating recipes, setting the correct strike water volume and temperature and keeping track of your efficiency and process.

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Old 07-19-2013, 08:17 PM   #25
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Ok, the response to this thread has been freaking awesome. Thank you to each person who has helped! What I still don't understand is .. let's say I use 4 gallons of water to mash in, I heat it to 155, pour it in, add the grain, let it sit for an hour or so, and then drain. Do I drain it to the brew pot? If so, are there fermentable sugars in there? Could I technically just use that water + 2 gallons of water for my wort? My guess is that there would be extremely little sugar in there and I would wind up with really weak beer, hence sparging to get the majority of the sugars. Then why use the drainage from the mash at all? What I am gathering is that all of the sugars come from the sparging. Is that correct?

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Old 07-19-2013, 08:23 PM   #26
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Well I'm not going to add comments or answer questions....but I will offer to show you on Sunday if you would like to drive down to Mission. PM me if you are interested.

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Old 07-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyDrunk View Post
Ok, the response to this thread has been freaking awesome. Thank you to each person who has helped! What I still don't understand is .. let's say I use 4 gallons of water to mash in, I heat it to 155, pour it in, add the grain, let it sit for an hour or so, and then drain. Do I drain it to the brew pot? If so, are there fermentable sugars in there? Could I technically just use that water + 2 gallons of water for my wort? My guess is that there would be extremely little sugar in there and I would wind up with really weak beer, hence sparging to get the majority of the sugars. Then why use the drainage from the mash at all? What I am gathering is that all of the sugars come from the sparging. Is that correct?
Yes, you drain the mash into the brew kettle. People typically sparge (to rinse remaining sugars off the grain) with hotter water, so re-using the wort from the mash would not be an option. Also, I would guess that you would partially defeat the purpose because some of your sugar-rich first runnings would get stuck BACK in the grain bed. Those first runnings are the sweetest (no joke), so you don't want to lost that. You can then think of sparking as brining your volume up to boil volume while also adding more sugar to the mix as you do it.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyDrunk View Post
Ok, the response to this thread has been freaking awesome. Thank you to each person who has helped! What I still don't understand is .. let's say I use 4 gallons of water to mash in, I heat it to 155, pour it in, add the grain, let it sit for an hour or so, and then drain. Do I drain it to the brew pot? If so, are there fermentable sugars in there? Could I technically just use that water + 2 gallons of water for my wort? My guess is that there would be extremely little sugar in there and I would wind up with really weak beer, hence sparging to get the majority of the sugars. Then why use the drainage from the mash at all? What I am gathering is that all of the sugars come from the sparging. Is that correct?
A good bit of sugar does come out with your first runnings, so keep those, but sparge also, that way you get the maximum amount of sugar
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:32 PM   #29
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I moved to all grain a couple months ago. Google Denny Brew cheap'n easy batch sparging. This was the best and easiest advice I found on the Internet. Further, adding initial volume of water to mash tun at 180 F then stirring until it reached 170F before adding grain helps me hit my temps quick and easy.

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Old 07-19-2013, 08:53 PM   #30
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Ok, what do you guys think of this:

1. Heat x (let's say 3.5) gals of water to MT+5 where MT=mash temperature (i.e. recipe calls for mash at 150, then heat to 155)
2. Pour water into cooler with false bottom
3. Add grain, stir, put lid on
4. Wait 1 hour
5. Drain 1 quart of mash runoff and add back to cooler until runnings are clear
6. Drain all mash liquid into brew pot

**Here comes the tricky part. I know my calculations aren't right here, but roughly .. If I got 2 gallons from my mash run off, then I would need 5 gallons of sparge water. What is right here ... follow the recipe?! **

7. Add 5 gals sparge water at temperature in recipe
8. Stir and then wait 10 mins
9. Begin draining until amount in brew pot = 6.5 gals OR 1.100 SG

** What is the correct protocol here? 1.1 SG of just the sparge run off or the combined mash/sparge run off? What do I do with any left over water here if I am batch sparging? Am I correct that if I am fly sparging then I won't have left over water here? Just checking.**

10. I now have wort. Continue as I have for the last year and half with extract.

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