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Old 03-03-2008, 01:45 PM   #1
BWRIGHT
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Default Pre-Boil Volumes

So, I'm stepping up to AG very soon. I still need to get a burner, thermometer, and cut my keggle, but I'm getting there. I've constructed FlyGuy's 10G MLT from an Igloo cooler. I've read the sticky about efficency for first time AG'ers and I'm now more confused than I was before. I've read that I should not concern myself with efficency on my first AG batch, but eventually I will need to know and there is no time like the present. I want to do 5G batches. I will need to recalculate my boil off rate when I get my keggle up and going but right now I need 6G pre-boil to hit 5G on my stove top. I plan to batch sparge. Probably using the double sparge method. I now have no idea how much water to use. Should I sparge using recommended amounts and then just cut off the flow when I reach my desired amount? If I take the advice of the people who are getting good efficency then it sounds like I might be boiling for hours. Is there some middle road here?

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Old 03-03-2008, 02:03 PM   #2
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Grain is relatively inexpensive when compared to extending your boil for another hour. Unless their is some style characteristic you desire, I would just bite the bullet and use that extra $2.00 of grain. Even no sparge methods may be reasonable depending on your goals.

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Old 03-03-2008, 02:22 PM   #3
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1. Make brew software a part of your AG plan. That makes eff. and boil volumes 1000000% easier to understand. Most of us don't calculate it either. Just to a brew like brewsmith software tells you to, then if you are over, input less boiloff for next time.
2. Keep some DME on hand and if you have really bad efficiency, dump some of that in until the eff. comes out correct. I learned that the hard way and had to boil off an extra gallon. That added quite a bit of time to my brew day.

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Old 03-03-2008, 02:46 PM   #4
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Your evaporation will be determined after a couple a batches but 6 gallons seems a little short to me. There will be some trub loss during transfer as well. As long as your doing grain batches consider 5.5 gallon batches so that you have a solid 5 clear gallons after transfering.

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Old 03-03-2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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my goal is to come out with a beer that taste like it is supposed to and has the proper ABV. How do you determine how much more grain to use? I plan on keeping some DME on hand, but doesn't that change the flavor of the beer? Any suggestions on which software to use?

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Old 03-03-2008, 03:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWRIGHT
my goal is to come out with a beer that taste like it is supposed to and has the proper ABV. How do you determine how much more grain to use? I plan on keeping some DME on hand, but doesn't that change the flavor of the beer? Any suggestions on which software to use?
Try Beersmith. I think there is a 21 day free, fully functional trail period.
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:24 PM   #7
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I use beersmith and I just tell it how much pre-boil volume I want because I don't have my evap rates down hard yet. I know that I need 7gal pre-boil to end up with 5 after a 60min boil. Thats all in a 9gal pot on a turkey fryer burner.

Effeciency depends alot on your grain crush. I planned for 65% on my first AG with my Corona grain mill, and was very close. Your efficency will calculate your OG. So if you have a recipe thats calling for 1.050 at 75%, you'll just have to add some more grain so you'll hit the same 1.050 at 65%. This is all very easy calulations once you have beersmith.

It will then tell you all your temps, how much water, etc. Super easy and worth the cash.

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Old 03-03-2008, 03:36 PM   #8
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Another vote for BeerSmith. You can adjust your estimated efficiency and all of the water volume calculations are made for you.

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Old 03-03-2008, 06:52 PM   #9
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Does Beersmith, or any of the software, take into account what and how you are boiling? What I mean is, does it take into consideration what kind of brewpot you are using. If you are using a tall narrow brewpot with a burner, your boil-off rate would be different than using a very wide brewpot on the stovetop.

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Old 03-03-2008, 10:43 PM   #10
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It's gonna be a little different for everyone, you just need to figure it out for your system. Try to always have a rolling, vigorous boil and be consistent with it each time. You might try a test run just to see if you're not sure, but I would estimate around 1 gallon/hr. I am more like 1.25 gallon an hour. I usually collect around 6.5 gallons of pre-boil wort and then get down to 5.5-5.25 gallons. As someone else said, it's good to have a little over 5 for transfers and such down the road. And if there's a little extra at the end, it's better to always have a little more beer than a little less

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