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Old 12-02-2006, 02:52 PM   #1
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Default Question on BeerSmith and sparge water calc...

OK, finalizing the plan for tomorrow's brew, and something looks goofy with BeerSmith.

Doing a single infusion mash and a batch sparge. Total grain bill is slightly less than 14lbs. It's telling me to mash with 17 quarts; 1.25qts/pound, which is exactly what I would have expected.

The sparge water, however, is only 3.67 gallons, or just over one quart per pound. I always though I was supposed to sparge with closer to 2qts/lb. It looks like this will get me to about 6.3 - 6.5 gallons for the boil, but I'm wondering how much my efficiency is impacted by what appears to me to be a relatively small amount of sparge water.

Should I sparge with more water and plan on boiling longer / more aggressively?

Or am I bat-sh!t insane?

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Old 12-02-2006, 03:37 PM   #2
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Use the dennybrew calculations for your sparge volumes!

http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

I have yet to find a simpler way, fancy software included...

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Old 12-02-2006, 03:47 PM   #3
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its been a while since i paid attention to formulae that books, websites and software give ... they never made sense to me. when i boil, i lose 1.5 gallons in an hour ... its consistent and NEVER waivers. but the thing that i originally overlooked when brewing was the volume lost to the 40 minutes it takes my wort chiller to get the temp down ...the entire time it sits in there, steam is rising, so volume is escaping. Then, there is the hot/cold break/trub. For me, this can be anywhere from one-half to a full gallon of volume.

Bottom line? To get 5.25 gallons into the fermenter (and thus get 5 gallons into a keg) I need to boil EIGHT gallons. I'm pleased to say it only took me about 6 brews before I finally convinced myself to sparge this much. There were a lot of times I wound up kegging 4 gallons because of my stubborn refusal to understand my own system.

My advice would just be this: learn what your procedures (system) yield out the back end and work backwards to know what need to go in at the front.

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Old 12-02-2006, 03:56 PM   #4
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Yeah, I guess I'm looking for answers to a system that's brand new to me. New mash tun, new keggle, new burner; I'm have no problems will full, aggressive boils now, which is a huge change. I think I'll shoot for 7 gallons of pre-boil volume, assume I'll boil down about one gallon and lose a half for break material, etc. If I'm doing my math right:

14# grain = 3.75 gallons in the mash
Probably lose 1.4 gallons to the grains
Nets me 2.35 from the mash, want 7 total
Add 1.15 before taking the first runnings, stir, wait
Vorlouf and drain
Add 3.5 gallons, stir, wait, vorlouf, and drain

Sound about right to start, guys?

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Old 12-02-2006, 03:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teu1003
My advice would just be this: learn what your procedures (system) yield out the back end and work backwards to know what need to go in at the front.

Excellent advice.
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