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Old 03-23-2010, 09:09 AM   #1
rl1373
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Default Quick mash question

This is my first all grain brewing attempt. The grain bill for the brew is as follows:

8lbs American 2 row
4lbs American White wheat
.5lbs Carapils

First question, I plan on batch sparging with a CPVC manifold. Do I run the risk of a stuck sparge? Would rice hulls be a good investment being as its my first time?

I was thinking about 1.25 qts/lb of water. This equates to a little under 4 gallons of water for mash in. Do I account for water loss to grain absorption in my mash in or in my sparge? And is .2 gallons/lb a pretty close guesstimate of water loss to grain absorption?

Probably all stupid questions but I rather ask now then when i'm into the process.

Thanks for all the help!!

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Old 03-23-2010, 12:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rl1373 View Post
This is my first all grain brewing attempt. The grain bill for the brew is as follows:

8lbs American 2 row
4lbs American White wheat
.5lbs Carapils

First question, I plan on batch sparging with a CPVC manifold. Do I run the risk of a stuck sparge? Would rice hulls be a good investment being as its my first time?

I was thinking about 1.25 qts/lb of water. This equates to a little under 4 gallons of water for mash in. Do I account for water loss to grain absorption in my mash in or in my sparge? And is .2 gallons/lb a pretty close guesstimate of water loss to grain absorption?

Probably all stupid questions but I rather ask now then when i'm into the process.

Thanks for all the help!!
I would use rice hulls but it isn't totally necessary. It's just the fact that they only cost .50 cents and I use them when brewing with wheat.

As far as your other questions, if you are even remotely interested in all grain brewing, I would purchase Beersmith and it will answer all of the other questions you have posted here.

I consider Beersmith to be one of the most valuable piece of brewing equipment I've purchased. Have fun.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:41 PM   #3
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I've never used rice hulls and never had a stuck batch sparge using a SS braid on my ball valve.

1.25qt/lb is reasonable. between 1qt and 2qt per lb is the basic range.

You account for water absorption only in the mash...the grain will be saturated enough that the sparge water in will equal sparge water out.

.2 gallons per pound of grain is a good estimate for the loss.

Palmer's How to Brew is a good book. ProMash, BeerSmith, BeerTools...get one of these apps to help you with some of the math...it can get hectic even after several brews are under your belt.

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Old 03-23-2010, 10:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rl1373 View Post
First question, I plan on batch sparging with a CPVC manifold. Do I run the risk of a stuck sparge? Would rice hulls be a good investment being as its my first time?

I was thinking about 1.25 qts/lb of water. This equates to a little under 4 gallons of water for mash in. Do I account for water loss to grain absorption in my mash in or in my sparge? And is .2 gallons/lb a pretty close guesstimate of water loss to grain absorption?

Probably all stupid questions but I rather ask now then when i'm into the process.

Thanks for all the help!!
I've never used substantial amounts of wheat, so I can't answer the stuck sparge question.

1.25 qt / lb is a good general purpose mash thickness. For grain absorption, I use 0.125 g per lb which is pretty close. However, it addition to the grain absorption, you have to consider the dead space in the MLT which will increase the water lost. You account for all the losses in the mash. During the sparge, you will collect as much as you put in as the grains will already be saturated, and the dead space will have already been accounted for when you drain your first runnings.

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Old 03-24-2010, 05:49 AM   #5
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Saying my grain absorbs .2 gallons/lb and I have 2 quarts of dead space with 12 1/2 lbs of grain. So the math would equate to about 3 gallons of water lost to dead space and grain. Would I add 3 gallons to the amount i'm mashing in with?
So:
Mash in amount: 12.5 lbs/grain @ 1.25 qts/lb = 3.9 gallons of water
Water lost to dead space and grain absorption: 3 gallons

would I start my mash with 6.9 gallons of water?

Sorry if its a stupid question. Just trying to square everything away before brew day..

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Old 03-24-2010, 12:41 PM   #6
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I use a CPVC manifold that I built and it seems to have more issues getting a good drain going than the ss braid I replaced. I have started usiing rice hulls and they seem to help but it is a work in progress - I used 8 oz in a 10 pound grain bill and it drained too quickly giving me poor efficiency. I used 2 ounces in a similar grain bill and it didn't have any discernable effect. Still working on it.
In regard to the water absorption, I have found that mashing / sparging a 10 pound grain bill with 9 gallons total will give me about 7.5 gallons of wort in the pot. This seems to be pretty consistent and varies proportionately with the grain bill. Good luck!!

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