Last week, I brewed my first all-grain batch and ended up with too much wort. I was brewing a 5 gallon batch of Alt, but ended up with way too much wort (close to 10 gallons) after sparging. I'm trying to determine my mistake so I won't replicate it in the future.
My recipe had about 12.5 lbs of grain. I used a 1.25 ratio of water to grain for my mash. This meant 4 gallons of water in the mash. I added 8.8 quarts of boiling water for my mash-out (I calculated this as the minimum amount of water to add to bring me up to 170). At this point, I had hit my target temperatures exactly and was feeling pretty good about myself.
I'm pretty sure this is where things went wrong. I've read both Palmer and Papazain's books and both recommend 2 quarts of water per point of grain. For my recipe, this required 6.3 gallons of sparge water. As I stated earlier, I then ended up with nearly 10 gallons of wort after doing this.
Fortunately, my efficiency was around 82%, which allowed me to salvage the batch. I ended up with an OG of 1.045 rather than the 1.066 I was going for, but I'll still end up with beer rather than tossing the batch.
Naturally, I don't want this to happen again. I'm thinking that I need to subtract my mash-out volume from my 2qt/lb sparge ratio, but don't know if that was my issue or not. I like to brew high gravity beers, so I am wondering if the 2qt/lb sparge ratio stays the same as the amount of grain rises? Looking for some advise in this matter so I can feel more successful at the end of my 2nd batch this weekend!