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Old 11-05-2009, 01:31 PM   #1
sambogi76
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Default sparge water

I am doing my first AG batch this morning and was curious about the amount of sparge water to use. Palmer says in general to use 1.5 X as much as your strike water. I am making a 5.5 gallon batch using 13.5 lbs of grain. I want to mash at a 1.33 gal./lb. That means i will use 4.5 gal of strike water which means (using palmers suggestion) i will use 6.75 gal of sparge water. I expect to lose ~1.5 gal due to grain absorption. That means (4.5 sparge -1.5 absorption + 6.75 sparge) I will have a pre boil volume of 9.75 gal. This seems too excessive. I want to start in a couple of hours if any one can help, thank you much!

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Old 11-05-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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That rule of thumb doesn't really make sense.

The way you figure this out is to start backwards. How much wort do you want to finish with at the end of the boil?

If it's 5 gallons, you have to start without about 6.5 gallons preboil due to 1.5gph boil off rate.

So, if you strike with 4.5 gallons of water, and lose about 1.5g to absoption, the mash will only give up 3 gallons. 6.5 desired preboil - 3 gallons = 3.5 gallons of sparge.

Now, he might be referring to fly sparging where you can just keep adding the sparge water and running off and you just stop collecting when you hit your target volume.

I suspect you're going to batch sparge and in that case, you want to be more exacting with your measurements as I've explained.

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Old 11-05-2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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I've never liked the 1.5x as much rule. I usually figure out how much I'm going to need for my mash. Then after figuring system losses, evaporation, and grain absorbtion, you should be able to figure out how much sparge water you need.

And I'm assuming you meant mashing at 1.33qt/lb.?

Your grains should absorb more than 1.5gallons of water though. You should be looking at a little less than 3.5 gallons of water absorbtion. In that case, you cut your sparge water to 5.5-6 gallons and you'll be good, depending on your system loss.

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Old 11-05-2009, 01:54 PM   #4
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3.5 gallons absorbtion? The rate I use is either .125 gallons per pound or 1/2 quart per pound. .125 x 13.5 = 1.68 gallons. That doesn't account for mashtun dead space if there is any though.

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Old 11-05-2009, 02:17 PM   #5
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Yes i am batch sparging. So will i get a 1.5 gal boil off in the 1 hour boil? If so: I want 5.5 gal. after boil so i will need 7 gal pre boil. 4.5 gal strike - 1.5 absorption = 3 gal, so i will need 4 gal of sparge? right. If so i will probably sparge with a extra half gal or so and boil it off before the 1 hour boil.

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Old 11-05-2009, 04:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
3.5 gallons absorbtion? The rate I use is either .125 gallons per pound or 1/2 quart per pound. .125 x 13.5 = 1.68 gallons. That doesn't account for mashtun dead space if there is any though.
You're right. I'm not sure what was going through my head this morning when I typed that. I was thinking "grain absorbs it's weight in water." I forgot that a gallon of water weighs around 8lbs. I don't know why I was thinking a quart/lb of grains...
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sambogi76 View Post
Yes i am batch sparging. So will i get a 1.5 gal boil off in the 1 hour boil? If so: I want 5.5 gal. after boil so i will need 7 gal pre boil. 4.5 gal strike - 1.5 absorption = 3 gal, so i will need 4 gal of sparge? right. If so i will probably sparge with a extra half gal or so and boil it off before the 1 hour boil.
Another recommendation not to ignore Bobby's advice about mashtun dead space ... that can eat up some water, too.

Honestly, the easiest thing to do is to see what volume of water you have in your mashtun after your first runnings, then make your sparge water amount whatever else you need to reach your desired pre-boil amount.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:36 PM   #8
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Excellent point. That's why I found it very convenient to collect my first runnings in a graduated ale pail prior to sparging.

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Old 11-05-2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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Thank you guys so much! My first AG batch was a success! I did get my pre boil volume perfect...7 gal. but i boiled out more than expected. i wanted 5.5 gal and ended up with 5 even (not bad) When i calculated my brew house efficiency i ended up with just over 70% not bad being my first ag batch and i had my grain crushed from midwest...my base grains, crystal, and munich was crushed but wasn't broken completely, and the carapils was hardly crushed at all so i did the best i could with a rolling pin. not much luck thought (next purchase is going to have to be a grain mill!!!)

Can someone see if i did my efficiency calculations right? And can someone do my final efficiency please?
Grain bill:
10 lb american 2-row pale
1.5 lb american crystal 40L
1.5 lb american munich light
.5 lb carapils

Again thank you much!

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Old 11-05-2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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sorry i forgot this:
preboil volume 7gal 1.046 @ 70 deg. F
post boil volume 5 gal 1.062 @ 70 deg F

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