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Old 07-21-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
jvend
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Default Sparging and Gravity

Hi, im a little confuse with sparging, lets say I want to do 5 gallon batch of an american ale with an OG of 1.052. How much water I add up initially for mash?? How much water I add up in sparging? Whats going to be the OG before I add up sparge water? And After?

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Old 07-21-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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It kind of depends on your system and preference. I usually mash in at a ratio of 1.3 quarts per pound of grain. Of course the temperature of the initial strike water is dependant on your grain temp, amount, your target mash temp, and how much heat your mash tun sucks out of the water. As far as sparging...are you fly sparging or batch sparging? If batch calculate the difference between your target volume you planned on going into the fermenter and what you collected in the 1st runnings. The difference will be how much water you need. Your first runnings will have a higher gravity than the runnings you collect after sparging as the concentration of sugars will be reduced.

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Old 07-21-2012, 02:04 PM   #3
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Figure about 1.25 gallons per pound of grain for the mash, and about 1/2 gallon per pound for the sparge.

There is some great information here and here.

If you are fly sparge, take a reading from the first runnings from the mash tun. It will be very high, perhaps somewhere between 1.080 and 1.100. Take another reading from the last runnings -- that should be quite low, not more than 1.010. The closer you can get that to 1.000 the better. Remember, when you fly sparge, slower is better. For a 5 gallon batch, sparging should take a minimum of 45 minutes.

See also John Palmer's book How to Brew. the text is also available online for free here .

Good luck, and enjoy!

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Old 07-21-2012, 02:18 PM   #4
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hecher: Don't you mean 1.25 *quarts* per pound in the mash?

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Old 07-21-2012, 02:23 PM   #5
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Can I not sparge? I mean if I want to make 5 gallons of beer, I can do as if I was going to do 6.5 gallons and when it evaporates i have 5 gallons with my desired gravity? And thats it?

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Old 07-21-2012, 02:47 PM   #6
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hecher: Don't you mean 1.25 *quarts* per pound in the mash?
My bad -- you are absolutely right. 1.25 quarters/pound.
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
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Can I not sparge? I mean if I want to make 5 gallons of beer, I can do as if I was going to do 6.5 gallons and when it evaporates i have 5 gallons with my desired gravity? And thats it?

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Old 07-21-2012, 02:49 PM   #8
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Can I not sparge? I mean if I want to make 5 gallons of beer, I can do as if I was going to do 6.5 gallons and when it evaporates i have 5 gallons with my desired gravity? And thats it?
The purpose of sparging, jvend, is to rinse the sugars out of the mash and collect them in your kettle. Even if you mash with sufficient water to collect 6.5 gallons, you'll likely leave a lot of fermentables behind.
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Old 07-21-2012, 03:01 PM   #9
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Jvend, Yes you can do that, but you will take a hit in efficiency. What I am doing is splitting my total volume in half. I will mash with 1.25 qts of water per lb of grain (this beer has 24 lbs of grain for a 10 gallon batch). I will mash with 30 qts of water, and then sparge with 30.25 qts. Because of the water that the grain will absorb in the mashtun, and the wort that the hops will absorb in the boil kettle, I will end up with (I hope) 10 gallons in the carboys.

I am batch sparging.

I use a basic spreadsheet to do all my calculations. I enter the total grain amount and assume that it will absorb .1 gallons of water per lb. I then enter the mash ratio in qts per lb and the total preboil volume (batch volume +1.5 gallons works for me) and it kicks out the sparge volume. I can then adjust the mash ratio until my mash volume equals my sparge volume, if that is what I want to do.

Some folks use brewing software. I made my own simple spreadsheet.

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Old 07-21-2012, 03:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvend View Post
Can I not sparge? I mean if I want to make 5 gallons of beer, I can do as if I was going to do 6.5 gallons and when it evaporates i have 5 gallons with my desired gravity? And thats it?
AND you have to account for the water you're not going to get back out of the grain.

For a beer with 10 pounds of grain aiming for a pre-boil gravity of about 1040 and an OG of about 1046 I'll be using something like 7.5 gallons of water - giving me 6.25-6.5 gallons of wort pre-boil. I lose just over a gallon during my boil - so that'll put slightly over 5 gallons into my fermenter after loss to trub.

I use brew smith software to help with the calculations.
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