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Old 02-09-2011, 05:51 PM   #1
treesmcgee
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Default Sparging questions

I am sure this is probably the 1000th post on this topic, but seriously I'm a little confused. I suppose I should start with a little about my system. I am an all grain brewer with a 7.5 gallon turkey fryer for boil kettle, and 10 gallon gott style cooler for my mash tun. I usually do single infusion mashes for the saccrfication and batch sparges. I usually have been using a brew ap on my iphone to calculate water volumes for both infusion and sparge, however I rememered I had a bought copy of BeerSmith, which I started using. This program is of course way more advanced than the ap for my phone, and thus when I went to put together the recipe I had a few questions. The mash profile I choose was the Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge. This gave me a mash ratio, which I've always used as 1.25 qt/lb of grain. However, I did not give me a sparge amount. I've heard this number estimated as high as 2 qt/lb of grain, but with my boil kettle (for a 5 or 5.5 gallon batch) that would mean having literally over the usable level of water. Oh, by the way the recipe I'm doing calls for 12.5 lbs of grain (an American IPA I've been tweaking from scratch) Now I'm assuming since I'm doing a big beer (close to 7% ABV) that the sparge amounts are correct? With the ap I used on my phone it was telling me about 3.5 gallons of sparge water, with my mash amount and a little grain absorbtion, I've been pulling literally to the brim of my boil kettle ~7.4 gallons, and boiling that down to a little over 5.5 gallons over 75 minutes or so with a 60 minute hop. So basically are these numbers correct? I know its a lot to read hah!

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Old 02-09-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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print the recipe (or do a print preview) and the print out will show you what volume for the sparge. I know it's kinda annoying that beersmith only shows the sparge in the printed recipe.

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Old 02-09-2011, 06:43 PM   #3
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Ahh yes, I see now, and actually the amounts arent that off from what I normally use. about 1.35 qt/lb, which I've been sparging with about 1.25 qt/lb, which is what I do my first infusion with, basically equal batch. I'm assuming with the gravity of the beer the sparging water would go up, and I've heard some brewers use a very thick initial mash some as low as 1 qt/lb to make up for being able to use more sparge water, nearing the 2 qt/lb mark.

Edit: I noticed why I got the 4.25 gallon sparge amount, and it was because under the mash profile you can choose under sparging what % you want the sparge to take up in the mash tun. I find this a little bit underdeveloped for such an encompassing program. I would figure you could atleast set your sparge amount to a specific water to grain ratio.

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Old 02-09-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
I've been pulling literally to the brim of my boil kettle ~7.4 gallons, and boiling that down to a little over 5.5 gallons over 75 minutes or so with a 60 minute hop.
Shoot for a 5 gallon batch and have some fermcap-s on hand. 75 min boil to yield 5 gallons should be about 6.25 pre-boil volume for a normal boil off rate. fermcap-s will help with any close calls on boil overs.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:01 PM   #5
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Ya I hear ya there, but with the mash and sparge amounts thats what I end up getting, so should I reduce my mash and sparge amounts, or am I just pulling wort very efficiently?

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Old 02-09-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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Actually, I'm brewing right now, this recipe. And instead of pulling our usual ~7.4 gal basically filling to the top of the boil kettle, we pulled probably ~6.5-6.75 gal. I assume this is due to a different grain absorbtion rate than we've been getting, because we used the same volume of strike water and sparge water that we always use. 15.68 qts for strike and 14 qts for sparge.

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Old 02-09-2011, 07:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
print the recipe (or do a print preview) and the print out will show you what volume for the sparge. I know it's kinda annoying that beersmith only shows the sparge in the printed recipe.
I don't have beersmith at my fingertips right now, but I think another way to see those numbers (and edit some of the settings) is by clicking on the mash tab. Then you can edit the water/grain ratio for each individual step, change step temp, or add more steps and whatnot. Somewhere in there I think you can see the infusion and sparge volumes IIRC, but could be wrong about that.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:48 PM   #8
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Ya I was working with beersmith and attempting to alter the mash structure to suit exactly how I mash, and I've had some luck, but of course I'll have to work a little while longer.

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"Roll out the barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun, we'll drink on the barrel, until the barrels' done, and when the barrels' done, we'll roll another one, and we'll drink, drink, drink, until the night is done" - Keg Season Song
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:01 PM   #9
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If you choose your mash type, you can then edit the step and tailor it to what you want it to be (temp, ratio, etc)

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Ya I was working with beersmith and attempting to alter the mash structure to suit exactly how I mash, and I've had some luck, but of course I'll have to work a little while longer.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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Just batch sparge and run off until you have the necessary pre-boil volume. I do 6.5 gallon batches and 68-70% eff batch sparging. I have dialed my process to always mashing with 5 gallons of water and sparging with 5 gallons of water. I run off enough sparge water to collect the correct preboil gravity. As long as you get your preboil volume where you want it, you can tailor everything else around that. This makes it easier to make consistent beers and have predictable results.

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