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Old 02-23-2008, 01:44 AM   #1
senorfartman
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Default Still having issues with volume

I posted the other day about only coming up with about 1/2 the wort I had intended for.

I took the advice, used a lot more water and remembered to take into account the dead space in my HLT (HD 10 gal cooler) then added the extra water just to be on the safe side..

And I still end up with 1/2 of what I should have! WTF am I doing wrong?

I made up a recipe for a stout. It goes:

8 lbs Eng 2 row
1 lb roasted barley
1 lb carapils
1/2 lb chocolate malt
1/4 lb patent
1 oz Kent Goldings (1/2 @ 60, 1/2 @ 10)
1/2 oz Fuggles (30)

I mashed with 3.5 gallons of water for a strike temp of 152.

I batch sparged with over 6 gallons of 168 degree water just to be safe.

I still came up with only about 3 gallons of wort in the fermenter.

What am I doing wrong?

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Old 02-23-2008, 01:50 AM   #2
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Wow, something is not right! You used 8.5 gal of water and ended up with 3 gal in the fermenter? I use about8.5-10 gal per batch and end up with 5.5 gal in the fermenter, and I have a 20% evaporation rate.
I really can't see how all that water would yield such a low volume, even if you had a very vigerous boil. How do you measurew your water's volume?

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Old 02-23-2008, 01:50 AM   #3
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The grain bill that you list will retain about 1-1 and 1/4 gallons of water. What is your gravity of the last sparge? The only thing I can think of based upon what you list in your question is that you end the sparge way too early. By the sound of it, that 10 gallon cooler ought to be pretty full.

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Old 02-23-2008, 01:53 AM   #4
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Even with 1-1.5 gallons of water lost to grain absorption, you should get, at least, 6gal of wort into the kettle (if you did batch sparge with 6gal).

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Old 02-23-2008, 02:41 AM   #5
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definitely triple check the water volumes you're trying to use...i.e. make sure that 1 gallon pitcher isn't really 2.75 quarts

also, how hard is your boil? you might be losing a lot to evaporation. I have that issue, my burner is a bit too powerful for my brew kettle...i get 20% evaporate on average.

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Old 02-23-2008, 02:55 AM   #6
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I would make sure you're sparging until you get between 6 and 7 gallons of runnings, and making sure the measurements are correct (since the markings on buckets and other containers aren't always right). I drain into my kettle, and I know where I need to stop before I'll risk boil overs.

As the previous posters said, maybe you're boiling too aggressively and could maybe back it down to a lighter roiling boil.

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Old 02-23-2008, 09:27 AM   #7
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You said "and remembered to take into account the dead space in my HLT " I'm thinking you meant the MLT right?
You need to figure out how much wort you are getting out of your mash and into the kettle before boil. If you ended up with about 8 gallons (what I would have got out of that mash) into the kettle and boiled off 5 gallons in an hour? HOLY CRAP...
You need to double check to make sure you are getting a gallon when you want a gallon and and know the preboil volume so that you can figure out the boiloff rate.

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Old 02-23-2008, 10:12 AM   #8
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All I can think of:
-One of your benchmark measures is horrifically off. Like a short gallon jug.
-Your burner is a thermonuclear weapon.

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Old 02-23-2008, 11:31 AM   #9
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It HAS to be something with the way you're measuring your water. Whatever you're using to mark off the gallons, it's not marking off actual gallons. I don't want to sound condescending, but you're not confusing quarts and gallons, are you? Mash water is usually measured in quarts, and sparge water is measured in gallons. Also, how long are you boiling?

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Old 02-23-2008, 12:01 PM   #10
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None taken. I use a measuring cup which reads to 2 cups. 8 of those is a gallon so unless I'm horribly mistaken, I don't know what is going on.

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