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Old 10-14-2008, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default water amount for huge or small grain bills

Hey folks: I know you mash w/ 1.25 qt water/lb grain. Sparge w/ .5 gallon/lb grain. This works easily for 7, 8, 9 lb of grains(for 5 gallons brew). When the grain bill gets huge the water volume gets pretty big. Also if the grain bill is small 4-5 lbs grain bill then the water volume falls short. So how does one adjust.
Large grain bill: thicker mash, less sparge water, longer boils???
small grain bill: add a bunch of water at the start of the boil?
Thanks Charlie

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Old 10-14-2008, 07:55 PM   #2
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I'm not sure I fully follow your question....

If your recipe calls for 7 gallons pre-boil (how I formulate all of mine), then you collect 7 gallons. The .5 gallon/lb is a maximum ratio and the amount of sparge water should really be determined based on how much wort you collect from the first runnings. For example, if I collect 2 gallons from my first runnings based on a hypothetical X lb grainbill, then my sparge should be 5 gallons total volume to get my 7 gallons of pre-boil wort. I split that sparge volume into two equal amounts when I conduct my batch sparge.

I've mashed with as little as 1 qt/lb.

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Old 10-14-2008, 07:58 PM   #3
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Yup, I agree. You calculate your preboil volume based your finished batch size + estimated boil off. The sparge ratios thrown around are really just rule of thumb guestimates. I stick with 1.25qt/lb mash and adjust sparge volume to suit me.

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Old 10-14-2008, 07:58 PM   #4
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Those figures work fine. I sparge until I get my boil volume or 1.010 from the mashtun. Use Beersmith. It works great.

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Old 10-14-2008, 08:07 PM   #5
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Thanks guy. Adjust sparge to meet recipe!! Doesn't lowering sparge volume affect efficiency?

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Old 10-14-2008, 08:15 PM   #6
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Half Barrel KISS method.

1.) Infuse strike water to grain until mash meets target rest temp (based on pre-mash calcs). For DF method, fill kettle half way and heat to strike (meanwhile bring HLT to sparge temp). Dough-in while monitoring mash temp. Infuse as needed to re-coup heat loss or continue to fire tun while mixing to stabilize to mash temp.

2.) Sparge with remaining water until ref readings drop to 1.010 or target volume is collected in kettle. Collect over volume runnings in separate containers for later use, if needed.

Sure, I run the numbers in beersmith to get a guesstimate but, come the actual brew it all on the fly based on target temps.

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Old 10-14-2008, 08:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
Thanks guy. Adjust sparge to meet recipe!! Doesn't lowering sparge volume affect efficiency?
It sure does but not that much. You just have to figure out how much efficiency drops on those higher OG recipes and plan accordingly. It turns out that it's a lot cheaper to add a pound of grain than it is to boil for an extra hour.

On a recent 1.043 OG beer I got 91.5% and a 1.055 OG I got 88% so I figure on a few % less for each 10 points I want the OG to be.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:32 PM   #8
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I plan to download beersmith. I've read pro-mash is dead. Any others out there I should check out. I am not impressed w/ tasty brew, good for PM and extract but seems a little lacking in AG. I am no computer wiz so simple and easy is best. Thanks again, Charlie

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