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Old 12-20-2008, 12:15 AM   #1
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Default Water needed help

I'm doing a 3 gallon batch, with 5.5 lbs of 2 row. According to Beersmith I need a total of only 3.5 - 4 gallons of water, however, my last 3 gallon batch I started with a boil volume of about 4.5 gallons and ended up post boil with about 2.25 gallons. SHould I therefore assume my loss this time will be 2 gallons or so and start with a total of about 5.6 gallons (to account for what the grain soaks up and boil off). That would mean that I'd need close to 1.75 gallons for mashing and the rest to batch sparge with...right?

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Old 12-20-2008, 12:20 AM   #2
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Well...

Whats your target SG? I just boil till I reach my target gravity. Batch size is totally dependent on your mashing efficiency.

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Old 12-20-2008, 12:23 AM   #3
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1.054. Do you have a refractometer, or how do you measure your gravity when it's boiling?

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Old 12-20-2008, 12:29 AM   #4
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You can use a hydrometer if you want to, just make sure to use one of the handy-dandy temperature correction calculators online.

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Old 12-20-2008, 12:47 AM   #5
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No kidding... I didn't know you could use one on worth that hot

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Old 12-20-2008, 03:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonefishing View Post
No kidding... I didn't know you could use one on worth that hot
Well, you can- but it's notoriously inaccurate. It's best to pull the sample, put the test cylinder in a pitcher of ice water and cool it to 90 degrees or under, then check the sample. Then you can do a temperature correction for the actual SG, and it's more accurate.

What I would do is mash in at 1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain, and then sparge with the rest of the water to bring you to your volume. I wouldn't think you'd boil off so much- is that inside on a kitchen stove? I start with about 6.25 gallons and end up with 5.25 gallons in an hour. If you boil off more, you can add more sparge water (or top up when you're finished).
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Old 12-20-2008, 04:04 AM   #7
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yep, inside on the stove. Last weekend I lost more than 2 gallons, but some of that would have been absorbed by the grain. This time I started with 5.5 gallons, which is about a gallon more than the last batch.
I'm shooting for an og of 1.054 , let's see how close I come and what I have for volume at that point.

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Old 12-20-2008, 04:12 AM   #8
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You can definitely plan on some grain absorption, but you can make that up with the sparge water. What I mean is this- say you mash in with 1.25 quarts per pound. That means you'd mash in with nearly 7 quarts of water. You'd probably get out 1.25 gallons as first runnings, more or less. Then, you'd sparge with about 2.75 gallons- you generally don't want to sparge with more than .5 gallons per pound of grain. So, you may have four gallons of runnings. You can boil that for an hour and see how much you have left. I doubt you'd boil off more than 1 gallon in an hour. Then, you'd be right at 3 gallons. You could check the OG and see if it's where you want it. If it's too low, you could boil up some DME in a little water, cool it and add it to the fermenter. 1 pound of DME in a little water added to a 3 gallon batch would add 15 gravity points to your OG.

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Old 12-20-2008, 04:35 AM   #9
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This is where software really come in handy, either online or pay for it. All the math is done for you and once you know your efficiency and get a good estimate of boiloff you can nail your volume and OG pretty much dead on.

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Old 12-20-2008, 04:39 AM   #10
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Yeah, but I'm still working on finding out what my average boil off is... this being only the second AG I've done since I came back to brewing. I've got the trial version of Beersmith, and will absolutely be buying it in the future.

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