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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Dialing in my system
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:28 PM   #1
LuellingBrew
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Default Dialing in my system

Brewed 3 times so far and the first two the gravity was off by .006 first one .003 second one and .020 third one. The third was a hefe.

I was low on volume on the first two. First was approximately 3.5 gallons the second was 4 gallons. Al I did was adjust sparge volume. The third volume was on but the boil didn't reduce the wort enough.

Question: is it better to adjust mash volume, sparge volume independently or both with equal increments?

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:50 PM   #2
jaycount
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I personally try to keep mash volume fairly constant and then adjust my sparge water to get me to my boil volume.

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:54 PM   #3
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My constant is the liquor-grist ratio. Actual volume of mash and sparge water change each batch. I get excellent conversion at 1.25 qts/lb and don't want to add that ratio into my long list of variables.

It sounds like you may need to re-calculate your boiloff volume and make sure you're applying the same amount of heat each boil.

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwplessner View Post
My constant is the liquor-grist ratio. Actual volume of mash and sparge water change each batch. I get excellent conversion at 1.25 qts/lb and don't want to add that ratio into my long list of variables.

It sounds like you may need to re-calculate your boiloff volume and make sure you're applying the same amount of heat each boil.
Sorry, this is what I meant.

I keep the thickness ratio the same in my mash for every recipe, 1.25qts/lb. Then I calculate my sparge volume based on my first runoff volume. This will change depending on the grain bill.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:56 PM   #5
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I think that the first thing you need to know is how much you loose to evaporation, using your setup.
Let's say your final target batch volume is 5gals and you know that you usually loose 2gals to evaporation. I would boil 6.5gals, get around 4.5gals post boil and complete with cool water to reach your target.
I find it easier to get the post boil a little under the target volume and complete with water than end up with more than 5gals or wort, which you can just leave as is knowing your OG will be lower, or have to boil it more to reduce it.
Also, regarding mashing volume and sparge volume, mash volume or strike volume will be defined by your grist and mash thickness, that it is. The temperature of the strike water will be defined by your mashing temp.
For the sparge water, I would warm enough water to have some left over, this is not a precised volume. If you do a batch sparge, let's say you mash 10lb of grains for a 5gal batch and used 4gals of strike water, you would mostly drain about 2.5gals of wort off the mash tun once mash is completed (loss to grain absortion), adding perhaps 2gals of sparge water, stir and recirculate and drain again, redoing this until you reach your boil volume.
Best if your sparge water in under 170F to avoid tanin extraction, like 160 to 165F is what I try to use.
I do fly sparging so I heat about 5gals of sparge water and by the time I collect all my wort I still have 1 gal of unused water.

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Old 10-11-2011, 12:58 AM   #6
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That is some good info. Thank you!

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