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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Getting the most out of grains
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:00 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by bobby_m View Post
the "more water" recommendation is quite valid. You ended up with 5 gallons preboil. If you're not boiling off at least a gallon, you're not boiling hard enough. You should be starting with about 6.5 gallons preboil, boil down to 5.5 and you'll lose a little to trub in the kettle and in the fermenter.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:11 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by fumanchu View Post
How long should I let sparge water sit for?

stupid question: Is sparging adding water to the mash water that has completed its time cycle with the grain? Or is sparging simply adding more water the grain bed?
I mean is it only considered sparging when you add water to a mash that's been running for a while?

Or nevermind, I can find answers for that on my own. Don't worry about it. heheh
After you drain your mashtun the first time,you put more water in and stir,let set for 10 min and drain again.That's sparging.Don't get me started on fly sparging.It's just not right.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #23
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After you drain your mashtun the first time,you put more water in and stir,let set for 10 min and drain again.That's sparging.Don't get me started on fly sparging.It's just not right.
I usually fly sparge, but I have not been consistent with my effiencies. I am going to switch to batch sparging.


Adding water to the mash is your mash out. That needs to sit for 10-15 minutes.

Sparging is after you drain your mashtun, and add water to it to drain it again (add half your sparge water, drain, then add the other half of your sparge water, drain)
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:05 PM   #24
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Understood. My next batch will be much more by the book than my previous.

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Old 08-06-2012, 09:32 PM   #25
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Just to bring it all together for you or anyone following the thread. It's huge so skip it if you don't want 101.

Make sure grain is well crushed. If you look at it you should find all of the grain hulls are split open, there should be little or no fully intact hulls and a portion of the grain should be nearly flour like.

Heat your mash water to about 168-170 degrees and add 1.25 -1.5 qts of water per lb of grain to your mash tun. I like to add the water first to bring up the cooler temp and then check temp. If its too high you can let it sit and cool a bit.

Add your crushed grain and stir it up with the water. This is called doughing in. Stir well to ensure there are no balls of grain in the mash. The temp now should be about 148-155 degrees. Exactly what it is depends in the recipe but if your not sure then shoot for 150. Slap the top on and let it sit for 60 minutes. You can check the temp a couple of times to see how well your tun is holding temp. If it drops more than a degree or three in the 60 minutes you may need to insulate it better. While its sitting you can heat your strike water to 170-175 (you'll need about 4 - 5 gals)

After 60 minutes drain the wort from the tun into your boil kettle. You will get about 3 to 3 1/2 gals depending on the amount of grain. Add your 170-175 degree water to the mash tun ( make sure valve is closed) add 5 gals or as much as the tun will hold. Some will say stir, some not. I do but I don't think it matters much. Let The mash sit for 10 minutes or so and the drain into the kettle. You are looking to get about 6.5 gals into the boiler. If you're short you can top up with a little water. Don't run off more than 6.5 gals. Put the kettle on the flame and boil for 60 minutes, adding hop additions according to your recipe At the end of the boil you should have a little more than 5 gals. Cool, transfer to sanitized fermenter, pitch yeast and make beer.

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Old 08-06-2012, 09:37 PM   #26
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Fumanchu. Dont sweat it> I did the same stuff my first Allgrain Batch. I heated the strike water to the mash temp. I heated the sparge water to the mash out temp. Let the sparge sit too long. Its all part of learning and I would understand how to do it right had I not first did it wrong first. The only thing I will add is too stir your mash and sparge for at least 5-10 minutes to get good conversion. Especially when you mash out. The whole point is too wash the grain and extract every little bit of sugar thats left in there. Heat your sparge water up to 185 degrees and as soon as its in the cooler start mixing. after youve mixed for 5 or 10 minutes drain it out. I didnt see you mention vorlauf either. Might want to check that out as well. Cheers and Good Luck SW

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Old 08-06-2012, 11:11 PM   #27
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Fumanchu. Dont sweat it> I did the same stuff my first Allgrain Batch. I heated the strike water to the mash temp. I heated the sparge water to the mash out temp. Let the sparge sit too long. Its all part of learning and I would understand how to do it right had I not first did it wrong first. The only thing I will add is too stir your mash and sparge for at least 5-10 minutes to get good conversion. Especially when you mash out. The whole point is too wash the grain and extract every little bit of sugar thats left in there. Heat your sparge water up to 185 degrees and as soon as its in the cooler start mixing. after youve mixed for 5 or 10 minutes drain it out. I didnt see you mention vorlauf either. Might want to check that out as well. Cheers and Good Luck SW

To clarify, vorlauf is when you are draining your mash the first time, you take the first 2-4 quarts and pour it back into the mash. Usually I do this until my wort looks more clear running through the tube, which can be a gallon, 2 gallons, whatever.

I completely screwed up my first and third batch of all grain because of my technique, so no worries. One reason why I am switching to batch sparging. It will solve all of the problems I was having.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:23 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by HootHootHoot

To clarify, vorlauf is when you are draining your mash the first time, you take the first 2-4 quarts and pour it back into the mash. Usually I do this until my wort looks more clear running through the tube, which can be a gallon, 2 gallons, whatever.

I completely screwed up my first and third batch of all grain because of my technique, so no worries. One reason why I am switching to batch sparging. It will solve all of the problems I was having.
Ya I got tired of typing. Plus you can't give em all the answers that's too easy. Thanks Hoot! SW
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:38 AM   #29
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Just moved it to secondary. It is lacking in something but will be drinkable. Kind of a weird beer.

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Old 08-13-2012, 01:40 AM   #30
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This is the first pale beer I make though.

I think it might end up tasting like a cross between a munich and a VERY lightly flavoured cerveza.

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