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Old 06-05-2009, 04:40 AM   #1
Philsc
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Default Mash water/sparge water ratio

Could someone please clear up for me what's going on with the mash/sparge water ratios?

I've read that you should mash with a third of one's pre-boil volume, so that you are sparging with twice as much water - two batch sparges.

I also read that you should mash with close to half then top up the water to just under half in the last 10 minutes.

John Palmer says that you should sparge with the same amount of water as you mash with.

Phil

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Old 06-05-2009, 05:06 AM   #2
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1.25 quarts per pound of grain is the average water/grain ratio. However, some people around here have experimented with a higher ratio and have reported much success.

With batch sparging, if you are doing two just do them in equal batches. Divide your water in half and use each one for the sparge.

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Old 06-05-2009, 02:55 PM   #3
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Shoot for 1.5 quarts per pound of grain on the mash ratio. The sparge is more of a fixed volume thing rather than a ratio. After you collect first runnings, just figure out how much more wort you need for your preboil volume and use that amount. Of course, how much preboil volume you need is tied to how much boiloff you get and you have to guess that for the first few batches. It's somewhere between 1-2 gallons per hour. I start with 7.25 gallons to get 5.75 gallons into the fermenter.

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Old 06-05-2009, 03:13 PM   #4
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Yeah, BobbyM's got it, as usual.

It comes down to what you're doing in each step. This is a pretty rudimentary way of looking at it, but this is how I see it.

Mashing is to activate the enzymes and convert starches to sugar. The water to grist ratio is important. 1.75 to 1.25 qt H20/ lb grain is enough that you can get everything wet and the enzymes are in high enough concentration that conversion doesn't take all day.

Sparging is to rinse the wort from the grains. The volume here is related to your pre-boil volume. You want to use as much water in your sparge as you can. This is to get as much wort out of your grains as you can. I single batch sparge and sometimes double batch sparge with a lower volume if my grain bill is big.

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Old 06-08-2009, 11:15 PM   #5
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Thanks
Clear as crystal now.

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Old 10-27-2012, 11:29 PM   #6
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Well my whole first AG batch turned into a disaster. Between temps and now its totally stuck. LOL. Am drain it with my autosiphon, which seems to be working. Hopefully it works out. Going to buy a false bottom kit.

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Old 10-27-2012, 11:59 PM   #7
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And now I just snapped my hydrometer in half. FML

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Old 10-28-2012, 06:10 AM   #8
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I find that the sparge volume is roughly equal to the batch size. I divide in 2 in order to double sparge.

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Old 10-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #9
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My 1st partial mash had 5lb of grains,so I mashed with 1.5 gallons of distilled water. Had trouble 1st 15 minutes getting mash temp stable at 155-156F. Sparged with 1.5 gallons of water & got in the middle of the listed OG range. But the sparge temp was 155F...160 would likely have been better to get more wort washed out of the grains. To my thinking anyway.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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Just a word of caution, if you over sparge your grains you will extract tannins, and it won't help the flavor of your beer one bit.

Sometimes I have wort left in my mash tun because it won't fit in my brew pot, in those instances I just leave it there, it's usually only about 1/2 gallon. For me I would figure a .5 gallon of water for every pound of grain to sparge with.

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