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Old 10-29-2010, 08:09 PM   #1
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Default Ok i need some help

I am having a hard time with sparge water volumes on any bigger beers. If I follow the 1.25 quarts per pound of grain, by the time I drain that off I am only left needing maybe 2-3 gallons of sparge water. For example my first runnings just now netted me 4 gallons ... I only need 6 to the boil pot so no way can I split 2 gallons and have enough to do anything.

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Old 10-29-2010, 08:13 PM   #2
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You don't really need to split the sparge water.

But...to fix your problem, just lower your qts/lb ratio. I've used .75qts/lb before with great results. It's a pain in the ass to stir, but after that it's fine.

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Old 10-29-2010, 08:14 PM   #3
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You don't really need to split the sparge water.

But...to fix your problem, just lower your qts/lb ratio. I've used .75qts/lb before with great results. It's a pain in the ass to stir, but after that it's fine.
I have to disagree with this- I think at less than 1 quart/pound you'd be dealing with some pH and conversion issues.

The "easy" solution (the one I do) is just to have less sparge volume. Because I will get lower efficiency in bigger beers because of less sparge volume, I just increase my grain bill slightly to account for it.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:18 PM   #4
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I have to disagree with this- I think at less than 1 quart/pound you'd be dealing with some pH and conversion issues.

The "easy" solution (the one I do) is just to have less sparge volume. Because I will get lower efficiency in bigger beers because of less sparge volume, I just increase my grain bill slightly to account for it.
my efficiency drops from over 75% to around 60 % when I get over 12 pounds or so of grain.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:22 PM   #5
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I have to disagree with this- I think at less than 1 quart/pound you'd be dealing with some pH and conversion issues.

The "easy" solution (the one I do) is just to have less sparge volume. Because I will get lower efficiency in bigger beers because of less sparge volume, I just increase my grain bill slightly to account for it.
That's odd. I take pH readings on my mash and I always do fine with lower ratios. I'm using the cheap pH strips though, so they could be off. I'm also getting a consistent 75-80% efficiency on most beers.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:32 PM   #6
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That's odd. I take pH readings on my mash and I always do fine with lower ratios. I'm using the cheap pH strips though, so they could be off. I'm also getting a consistent 75-80% efficiency on most beers.
Then I wouldn't worry about it, I guess! I'm leaning more and more towards thinner mashes- 1.5- 1.75 quarts per pound, with great results. I guess everybody's system and water is different, and there is no "blanket" answer.

To the OP, 6 gallons is a pretty low boil volume, and aside from increasing that there isn't much else you can do, besides brewing beers with less grain.

Some brewers sparge more, and get better efficiency. But the cost of that is offset with a longer boil. You wouldn't save any money if you increased your efficiency, but used twice as much fuel to boil down the wort longer.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:38 PM   #7
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my efficiency drops from over 75% to around 60 % when I get over 12 pounds or so of grain.
What are you mashing in? How do you stir your grain? I don't have efficiency loss on beer until I'm at around 20 pounds.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:50 PM   #8
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Sparge with your runnings?

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Old 10-29-2010, 08:55 PM   #9
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Mashing in an old coleman cooler with a copper manifold. Stir the piss out of the mash when the strike water is added... today I stirred again half way through the mash hoping to help the efficiency some......... YOOP, yes it is a small boil volume but I am brewing this beer inside and I lose a gallon an hour on my stove. I am ( as you know) new enough that I usually do other peoples recipes . I guess when I get up in higher grain volumes I gotta remember to drop my efficiency in the calculator.

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