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Old 09-12-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
ThePonchoKid
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Default Pre-boil water levels

I thought that I used 8gal on a 10lb grain bill thelast two times, and had ended up with 5.5 gal of wort

This time on a 11lb bill I was left with 6.25 gal of wort.

How does this happen?

Is it better to use less water and add more if it boils down under 5 gal?

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Old 09-13-2012, 03:07 AM   #2
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I assume you're talking about pre-boil volumes here. It took me several batches to get my water and wort volumes under control and develop calibration numbers for my system so that I could hit my targets fairly accurately. Grain absorbs water. More grain = more absorption. The only conclusion I can draw is that you weren't using 8gal before.

A quick check here shows that using 8 gallons of mash/sparge water on 11 lbs of grain should yield 6.25 gallons of wort. So you're latest batch appears to be spot-on. My guess is that you either weren't measuring your water volumes correctly before, or you were leaving a bunch of wort in the mash tun. Every batch you get better

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Old 09-13-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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Thanks. Seems I should be using about 7.25gal pre boil most often

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Old 09-13-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePonchoKid
Thanks. Seems I should be using about 7.25gal pre boil most often
You need to take good notes throughout the process and try to maintain the same vigor of boil.

Things that contribute to loss:
Grain absorption-will vary based on size of bill
Tun dead space
Kettle loss, unless you are a dumper of everything
Shrinkage, cooling and boil off

Factor all these things and add them to your sparge volume and you should be able to hit your volumes
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:03 PM   #5
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I have to agree with duboman. I've done multiple batches of the same recipe but the second time I brewed it, even through I kept the boil at the same rate and the amount of water/grains the same, I still ended up with a lot less liquid at the end merely because of the ambient temperature. Granted, it was quite an extreme difference, the first time I did this recipe it was 15 degrees outside and the next time it was 70--as I get to brew in an unheated shed, but it was something I had not taken into consideration the second time around until it was too late. Not to be off topic, but I do love winter brewing though as cooling the wort doesn't get much faster when you can stick the hot pot into a snowbank.

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