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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Question about water quantities
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:42 PM   #11
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Both these responses are helpful. What about amount of water used for the mash and reasons for using that amount?
I use 1.25 quarts per pound of grain for regular batches. This gives me a good ratio that is easy to work with. In really large batches I use 1 quart per pound for a couple reasons, (1) the volume of my mash tun won't allow me to use any more on my large batches [22 pounds of grain in a 10 gallon MLT], and (2) most of these are done at higher temperatures, and the thicker mash is supposed to protect the B-amylase from the higher temperatures.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by unionrdr
For partial mash,I use 3 gallons of local spring water for 5-6 pounds of grains. then sparge slowly with 1.5 gallons to get a total boil volume of 3.5 gallons in my 5 gallon BK/MT. This mash amount has also given good conversion. Not too thick or too thin. Def need a happy medium for PH as well.
So you're saying that you lose about .2 gallons per pound to absorption?
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:10 PM   #13
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All total I loose .5-.75 by the end of the boil. Very little to absorption.

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Old 10-27-2013, 05:34 PM   #14
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So, I've read a lot of information, but looking for a reason people use specific amounts of water in both the mash and the sparge.

In my first few brews, I have been using 1.25 quarts of water for every pound of grain for the mash because I read that somewhere.
In the sparge, I have just been using what the recipe recommended and have not always hit my numbers, although I've tried to sparge with extra when necessary.

Could people offer the amounts of water that they use and why? Thanks everyone that's willing to share!
I'm not sure why no one else asked but are you fly sparging or batch sparging? That's pretty important to know in order to suggest ways to get your volumes correct.

If you are fly sparging, the easiest thing to do is heat up the same amount of sparge water as your batch size. By the time you run out of water, you're almost done collecting wort. The grain bed won't run completely dry and you're good to go.

If you're batch sparging, assuming a 6.5 gallon preboil volume:

Mash with .3 gallons per pound of grain ( never understood why mash ratio was in quarts and absorption is discussed in gallons...pick one)

The grain keeps .1 gallons per pound.

Need to sparge with 6.5 gallons minus (pounds of grain x .2)

If you have 10 pounds of grain, you mash with 3 gallons of water.

6.5 - (10 x .2)
so 6.5 - (2)
so sparge with 4.5 gallons.
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:21 PM   #15
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Since my PM's use 2 gallons for 5-6lbs of grains,I sparge with 1.5-1.75 gallons @ 168F to get a boil volume of 3.5-3.75 gallons in my 5G kettle. Raises my efficiency to use wort top off in kettle rather than just water. Waste not,want not.

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Old 10-30-2013, 02:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bobby_M

I'm not sure why no one else asked but are you fly sparging or batch sparging? That's pretty important to know in order to suggest ways to get your volumes correct.

If you are fly sparging, the easiest thing to do is heat up the same amount of sparge water as your batch size. By the time you run out of water, you're almost done collecting wort. The grain bed won't run completely dry and you're good to go.

If you're batch sparging, assuming a 6.5 gallon preboil volume:

Mash with .3 gallons per pound of grain ( never understood why mash ratio was in quarts and absorption is discussed in gallons...pick one)

The grain keeps .1 gallons per pound.

Need to sparge with 6.5 gallons minus (pounds of grain x .2)

If you have 10 pounds of grain, you mash with 3 gallons of water.

6.5 - (10 x .2)
so 6.5 - (2)
so sparge with 4.5 gallons.
Where do you get the .2 from?

I get the rest of this. I can start with the amount of wort I have pre-boil and then assume that .1 gallons of wort is held in the grains and go from there.

Still not sure where you get the .2 from, though...
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:54 AM   #17
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If you mash at .3 gallons/lb and the grain keeps .1 gallons/lb, the first runnings will be .2 gallons/lb. You sparge with preboil volume minus first runnings volume.

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Old 10-31-2013, 03:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bobby_M
If you mash at .3 gallons/lb and the grain keeps .1 gallons/lb, the first runnings will be .2 gallons/lb. You sparge with preboil volume minus first runnings volume.
Ok, I'm a bit slow there.... . Thanks for the explanation!
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:46 PM   #19
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Another thing that really helps me is learning what level equals how much liquid in my BK/MT. Eyeballin it then comes into play & is fairly accurate.

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