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Old 01-28-2009, 05:09 PM   #1
goswell
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I have a bizarre problem. I recently moved and just now got my brewery up and running. For my first two batches I am somehow ending up with almost a full gallon extra runoff after the sparge. The only thing that has changed is my the water I am using and Midwest Supplies has a new grain mill setup. Other than that, nothing has changed. Can the crush somehow affect water absorption by the grain? Can water chemistry somehow have an affect on this problem? I'm stumped.

I mash at about 1.3 qt/lb in a Colemen Extreme 36 qt cooler.

 
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:09 PM   #2
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That's weird... I might be inclined to think that if the grains are not all crushed very well, they may not absorb as much water.
I really can't see water chemistry affecting absorption to any significant degree.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:52 PM   #3

Are you measuring your first runnings and calculating your sparge volume based on that number?

 
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:39 PM   #4
goswell
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My measurements haven't changed. I've always assumed the same grain absorption, I then use that number to get my mash out water for the first runnings. The mash water, minus absorption, plus mash out water should equal half of the total wort I want to collect. The water for the second runnings has always been half of the total I want to collect.

I could let the problem go if it were an extra quart, but I'm getting over a gallon extra! It doesn't make sense.

 
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:28 AM   #5
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It sounds to me like your maths are off somewhere. For your next batch, measure the water in every stage, from mash to boil. Don't assume the grainbed absorption, calculate what it is! Measure the water in to the mash, then out again and that should tell you what the actual absorption rate is.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:30 PM   #6

Don't just rely on theoretical values of absorption (i.e. .10-.12 gallons/lb of grain); there are too many variables that could skew one way or another.

Just measure the volume of your first runnings and calculate your sparge volume based on that real-world number to hit your target volume.

 
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:33 PM   #7
goswell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
Don't just rely on theoretical values of absorption (i.e. .10-.12 gallons/lb of grain); there are too many variables that could skew one way or another.

Just measure the volume of your first runnings and calculate your sparge volume based on that real-world number to hit your target volume.
Yeah, I know I could do that but they always say you get better efficiency if the first and second runnings are equal.....

 
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:45 PM   #8

Quote:
Originally Posted by goswell View Post
Yeah, I know I could do that but they always say you get better efficiency if the first and second runnings are equal.....
I say you'll notice an increase in efficiency by matching the volumes of the second and third runnings.

If you are targeting 8 gallons pre-boil, and get 2 gallons from the first runnings then your sparge volume should be 6 gallons, split into two 3 gallon volumes.

 
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:49 PM   #9
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Has your efficiency changed?
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:59 PM   #10
MilwaukeeBrewGuy
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this is the main reason why I will be fly sparging.

 
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