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Old 09-13-2009, 03:50 AM   #1
mbaker33
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Hey guys,

Finished my first AG brew earlier tonight. A very nice Maple Pale Ale. Things went pretty well, although I ended up about a 1/2 gallon short on the sparge water. Which led me to wonder, how people here do their sparge.

I followed beer smith to a T, but found ran out of sparge water in about 20 minutes. The mash kept trickling out for another 30 to 40 minutes and I got about 80% efficiency, so I'm not concerned.

Should I be heating as much sparge water as possible and then just simply running it until the Boil volume is reached?

 
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:13 AM   #2
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Did you account for fluid loss in you system? There's settings in beersmith for that.

You could keep running sparge water through to reach your boil volume BUT you should stop if the runnings reach an SG off 1.004 to 1.008 to avoid extracting tannins from the grain husks.

(It's really an issue of pH, but that sg range is typically when the pH starts to get to high).

Also, if you do this, let the sample of the runnings cool a bit and compensate for temp when using your hydrometer. The reason you should let the runnings cool is that even when using the temp compensation formula (software), hydrometers can be inaccurate with high temp liquids.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:58 AM   #3
mbaker33
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Thanks for the reply. I used BeerSmith for the recipe calculations and setup my equipment, althought there are so many different options I may have missed something. My setup is pretty basic, 2 10 gallon igloo coolers, one with a false bottom. So there really isn't much to tweak.

Beer smith told me to mash in with 13.13 qts of water and then sparge with 4.64 gallons. Does that make sense? grainbill was 10.5#.

 
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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Your total water used was 7.92 gallons. People around here usually estimate that the grain absorbs 0.1-0.2 gallons/pound (do a search for the details). I get good results when I estimate 0.15 gallons/pound (including dead space in my mash tun). Everyone's system is a little different, so you'll just have to characterize your system. If you assume volume loss due to grain absorption, that would put your pre-boil volume at 6.87-5.82 gallons. What did you actually end up with for your pre-boil volume?
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