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Old 12-13-2009, 07:12 AM   #1
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I guess in any formulation/calculation, there's always one number that might give people trouble. I still can't wrap my brain around using some software (Beer Tools Pro in this instance) and figuring sparge water volume.

The goal is to reach an amount in your boil kettle (pre-boil) that will leave you with your goal amount of wort (post-boil) after evap and such. Correct?

So if I'm using just over 3 gal water for my 1.25 ratio for mash, and I want to aim for 7.6 gal in my boil kettle to get 5 gal in the end (well, 5.5 and allowing for .5 gal loss etc)...

a) just "simply" take first runnings, recirculate back in during my batch sparge, and then keep running water through until I achieve 7.6 gal in the kettle (because grain has already absorbed its water)?

b) use a calculator like brew 365's and it gives me about 7.07gal for sparge (will split into two for my batch sparge)?

I guess, in the end...option a) is the winner, really...

And what are people using for temperatures of sparge water? I've seen from 168 to 185. Just curious--looking for a poll answer I guess.

J
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:24 AM   #2
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Assume roughly 1 qt per pound of water absorption in the mash. After that, the math is easy. You need as much total water as you expect to boil, plus 1 qt for every pound of grain that you mash.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:35 AM   #3
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9.86 # grain bill for this one. So you're saying roughly 10 qt absorption?

So I expect to boil 7.5 gallons, give or take.

Plus 12.5 quarts. That's 3.12 gallons plus 7.5 gallons, 10.62 gallons total.

Software is saying 8.28 gallons sparge water, 11.36 g total.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:10 AM   #4
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who cares what the software says before you get it done...

get it done, then do the math on the fly...

i dont care what the software says, i use it to tell me how much to strike with, but not how much to sparge with...

if i collect 4 gallons first runnings on a 10gal batch, i strike with 7.5 gallons

i end up with 11.5gal in the kettle and then just boil a little harder than i usually do so i boil off the extra 1.5 gallons in 60 min. or accomodate for a 90 min boil, etc..

i dont care what the software says.. sometimes i get more or less first runnings based on how much rice hulls i use or maybe even the specific type of grain or diff mash temps... i just go with the flow and get it done. beersmith does not dare tell me how my brew day will go, besides giving me a target OG...


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Old 12-13-2009, 08:24 AM   #5
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Nice! I'll take advice from someone with 175 gallons for the year, haha.

Good reasoning. Thanks for that. Up late, brain already asleep; brewing in 7 hours so better grab a nap.

I guess that's another thing I'm not "getting" as I'm only 6 AG brews in, boiling longer/harder to reduce vs. stopping filling the kettle at whatever volume. I suppose you want to definitely make sure you're getting all the sugars out of the mash tun rather than just arbitrarily stopping at a certain gallon amount. If it takes you 11.5 gal total to get all the fermentables out, so be it.

Are you measuring gravity when you sparge/lauter? Just curious.

p.s. let me know how your Celebration clone turns out!
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:25 AM   #6
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I always figure on about 4-5 gallons extra water needed per 15 gallon batch, which equates to about the same one qt/lb absorption ratio. I prep 20 gallons of water to brew 15 gallons of beer.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:45 AM   #7
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OK, thanks. And with regard to the boil (slightly off topic now), differences in boiling longer from larger volume liquid compared to boiling shorter from smaller volume?
ie: boil 7.6 gal 1.5 hrs or boil 10 gal 3 hrs...

I guess it depends how much you get out of your lauter tun and the efficiency of that.

And it all still ends up as beer!
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
Assume roughly 1 qt per pound of water absorption in the mash. After that, the math is easy. You need as much total water as you expect to boil, plus 1 qt for every pound of grain that you mash.
Correction, the ratio is more like 1/2 quart per pound of absorption. I don't think well in quarts though so it's .125 gallons per pound.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfriah View Post
OK, thanks. And with regard to the boil (slightly off topic now), differences in boiling longer from larger volume liquid compared to boiling shorter from smaller volume?
ie: boil 7.6 gal 1.5 hrs or boil 10 gal 3 hrs...

I guess it depends how much you get out of your lauter tun and the efficiency of that.

And it all still ends up as beer!
I only figure for a 60 minute boil which boils off about 1.5 gallons for me. I'll go up to a 90 minute boil for pils heavy grain bills but it's not for efficiency's sake. Gas and time is more expensive than grain.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfriah View Post
a) just "simply" take first runnings, recirculate back in during my batch sparge, and ...

J
I'm curious as to what you mean here exactly. You don't want to put first runnings back in during a sparge. I guess you could be referring to the short vorlauf to clear the wort but you don't want to mix runnings with sparge in the mashtun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfriah View Post
And what are people using for temperatures of sparge water? I've seen from 168 to 185. Just curious--looking for a poll answer I guess.

J
Assuming you don't do anything else to raise the mash temp prior to sparging, go with 185F.
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