Got all my gear ready to go for my first AG batch tonight; my yeast starter is sitting next to me and appears almost as excited as I am. Having a little confusion on water volume/temp and looking for a little direction.
Here are the details: AHS Alpha King Clone; 5 Gallon; 12.3 lbs grain; Mash Temp 150 degrees; 90 minute boil. Will boil outside tonight, probably at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit (chose a bad night for a 90 minute boil!).
---AHS instructions say:---
- Strike 170 to get to 150 degree mash
- mash 3.84 gallons for 1 hour
- sparge 5 gallons at 175 degrees until you have 6.25 gallons in the pot (they emphasize this: "Don't run off more than 6.25 gallon of wort!")
- If not getting 5 gallons in fermentor at the end of the process, add extra cool water to top off the fermentor.
---Brew365 calculator says:---
- Strike 162 to get to 150 degree mash
- mash 4.09 gallons for 1 hour
- sparge 5.25 gallons at ? degrees (and presumably drain it all, which, all things being equal, would give me around 6.75 gallons of wort to start.
1. Is there a reason to stop sparging at 6.25 gallons vs. getting more like 7 gallons to begin with? I'm concerned about evaporation rate with a long boil outside on a cold night. How does this choice affect efficiency (if at all)?
2. If evaporation is a problem, when is the best time to add water to the wort? I assumed sometime during the boil itself to top things off, but not sure if just adding sterile water to the fermentor would do the same thing.
3. As for strike and sparge temperature -- do I go with 170/175 or 162/? ? I'm not quite sure why these would differ so much between the two instructions?
Thanks very much for your help!