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Old 03-06-2007, 04:34 PM   #1
Sep 2006
Posts: 262
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I've done 3 all grain batches so far and they've turned out great (with my ghetto rigged cooler even), but I'm trying to refine my water amounts since all 3 batches have missed my target 5.5 gallon batch size and thus changed up the gravity of the beers.

One thing I'm curious about is how everyone measures their losses and totals. When you drain into your boil kettle, how do you know how much liquid is in there? When you're done boiling, how do you measure how much is left? The only way I've found is to use a quart size measuring pitcher I have, but that takes forever.

And how does everyone measure out their mash water amount? I've been using a gallon spring water jug to measure the amounts, but that's still somewhat of a pain to do and I don't always have jugs around...

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Old 03-06-2007, 04:50 PM   #2
cweston's Avatar
Feb 2006
Manhattan, KS
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I have a guage that I made for my kettle, which is a piece of wood marked at 1/2 gallon intervals. I made it by adding a 1/2 gal at a time and mrking the level on the stick.

Of course, sight guages are the easy way to do this.

I use a 5-gallon bucket marked w/ gallons for measuring strike water, etc.

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Old 03-06-2007, 04:51 PM   #3
delboy's Avatar
Jan 2007
Belfast N.Ireland
Posts: 320
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pour a gallon of water into kettle and either draw a line on it with a marker or put in a plastic rod/brewing spoon and mark where it comes to on that, put the second gallon and remark, repeat the process and so on and so on till your hearts content. You should end up with a graduated marked kettle/brewing spoon (works for me).

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Old 03-06-2007, 04:54 PM   #4
Sep 2006
Posts: 262
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I tried marking my mash paddle but it lasted about 1 brew before it wore off (a little sharpie ink in the brew can't hurt...). A wooden stick sounds good, that shouldn't wear off so much. I figured marking the inside of the kettle would wear off, and marking the outside would be too hard to guage what's inside...

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Old 03-06-2007, 05:51 PM   #5
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Dec 2006
Springport, Michigan
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Use a cold chisel or a center punch to lightly make marks in your kettle at every 1/2 gallon or gallon level. Deep enough to be able to see it, but not so deep that it goes through the wall!
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:40 PM   #6
jdoiv's Avatar
Mar 2007
Nashville, TN
Posts: 1,152
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I use a steal yardstick. Stick it in my sanitization bucket then put it into the kettel/MLT and do the math. For my kettles, multiply the gallons x 1.4 and that gives me the number of inches to hit. Or divide the inches by 1.4 and that gives me what is in the kettle/mlt. Not super accurate, but close enough for home brew.

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Old 03-06-2007, 06:57 PM   #7
Ivan Lendl
Ivan Lendl's Avatar
Feb 2006
Wimbledon Finals
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Mash water i just buy, today im mashing with 5 g's (2x 2.5 g deerpark), then run-off I use a spoon with marks (1 at 7 g and anothr at 5.5), if you do your calculations correct you should end up with 7 g's wort and after 60 min boil 5.5 g's. The only variable for me is that if I leave the lid on even partially I end up with too much wort.

After a few times you'll know what works.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:01 PM   #8
Desert_Sky's Avatar
Mar 2006
Sierra Vista, AZ
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Ive done so many batches now, I can just eyeball and add before the boil starts. I end up with damn close to 5.5 gallons everytime.

Dipsticks, marks on the kettle, sightglasses etc etc help until you get to that point

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Old 03-10-2007, 01:51 PM   #9
Feb 2007
Posts: 205
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I use a half gallon measuring pitcher when adding my strike water to my mash tun. I batch sparge and when I do my first runnings, I drain it into a bucket that has the volume marks (I calibrated with measured amounts of water at mash temperatures). This allows me to see the exact amount of water I need to add back to the mash tun to get the preboil volume I want.

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Old 03-10-2007, 02:22 PM   #10
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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I use a 30 quart pot with built-in calibration marks to measure water, but my boil kettle's handle welds are right at 6 gallons, so that leaves me with 5.25-5.5 allowing for shrinkage from cooling & hops.
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