All Grain brewing,,, how much water? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:41 PM   #1
jakehale
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May 2011
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Have been wanting to move over to all grain and plan on trying my first one this fall sometime.. I have done reading, spent the money on Beersmith (still cant figure that out yet) and it all boils down to this one simple confusing item...

I will be doing a 5 gallon batch. I know you add 1.25 quarts (approx) of water to pound of grain. to make numbers simple, i have 10 pounds of grain, that would be (my math sucks) 3.25 (approx) gallon of water..?? (no where near 5 gallons of wort), plus the grain absorbs allot,,,,????? and then i read in the sticky figure a 1/2 gallon per pound for the sparge so thats another 5 gallons.. so i am heating 8.25 gallons of water to a temp of 154* (approx) for my mash and sparge. will i get 5 gallons of wort?

i know you want more than 5 gallons for the boil?
if i come out less than 5 gallons do i just run more water through the grain?

I know it is a simple matter for you all but this is one of the things that has me most confused.

thanks
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:54 PM   #2
TopherM
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Mar 2011
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Unfortunately, the numbers are not set numbers. They would differ per the grain bill and your equipment. Here's basically what you would do (these are numbers for my equipment):

Target Volume: 5 gallons
+
Grain Absorbtion: About 0.7 gallons per 10lbs of grain
+
Boil Off: 1.2 gallons/hour (this number will differ depending on the diameter of your pot...I brew in an 11 gallon pot with a 12" diameter)
+
Evaperation during cool-down: 0.4 (this would vary depending on your chilling method...I do an ice bath that takes about 20-25 min)
=
Total starting volume: 7.3 gallons

So, unless your pot is huge and you take a long time to cool down after the boil, this is closer to the #s you should have. 8.25 is a little too much.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:34 PM   #3
hopsalot
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Sep 2007
Corpus, Texas
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8.25 sounds good, figure, like Topher said, losing water to absorption in mash and sparge, losing water to dead space in your mash tun and to evaporation. When I brew similar recipes to the one you have listed above I use about 8.25 gal.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:39 PM   #4
Bithead
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Apr 2010
Southern, NJ
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I make my recipes for a 5.25 gallon batch. The extra wort covers losses due to trub and boil overs or maybe an extra bottle or two. Otherwise your water volume looks about right. You may need to fine tune after a couple brew sessions. Also, Look at your mash & sparge temps. You'll need to heat your strike water higher than 154. Depends on your equipment but you'll probably need to heat strike water around 172-4 ish.

 
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:00 PM   #5
TopherM
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Another FYI, BeerSmith 2.0 is probably the best $22.00 I ever spent in brewing. It auto-calculates about everything you need to calculate for brewing. Just enter your grain bill, hops, and yeast, and BeerSmith does everything else, including calculating your starting water volumes. You can customize the equipment and brewing methods to whatever you do, including BIAB. It also has a graphical interface that helps you design your own recipes within BJCP guidelines.

I honestly would have paid $100+ for this program, it is so useful. Birdman Brewing has the $22.00 deal right now. I think it is typically $26.00.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:12 PM   #6
suds_zville
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As suggested above, brewing software will make your all grain day easier. Correct water infusion temps to hit targeted mash temp, correct sparge amounts and hopefully to your targeted volume for the fermenter.

I'm currently using ibrewmaster for the Ipad but I've used Suds (free for PC) with great success for many years past.

 
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:40 PM   #7
jakehale
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May 2011
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thanks all. I have beersmith... just havnt figured it out yet.

as far as the senerio...I have no ideal what i am going to brew yet,, just know i want to start (try) this fall.

so basically i had it right (not the actual numbers), but you heat up ever how much water the calculations come up with, and that is all the water you use for the mash and sparge... once all that is done you "should" have your pre boil volumn?

how do you figure the gain absorption? does beersmith do that for you also?

if all this is in beer smith,,, i got get me on some sort of a tourial

thanks again
jake
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:55 PM   #8
Bithead
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From Beersmith Help
Setting the Advanced Options

o Select Options from the Tools menu or toolbar (Preferences on the BeerSmith 2 menu for the Macintosh version). Select the Advanced icon on the toolbar in the options dialog.
o The advanced settings section has two options for grain absorption. The first is used for conventional mashing while the second is used for Brew-in-a-bag (BIAB) mash profiles. These represent how much water is absorbed by the grains (in fluid ounces per ounce of grain).
o The malt specific heat is the amount of heat absorbed by grains during the mash. It is measured in calories per gram of malt per degree Celsius.

 
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