I started recently brewing and have a few question. I bought a 5.25 gal all grain kit and have been brewing 1.5 gal batches (scaling down everything) in order to experiment.
Based on my first brew I estimated a wort loss of around 40% during the mashing/sparging process and 35% loss during the boiling.
Based on this I started on the next brew with 75% more water in order to end up with 1.5 gal wort. On the second brew I divided the total water into 65% into the mash and 35% for sparging. The mash was very watery it was more like a grain soup. The total SG was 1.040 after sparging.
The third batch I divided the initial water 50/50 into mash and sparging and my total SG was 1.030 using the same ingredients and temperatures. The second thing diferent was that during sparging the mash valve got clogged and drained really slow.
I'm wondering if the SG diference was because the mash to sparge water ratio or because the sparging flow rate diference?? Also how can I control the SG after fermentation? With the amount of yeast added or the temperature or something like that? I know the time fermenting affect the SG but I've noticed there is a point where the SG stops decreasing. I'm ending up around 4% alcohol per volume and I would like it around 5%-6%. Do you suggest using more barley?