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Old 07-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #1
rockin_8
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Jun 2012
Rochester, Nh
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So I'm going to do my first all grain this weekend. It's a raspberry wheat from northern brewers it calls for a mash outta 170 for 10 min after the 60 min sacch's. My question is how do you know how much water to use? It doesn't tell you in the instructions. I found an equation for mash water which is grain lbs X 1.1=_ /4 does that sound right? Also how much sparge water do you use? I can't seem to find many answers on this. Sorry if it was asked a lot couldn't find it in the search.

 
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:12 PM   #2
RainyDay
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Apr 2010
Seattle
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What I typically do is mash at a 1.5-2 qt/lb ratio (quarts of water per pount of grain). So assume you have 10 pounds of grain, multiply that by 1.5 to get the amount of water in quarts you'll need for the initial mash (15 quarts=3.75 gallons). For 5 gallon batches, you'll typically need to get 7 gallons of wort to begin the boil. In MY system, I lose a pint of water per pound of grain due to absorbsion and dead space, so when I plan the mash out I take this into account. So with 10 lbs of grain I'll lose 10 pints (2.5 quarts/.63 gallons). So out of that mash, you'll get about 3 gallons of wort, so you'd mash out with about 4 gallons @ 170º. This is just how I do it, and there are many ways to skin a cat, but it works well for me.

 
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:17 PM   #3
Geohound
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Apr 2012
Draper, Utah
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I used http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml until i learned my system.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:16 AM   #4
JayMac
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Jun 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyDay View Post
What I typically do is mash at a 1.5-2 qt/lb ratio (quarts of water per pount of grain). So assume you have 10 pounds of grain, multiply that by 1.5 to get the amount of water in quarts you'll need for the initial mash (15 quarts=3.75 gallons). For 5 gallon batches, you'll typically need to get 7 gallons of wort to begin the boil. In MY system, I lose a pint of water per pound of grain due to absorbsion and dead space, so when I plan the mash out I take this into account. So with 10 lbs of grain I'll lose 10 pints (2.5 quarts/.63 gallons). So out of that mash, you'll get about 3 gallons of wort, so you'd mash out with about 4 gallons @ 170º. This is just how I do it, and there are many ways to skin a cat, but it works well for me.
Isn't the goal to make the grain bed reach 170F? Wouldn't this require the sparge water to be closer to 180F?

Yet again, I've heard water greater than 170F will release tannins.

I've been struggling with this for a while haha... so many people have so many different ways to do it.



But to answer the OP: You usually mash with somewhere between 1.25-1.5quarts/pound of grain. If you batch sparge, the amount of sparge water you need is easy to calculate. All you need to do is drain the wort from the MLT, and using either a sight glass or a graduated stick, determine the amount of wort you drained off. Since the grain bed is completely saturated, any water you sparge with will be drained. Therefore if you typically lose 1 gallon in a 60 minute boil, and your batch size is 5 gallons, then you will need a pre boil volume of 6 gallons.

6gallons-amount of water collected from first runnings= amount of sparge water.

e.g: mash with 3.5 gallons, drained 2.5 gallons (1 gallon absorbed by grain) so sparge with 3.5 gallons.

 
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:13 AM   #5
cmybeer
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Mar 2012
minneapolis, mn
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I'll just throw it out there that I don't ever mash out.
I use a cooler and don't like to mess with the infusion and my beers turn out great.
Then again...could a mash out help with your sparge for a wheat beer? Again, I don't do wheat beers but have heard they can increase the risk of a stuck sparge right?

 
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:19 AM   #6
RainyDay
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Apr 2010
Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMac View Post
Isn't the goal to make the grain bed reach 170F? Wouldn't this require the sparge water to be closer to 180F?

Yet again, I've heard water greater than 170F will release tannins.

I've been struggling with this for a while haha... so many people have so many different ways to do it.
I sparge at 170, mainly because of the fear of tannins going any higher (which I dont think matters at a low amount of time) and it's my understanding that 170 will give you a good rinse for the remaining sugars. Like I said, more than one way to skin a cat. No strict rules makes this fun.

 
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:22 AM   #7
JayMac
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Jun 2012
Guelph, Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmybeer View Post
I'll just throw it out there that I don't ever mash out.
I use a cooler and don't like to mess with the infusion and my beers turn out great.
Then again...could a mash out help with your sparge for a wheat beer? Again, I don't do wheat beers but have heard they can increase the risk of a stuck sparge right?
Mashing out will help with wheat bears, as the elevated temperature of the mash will decrease the viscosity of the wort, therefore making it easier to filter (thus less stuck sparges)

Mashing out is used to stop the enzymatic activity; if you are sparging and the grain bed is still at 155F-ish, the the entire time you are sparging, you are also still technically mashing. A mashout will help stop the wort profile where it was when you started the mashout through to the boil.

It's possible, however, that if you drain your MLT, and sparge with water around 175F, that you will also stop the enzymatic activity due to the hot water, so you're kind of accidentally 'mashing out'. The only problem is, like I said above, I'm not sure if its bad to have water hotter than 170F directly touch the grains, or if its prefered to add 200F water to the mash before draining, in order to raise the MLT temp to 170F, THEN lautering (I believe this is the conventional sense of 'mashing out')

 
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:35 AM   #8
Stauffbier
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When you "mash out" you usually add a pre-determined amount of boiling water to bring the temp of the grain bed to 170F. If you sparge without mashing out then you can use any temp you want as long as it doesn't raise the temp of the grain bed above 170F, because at 170 if the pH conditions are right then you will extract tannins. A lot of people seem to be in the 180F(ish) range when they infuse sparge water. You can even sparge with room temp water if you want. I've actually done that, and it works just fine..

I use this calculator to figure out all of my strike/infusion temps. I usually hit my temps perfect with it..
http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/infusion.html

 
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:49 PM   #9
rockin_8
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Jun 2012
Rochester, Nh
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To update: it looks like a successful brew the mashout didn't work I boiled a gallon but it only raised the temp 4 degrees. But it sparged great and was bubbling in 4 hours. Put a blow off on it last night since it was going crazy and this morning it was a good idea lol. It would have exploded not doubt. So I guess a mashout isn't really needed.

 
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