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Old 08-29-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
AndrewD
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Aug 2012
Santa Rosa, CA
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So, getting back into brewing and told myself I would not do extract brews anymore, and that I would start kegging. So, several hundred dollars later, my setup is this:

Mash:
10 Gallon Rubbermaid with SS Braid

Boil:
Blichmann Floor burner on 24-inch rims (leg extensions)
30qt Boil Pot (No valve)

Primary:
6 Gallon Better Bottle w/ Racking adapter

Secondary:
Corny Keg

I'm brewing a NB Scottish 60 kit to start easy, and I'm using a BeerSmith trial for added fun. This kit has 6 pounds of malt. BeerSmith defaults to 1.25 qts/lb for mash water, which gives me a paltry 7.5 qts. I'm concerned about having such a small volume in the 10 gallon cooler.

Should I up my ratio to 2 qts/lb, giving me 3 gallons of mash water? If so, is there still going to be an issue with such a small mash in the 10 gallon cooler?

As far as the sparge, I think I am doing a batch sparge. The NB instructions call for a 60 minute sacch rest at 154, then a 10 minute mashout at 170. So what I think I should do is conduct the 60 minute mash with whichever water ratio I settle on and lauter, then add an appropriate amount of sparge water, let it sit at 170 for 10 minutes, then sparge into my boil pot with the lauter wort. BeerSmith has me adding a mere 4.2 qts of 207 degree (!) water, yet this is based on a supposed ratio of 1.95 qts/lb, which doesn't make sense to me. I think dialing in and getting used to BeerSmith is something I can do over the course of several brews, so I'm not too worried about technical help there.

My main questions are:

What is an appropriate quantity and temperature of mash water for this small batch in a 10 gallon cooler?

What is an appropriate quantity and temperature of sparge water?

Does the 10 minute mashout at 170 degrees in the instructions mean to raise the temperature of the mash to 170 and hold it for 10 minutes before sparging?

Also, I will be starting with a sub-5 gallon quantity of wort, so I imagine I should top up to boil volume with more water. Should I add cold water, boiling water, or equal temperature water to top it off?



 
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
BrewinHooligan
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Dec 2011
Mesa, AZ
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Most people suggest splitting your mash water and sparge water into equal figures that give you your desired pre-boil volume varying between 6-7 gallons depending on how much your system boils off and your desired quantity going into the fermentor. I put my strike water in my cooler about 10 degrees higher than I want it to "pre-heat" my tun so I avoid temp loss during the mash. When the water gets to about 1 degree over my desired strike temp I dough in and stir like mad until I am at my desired temp and then close the lid till it is time to sparge. If you are batch sparging, there is no need to do a mash-out. You can sparge with 180-190 degree water to get the same result (getting the grain bed up to 170 to stop enzymatic activity). You cooler will be a little large for your grain bill and you might lose a degree or two over the length of the mash but you will be ok. Placing some aluminum foil over the top of the mash will help this. Keep notes and have fun! It's not as difficult as it seems right now.


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Old 08-29-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
alestateyall
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Jun 2011
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You can increase the water ratio if you want, it won't hurt. I have no experience over about 1.7 qt/# but I think you would be fine at 2. But you won't loose too much heat if you preheat your mash tun even at 1.25.

To preheat raise the mash water to 10-15 F above strike temp. Add that hot water to your tun and then close the lid for 15 minutes. After 15 min is up open the tun, measure the temp and then stir until the temp drops to your strike temp + 3F (room for error). Then add your grain and stir until the mash temp drops to your target mash temp (maybe 5 minutes of stirring).

To mash out I add 2 gallons of boiling water to my mash. You may want to stop at 1.5g since you only have 6# of grain. You don't need to let it sit. Just stir it good (several minutes) then vorlauf and drain.

After draining measure how much wort you have in your kettle. Then sparge with desired boil volume minus the amount collected so far. So if you got 3 gallons first runnings and want a 7 gallon boil volume, sparge with 7-3=4 gallons. Heat the sparge water to 175F. Pour it in, stir several minutes, vorlauf, and then drain.

That should get you all the boil water you need. If not you can add water at whatever temp it comes out of the tap. If you add water after boil then I recommend cold water since that will help cool the wort faster.

Good luck. Also, I recommend a larger grain bill (8-10 #) the first few AG brews. That way if you have efficiency problems you still get enough gravity points for a decent beer. Also check your gravity before boil. If it is low you can add DME or just adjust your hops down and enjoy a session brew.

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Old 08-29-2012, 09:06 PM   #4
AndrewD
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Aug 2012
Santa Rosa, CA
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Thanks for the help; I've got the picture now.

 
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:05 AM   #5
AndrewD
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Aug 2012
Santa Rosa, CA
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Well, it went great. Thanks for the help. I have about 5.5 gallons of 1.032 gravity wort fermenting, which is exactly on target. The Blichmann floor burner really is nice, quiet, and powerful. Brewing outside beats stickying up the kitchen like I used to do. No more extract!

 
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:15 AM   #7
alestateyall
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Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewD
Well, it went great. Thanks for the help. I have about 5.5 gallons of 1.032 gravity wort fermenting, which is exactly on target. The Blichmann floor burner really is nice, quiet, and powerful. Brewing outside beats stickying up the kitchen like I used to do. No more extract!
Good work. Glad it went well for you. I should try that kit myself. I love beers around 40 gravity points. Maybe 32 would be even better an I am guessing it would help waistline.

 
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:02 AM   #8
AndrewD
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Aug 2012
Santa Rosa, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Sounds great! That's a nice kit, and I love that beer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kehaar View Post
Good work. Glad it went well for you. I should try that kit myself. I love beers around 40 gravity points. Maybe 32 would be even better an I am guessing it would help waistline.
It's cheap too. With the S-33 dry yeast, I think it was about 22 bucks.

 
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:03 PM   #9
jbsg02
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Dec 2010
garland, tx
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You're gonna love that blichmann burner

 
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:58 AM   #10
AndrewD
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Aug 2012
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbsg02 View Post
You're gonna love that blichmann burner
I already do.



 
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