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Old 10-08-2012, 02:30 AM   #1
benzy4010
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Ve brewed a couple of beers now but I think I've been sparking wrong. I've made drinkable beer every time but wondering if my sparing may have led to weaker watered down brews. I mash with 1.5 qts per lb go grain. When I'm collecting the first runnings I collect them in large plastic containers that have measurements on them which tells me how much exactly I collected. I then figure out how much water I need to Sparge with. I heat that amount up ( to get 6 gallons pre boil) and pour and stir with my grains then collect until I have six gallons. Sometimes I still have water left in my mash tun. Am I doing this way wrong. A few brews have tasted a bit weak such as my Belgian wit. Also do I need to heat Sparge water?



 
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:33 AM   #2
benzy4010
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Do I want to make it so I get 3 gallons on mashing and 3 on Sparge? Or the majority on mash?



 
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:45 AM   #3
tektonjp
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If you want 6 gallons in your kettle for boil, you'll need to also compensate for water absorbed by the grain and dead space in your mash tun. As for "weak", you'll never know unless you measure the gravity of your runnings, etc. Hydrometer or refractometer.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzy4010
Ve brewed a couple of beers now but I think I've been sparking wrong. I've made drinkable beer every time but wondering if my sparing may have led to weaker watered down brews. I mash with 1.5 qts per lb go grain. When I'm collecting the first runnings I collect them in large plastic containers that have measurements on them which tells me how much exactly I collected. I then figure out how much water I need to Sparge with. I heat that amount up ( to get 6 gallons pre boil) and pour and stir with my grains then collect until I have six gallons. Sometimes I still have water left in my mash tun. Am I doing this way wrong. A few brews have tasted a bit weak such as my Belgian wit. Also do I need to heat Sparge water?
Yes! Heat sparge water. I find about 185-190 gets my grain bed to about 170, about where you want it for sparging.

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:39 PM   #5
benzy4010
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Is there any formula for grain absorption?

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzy4010 View Post
Is there any formula for grain absorption?
No. It varies a little depending on your system, but it should be close to 0.5 quarts per lb of grain. Measure your water loss on the first runnings and then measure your deadspace after you sparge. Subtract the deadspace from your water loss and that will give you a better idea of what's happening in your system.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:28 AM   #7
benzy4010
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How do you calculate dead space?

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
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How do you calculate dead space?
Measure the leftover wort that didn't come out when you drained the mash tun.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:41 AM   #9
sonex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzy4010 View Post
Is there any formula for grain absorption?
for grain absorbtion figure 1 pint per pound of grain.

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:09 AM   #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by benzy4010 View Post
How do you calculate dead space?
Put 3 gals of water in your tun and measure what you get back with out tipping the tuns, if you get back 2.5 gals then your dead space is .5 gal. I personally don't measure dead space when i do my mash i tilt the tun to extract all that i can and then batch sparge with 175 degree water to reach 7 gal of total wort. after a 60 min boil I'm usually at or just under 5.5 gal


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