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Old 11-27-2012, 01:06 PM   #11
Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,368
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Originally Posted by TAK View Post
Thanks, but that still leaves me a bit confused on my second point. If you go as low as 1 qt/lb on your mash with 23 lbs of grain, that's 5.75 gal of mash volume. Assuming 0.1 gal/lb is retained in the wet grain, then the 1st runnings are 3.45 gal. So, to get a preboil volume of 6.25 gal, your sparge volume could only be 2.8 gallons. That's 0.49 qt/lb, which seems like your sacrificing efficiency.

If you go up to 1.25 qt/lb for both mash and sparge, preboil volume would be around 13.8 gal. Sounds like your boil-off rate is about 1 gal/hour. But even if it were 2 gal/hr, that'd still be a 4 hour boil to get down to a 5 gallon batch. There's the paradox I'm seeing.

Partyguile might make sense for a real big beer, but I see the same trade-off between efficiency and hitting volume for mid-range gravity beers.
I was giving you the upper limits that these items will accommodate. Also, I think you are forgetting the amount of volume the grain actually takes up in the tun as well as the required space for water.

Because I brew 6.25 gallon batches (to achieve 6 gallons finished product) I require 8.95 gallons of pre-boil volume to account for boil off and kettle losses as I use a CFC. My average grain bill is 14-18lbs for beers that run 5.5-8.5%. I always try to do 1 step sparge but on some bigger beers I require a 2 step because of the water volumes required. Hope that clears it up a bit
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:32 PM   #12
rustym's Avatar
Dec 2010
Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 275
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like duboman said, your PRE-BOIL volume may not be enough if your trying to account for boil-off. I do 6 gallon batches and my pre-boil volume is around 8.12 gallons (because of evaporation, etc.) I usually boil 90 minutes so thats around a ~15% boil-off rate. That will increase your sparge water amount that you will need. I want 6 gallons POST boil and then rack 5.5 gallons to the fermenter so I leave some of the trub behind.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:42 PM   #13
br1dge's Avatar
Dec 2010
Roswell, GA
Posts: 291
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Last comment I will make is that I can usually get 1g out of the mash tun by letting the mash sit, at a downward angle for a while after sparging. By the time I get the BK rolling with a hard boil, i can draw another gallon or so out of the mash.

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Old 11-27-2012, 11:30 PM   #14
Dec 2011
Ithaca, NY
Posts: 62
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Originally Posted by TAK
The major problem I see with this is attaining strong brews. If you're planning on making a RIS over 1.1, with 20+ lbs of grain, you’ll end up with at least 20 gallons of pre-boil volume going this route. Is it reasonable to expect to boil off for hours before your actual hop schedule?

I think a lot of this has started to sound like ramblings. So, thanks in advance for your feedback.

On the RIS you could mash thicker (1qt/lb) for 5 gal mash water. 2 gallons gets absorbed by grain (0.1 gal/lb). To reach 7 gal pre-boil you spare with 4 gallons. I don't know how you got 20 gallons.

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:01 AM   #15
Feb 2012
Lincoln, NE
Posts: 1,046
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Originally Posted by Jdslep View Post
On the RIS you could mash thicker (1qt/lb) for 5 gal mash water. 2 gallons gets absorbed by grain (0.1 gal/lb). To reach 7 gal pre-boil you spare with 4 gallons. I don't know how you got 20 gallons.
A combination of bad assumptions, bad calculations, and a case of drinking and typing. I have no idea how I got 20 gallons either. My original assumption was about 24 lbs of grain, 1.25 qt/lb for BOTH mash and sparge, and 0.1 gal/lb absorption rate. That gets me to 14.4 gal pre boil when I recalculate now.

With that said, I've learned a bit more since yesterday, thanks to these replies and a bit more research. Mashing thicker at 1 qt/lb would get me 5.4 gal from the first runnings. I've learned the sparge water does not need to be so thin, so pre-boil volumes quickly become more manageable.

On a side note, I made the plunge and bought all my AG equipment today: 1 deluxe pot, 1 basic pot, mash tun cooler, burner and immersion cooler.

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