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Old 12-27-2012, 08:23 PM   #1
ReddHead
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I'm doing my first all grain brew and have only ever done extracts. If my math is correct I should have a total of 10lbs 4oz of grain.

9 lbs. Domestic 2-Row barley, 4 oz. Special B, 12 oz., Caramel 40L, 4 oz. Roasted Barley

Can someone point me in the direction of an online calculator that will tell me how much strike water I will need?

I only have a 7.5 gallon kettle but I also have a 5 gallon igloo cooler that I can use. I've seen people talk about using them to sparge but I'm not exactly sure how I would go about doing that.

Appreciate any advice. Still trying to learn the proper terminology.

 
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
daksin
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rackers.org has some good calculators. I do a batch sparge with my BIAB so it's not that different from a cooler mash + Batch, so not a true BIAB. Basically, for full volume BIAB (if that's what you're doing), your strike water volume should be (batch volume)+(boiloff)+(liquid absorbed by grain).
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:28 AM   #3
MrSpiffy
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The way I've done it, since my pot is only 7.5 gallons or so, is I use a bucket for doing a dunk sparge. I fill my brew kettle so that I get to about the 6.5 gallon mark, including the grain, for my mash. This usually ends up being a pretty loose mash, at around 2 qt/lb or so for a typical brew. I'll drain the bag. Then I make up any extra water that I need with the dunk sparge after mashing. I just used as hot water as I could get out of the tap, filled about as much as I needed (or just a bit extra, since I can boil it down) into a bucket, and then dropped the grain bag into the bucket. Then I'll massage the grains in the water to help get the sugars out. Drain and squeeze out the bag and dump the liquid into your pot to top it off for your boil.

I still need to work out exactly how much water I need for sparging, as I've only done a few batches so far. I'll probably just mark gallon increments on my bucket. But it seems to work pretty well for me. Once I get a few more batches down, I can start dialing in my process better. Use just a bit more water than you need for your boil, since the grain will soak a bit of it up again during the sparge, unless you squeeze out your grain really well.

Hope that helps!

 
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:45 PM   #4
ReddHead
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That does help, thanks. I guess I just need to figure out how much water I can get in the kettle along with the grain so that it doesn't overflow.

 
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:01 PM   #5
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Don't forget to add a little extra water for trub loss.

 
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
MrSpiffy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReddHead View Post
That does help, thanks. I guess I just need to figure out how much water I can get in the kettle along with the grain so that it doesn't overflow.
Go to rackers.org and their mash calculators. Punch in some numbers into the "Can I mash it?" calculator and find out how much water and grain you can use with your pot. (Leave a little room, so you don't accidentally spill.) You'll need to work backwards, but it'll help. Say you have 10lbs of grain and want to start at 2 qts/lb mash thickness, that's 10*2 = 20 quarts of water, or 5 gallons, for the mash. Punch that in and see what it says for necessary pot volume to mash it. (5.8 gallons) Work your way up in mash thickness until you're as high as you want to go in your pot. Then figure out how many quarts/gallons that is.

Make sure you actually measure water volume your pot can hold! Mine says it's a 32-quart pot, but it's definitely less than that. Then, my method for determining liquid volume in my pot uses diameter and height to figure out how many inches of height equals 1 gallon of water from the top of the pot. In my pot, 1.5" = 1 gallon of volume. So, if I know my total volume is 7.5 gallons and I want to fill the pot to 5.5 gallons, I just fill my pot until it's 3" from the top. (Use Google to convert from cubic inches to gallons.) If you need a formula for volume, just let me know.

 
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:29 PM   #7
ReddHead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSpiffy View Post
Go to rackers.org and their mash calculators. Punch in some numbers into the "Can I mash it?" calculator and find out how much water and grain you can use with your pot. (Leave a little room, so you don't accidentally spill.) You'll need to work backwards, but it'll help. Say you have 10lbs of grain and want to start at 2 qts/lb mash thickness, that's 10*2 = 20 quarts of water, or 5 gallons, for the mash. Punch that in and see what it says for necessary pot volume to mash it. (5.8 gallons) Work your way up in mash thickness until you're as high as you want to go in your pot. Then figure out how many quarts/gallons that is.

Make sure you actually measure water volume your pot can hold! Mine says it's a 32-quart pot, but it's definitely less than that. Then, my method for determining liquid volume in my pot uses diameter and height to figure out how many inches of height equals 1 gallon of water from the top of the pot. In my pot, 1.5" = 1 gallon of volume. So, if I know my total volume is 7.5 gallons and I want to fill the pot to 5.5 gallons, I just fill my pot until it's 3" from the top. (Use Google to convert from cubic inches to gallons.) If you need a formula for volume, just let me know.
That mash it calculator is just what I needed. Should make things easier, but I will definitely need to get an accurate measure for my pot.

This calculator has been handy too.

http://www.simplebiabcalculator.com/

 
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:55 PM   #8
MrSpiffy
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Nice! I hadn't seen that calculator, yet. Thanks!

 
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