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Old 01-18-2013, 10:20 PM   #1
lespaul23
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Default I hate asking but...

I have searched and found multiple answers, dont know what to follow.

Im starting my AG soon, one thing im comfused on is how much mash water and how much sparge water to use per lb of grain.

I have heard 1gal water to 1lb grain, 1.5gal water to 1lb grain and ive heard use half your pre boil vol in your mash and the other half in your sparge. Ive also heard half your preboil vol and sparge to you get to your pre boil vol.

How come everybody has a different opinion on this. Im doing 5 gal batches with a pre boil vol of 6.5gal.

What is the right way that the majority of brewers calculate this.


Thanks and I know this has been coverd but like I said every thread is different. I want to get the most out of my grains and really want my first AG to turn out well.


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Old 01-18-2013, 10:24 PM   #2
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In general, you use 1.25-2 quarts of water per pound of grain in the mash, and then sparge up to your boil volume.

Some say it's ideal to divide it up into roughly equal amounts, but I'm not sure there is any scientific basis for that.

So, say you have 10 pounds of grain and you want to start with 6.5 gallons for your boil volume.

Using 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain (a happy medium), that's 15 quarts. The grain will absorb about 1 gallon of water in the mash, so you should get 2.75 gallons of runnings out of the mash. Then, you will need 3.75 gallons for the sparge. It's always good to have a little more water ready for the first few times just in case you need it, because you may have some other things (deadspace in the MLT for one) that impact the amount you get out of the mashtun. But that should get you close.


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Old 01-18-2013, 10:34 PM   #3
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If you're going to batch sparge check out this calculator, I use it all the time:
http://onebeer.net/batchspargecalc.shtml
The main thing is that you'll need to know what your pre-boil volume is. So you need to know the amount you want post-boil(basically the volume into the fermentor) and the amount of boil-off you get. You can adjust your grain to water ratio however you'd like. Works great.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:41 PM   #4
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Thanks.

It just seems like everyone does something a little different. So you go with the 1.5gal/per lb of grain. Ive been doing all sorts of calculations and it seems when I get up to 15lbs of grain or so things become more difficult. Not as much sparge water. But thats probably for a different thread.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lespaul23 View Post
So you go with the 1.5gal/per lb of grain
Not sure if that's a typo, but you want quarts/lb, not gallons/lb. You'll use 4x too much strike water... and probably have a huge mess overflowing your mash tun.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:47 PM   #6
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1 gallon per pound is going to be a bit ridiculous unless you're doing no-sparge, a several hour boil, or a VERY light session beer. As far as mash water, I'm usually in the neighborhood of 1.2-1.4 QUARTS per pound of grain depending on the beer (usually go thinner with smaller beers and thicker with bigger ones). I opt to have more sparge water ready than I think I'll need, and just stop the sparge when I hit my preboil volume. It's essentially mash water + loss to grain absorption + mash tun dead space + sparge water = total water needed to meet your preboil volume. Grain absorption only needs to be factored for the mash, not the sparge, since the grains should already be at capacity by the time you're sparging. Dead space should be constant for your system, grain absorption will depend on the size of the grain bill and the rate of your system (somewhere in the .1-.2 gallons/lb range usually), one you're picking (mash water via chosen water to grain ratio), and then the sparge water fills in the rest based on the first factors. And like I said, I see no harm going with more and just stopping when you've collected enough runnings (assuming you're not using sparge water hot enough that increased volume raises the temp enough for unwanted tannin extraction)
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lespaul23 View Post
Thanks.

It just seems like everyone does something a little different. So you go with the 1.5gal/per lb of grain. Ive been doing all sorts of calculations and it seems when I get up to 15lbs of grain or so things become more difficult. Not as much sparge water. But thats probably for a different thread.

Thanks again.
No. 1.5 QUARTS of water per pound of grain in the mash.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotPushrods View Post
Not sure if that's a typo, but you want quarts/lb, not gallons/lb. You'll use 4x too much strike water... and probably have a huge mess overflowing your mash tun.
Typo sry. Got a lot of calulations going on in my head. Lol
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:53 PM   #9
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Ok so I will shoot for 1.5qts per lb of grain, then ill just sparge untill my pre boil vol is hit? That sounds easy enough.

Thanks again guys, appreciate it.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:39 AM   #10
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1.3 unless you don't have enough room in your mash tun. But always 1.3 for me.


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