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Old 01-22-2006, 08:38 PM   #1
Dark_Ale
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I built a Mash Tun out of a round igloo cooler. When I add my water and grain it takes 5 gallons of water to cover the grain 1 inch. Is my tun to big? With the lauter and sparge how much total wort should I begin my boil with?



 
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Old 01-22-2006, 08:51 PM   #2
david_42
 
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Generally 6-6.5 gallons is a good start for a boil. A high gravity ale, you might go as high as 7.5-8 gallons. Five gallons of water to cover your grain is a lot, but it really depends on how much grain you have in the tun. So long as you are in the 1 1/3 to 2 quarts per pound range, it will work.


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Old 01-22-2006, 09:08 PM   #3
Dark_Ale
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One of the problems is that where to push button was that I removed and replaced with a valve sits up about an inch from the bottom. This leaves a bit of liquid, I can tilt it and get most but not all of it. I need to build a type of header that sits lower, but thats another day I guess.

 
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:53 PM   #4
Mikey
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You're not supposed to cover your grain with water during the mash- that's FAR too 'thin'. The usual ratio is 1.25 qts. to 1 pound of grain. Your mash should look like really thick porridge.

The 'covering the grain' part of the beer making process is only when you sparge.

 
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Old 01-23-2006, 04:47 PM   #5
cowain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey
You're not supposed to cover your grain with water during the mash- that's FAR too 'thin'. The usual ratio is 1.25 qts. to 1 pound of grain. Your mash should look like really thick porridge.

The 'covering the grain' part of the beer making process is only when you sparge.
I don't know about that. I think it probably depends on your mash tun. When I use a ration of 1.25 quarts per pound, I usually have several inches of water sitting above the grain. In order to achieve your porridge consistency I'd have a ratio of about 1 to 1.

 
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Old 01-23-2006, 04:56 PM   #6
Baron von BeeGee
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Yep, I always have water covering my grains in either my round 5g cooler or my rectangular 36qt, even at 1.1qt/lb. The best way to deal with the elevated height of the drainvalve is, as you say, to build a manifold that sits lower in the tun.

As far as volumes, that depends on your weather and kettle configuration. Under most conditions, I need 7g to boil for 60-75 minutes and have 5.5g left in my kettle (which results in a little over 5g in my fermenter). I usually figure around 20% evaporation, but other people get much less.

 
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Old 01-23-2006, 05:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowain
I don't know about that.
You could be right. I was reverse converting from metric to to Imperial measure and probably forgot how many furlongs there are in a fortnight. I mash using liters per kilo.

In any case, the idea is not to get hung up on a number for either the mash or the sparge, but to achieve a certain result. I always heat far more water then needed and adjust as I go.

With the mash, the idea is to get a certain consistancy at a certain termperature. The exact ratio is nice to know for next time or for the anal retentive.



 
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