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Plant Based Homebrewer
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May 8, 2011
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I have a quick question about all grain brewing guys. I know that when they are saying mash-in you need to add water at a certain temp and keep it at that for a certain amount of time, but when you mash-out i'm not exactly sure how that works.

Say you mash out is 168 Degrees over 5 minutes. Do you add the wort to your SS Pot and gradually heat to 168 degrees?

Also, sparging. how does this work. Do you do this in your mash ton? Is this pretty much the same process as your mash-in just that you are getting any excess malt from your grains?


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Jan 26, 2011
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I don't have any answers for you, but am interested in the responses. I've been looking for a straightforward, intro type post about AG just so I can start working towards it, but haven't found anything yet that hasn't thrown me for a loop.


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Mar 7, 2011
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here is my process, hope it helps. i have a 12 gallon igloo cube cooler with a pipe manifold in the bottom. this is what i use for my mash tun. ok, say i am doing a recipe using 15 pounds of grains. i usually mash in with 1.5 quarts of water to 1 pound of grain. if my mash target temp is 154 degrees, i heat my water (5.6 gallons) to about 165. this will get me to my 154 degree mash temp. i hold it there for 60 minutes. then i do a fly sparge, which is simply pouring water constantly over my mash while draining slowly. when i start draining it, i pour back in the first two quarts, by then it is pretty clear. i will sparge with water that is 170 degrees. i am keeping the liquid level above the grain bed about an inch or two. i continue to do this until i reach my boil volume, or my runnings gravity gets around 1.010. (i sample some of what i am collecting when i start to get close to my boil volume).

if you are doing a batch sparge, this means that you drain your mash tun of your original infusion, then mash out at a certain temp, say 170, which means adding a particular amount of water heated to 170 degrees, adding it to your grains after you have collected the wort from your original infusion, then stirring it again a letting it sit,then draining it again.


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Jul 13, 2010
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Santa Cruz
There are a lot of good guides out there. For your first all grain I am assuming you are batch sparging.

IMHO, don't worry about doing a mash out. A mash out is when you rain the grain temperature up to 168F to help aid in dissolving the sugars. You would either add hot water to get to that point, or if you mash tun is on a burner, add heat to get there.

For sparging (assuming batch sparging):

Drain the wort entirely from the mash tun into another vessel. This will be boiled eventually.

Add half of your sparge water (depends on water to grain ratio, amount of grain, etc.) at a temperature that gets the grain up to 168F-170F. Stir like CRAZY. This is dissolving the sugars. Let it sit for a few minutes to re-settle. Drain. Repeat once again with the remaining water.

You should now have your pre-boil volume's worth in wort.


10lb of grain, 1.25qt/lb, mash at 150 for 60min.

Heat 3 1/8 gallons of water (10lb * 1.25qt/lb) to 165F. If putting into a cooler mash tun, make sure you pre-warmed it with a couple cups of boiling water. Add the crushed grain. After 60min drain the mash tun.

Note: If you have a kettle or a stove, have some boiling water on hand. This is good if you happen to fall short on your temperature. If too high, either stir like crazy to cool it down or add cold water / ice cubes.

In the mean time, heat up sparge water. Assuming that grain absorbs 1/8 gallon per pound, you will collect 10lb*1/8 gallon/lb = 1 1/4 gallons. Let us say you need 6 1/2 gallons pre-boil. That means you need 5 1/4 gallons more wort. You therefor need to sparge with a total of 5 1/4 gallons.

I don't know the exact math for what temp you need to be at with the water to get the grain bed to 168F with the sparge water, so this is what I do. I get the entire volume at or near boiling temperature, and then add as much as I need to get the grain bed up to the 168F-170F. This is good if you have a buddy to help.

Stir like crazy. This is important. If you don't stir after the sparge water is added your efficiency will be crap. If you think it is stirred enough, stir some more. This is where I got the biggest hit in efficiency when I started all grain. Let it settle for about 5-10 minutes. Drain.

Stir the remaining sparge water to cool it down to 168F-170F. Add it ontop of the grain. Stir like mad again. let it settle again. Drain again.

Now you should have your pre-boil volume, and it is ready to boil up.

Note: whenever you drain, vorluaf (sp?). This means to collect the first bit of running that have bits of grain in it and then gently pour it back on top of the grain bed so you don't get that husky stuff in your brew.