amount of water needed - does this sound right?

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americanweirdo

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i'll be doing my first AG this sunday and i've got a question about the amount of water needed for mashing and batch sparging. i've heard everything from "mash water=1.5qt/lb, sparge=.5gal./lb." to "use enough sparge water to bring it up to your boil volume". i keep getting conflicting numbers.

i used the sparge calculator at tastybrew.com and came up with these figures:

11 lb. grainbill
mash tun deadspace=0.125gal
target OG=1.050

the calculator tells me to add an extra pound of grain... 12.2 lb. of grain now.

total mash water volume=4.8gal
1st runoff volume=3.3gal
sparge water required=3.3gal
2nd runoff volume=3.3gal

do these figures sound right to everyone? any help would be tremendously appreciated!
 

malkore

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Sounds right. Different peopel like different water to grain ratio's...and different recipes with 'fancy' mash schedules will cause changes to those rules of thumb too.

I'm confused why the calculator tells you to add an extra pound of grain...I've never used tasteybrew calculator.

Is this someone else's recipe? I can see if its an established recipe at say...80% efficiency...and if you plug it into a calculator that's set for 70% efficiency, you'll need about 1 lb of grain to raise it back to the expected target gravity.

personally I like beertools.com - get the free membership and you can save one recipe at a time (easy to email it to yourself so you have room to save a new recipe). I use it a lot.

my only other suggestion: try lowering the mash water to 1.25 quarts per pound of grain...or about 3.8 gallons for the mash.
then up your sparge volume, but do TWO sparges instead of one...equal volumes.
So, 3.8gal for mash, then like 2.25gal for sparge 1 and 2.25gal for sparge 2.

Doing two batch sparges like that tends to up your efficiency...efficiency is good.
 
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americanweirdo

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Thanks for the help!

Doing two batch sparges like that tends to up your efficiency...efficiency is good.
If I'm doing two sparges, do I split up the settling time before the vorlauf and drain? For exmaple, if I were doing one sparge.... I would sparge and let it sit for 10 minutes, vorlauf, drain...

But... If I do two sparges, would I only let it sit for 5 minutes each time? Or is this completely irrelevant?
 

Yooper

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Thanks for the help!



If I'm doing two sparges, do I split up the settling time before the vorlauf and drain? For exmaple, if I were doing one sparge.... I would sparge and let it sit for 10 minutes, vorlauf, drain...

But... If I do two sparges, would I only let it sit for 5 minutes each time? Or is this completely irrelevant?
I always stir it well and let it sit about 5-10 minutes, but I've heard it's not necessary to wait. I don't time it- I just add the sparge water, stir well, check the temperature, and then wait a bit until there is some clear liquor floating on the top, vorlauf, then drain and do it again.
 

malkore

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as yooper says, timing between vorlauf and draining the runnings isn't too crucial. if you can get clear runnings in 5 minutes...drain it!
 

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