# First all grain!

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#### Ust311

##### Member
I am brewing my first all grain beer tonight. I had 11 lbs of grains and am using 3.5 gallons of water for my strike water. After the hour in my mash tun how much water should I use to mashout? The batch I'm making it 5 gal, do I take 5 gallons out of the mash tun or less? Thanks!

#### Hex23

##### Well-Known Member
I am brewing my first all grain beer tonight. I had 11 lbs of grains and am using 3.5 gallons of water for my strike water. After the hour in my mash tun how much water should I use to mashout? The batch I'm making it 5 gal, do I take 5 gallons out of the mash tun or less? Thanks!

You need to get more than 5 gallons from your MT and how much more depends on how long you intend to boil and your boiloff rate. You need to work backwards. If you don't know your boiloff rate, 10-15%/hour is not a bad guess. Once you know how much pre-boil volume you want, you can workout how much sparge based on an assumption that the grain will absorb about 1 pt of water per 1 lb of grain. Your grain bed would hold about 1.32 gallons of water. So, your sparge would need to be: pre-boil vol + 1.32 gallons - 3.5 gallons.

After doing these calculations by hand a couple of times, you'll probably want to invest in a tool like Beersmith.

#### Hex23

##### Well-Known Member
One other thing to take into account (although it may be a little late if your're already mashing) is that if you want 5 gallons of beer you should account for trub loss and shoot for about a 5.5 gallon batch. It's possible your recipe already accounted for this.

#### theveganbrewer

##### Well-Known Member
I'd aim for final volume north of 6 gallons. But you should have a recipe to know how much water you need to reach your OG.

#### 45_70sharps

##### Well-Known Member
You also might want to look at maybe doing an iodine test to know for sure when the mash phase is done.

The hour is probably fine, but testing for starch conversation will help make sure you get your efficiency.

#### Hex23

##### Well-Known Member
You also might want to look at maybe doing an iodine test to know for sure when the mash phase is done.

The hour is probably fine, but testing for starch conversation will help make sure you get your efficiency.

And using a refractometer is even better. I still do iodine tests, but it was pointed out that it won't tell you much about the unconverted starches still sitting inside the husk.

#### 45_70sharps

##### Well-Known Member
Hex23 said:
And using a refractometer is even better. I still do iodine tests, but it was pointed out that it won't tell you much about the unconverted starches still sitting inside the husk.

I've got a refractometer also but I need to start using it.

Wouldn't that tell you the gravity but not tell you what is sugar and what is starch or other dissolved solids in the wort?
I know I've got tons to learn sill but checking the gravity to check for conversation doesn't make sense to me.

Someone on here will educate me I'm sure.

#### kombat

##### Well-Known Member
The hour is probably fine, but testing for starch conversation will help make sure you get your efficiency.

Yup, that's what I do. Every 5 minutes or so, I press my ear against my mash tun and listen to the starches talking to each other. Once it quiets down, I know conversation is complete and I mash out.

#### 45_70sharps

##### Well-Known Member
Yup, that's what I do. Every 5 minutes or so, I press my ear against my mash tun and listen to the starches talking to each other. Once it quiets down, I know conversation is complete and I mash out.

Hah!! That's what I get for not reading what my auto correct on the phone does to my message!

#### Hex23

##### Well-Known Member
I've got a refractometer also but I need to start using it.

Wouldn't that tell you the gravity but not tell you what is sugar and what is starch or other dissolved solids in the wort?
I know I've got tons to learn sill but checking the gravity to check for conversation doesn't make sense to me.

Someone on here will educate me I'm sure.

You're right and so it won't tell you how fermentable your wort is. But one thing for sure is that as mash time progresses, SG increases. Whether that is strictly due to starches converting into sugars or some combination of all the many other things happening in a mash I'm not sure, but I think the former is the dominating factor.

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