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Mash and Sparge Water

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enohcs

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I've been searching the threads and cant find a simple answer to my general questions, so here we go:

Mashing:
What difference will I see if I mash with 1qt/lb vs 1.5qt/lb?
What should I know about Mash-outs? Should I do one?

Sparging:
I'm doing a continual sparge. How much water should I expect use?
Is the volume I sparge with related to the volume I use to mash?
 

Lil' Sparky

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What difference will I see if I mash with 1qt/lb vs 1.5qt/lb?
The 1 qt/lb will be much thicker. If I remember correctly, it will contribute slightly to a maltier wort and conversion will take less time. I usually shoot for 1.3 qt/lb.

What should I know about Mash-outs? Should I do one?
You can, but it's not necessary. If you don't, you can use hotter sparge water to bring the mash temps up.

I'm doing a continual sparge. How much water should I expect use?
Depends on several factors, including how much strike water you use in the mash. If you're fly sparging, then just sparge (slowly) until you reach your desired pre-boil volume in the kettle. Start with 2 qts/lb of sparge water, and if you've got some left over, then it's no big deal. With batch sparging, you usually want to be more precise.

Is the volume I sparge with related to the volume I use to mash?
Yes, the more strike water for the mash, the less you need for the sparge.
 

jdoiv

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A thick mash will be less fermentable than a thin wort. And as Sprarky pointed out the thicker mash should convert faster.

If you are fly sparging (continuous), a mash out will really help your efficiency. It will stop conversion as well as making the sugary wort more viscous. This makes rinsing the grains much easier.

As far as water for the sparge is concerned, I usually figure on 1/2 gallon per pound of grain for the sparge water. You could also use a software product like ProMash to help you figure the water amounts out. I'll typically sparge until I reach my pre-boil volume. and then stop the runoff. If you have extra sparge water left over, it's not the end of the world.

Yes and no. If efficiency isn't a concern, sparge until you hit your volume. But if you are doing a big beer and you want to get the best efficiency, then sparge until the runnings hit 1.008 and boil for a longer period of time to get your desired volume.
 

The Pol

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https://sourceforge.net/projects/strangebrew

This thing works great, and it is free... it will tell you based on the ammount of grain, grain absorption and the ammount of strike water you used... how much sparge water you will need! Even fly sparging, you want to be sure that you dont have ALOT of water in the MLT becuase it can and will dilute your wort, and you will get say 7 gallons of wort, but leave sugars behind. Leave the water level only slightly above the level of the grain so that you are sure not to leave several gallons of dilute wort in the grain when you are finished running it off. This tool works nicely, as most do, so that you dont waste time heating up a large ammount of sparge water if you do not need it... say if you do a two step infusion mash... you will need only a couple gallons to sparge with as there will be so much water in the MLT already. Happy brews!
 
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enohcs

enohcs

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jdoiv said:
A thick mash will be less fermentable than a thin wort. And as Sprarky pointed out the thicker mash should convert faster.

If you are fly sparging (continuous), a mash out will really help your efficiency. It will stop conversion as well as making the sugary wort more viscous. This makes rinsing the grains much easier.

As far as water for the sparge is concerned, I usually figure on 1/2 gallon per pound of grain for the sparge water. You could also use a software product like ProMash to help you figure the water amounts out. I'll typically sparge until I reach my pre-boil volume. and then stop the runoff. If you have extra sparge water left over, it's not the end of the world.

Yes and no. If efficiency isn't a concern, sparge until you hit your volume. But if you are doing a big beer and you want to get the best efficiency, then sparge until the runnings hit 1.008 and boil for a longer period of time to get your desired volume.
Thanks for the info. One follow up question: If I mash out prior to fly sparging how much water should I mash out with? I assume 170F would be the temp. Also, if I'm planning on a mash out should I mash will a smaller amount of water per pound of grain?
 

The Pol

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You will need to use one of the many mash calculators available for the mash out volume. It will depend on what temp you mashed at, how much grain and how many qt/lb you used to mash with as well. Use the link I posted above, download that software and it will calculate EVERYTHING... it is great.
 

Lil' Sparky

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enohcs, usually you mash out with a calculated amount of boiling/near-boiling water that will raise your entire mash to 168º. Brewing software is the easiest method to determine what that volume is.
 
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enohcs

enohcs

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Is there a hold at all when performing a mash out? I hope so because if the water in the HLT is 210F I'd need to wait for it to return to 170F prior to sparging...correct?
 

Lil' Sparky

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No hold required. Typically what you'd do is heat the mashout water separately. You don't want to bring all of the sparge water to a boil. The mashout volume is small, so you could bring that to a boil on your sink if you wanted.
 

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