when it says sparge, sparge...

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Electrake

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Done the same thing on my last two brews of not sparing since my first all grain I didn't need any excess liquid... I didn't sparge and ended up with a much smaller volume batch with a pretty high OG. Both are turning out well, but the lack of quantity makes me sad
 

MattyIce

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Sounds like you are still dialing in your process. It is possible to do a full volume mash successfully, but you will want to know things like your approx mash efficiency, grain absorption rate and boil-off rate.
 

DurtyChemist

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It's easier to boil off than top up properly. Even if you just sparge with a gallon of water.
 
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