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Will the grain fit?

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Kharz

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Hm -- after visiting my local brew shop; I decided to take my first crack at a 10 gallon batch of beer with a high gravity brew (Zywiec porter clone). We have about 10 batches of the 5 gallon all grains under our belt ... but this is a new one for us. It has a grain bill of approximately 36 pounds (9.3% ABV). Now; when I was going through the calculations for the weekend (http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-3.html); I was getting concerned that it appears I need a 19 gallon mash tun. I currently have a 15 gallon mash tun (60 quarts).

So my questions:
1. Can I brew this beer with my equipment?
2. What quarts per gallon should I use (typically I use 2; but maybe I can squeek by with 1.25?)
3. If a less water; whats the best way to calculate the strike temp?
4. If I totally screwed up, I could just add less grain and use my back-up DME
5. I have many of these calculations on brew smith, but currently at work so can't double / triple check my questions.

Thanks for any / all help guys.
 

FlyGuy

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Assuming you fly sparge, I think it will work.

Check out:
http://rackers.org/calcs.shtml

If you scroll down to the Can I Mash It? calculator, and use 36 lbs of grain at a 1.25 qt/lb mash thickness, it tells me you need a 14.1 gal mash tun. Assuming losses to things like a false bottom, it will be close, but you should make it, especially if you mash a little thicker.

Oh, there is a strike water calculator on this page for you, too!
 

bradsul

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The mash tun is only half of it of course. How big is your boil kettle? You will want something pretty large, you will have a lot of wort after you've finished sparging.

It's fun to push the limits of your rig, but if you want to play it safe, mash what you normally would for an average batch and make up the difference with DME.
 

FlyingHorse

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bradsul said:
The mash tun is only half of it of course. How big is your boil kettle? You will want something pretty large, you will have a lot of wort after your finish sparging.

It's fun to push the limits of your rig, but if you want to play it safe, mash what you normally would for an average batch and make up the difference with DME.
RIght on. Looks like you're targeting 70-75% efficiency? I don;t know what your efficiency has been for your other brews, but to get 70-75% for a high-grav beer like this, I wouldn't be surprised if you had to go to a preboil volume of 14-15 gallons, maybe more.
 
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Kharz

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Yeah, I fly sparge and have the Morebeer 14 gallon brew kettle.

It will be a little tight ....

Any other advise from people who have done brews this tight before?

and thanks for the help so far!
 

FlyGuy

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The mash shouldn't be a big problem -- just make sure you hit your temps right the first time, especially if that is a cooler MLT. You won't have any room for water additions to correct your temps. I suggest adding all your water first and give it 20 mins to equilibrate to temperature in the cooler before adding the grains. Put it in a bit hot, too, because you can always pull some out and replace it with cool water to drop the temps, and the reverse is possible but harder. Once at your strike temps, then you can add your grains (slowly!).

If you have some/can get some, Fermcap/foam control might be helpful in your kettle. Given your boil volume, you might need some help preventing a boil over.

Best of luck! :mug:
 

shafferpilot

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Can you sparge into the kettle while it's on the burner? The advantage here would be to accomplish much of the hot break while the level in the kettle is low. Also, you'll be boiling off water to make room for more wort, increasing the final efficiency.
 

jdoiv

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Is your MLT a moreBeer kettle or are you using a cooler of some sort?

I have the 14 gallon moreBeer MLT with false bottom and can say from experience that 34#'s of grain is too much with 1.25qt/lb. We did a 34lb grain bill for a stout at the first of the month and it was overflowing. I suggest using a thick mash of around 1qt/lb. If you are fly sparging, you may just have to stop your runnings when you get the kettle close to full. Or you can continue to sparge and collect the runnings into a bucket. Just add a little from the bucket as the volume is decreased in the kettle until you've got everything in then start the clock on your hops additions. I do this but will actualy collect into a smaller pot and bring it up to a boil and add it in about half way through.

My normal recipes are 11.5 gallon batches post boil and will put 13.5 gallons in the kettle preboil. You have to be very careful at the begging of the boil to avoid boilovers, but after 20 minutes, enough has evaporated that it isn't a concern.
 
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Kharz

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Hm --- I could boil as I sparge; never done that before ... thats a good idea. I live in Connecticut where its been pretty damn cold recently. I wil typically mash / sparge in my shed and then carry out the boil pot to cook outside. But, depending on the temps, I could move the mashtun / HLT outside. I would just be nervous about losing too much temp to the outside air.

On the Mash tun ... I am actually using a 60 quart cooler (havent upgraded to the sculpture yet). So it is a true 15 gallons with no false bottom (I use a circular SS braid). I am thinking about 1.25 quarts per lb ... which should give me some room. When I use the calculator I could "theoretically" get 1.5 quarts per lb .... that would be a little tight.

Eitherway its going to be crazy doing my first 10 gallon batch. My brew buddy and I are in for some work .... (dont ask me why I didnt pick a normal 1.050 OG beer for this)
 
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