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Determining Water Measurements

I have a few questions regarding how to determine the amount of water for mash and sparging. These questions are based on 5 gallon batches. If you need a recipe to reference I can do that.

First) How much water should I use for mashing and how do I determine what temperature to keep it at? Should I use just enough water for it to be absorbed into the grain or should there be an excess amount?

Second) How much should I use for sparging and how do I determine what temperature to use?

Here’s another concern: I use one cooler to do all grain batches then I pour water in to sparge it. The way my cooler is set there is a cooper tubing on the bottom that filters out the grains, I assume this is common. I put my grains in a mash bag so my cooper tubing doesn’t get clogged then I pour in my mash water, seal it, let it sit (at desired temp). Is there anything wrong this this process?

Clearly, I have been having some kinks to work out since switching to all gain, I appreciate any input.

Thank You

Most guys are using software for these numbers, I use promash. It WILL take some time to dial in but you will get better with each successive brew. That said, I have used alot of mash thickness ratios in the past but have settled with 1.6qt:1lb. Most of the time I get numbers that are easy to work with and a good balance between water volumes of mash and sparge. I also heat sparge liquor to boiling (GASP!) but have found that with a double batch sparge the first addition takes darn close to mash out temps. Leave the lid off and it settles to near 180F and once added I am still near 170F. There’s a slight chance that you might need to ditch the grain bag so that everyone gets a chance to hang out and mingle during the party. It might work, I dunno. I am also a cooler guy but use a bazooka tube with it. Love it. There is also plenty of info about Denny’s SS hose braid option. Lots of old schoolers like me used to solder the copper up and use a hack saw or dremel every inch or so about 1/3 down the top of the pipe. If this is how your copper is I would just go at it sans bag. Best of luck! :cheers:

Check out, but in a nutshell (assuming batch sparging)…mash with whatever ration you want. These days, I’m usually around 1.6 qt./lb. After you run off the mash, measure how much you’ve got. subtract that from the amount you want to boil. The answer you get is how much sparge water to use. Easy and effective.

Thanks guys.

I have to figure out what to do with the mesh bag, we’ll see. Has anyone used the program Northern Brewer offers? I’m considering ordering that.

[quote=“Jewskis_Brewskis”]Thanks guys.

I have to figure out what to do with the mesh bag, we’ll see. Has anyone used the program Northern Brewer offers? I’m considering ordering that.[/quote]

You don’t need the bag at all. Again, take a look at my website. It’s the system I’ve used for 458 batches.

Before I upgraded to my 10 gal tun, I used to mash in a 5 gal cooler lined with a grain bag, though I still had a braided hose in the bottom. I mainly did it so I could simply lift the spent grains out of the tun, making clean up a breeze. I’ve ditched the bag since then, probably for no reason other than it don’t fit in my 10 gal tun.

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