Do you aim for equal runnings?

Do any of you use batch and sparge volumes that give the same runnings into the kettle for each step? I have an English pale fermenting right now that I tried this way. I knew what I wanted for a pre-boil volume, added in extra water to the mash volume for grain absorption, and had three gallons in runnings from both the mash and sparge. It seemed to work out well for me, of course I haven’t tasted the beer yet.

I aim for equal runnings on my batch sparge.

Works great!

Within 1/2 gallon.

I used to really obsess about equal runnings. Then through experimentation I discovered that if the runnings were within a gal. or so of each other it had a negligible impact on efficiency. I think I’ve heard Kai say that even a 70/30 split won’t have a major impact. If it’s easy to get equal runnings, great. If not, don’t sweat it as long as you can get in the ballpark.

I strive for it and end up within a gallon or so

I aim for equal runnings, but don’t stress over it.

I tried equal runnings a time or two. I didn’t notice a difference from my normal efficiency, which I was already quite happy with. So I don’t worry about it. I get >85% efficiency using whatever ratio I end up with.

Thanks for the replies. I tried to get Beersmith to give me my volumes for equal runnings but no success so far. Guess I will just look at the total and then split it manually (with absorption). Seems odd that the programs don’t have that as an option.

I do the math shooting for equal runnings and by the time the boil is over I’m usually within a point of what i was shooting for so that works for me. Usually on 10 gal of big beers i need to adjust a bit and sparge more than my first runnings because my mash thun cant quite hold water and grain for 1.090+ but i still get decent enough efficiency and proper volume.

I wouldn’t trust beersmith for water volumes, maybe its because i never set up my equipment properly but i have always had better luck just getting the measurements from a few batches and doing the math long hand using .125 gal/lb for absorption.

What Denny said!

What TG said. First, I shoot for 1.40 - 1.70 quarts water / lb grain ratio mash thickness as a best management practice, and then think about equal runnings. If it’s a step infusion mash I start with a thick mash.

yes I shoot for equal runnings. but I don’t worry if I am off some, I just make the adjustment to reach my volume.

I just happened to read this last night, so it is fresh in my memory: ... g_Analysis

The efficiency seems to vary up to -3% between .3 and .7 (batch 1:batch 2) sparge ratio.


I don’t think getting equal volumes in itself is a benefit, but maybe the details in how it is done may gain a point or two of efficiency, like the temp of the water being added, etc.

I used to make my sparges equal until I was constantly hitting the same numbers and not doing it. In my process it just doesn’t make a difference for most situations. Keep in mind that I usually bring the grain bed up in temp for “mashout” and then use sparge water as hot as possible. Care in those areas may gain as much performance or more than just getting the volumes equal.

What are you guys referring to by “equal runnings”

With all grain, 50% of your boil volume comes from the initial mash and 50% comes from the sparge

At the risk of hijacking this thread, there are brewers who assume they must sparge. Especially if you’re shooting for a more malty beer, you can put all your water in the mash and not sparge at all. It will knock your efficiency down a few points, but with a mashout it’s not too big a hit in the total cost of the batch.

If you do sparge, there’s no magic to having exactly equal runnings. Relax, have a home brew.

We are referring to making the volume you get from the mash the same on each sparge on a batch sparge by adding water to the first before draining the first time.

People who batch sparge and do multiple sparges. See the link I posted above for more analysis.


Obtaining similar volumes of runoff from the mash and the sparge.