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First AG Help

I plan to break in my new AG equipment in a week and need some advice. I bought the “Dead Ringer” kit because I thought it would make it easier for the first time…but it seems I am a little confused about a few things. Mainly, I need to know how much water I need to gather for the mash and for the sparge. I read anything from 1.2 quarts to 2 quarts per pound. I guess that I don’t understand is how to figure out how much additional sparge water I would need to get to the final OG of 1.064. Do I need to know my pre-boil gravity in order to hit my OG? I suspect that my pre-boil will dictate how long of a boil I need to conduct? My equipment and recipe are as follows:

15 Gallon megapot w/ thermometer and ball valve
60 quart cooler w/ bulkhead fitting
blichmann floor burner with legs

Recipe:

OG 1.064

11 lbs. Rahr 2-row
1 lbs. Briess Caramel 40

I assume that the goal is to get 5 gallons of beer into the carboy or hopefully 5.5 gallons due to loss but there is nothing on the sheet that says anything about final volume or anything. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Check out tastybrew.com. Have you been doing extract? I ask because in extract you boil 2.5 gallons or so and add water in the fermentation bucket to make 5 gallons.

In all grain, you mash with 3-4 gallons (referr to tastybrew) and sparge much more water than you might need. Depending on sparge method, you add enough to collect 6 gallons or so of wort. Then boil, add hops etc. No water added after hop schedule. Hope this helps!

Looks like the recipe assumes a BHE of 75% on a 5G batch. Depends on the specifics of your system, but 6.5G preboil volume is probably pretty standard if you want to end up with around 5G in the fermentor. Most people concentrate on getting equal runnings rather than using a specific water to grist ratio. If you want equal runnings, so you’ll want to get 3.25G out of both the first and second runnings.

The grains will absorb some wort (.12G/lb), so for the mash you want to use 3.25+(.12*12)= 4.7G (ends up being around 1.5Q/lb)

For the sparge, you can just use 3.25G since the grains will not absorb any more liquid.

If you’re more concerned with hitting the right OG rather than ending up with a certain volume, then just measure the preboil OG and multiply it by the preboil volume to get the total points extracted. (ex. 6.5G should be around 1.050; so you’d take 6.5*50= 324 points. Divide the total points by 64 (target gravity) to figure out what final volume you need to boil down to to get the OG you want. (324/64=5 gallons).

This all assumes you’re batch sparging.

check our MashWater 3.3 for some help with the water calculations.

http://gnipsel.com/beer/software/beer-software.html

JT is a board member.

Thanks to all who posted!

[quote=“pb905”]Depends on the specifics of your system, but 6.5G preboil volume is probably pretty standard if you want to end up with around 5G in the fermentor. Most people concentrate on getting equal runnings rather than using a specific water to grist ratio. If you want equal runnings, so you’ll want to get 3.25G out of both the first and second runnings.

The grains will absorb some wort (.12G/lb), so for the mash you want to use 3.25+(.12*12)= 4.7G (ends up being around 1.5Q/lb)

For the sparge, you can just use 3.25G since the grains will not absorb any more liquid.[/quote]This is how I usually do it though sometimes I will withhold the the water the grains will absorb from the mash and add it as boiling water for a pseudo mash out. It won’t raise the mash to 170° but seems to get the sugar a little more into solution and usually gets me 5-7 more points in efficiency.

[quote=“GoldenTrout”]I assume that the goal is to get 5 gallons of beer into the carboy or hopefully 5.5 gallons due to loss but there is nothing on the sheet that says anything about final volume or anything. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]It will take a few batches to get the nuances of your system down, figuring out your boil off, how much dead space your cooler has, cooling time, etc.

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