# First time all grain - - how much water for mash

I am going to be brewing my first all grain batch. I see that the instructions from NB show the temperature for Sacch’ Rest and Mashout but it does not show how much water.

How do you all figure out how much water to use for the mash, how much to use for batch sparging? If my mashout shows a higher temp (170) than the Sacch Rest (152), how do I reach that?

Thank you all

Water volume is system dependent, so kits don’t instruct you on this b/c they assume you know your system. It takes a few brews to dial in your system, but it’s really just trial and error. Having said that, can get a very good head start with Denny’s batch sparge process:

Denny spells it out pretty plainly there, but post back if you don’t understand it after reading through that.

:cheers:

…also, have a look through How to Brew for more info on increasing mash temp:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter16-3.html

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

JT’s “mashwater3.3” is a good stand alone program to assist with water volumes. Have an extra .5 gallons on hand in case you end up short.

Generally use 1.25 to 1.50qt/lb.

With 10lbs of grain X 1.25 = 12.5qts (3.125 gallons). Grain will absorb ~.10g/lb. 10 X .10 = 1gallon. If you drain this, you will get 2.125 gallon in the pot. If you are shooting for 6g, you need an additional 4 gallons (plus a little for insurance). You can add 1 gallon of this before the 1st run off. And the remainder for the 2nd run off.

I get my water 20* warmer than the mash temp I want. Put this in the MT and close the lid. Allow the MT to warm up and the water temp to drop to 10* above the temp I want. Then add the grain. Stir and the temp should stabilize at or slightly above were I want it. If above, stir a little more.

For the mash out, I’ve added all boiling water and never had the temp get up to 170*. Just drain it and go from there.

This is where you need to RDWHAHB

google dennys cheap and easy batch sparge.

it has all the info you need.

i love this calc:

http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

[quote=“baileyjoe”]i love this calc:

http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php[/quote]

You beat me to it. I found this calculator through a different forum and think it is one of the best I’ve seen!

Mouse

[quote=“CA_Mouse”][quote=“baileyjoe”]i love this calc:

http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php[/quote]

You beat me to it. I found this calculator through a different forum and think it is one of the best I’ve seen!

Mouse[/quote]

I like the stuff brew365 puts out. But the calculator has a flaw (IMO) in the boil off calculations. Doing a % boil off is an inconsistent way to calculate it. Boil off is a constant number, mostly based on the opening of the kettle. It is not dependent on the volume of the liquid.

JT’s Mashwater3.3 uses the gallons/hr boil off calculation. A much better way to calculate it.

Hi gusrotteyman,
I am about 5 all-grain brews in so I am newbie myself with the all-grain. I’ll just give you some info I find helpful.

For mash volume, it is recommended to use either 1.25quarts or 1.5 quarts per 1lb of grain for your mash (you will determine which volume you like the more you do this.) If using 10lbs of grain, you would use 3.33gals of water at 152F (using your example and the website below). However, because of how my mash tun is set up, I add an extra gallon to my mash by taking it away from my sparge volume to account for my false bottom and filter I place in the mash tun. So my total mash vol would be 4.33gals.

How to determine how much total water is different because you will lose water to your equipment, to grain absorption, trub loss, wort shrinkage, etc… All of this needs to be taken into consideration during the mash process because this is where all of your measurements need to be right on target. As the other brewers suggested, use http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php . I find it even better than BeerSmith because there aren’t so many variables (user error is at a minimum). When I use this, my numbers come out almost perfect (knock on wood).

If this were my brew, I would have approx 4.33 gals of water at 152F for my mash. After one hour, I drain it slowly…ssslllloooowwwwwllllyyyy. Begin heating additional water in separate pot to a strike temp of 170F. Once wort is completely drained and strike water is at 170F, poor into mash tun. Stir to redistribute grains and expose to newly added water (this is batch sparging). Place top on mash tun, let sit for 10mins. Then drain slowly to remove all remaining residual sugars. Test your pre-boil gravity, once you find out the gravity there are conversion charts online that will give you an approximation of what the post-boil/OG will be. This will allow you to determine if you have the right pre-boil gravity for your beer or if you should add some DME. Knowing these numbers will reveal a lot of info about your process and its efficiency.

Your sparge volume should be enough water to bring your ‘mash out’ volume to approx 6gals for a 5 gal brew based on a “1gal/per hour of boil” evaporation rate. If you have a pot that is measured in quarts/gallons, perfect. If not, try to mark/guesstimate on your pot where 6gals, 7gals, 8gals, etc… are so you know your wort and water levels. During the mash out process you will collect approx 2.03gals of wort depending on your grain absorption and equipment loss. So your sparge volume should be roughly 4.34gals to get you to approx 6gals (remember that I took one gal away from the sparge to add to my mash). All of this is based on the info I inputted into the link I provided above.
If you find your mash tun is below temp, put the top on tight and quickly boil a 1/2gal – 1 gal of water to the mash temp and poor it in. It will bring the temp up to where you need it.

In the beginning, I would stick with batch sparging. I have found it easier and it always gets my numbers right on target.

Let me be very clear, all of this information is specific to my process. In the all-grain world, your all-grain brewing set-up is like your own baby, it will be different from everyone else’s. You may experience more or less equipment loss, grain absorption, etc… for various reasons. You can use this as a guideline, but not as gospel. For example, on every brew I collect 7gals of wort and I end up with just over 5gals for bottling. My evaporation rate appears higher than some. This is just some of the stuff you learn. In the example I provided above, you may not need to add more water to your mash step by taking it away from your sparge step like I did. Again, it’s specific to your own brewery process.

I hope this helps. It ran a little longer than I wanted, but I tried to pack all the info in you needed.

[quote=“lmarkis”]If this were my brew, I would have approx 4.33 gals of water at 152F for my mash.[/quote]I think what you mean is that you will use 4.33 gallons at a strike temp that will result in a mash temp of 152F after stirring - the strike temp is the variable that you need some experience to dial in, but typically, with a cooler mash tun, going 10F higher than the desired mash temp is a good starting point.

Right Shadetree, forgot to put that in there.

Bring the mash water to a strike temp indicated on the link provided. My grain usually sits at 68F so the strike temp for the mash is approx 164F.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]http://gnipsel.com/beer/software/beer-software.html

JT’s “mashwater3.3” is a good stand alone program to assist with water volumes. Have an extra .5 gallons on hand in case you end up short.

Generally use 1.25 to 1.50qt/lb.

With 10lbs of grain X 1.25 = 12.5qts (3.125 gallons). Grain will absorb ~.10g/lb. 10 X .10 = 1gallon. If you drain this, you will get 2.125 gallon in the pot. If you are shooting for 6g, you need an additional 4 gallons (plus a little for insurance). You can add 1 gallon of this before the 1st run off. And the remainder for the 2nd run off.

I get my water 20* warmer than the mash temp I want. Put this in the MT and close the lid. Allow the MT to warm up and the water temp to drop to 10* above the temp I want. Then add the grain. Stir and the temp should stabilize at or slightly above were I want it. If above, stir a little more.

For the mash out, I’ve added all boiling water and never had the temp get up to 170*. Just drain it and go from there.

This is where you need to RDWHAHB [/quote]

When you (and the instructions) talk about Mashout - - is that for the batch sparge? So after I drain the mash, add hot water to try to get the grain up to 170 - let it sit for 10 minutes, then drain it?

Jon

[quote=“gdtechvw”]google dennys cheap and easy batch sparge.

it has all the info you need.[/quote]

www.dennybrew.com

[quote=“gusrotteyman”]When you (and the instructions) talk about Mashout - - is that for the batch sparge? So after I drain the mash, add hot water to try to get the grain up to 170 - let it sit for 10 minutes, then drain it?[/quote]Mashout is needed sometimes for fly-sparging (it denatures the enzymes that would remain active during a long sparge and might make the wort more fermentable than desired), but is not needed for batch-sparging since the MT is drained quickly and the wort is heated in the kettle. So add your sparge, stir, then vorlauf immediately, no need to wait.

I’ve been doing no-sparge on my small batches and mashing with the full amount of water I want in my kettle. That puts my qt/lb at around 3 to 3.5. I only mention this as proof that the water/grain ratio is very forgiving.