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How to measure volumn added when using a pump

I have a new Steelhead on the way along with two new burners. I am trying to reduce the lifting my pooor aging back does. I have a HMM. When you guys are moving makeup water using a pump, how do you gauge how much water you have added. My wife (she is a process chemist to my environmental chemistry) suggested a timer but that seems awfully crude. I know the sight tube on my kettel is graduated but…I don’t exactly trust the graduations to that degree. How this is done matters greatly to how I set up my sculpture. Been looking at others on the “show you set-up theads” but this is still not clear.

Thanks for the help as always,


I know how much water I start with, so if I move it all, I know how much I end up with.

+1, I only add what I’m going to use for each step. If you don’t go this route, just check the accuracy of your sight glass once so you can trust it. I don’t see why it would be off by a significant amount.

I need a good graduated cylinder. I am judging its accuracy by how far off it is when I dump in puchased water (gallon jugs). Could this be off? Very. But it would not always be off High (more water shown on the site glass than I “know” I put in). I am always off the same direction which makes me go with “I have an errror in there somewhere”. I need to calibrate it but for that I need to find an accurate gallon measure. May have to do the density trick to callibrate a milk jug first. I had been doing each step seperatly until I moved up to a 35 gal blichman. It also only measures down to (I think) 4 gallons if a remember correctly. Was hoping there was a simple trick as just putting in the whole volumn and then drawing off the volumn for the 1st step is very convenient and it means the water is already WELL warmed in prep for the heat up to mash out temps. Al that said if there is no simple solution I will have to go back to only heating each water charge as needed cause I really need to get out of the lifting water business.


It’s very simple to mark your vessels and/or make a measuring stick marked for the volumes in the vessel(s). That way you’ll know how much is there and/or how much you transfer out. Drop in a gallon, let it heat up, mark it, add another. It’s annoying but really accurate :slight_smile:

I have a sightglass on the water tank and usually build my water there, and pump out as needed. I use a measuring stick in the kettle, as a sightglass can be just another messy PITA to clean afterward.

Someday I’m going to just stamp a few reference marks inside the kettle and mash tun, but until I get that motivated, I have my stick :slight_smile:

OK the responses I have read now made an annoying neuron fire. Cold or Hot volumn when you add. If you measure as you add in prep to heat and do not measure again then you are going cold. If you measure out looking at the site glass after heating then hot. There is a diff. Not sure which would be “more” correct.


To tell ya the truth it just isn’t that critical either way. If you worry about it you’ll drive yourself nuts. I mark at the normal temp I use the water in the vessel. If you are trying to get “graduated cylinder” accuracy for this hobby, you might be going a bit too far :slight_smile:

The chemistry degree shows :oops:

Yep, but that attention to detail will serve you well in some areas of brewing :slight_smile:

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