So i use beer smith and have noticed that on occasions my mash to sparge ratio changes. like 10qts mash and 22qt sparge. Can anyone shed any light on why this is the case. the grain bill looks like this. American wheat with 1.5qts/lb and 4lbs wheat, 3lbs otter and 2lbs orange blossom honey and 8oz malto detrine. mash at 152 60min.
I messed with this for a while and got tired of adjusting for equal volumes of mash in and sparge water. So for a 10 gallon batch, I just do 9 gallons of mash in and 9 gallons of sparge. More grain means a lower water to grist ratio; less grain means more—but it makes water adjustments with salt, acid, etc. much easier. I just let beersmith make a suggestion, then go in and manually change the mash in water to 9 gallons. My lauter dead space is set at zero. My efficiency jumped a bit when I did this, but I have adjusted for it in my recipes.
Not the exact answer to your question, but it is an alternative.
I’ve never used beersmith, so I can’t comment on how the program works, but I did want to help DCBC.
To get the best efficiency with batch sparging, you shouldn’t be looking for equal volumes IN, but rather equal volumes OUT. So for example if you are aiming to get 6.5 gallons of wort pre-boil, you want your sparge water volume to equal 3.25 gallons, and your dough-in water volume to equal 3.25 gallons plus the calculated grain absorption amount. What this means is that in almost all cases, the mash liquor volume will be considerably greater than the sparge volume.
Thanks. I actually used to do it that way, but got away from it about a year ago and have found the results to be, for me, more consistent and predictable. My efficiency jumped a few points as well. For larger grain bills, I’ll bump my volumes a bit so I’m not mashing too thick, but for most of the beers I brew, this system has worked for me.