New to all grain and have some questions

Hey all, I finally got my all grain equipment in and ordered and received my first recipe from Northernbrewer. I got the Gaarden Hoe. I have watched countless hours of videos and read everything I could on all grain brewing but when I got the kit I was a little confused. Im sure a good brewing program would help, but I dont have one. But anywho, im confused about this schedule:
Protein Rest: 122°F for 20 minutes
Sacch’ Rest: 152° F for 60 minutes
Mashout: 168°F for 10 minutes

What exactly is Protein rest? Why do you need to do it?
What strike temp and how much water for protein rest? And how would you raise the water to 152 for the next step, just add hot water? I assume Sacch rest means mashing? and Mashout is actually sparging?
Any recommendations for fly or batch sparging? Do you think it would be greatly beneficial to get a brew program?
Also, strike temps for Protein and Sacch rest would be helpful.

Any input would help, please let me know your thoughts.

Welcome to all-grain and enjoy! There are benefits to multistep mashes but they can be tough depending on your equipment. Just aim for a 60 minutes at 152 then add 170-some degree water for the washout (but I’ve never then waited ten minutes). I would then stir then drain (batch sparge). You can pour the first amount back into the mash to vourlouf. Good luck!

Thanks for the response. So what you’re saying is I can skip the protein rest and just mash for 60 minutes at 152, then batch sparge at 170? Any idea on strike temp for the mash?

So I downloaded Brew Target 2.1.0 and added the recipe and came up with some numbers. Let me know what you think. This will be a 5 gallon batch.
Mash with 3.438 gallons of water, strike temp 172.79 and aim for 152.00 for 60 minutes.
Batch sparge with 4.743 Gallons of water and strike at 179.917 and aim for 165.200 for 15 minutes.
Boil size will be 6.750 for 60 minutes with an efficiency of 70%.
No need for a protein rest unless someone here thinks of a reason why I need it, but from what I read is if you let it rest too long anyway you will get poor head retention. As long as everything converts from starch to sugar then I dont care about a protein rest.
Do y’all think fly sparging for like an hour will give better efficiency? Im thinking 70 isnt bad, but anything higher would certainly be a plus.

So I was looking at Brewtarget again. With the amount of water it wants me to use to mash and sparge, it comes out to 8.181 gallons. Will I lose enough and end up with the 6.750 gallons to boil? Seems like 8.181 is a lot. How much do you lose during transfer? Should I stick with this amount and once I get to 6.750 just stop sparging?

Some help:

  1. your sparge technique is greatly dependant on your system. If you’re using a braid then batch sparge is likely better for you. If using a false bottom fly sparging will likely be better (but longer).
  2. if you are batch sparging you don’t necessarily need a mashout. That is raising the grainbed to 170° to denature the enzymes do you can maintain the body profile you wish (if you fly sparge the enzymes will continue to work the entire time you are sparging which should be about an hour)
    2A) what are you doing for water? Fly sparging requires water treatment for the sparge due to the need for buffering (your water is in contact with the grain for longer)
  3. no need for a protein rest with today’s malts. It can be detrimental.
  4. step mashes may be difficult unless you direct fire your MT or have a HERMS/RIMS system. If you are dead set (and I would be for any lager) you could start mashing really thick, say 1:1 and add boiling water until you hit your next step.

I’m a fly sparger as I found that better for my system. For batch sparging intricacies check out

That brew program sounds about right. Good luck and welcome to AG.

I have a false bottom in a round 10 gallon cooler and batch sparge, works great for me.

1 Like

I have the Fermenter’s Favorites™ Essential All-Grain Brewing Starter Kit - 7 Gallon. It has a false bottom and is setup for fly sparging. For water I use 1 gallon jugs of purified water I buy at the grocery store. If I fly sparge what do I need to do with the water?
I am trying to make this first batch easy so with everything I watched and read and from what everyone has told me all I need to do is heat up mash water and add grains. Mash for 60 minutes. Drain into boil kettle and fly sparge for about an hour and have it drain into the boil kettle. Then brew like normal. If my water is good and the temps I wrote above are good, then I should have this right huh?
I know water is a big deal, but is there something I need to do with purified water before using it? If I did nothing at all would it really hurt the brew enough to notice?

Google Bru’n Water, there’s a file you can download. It’ll let you pick your beer style your making and help you adjust your water and ph levels to where they should be. Read it over good, once you use it a time or two it becomes really quick and easy.

Depends on what you mean by purified. If it’s distilled or RO you need to add nutrients back. Like @tnelson2002 said brun water will help tremendously. Your input water source will have be ZERO(ca, mg, etc). If your purified water is just city water you need to treat for chlorine/chloramines. Easiest way to do this is adding a 1/4 tab of campden. It will immediately degas the chlorine.

Don’t over think this. AG is not that hard and once your done you’ll think… That’s it?

I downloaded Bru’n water, looks a bit confusing at first but I will figure it out. I am really not trying to make this more difficult than it should be. I have a friend that just buys jugs of water and doesn’t treat it, but I want to do mine correctly and he doesn’t have a clue. I would never use our city water here in Amarillo TX. Most of the time I buy the purified water in 1 gallon jugs from Walgreen’s. The Walgreen’s Nice brand.

Bru’n water looks intimidating at first but play with it and you’ll soon see it’s easy. You may be able to get a water report online for the water you’re buying. I looked but there was 600+ water items when I went to

I guess I should have been more specific. I use this water:!-purified-water-1-gallon-bottle/ID=prod6163493-product

If you’re going to buy water just buy distilled. Then you can build it up to what you want for each recipe. With “purified” water you really have no idea where you starting unless you can get an analysis of the water.

Good point. What I am really curious about is how much water to use. I want to make a 5 gallon batch, but all these brew calculators give me numbers a lot higher for the amount of water added. Is it right to use the proper amount of water for mashing and when it comes time to sparge I can batch sparge and only drain what I need into the boil kettle?

Take a look at and you’ll find a good overview of the batch sparge process including volumes.

1 Like

So this is what I came up with. Look good to y’all for my first attempt?

Batch Size: 6.033 gal
Boil Size: 6.783 gal
Boil Time: 60.000 min
Efficiency: 70%
OG: 1.046
FG: 1.011
ABV: 4.6%
Bitterness: 21.9 IBUs (Tinseth)
Color: 4 SRM (Morey)


                 Name  Type   Amount Mashed Late Yield Color

Weyermann - Pilsner Malt Grain 5.500 lb Yes No 81% 2 L
Wheat, Flaked Grain 4.750 lb Yes No 77% 2 L
Total grain: 10.250 lb


              Name Alpha   Amount  Use       Time   Form  IBU

Saaz (Czech Republic) 4.5% 1.000 oz Boil 60.000 min Pellet 14.6
Saaz (Czech Republic) 4.5% 1.000 oz Boil 15.000 min Pellet 7.2


           Name   Type     Use   Amount      Time
Coriander Seeds  Spice    Boil 1.000 oz 5.000 min

Bitter Orange Peel Flavor Primary 1.000 oz 5.000 min


                       Name  Type   Form     Amount   Stage

WLP400 - Belgian Wit Ale Yeast Wheat Liquid 2.367 tbsp Primary


           Name     Type    Amount      Temp    Target       Time
     Conversion Infusion 3.281 gal 173.166 F 152.000 F 60.000 min

Final Batch Sparge Infusion 4.834 gal 179.076 F 165.200 F 15.000 min

I just put up a wit beer. Similar recipe. I added 2/3 oz ground coriander, 15 ground black peppercorns, and the zest of two sweet oranges. Used a nylon bag at two minutes.

Consider adding some rice hulls. Others may have mixed input, but my experience is that you’ll end up with a stuck sparge. A half pound added at vorlauf should do it. The hulls will absorb an extra 1/2 to 3/4 qt of water.

If you don’t plan to adjust the minerals/salts in the mash water, add 1/2-1 tsp of CaCl2 to the mash.

Everything looks right. As @bwmac2 said yo may want to use some rice hulls, especially if you are using a false bottom and fly sparging. Don’t think you need 1/2 lb. A handful is plenty. They do absorb water and some do NOT come prerinsed. Therefore, take your handful and rinse them and allow them to soak overnight.

The water needed to get X volume in your kettle and later your fermentor is dependent on grain absorbtion and deadspace in your mash/lauter tun. Depending on your system you’ll get leave somewhere between 0.1 and 0.15 gallons behind for every pound of grain in the mash.

If you did batch sparge, you’d want to add the amount of water needed to get out what you need. Does that make sense?

BTW, I understand your concern about water treatment. It does look a bit daunting at first, but folks around here can help. If you start with distilled water, it should be quite easy. The “purified” water is tougher to deal with because you don’t really know the starting point.

I will be batch sparging and using ditilled water. From the recipe I posted would adding 1/2-1 tsp of CaCI2 to the mash w\ater be good enough. That is the only concern I have left is getting the water right. Also, I will be using rice hulls. Do you really think only a handful is enough? I figured i’d need a lot more to ensure I dont get a stuck sparge.