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Total water used, efficiency

I watched a you tube video which confused me. Recipe was for orange creamsicle miklshake IPA, if you want to search for it. Recipe said it was for 5 gallon batch, used about 12 lbs of grain, target OG about 1.063. How they got there confused me:
They only started with 4 gallons in the mash, targeting 152F, and then used about 6 gallons of sparge water, so about 10 gallons of wort? They then only boiled for about 30 minutes, then shut off the heat and steeped for 30 with orange peel and hops, then chilled.

If I followed that process, I would be left with about 9 gallons and an OG of 1.045 or so. What step did I miss to get them down to 5-6.5 gallons of brew to ferment? I never tend to sparge that much as then I need a long boil off.

I agree with you. I never use anyone elses water calcs. Just calculate your own water to your system. As long as you know the OG and ending volume you should be able to replicate it.


As @brew_cat says volume is completely dependent on your system. That’s about a 1.3 qt/gal mash ratio, a bit lower than normal for me on my system. I batch sparge so I roughly try to keep the sparge volume within a 1-1.5 gallons of the mash volume, but there’s also grain absorption and dead space in mash tun that doesn’t fully drain to account for so not all 10 gallons of that water is going to come back out (again, depending on your system). I boil off roughly 1 gal/hr on my system so take another 1/2 gal from the initial 10 in a 30 min boil so I could see depending on the efficiencies in their system getting to their target volume with that starting volume. Once you run a few brews through your system, you’ll be able to track these numbers and figure out your starting volume.


I always calculate my own water too. I didn’t put this into Beersmith but with 12# of grain there could be up to 1.5 gallons absorbed by the grain. I’d assume the orange peel is going to absorb some too. Toss in some system losses and you’re there volume wise. The lactose is going to add to the OG. Did you end up making this? If you did, how was it?

Thank you all for the feedback.
I have not tried this recipe, but I did try the Hula Hopped and I LOVED it, although I failed to put the coconut into a mesh bag during fermentation. Huge mistake.

I tend to go high in volume on my strike water, about 2 quarts per lbs, but skip a full mashout because I’d have to add too much water to get up to 170 - I may add a gallon to 1.5, so net about 7.5 to 8 gallons in my mash tun. I need to recalibrate my pot for volume, maybe i am boiling less than I thought. I tend to hit the kit OGs, but tend to end up right at 5 to 5.25 gallons by draining every drop of liquid into my fermentation bucket. My boiloff rate is also about 1 gallon per hour in summer.

It sounds like I should cut down on my strike water qty, mash out with boiling water addition, and make sure I account for the water lost to absorption.

Boiling water is to hot for a mash out. Really don’t need to bother with a mash out IMO. Just do a sparge to get your volume


I do the same as @brew_cat. I always check first runnings and make sure I sparge enough to cover my usual boil and trub losses.

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