I thought I could find an answer to my question (it is SO basic), so I looked a ways through the forums and, REALLY, I couldn't. So, I will once again display my newbness and ask the following:
It seems as though the amount of water to use in the mash is anywhere between 1.25-2 quarts per pound of grain - depending on "something" (grains? beer style? perference?). For example, Beersmith for my latest brew (to be done tomorrow), calls for 14 quarts for 11.5 pounds of grain. That is just about on 1.25 (if I know how to divide). That is workable for me. However, some recipes that I've read (and some experts) call for 2 quarts per pound. Okay, here's my question:
If you have 10 pounds of grain and use the 2 qts/pound suggested, you end up with 5 gallons of mash water. If you use the, iirc, suggested 150% of mash water for sparge water, you will have to use 7+ gallons for the sparge. If 10 pounds of grain absorbs 1 gallon of water, that leaves you with a final result of over 11 gallons of water. If you boil out a gallon, that leaves you with 10 gallons. Exactly how do I fit 10 gallons of wort into a 5 gallon carboy?
I KNOW I'm missing something here. Help??
Where did the recommendation to use 150% of mash water volume for the sparge come from? I've never heard that one before!
I don't know if you fly sparge or batch sparge. Here's what I do for batch sparging. First of all, I kinda work backwards (like much in my life!) I decide what I want my boil volume to be. In my case, that's 7.5 gal. I want, as closely as possible, to get about half of that volume from the mash runoff and the other half from the sparge runoff. So, I use a mash ratio that will get me into that area. Typically, that's about 1.6 qt./lb., but I'll accept anything from 1.25 to 2 for most mash circumstances. That means that I'll sparge with enough to get to my total boil volume.