Author Topic: Sparge Water Volumes  (Read 1529 times)

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Sparge Water Volumes
« on: January 10, 2015, 05:38:38 PM »
Looking around at various recipes and I see that often the volume of sparge water is NOT typically a round number. For instance, the 3 gallon (~6 pounds of grain) recipe I'm looking at calls for 2 gallons of mash water (OK got that) and 3.84 gallons of sparge water.

How are you folks measuring stuff like this? Can I get away with 3.75 and call it a day?


Offline tommymorris

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2101
  • Tommy M.
    • View Profile
Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2015, 05:42:18 PM »
I measure to 0.1 gallon precision because that is what my dip stick is set up for. You can measure to 0.25G and get away with it easily. I would go a bit low on sparge water (if rounding requires it) so you add water after boil. That's just my preference. It's easier to add a little water after boil. If you have to much at the end you'll be low on gravity and need to add DME or just be below your target.

Edit: so yes. For your example I would go with 3.75G.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 05:44:59 PM by alestateyall »

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2015, 05:46:37 PM »
I use my MoreBeer bucket to measure volume of water. It isn't perfectly calibrated, but is pretty dang close. I eyeball when something falls between the tick marks. Today my sparge volume was 4.8. Works well enough for me.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 06:04:19 PM »
My calibration stick (marked dowel rod) is calibrated in pint increments. You have to realize that most of the time in all grain brewing, increments are not nice even numbers. You can measure 3.75 and a splash more, but it's probably ok. How much grain is used for 2 gallons of mash water ? I realize it's a small batch, but that wouldn't give you a lot of first runnings after absorption and dead space.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 06:31:29 PM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1576
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2015, 06:17:44 PM »
I will usually go with a close approximation to an easier amount as well. One thing I'll add is I also try to come to a more even balance between strike volume and sparge volume with sparge being just a bit higher volume than strike to ensure a good sparge. The most I'll go on strike is 1.5qts/pound and this will usually get me close on balancing the two volumes.
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2015, 07:23:38 PM »

I use my MoreBeer bucket to measure volume of water. It isn't perfectly calibrated, but is pretty dang close. I eyeball when something falls between the tick marks. Today my sparge volume was 4.8. Works well enough for me.
So you eyeballed just below the 5?

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2015, 07:24:27 PM »

My calibration stick (marked dowel rod) is calibrated in pint increments. You have to realize that most of the time in all grain brewing, increments are not nice even numbers. You can measure 3.75 and a splash more, but it's probably ok. How much grain is used for 2 gallons of mash water ? I realize it's a small batch, but that wouldn't give you a lot of first runnings after absorption and dead space.
~ 6 pounds

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2015, 07:50:53 PM »

I will usually go with a close approximation to an easier amount as well. One thing I'll add is I also try to come to a more even balance between strike volume and sparge volume with sparge being just a bit higher volume than strike to ensure a good sparge. The most I'll go on strike is 1.5qts/pound and this will usually get me close on balancing the two volumes.
In my example it would be about 1.35 qts/ pound.

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2015, 07:52:23 PM »


I use my MoreBeer bucket to measure volume of water. It isn't perfectly calibrated, but is pretty dang close. I eyeball when something falls between the tick marks. Today my sparge volume was 4.8. Works well enough for me.
So you eyeballed just below the 5?
yep. Split the mark between 4.5 & 5.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2015, 08:02:42 PM »
Don't tell anyone, but I only measure to the half gallon.

Offline dls5492

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 325
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2015, 08:07:10 PM »
Don't tell anyone, but I only measure to the half gallon.
I won't if you won't! I usually go to the nearest 1/4 gallon.
David S.
Cedar Falls, IA
Club: Cedar River Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts (CRAZE)

And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Cor. 3:17

Offline jeffy

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3480
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2015, 08:56:43 PM »
If you are batch sparging then just add enough sparge water to fill the kettle to your pre boil amount.
I fly sparge and very rarely measure the sparge water.  I just stop collecting runoff when I reach the proper volume in the kettle.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2015, 09:08:59 PM »
^that sounds easy!

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2490
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2015, 09:27:10 PM »
I just stop collecting runoff when I reach the proper volume in the kettle.

Jeff, that's what I've gotten in trouble with in the past. Apparently with my new system, I can now deplete my grist of sugars well before I've reached my desired kettle volume. But, I'm still getting 88 to 92% efficiency.

I'm going to switch to more closely monitoring my runoff gravity and reserving about a gallon of the calculated sparging volume. I'll only add more water to the tun if the runoff is plenty high. That remaining sparging volume will be added directly to the kettle to reach my desired pre-boil volume from now on. We'll see how this approach works out since I've been experiencing low level tannins in my beers with my new system and I have to do something different.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline chinaski

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 147
    • View Profile
Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2015, 09:39:21 PM »
If you are batch sparging then just add enough sparge water to fill the kettle to your pre boil amount.
I fly sparge and very rarely measure the sparge water.  I just stop collecting runoff when I reach the proper volume in the kettle.

I batch sparge and have gotten to the point where I know how much water my grain absorbs & do this.  I measure as closely as I reasonably can know that I typically leave some wort behind in trub after the boil anyway.  A couple of cups of water ain't going to make a lot of difference for sparge water volume.