Author Topic: Mash Water Volumes  (Read 1064 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Mash Water Volumes
« on: January 17, 2015, 03:27:35 PM »
For my upcoming beer there is 7.94 gallons of water needed, let's call it 8.

Using a brew calculator the mash thickness is set to 1.33 qt/lb. My good pal Jonathan mentioned to use 2 qt/lb on this.

The difference between the two gives me 3.39 strike and 4.55 sparge for the 1.33 figure. The other gives me 5.10 and 2.84 respectively.

What are your thoughts? Can I just do 4 and 4? I'm concerned with not being able to measure these volumes close enough and I want to be able to add my gypsum and Calc. Chl. in equal enough portions to the water volumes. 

Either way I plan on heating these separately as I think it's more fuel efficient.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2015, 03:39:42 PM »
As long as the 4 and 4 leaves you at or above 1.1 qts/lb, you could do that and be fine.  I like to go upwards of 2 qts/lb (usually ~ 1.8 qts/lb) for 2 reasons - a little better efficiency, and it gives you an easier lauter using a thinner mash. But like you said just be sure to scale your water salt additions for that amount of mash water.
Jon H.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2015, 03:45:48 PM »
As long as the 4 and 4 leaves you at or above 1.1 qts/lb, you could do that and be fine.  I like to go upwards of 2 qts/lb (usually ~ 1.8 qts/lb) for 2 reasons - a little better efficiency, and it gives you an easier lauter using a thinner mash. But like you said just be sure to scale your water salt additions for that amount of mash water.

+1  I tend to balance my mash and sparge water so that I get roughly equal collection from both. as said, enough volume for each makes for good runoff/lauter. Im usually 1.6-1.8qts/lb.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Offline denny

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2015, 05:23:50 PM »
You're over thinking it.  If you're batch sparging, use whatever mash ratio you like.  I usually go for 1.65-2 qt./lb.  After you runoff your mash, measure how much wort you have.  Subtract that from the amount you want to boil.  The answer you get is how much sparge water to use.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2015, 05:42:23 PM »
Denny,
That makes sense...however, there is still the issue of adding the correct amount of water additives. Anything outside of 5 gallons of 2.5 gallons might be a struggle for me to calculate.

Offline brewday

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2015, 06:04:25 PM »
Denny,
That makes sense...however, there is still the issue of adding the correct amount of water additives. Anything outside of 5 gallons of 2.5 gallons might be a struggle for me to calculate.

I add all of the salts to my total water volume beforehand and then use half of the water to mash, half to sparge (or step up temp).
Jon Weaver

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2015, 06:15:16 PM »
I may have to do that and then just heat the total volume, then reheat the sparge water.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2015, 06:30:15 PM »
I may have to do that and then just heat the total volume, then reheat the sparge water.

hey and if you ever want a live video chat coach-just give me some notice and I'd be happy to be on your ipad/tablet as you brew and have questions!

Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline denny

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2015, 06:39:01 PM »
Denny,
That makes sense...however, there is still the issue of adding the correct amount of water additives. Anything outside of 5 gallons of 2.5 gallons might be a struggle for me to calculate.

Well, you can easily calculate additions for the mash before you start since you'll know the volume.  After the mash, you'll know how much sparge water to use, so you can calculate those additions then.  BTW, I made award winning beers for nearly 15 years before I ever touched a water addition.  IMO, it's important, but mostly in the sense of getting the last 5% of improvement in your beer.  Other things make a lot more difference.  I'm not saying don't do them, but I certainly wouldn't worry a lot about it at this point in your brewing.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2015, 06:59:07 PM »
Denny, thanks for that. For whatever reason I thought the water was WAY more important. I ended up paying over a dollar a gallon for distilled. Trust me, I'll be switching to tap water ASAP.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2015, 07:09:31 PM »
Denny, thanks for that. For whatever reason I thought the water was WAY more important. I ended up paying over a dollar a gallon for distilled. Trust me, I'll be switching to tap water ASAP.
While I agree that the minutia of mineral additions isn't critical early on in the game, you should at least be sure that A) your tap water tastes good and is free of chlorine/chloramine and B) you hit an acceptable pH for the mash.

You're going to want to get a sample of your water analyzed eventually, sooner if it's particularly hard water.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2015, 07:54:00 PM »

Denny, thanks for that. For whatever reason I thought the water was WAY more important. I ended up paying over a dollar a gallon for distilled. Trust me, I'll be switching to tap water ASAP.

Wow that's expensive. Just
Brewed my porter with distilled/ $2.19 for 3-gal pack.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline denny

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2015, 08:15:41 PM »
Denny, thanks for that. For whatever reason I thought the water was WAY more important. I ended up paying over a dollar a gallon for distilled. Trust me, I'll be switching to tap water ASAP.

Get an analysis of your tap water from ward Labs.  But in general, if it tastes good it's close enough for a start.  If you make a hoppy beer (APA, AIPA) toss a tsp. or so of gypsum in the kettle.  You may find eventually that very light or very dark beers are better with some additions, but for now just worry about your brewing techniques.  Of course, if your water has chlorine or chloramine you should remove it, but that's easy.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2015, 08:30:47 PM »
I may have to do that and then just heat the total volume, then reheat the sparge water.

hey and if you ever want a live video chat coach-just give me some notice and I'd be happy to be on your ipad/tablet as you brew and have questions!

Thanks for the offer, that is kind of you!

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Mash Water Volumes
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2015, 08:32:18 PM »
Denny, thanks for that. For whatever reason I thought the water was WAY more important. I ended up paying over a dollar a gallon for distilled. Trust me, I'll be switching to tap water ASAP.

Get an analysis of your tap water from ward Labs.  But in general, if it tastes good it's close enough for a start.  If you make a hoppy beer (APA, AIPA) toss a tsp. or so of gypsum in the kettle.  You may find eventually that very light or very dark beers are better with some additions, but for now just worry about your brewing techniques.  Of course, if your water has chlorine or chloramine you should remove it, but that's easy.

I do have great tasting tap water, unfortunately it's running through a filter/ water softener unit. So I thought it may be better to use distilled w. the additions over that. What do you think?