Author Topic: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?  (Read 2160 times)

Offline golfgod04

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Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« on: January 19, 2017, 01:39:36 AM »
Im new to all grain and am unsure of mash water. I keep reading different things What should I do for mash and sparge water amounts? My grain bill
6lbs 2-row
5lbs vienna
1lb crystal 15
1/2lb flaked wheat

beer smith says 4 gallons of water for mash. then 4.5 gallons for sparge.
Should I use 1.25 quarts of water per LB of grain? Then sparge is 1.5x that?  Do you change the amount of water based on beer style? 

Offline GS

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 02:09:08 AM »
I would do what beer smith says.  The creators of Beersmith went to a lot of trouble to build in the formulas. Formulae?

A water/grist ratio of 1.5 quarts to a pound of grain seems to be the norm. I've not used Beersmith, but I bet before you create a brew session or whatever it's called, you need to set the ratio. Then the software will calculate your volumes. Yours looks like it is set to 1.3qts per pound, which is fine.

The only time I have used a 1.25 quart water to 1 pun grain is if I am adding boiling water to raisen the mash temp from say, 131F to 152F. But that is very rare, for instance when I am brewing a wheat beer with 70% wheat malt.

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Offline curtdogg

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 02:16:19 AM »
Beersmith is a big calculator.
It has some presets but you should enter in your own info and eventually create your own profile.
First how big is your mash tun?
Can it support 1.5 quarts per pound?
With 12.5 lbs grain you'll need at least 6 gallons worth of space.




Offline golfgod04

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 02:26:17 AM »
I have a 52 quart cooler mash tun

Offline curtdogg

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2017, 02:43:47 AM »
So with what GS said have you setup your mash tun profile yet?

Offline golfgod04

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2017, 03:03:00 AM »
I have not.  When doing the recipe, I have the equipment set as pot and cooler. 

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2017, 03:15:06 AM »
Me thinks your goal should be equal parts mash and sparge.  Determine your desired boil volume, that will tell you what you want for mash and sparge.  Beersmith should calculate the grain absorption for you for the mash, the sparge volume won't decrease with absorption.
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Offline curtdogg

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2017, 04:37:11 AM »
When all is said and done though, single rest infusion mashing is the easiest method for producing an all-grain wort. The most common homebrewig mash schedule consists of a water-to-grain ratio of 1.5-2 quarts per pound, and holding the mash between 150-155F for 1 hour. Probably 90% of the beer styles in the world today are produced with this method.

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Offline juggabrew303

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2017, 04:53:05 AM »
I am always changing my qts/lb to get close to even to make it easer to measure out volumes.  4.5 strike/4.5 sparge.  BS seems to always default to 1.25 and I prefer 1.5/lb but at times it might be different. Last batch was at 1.43/lb.

I agree make sure you create your own profile that accounts for losses.  This will affect your total water needed. More hops equals more loss.  I did a test run with just water to get an idea of how much is left behind in mash tun/kettle. 


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Offline denny

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2017, 04:57:27 PM »
Keep in mind that Beersmith is a great tool to help you brew the way you want to brew, but it is not instructiuons about how to brew.  Don't blindly follow the presets.

If you batch sparge, the easiest thing to do is mash with whatever ratio you like.  For me, it's around 1.65 qt./lb.  The exact number doesn't really matter.  After you run off your mash, measure how much wort you have.  Subtract that from the amount you want to boil.  The answer you get will be the amount of sparge water to use.  Take a look at www.dennybrew.com for more info
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2017, 06:09:54 PM »
Keep in mind that Beersmith is a great tool to help you brew the way you want to brew, but it is not instructiuons about how to brew.  Don't blindly follow the presets.

If you batch sparge, the easiest thing to do is mash with whatever ratio you like.  For me, it's around 1.65 qt./lb.  The exact number doesn't really matter.  After you run off your mash, measure how much wort you have.  Subtract that from the amount you want to boil.  The answer you get will be the amount of sparge water to use.  Take a look at www.dennybrew.com for more info


Denny, as many times as I have seen this posted by you, I have never really followed it, and that may cause me some problems from time to time. Do you have an idea going in that you will need say 4.5 gallons of sparge water, but heat up 5 gallons or more in case something funky happened with your mash? I have always just figured out my mash and sparge volumes by knowing my deadspace and absorption losses and heated exactly what I was projected to need. Then added that full amount for sparge. On occasion, I have wound up with incorrect volumes (but not by enough to really be concerned.) My smaller BK is my dedicated HLT, so I guess I could heat extra in case. "Do you actually measure your mash run off every batch to calculate your sparge volume?" is I guess what I am really asking here.
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline denny

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2017, 06:47:56 PM »
Denny, as many times as I have seen this posted by you, I have never really followed it, and that may cause me some problems from time to time. Do you have an idea going in that you will need say 4.5 gallons of sparge water, but heat up 5 gallons or more in case something funky happened with your mash? I have always just figured out my mash and sparge volumes by knowing my deadspace and absorption losses and heated exactly what I was projected to need. Then added that full amount for sparge. On occasion, I have wound up with incorrect volumes (but not by enough to really be concerned.) My smaller BK is my dedicated HLT, so I guess I could heat extra in case. "Do you actually measure your mash run off every batch to calculate your sparge volume?" is I guess what I am really asking here.

Frank, I use Promash which will estimate the sparge water amount based on grain absorption (I have no deadspace).  That gets me in the ballpark.  But I always add sparge water based on mash runoff volume.  It's part of the notes I take, so I always know what my mash runoff volume is.  And FWIW, I can't recall the last time something unexpected happened in the mash.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline golfgod04

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2017, 07:37:40 PM »
thanks for all the info! i appreciate it.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2017, 08:08:43 PM »
Denny, as many times as I have seen this posted by you, I have never really followed it, and that may cause me some problems from time to time. Do you have an idea going in that you will need say 4.5 gallons of sparge water, but heat up 5 gallons or more in case something funky happened with your mash? I have always just figured out my mash and sparge volumes by knowing my deadspace and absorption losses and heated exactly what I was projected to need. Then added that full amount for sparge. On occasion, I have wound up with incorrect volumes (but not by enough to really be concerned.) My smaller BK is my dedicated HLT, so I guess I could heat extra in case. "Do you actually measure your mash run off every batch to calculate your sparge volume?" is I guess what I am really asking here.

Frank, I use Promash which will estimate the sparge water amount based on grain absorption (I have no deadspace).  That gets me in the ballpark.  But I always add sparge water based on mash runoff volume.  It's part of the notes I take, so I always know what my mash runoff volume is.  And FWIW, I can't recall the last time something unexpected happened in the mash.
Yeah, I use Beersmith and it gives me my volumes, and in the end, I am normally on or within a quart or so. I have never really measured mash run off, just eyeballed it to see if its close to where I want it to be
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline charles1968

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Re: Mash and Sparge Water Amounts?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2017, 07:51:42 PM »
If you batch sparge, the easiest thing to do is mash with whatever ratio you like.  For me, it's around 1.65 qt./lb.  The exact number doesn't really matter.

+1. A a key bit of info that is rarely offered to all-grain beginners.