Author Topic: New to home brewing need help  (Read 452 times)

Offline Kenpropst

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New to home brewing need help
« on: February 24, 2021, 02:41:37 AM »
How do you know how much water to use for a 5 gallon batch for each brew.what if I don’t want to make 5 Gallo s.I have a lot of questions but I guess I will start there

Offline BrewBama

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Re: New to home brewing need help
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2021, 04:03:58 AM »
This is my stock answer to this question. It will depend on your brewing system. Hope this helps.

I like to start at the end and work my way to the beginning to figure water volume requirements. On my system I want 5 gal in a keg and half a gal below the fermenter spigot, to blowoff, and to yeast/trüb are wasted so I ferment 5.5 gal. 1 gal in my boil kettle below the spigot, to hop absorption, and to trüb is also wasted so I want my post boil volume to be 6.5 gal. I boil off a gal so I want 7.5 gal pre boil.

The water absorbed by the grain will vary with the specifics of the grain bill, the type of malt and adjuncts and their moisture content, but an average value of 0.50 quarts per pound (1.04 L/kg) has proven to be a very reasonable assumption in most cases. (Ref: BYO)

For 12# grain, grain absorption is ~1.5 gal and a bit in my pump and hoses is waste. My MLT has very little dead space. So, I start with a total volume of 9 gallons of water.

I like to try to even out my 1st and 2nd run (batch sparge) so I take the 7.5 gal I want to end up with in the brew kettle (pre boil) and split it in half. So my sparge will be ~3.75 gal.

9 gal total volume required - the 3.75 gal sparge (half the pre boil volume) = the rest of the total volume as strike water (5.25 gal).  The 5.25 gal strike - the 1.5 gal grain absorption = 3.75 gal (equal runs).


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Offline Bob357

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Re: New to home brewing need help
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2021, 04:04:34 AM »
Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

Offline Drewch

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Offline majorvices

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Re: New to home brewing need help
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2021, 02:07:26 PM »
How do you know how much water to use for a 5 gallon batch for each brew.what if I don’t want to make 5 Gallo s.I have a lot of questions but I guess I will start there

as the others have said you need a good homebrewing book - it's a lot more complex than just asking a few questions and having them answered.

If you don't want to read (I know it's not for everyone) then order a kit (like from www.morebeer.com) and follow the directions on that so that you get an idea of the process.

 I know you posted in the "all grain" section but it's best to start off with extract or partial mash since learning all grain for your first batch is a lot to retain and a lot of equipment to procure.

As far as your water volume it depends - if you are brewing extract full volume full boil dissolve your extract and perform any partial mash or steeping grains tro collect about half the amount of wort you expect then top off with water to the boil volume you choose. If you can do full boil on a 5 gallon batch you will need about 5.75-6 gallons total to start and plan for evaporation of about .75-1 gallon - this depends on your evaporation rate and boil length. Give yourself plenty of head room because boil overs are challenging and will happen.

You can do concentrated boils as well and top off in your fermenter.

Offline Drewch

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Re: New to home brewing need help
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2021, 05:27:56 PM »
what if I don't want to make 5 Gallons.

If you're looking to do small batches, I'd recommend getting a copy of Speed Brewing by Mary Izett, or Northern Brewer sells 1-gallon starter kits with a variety of recipes.

https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/craft-beer-making-kit-with-siphonless-fermenter-1-gallon

« Last Edit: February 24, 2021, 06:06:07 PM by Drewch »
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Offline MagicRat

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Re: New to home brewing need help
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2021, 05:06:49 PM »
I keep things as simple as I can.  I try ro get ~3.5G from first runnings and another 3.5G from batch sparge.  I use .12G/pound of grain as a reference for absorption rate - so for 10 lb. grain bill, I calculate 1.2G will be absorbed and add that to 3.5G which means I will start my mash with 4.75G of strike water (rounded up from 4.7).
Then I sparge with an even 3.5G.  I will usually end up a little with ~6.75G boil volume which works out fine.
I do this consistently and my brew house efficiency is almost always between 72-75% using the Brewrer’s Friend Recipe Calculator - I use the 75% setting for recipe design.

Offline soymateofeo

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Re: New to home brewing need help
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2021, 05:15:33 PM »
A lot of that depends on your set up and what your process is.  You can read everything and it still won't tell you everything. Brew a batch and keep good notes.  Grain will absorb a certain amount but how do you handle that grain? Squeeze it out, gravity sparge, batch sparge, etc? I used to try to get every drop I could after I realized i left .5 gallons in the mash tun and .5 gallons in the boil kettle.  But then it was a pita to get it all vs putting those numbers in Promash (yah guys. Promash! Beersmith and brewfather are the latest programs of choice) Just added extra grain and water.  But you won't know until you brew a few times and take good notes. Add a 50 foot herms coil and it all changes. Change your boil intensity amd you get different evaporation rates.  But after doing this for 20+ years, a new change in your system can change everything and every set up is different.  And thatbis my 2 pesos.  Or just be clean, control your fermentation temp, and add healthy yeast and your beer will be good, just not exactly reproducible.