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Author Topic: Just a bit confused  (Read 1692 times)

Offline redrocker652002

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Just a bit confused
« on: November 11, 2022, 10:25:52 am »
Getting ready to do a Morebeer kit and put the info into Brewfather. My issue is simple, I think. More beer has me using about 3.5 gallons of mash water, while Brewfather says it should be a bit over 5 gallons? If I do the 3 gallons I can do a BIAB method as I have a 5 gallon kettle. That means I will be using about 4.5 gallons of sparge water. Not a big deal as I can do either. Just curious what you all would do?

Offline denny

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2022, 11:35:39 am »
I'd do whichever I usually do and works better for me.
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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2022, 11:40:19 am »
I'd do whichever I usually do and works better for me.

LOL.  this is my first run with my new cooler mash tun, so no experience to learn from.  LOL.  I am thinking of 4 to 5 gallon mash and a 2 to 3 gallon sparge as I need about 7 gallons in the boil kettle to allow for boil off.  I am guessing I can add a bit of dme if I fall short of my OG, right? 

Offline ScallyWag

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2022, 12:08:22 pm »
LOL.  this is my first run with my new cooler mash tun, so no experience to learn from.  LOL.  I am thinking of 4 to 5 gallon mash and a 2 to 3 gallon sparge as I need about 7 gallons in the boil kettle to allow for boil off.  I am guessing I can add a bit of dme if I fall short of my OG, right?

My guesscomendation would be to go with the MoreBeer instruction, as it is probably geared to that particular recipe, and maybe BeerFather is thinking more generally.  But I don't know... 

I have developed a generic routine that works fairly consistently for any recipe, give or take, and so I do what I know I can reliably pull off with fewer screwups.  You probably have some wiggle room in there, as long as you are within your process-comfort-zone (PCZ?)

I keep DME on hand always for that same reason (or if I'm just craving a higher ABV version on that particular day).  I'd guess as long as your OG is pretty close, within maybe .005 +/-, you're probably close enough. 

Keep your process tight (do what has worked best for you in the past), and you'll probably make a great beer even if it isn't exactly "to recipe."  Which recipe are you doing, if you don't mind my asking?

ETA:  What Denny said, essentially, is what I do.  I know what I do well, beer-wise, and I'm fine with torqing someone else's recipe to fit what I am good at.  It makes beer that I love to drink.  *shrug*   
« Last Edit: November 11, 2022, 12:11:32 pm by ScallyWag »

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2022, 12:35:28 pm »
LOL.  this is my first run with my new cooler mash tun, so no experience to learn from.  LOL.  I am thinking of 4 to 5 gallon mash and a 2 to 3 gallon sparge as I need about 7 gallons in the boil kettle to allow for boil off.  I am guessing I can add a bit of dme if I fall short of my OG, right?

My guesscomendation would be to go with the MoreBeer instruction, as it is probably geared to that particular recipe, and maybe BeerFather is thinking more generally.  But I don't know... 

I have developed a generic routine that works fairly consistently for any recipe, give or take, and so I do what I know I can reliably pull off with fewer screwups.  You probably have some wiggle room in there, as long as you are within your process-comfort-zone (PCZ?)

I keep DME on hand always for that same reason (or if I'm just craving a higher ABV version on that particular day).  I'd guess as long as your OG is pretty close, within maybe .005 +/-, you're probably close enough. 

Keep your process tight (do what has worked best for you in the past), and you'll probably make a great beer even if it isn't exactly "to recipe."  Which recipe are you doing, if you don't mind my asking?

ETA:  What Denny said, essentially, is what I do.  I know what I do well, beer-wise, and I'm fine with torqing someone else's recipe to fit what I am good at.  It makes beer that I love to drink.  *shrug*

Thank you for the reply.  It is a Citra Pale ale from Morebeer.  I am going to go a bit off track and add more mash water.  I will sparge with enough to get me about 7 to 7.5 gallons in the boil kettle.  If that falls short on the gravity, I will add a bit of DME to see if I can up the number.  If not, heck, my last 2 BIAB were off on numbers but pretty good tasting and that is what I am going for anyway.  LOL. 

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2022, 12:49:07 pm »
Just another guess, but perhaps the different water volumes were based on intended different water to grain ratios for the mash under each calculator?  In any event, I say go for it and adjust as you noted, if necessary‚Ķ.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline denny

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2022, 02:12:32 pm »
I'd do whichever I usually do and works better for me.

LOL.  this is my first run with my new cooler mash tun, so no experience to learn from.  LOL.  I am thinking of 4 to 5 gallon mash and a 2 to 3 gallon sparge as I need about 7 gallons in the boil kettle to allow for boil off.  I am guessing I can add a bit of dme if I fall short of my OG, right?

How many pounds of grain total?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"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 redrocker652002

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2022, 02:28:35 pm »
I'd do whichever I usually do and works better for me.

LOL.  this is my first run with my new cooler mash tun, so no experience to learn from.  LOL.  I am thinking of 4 to 5 gallon mash and a 2 to 3 gallon sparge as I need about 7 gallons in the boil kettle to allow for boil off.  I am guessing I can add a bit of dme if I fall short of my OG, right?

11.75 pounds.  I just said screw it.  I cannot get the cooler to keep the temp and my back is killing me.  I am going to full volume BIAB and go with the brewfather numbers.  I need to brew this simply because I bought the grain and they have been sitting in a paper bag in my closet for a week.  I am beyond frustrated right now.  Thanks to all who replied.  I am going to have to screw around with my cooler late on when I have a bit more patience. 

How many pounds of grain total?

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2022, 02:55:09 pm »
You can squeeze the bag to get more liquid collected with BIAB, but just for point of reference, 1.5 qts /lb as a mash thickness would call for a mash of just under 4.5 gallons with 11.75 pounds of grain.  Then the absorption rate (uncollectible wort in the grain), if not squeezed would be around 1.5 gallons at a pint per pound (again, based on a rule of thumb).  The absorption rate varies by equipment, especially if squeezing the bag or if the mash tun has a center bottom drain to get more wort from the run offs. 

Don't get discouraged - and for what it is worth, with a separate pot, you can always decoct a portion to heat back up the main mash, if the temp in the cooler drops a bit low.

Any problem you encounter, the guys here can give you a solution, I am sure.  Best of luck on the brew!
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline chinaski

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2022, 03:35:57 pm »
I've been there- when a batch doesn't quite work for some reason or other.  There are things that you need to know or measure to be successful using a new brewing method like batch sparging in a cooler.  In particular, it's helpful to know or estimate the amount of liquid absorbed by the grain.  Once you know that, you can have a good handle on how much wort will result from your first runnings.  Then its a matter of sparging with the balance of what's needed for your planned pre-boil volume.

It will take a few batches to get this dialed-in.  After that, you'll be good to go.
Brew on-

Offline denny

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2022, 09:03:35 am »
I'd do whichever I usually do and works better for me.

LOL.  this is my first run with my new cooler mash tun, so no experience to learn from.  LOL.  I am thinking of 4 to 5 gallon mash and a 2 to 3 gallon sparge as I need about 7 gallons in the boil kettle to allow for boil off.  I am guessing I can add a bit of dme if I fall short of my OG, right?

11.75 pounds.  I just said screw it.  I cannot get the cooler to keep the temp and my back is killing me.  I am going to full volume BIAB and go with the brewfather numbers.  I need to brew this simply because I bought the grain and they have been sitting in a paper bag in my closet for a week.  I am beyond frustrated right now.  Thanks to all who replied.  I am going to have to screw around with my cooler late on when I have a bit more patience. 

How many pounds of grain total?

Mash with 1.5-1.75 qt/lb. Sparge with whatever amount gets you your boil volume.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"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 denny

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2022, 09:04:56 am »
I've been there- when a batch doesn't quite work for some reason or other.  There are things that you need to know or measure to be successful using a new brewing method like batch sparging in a cooler.  In particular, it's helpful to know or estimate the amount of liquid absorbed by the grain.  Once you know that, you can have a good handle on how much wort will result from your first runnings.  Then its a matter of sparging with the balance of what's needed for your planned pre-boil volume.

It will take a few batches to get this dialed-in.  After that, you'll be good to go.
Brew on-

Grain absorption is pretty constant in my experience. 8 lb of grain will absorb about a gal of water.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"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 redrocker652002

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2022, 09:24:33 am »
Thanks guys.  Here are some final numbers:

I decided to go with a full volume BIAB.  7.5 gallons in the kettle.  Temp at 160 plus or minus a degree or two.  Grains added temp dropped to about 154.  60 mins boil.  Covered the boil kettle with a blanket to try and keep the heat in during the mash, my brother has a few extra moving blankets so I am going to grab one for next time.  The seem thicker so more insulation. 

After 15 down to about 152
After 30 mins down to about 150
After 45 mins down to about 148
end of boil was about 146

So I don't think that was too bad. 

6.5 gallons in the kettle to start the boil, and 5 in the bucket after, so I have a pretty good handle on the boil off as it was pretty consistent with my last one as well. 

Preboil Gravity 1.060, may have been 1.050 as I might have misread or the wort was still hot when I measure it, per instructions it was supposed to be around 1.050, so I am high, but not a big deal. 

60 min boil and OG of 1.055  per instructions it should be anywhere between 1.050 and 1.055 so I feel pretty good now.

Cooled wort to about 70 degrees and pitched a packet of US05 at about 3 or so yesterday afternoon  Checked it this morning, the closet is at about 65 degrees, a bit on the cold side but I think I am still alright.  The heater I have did not kick on, I forgot to turn it on (Darwin award for me on that one), so I turned it on and have my closet set to about 68 degrees.  All the liguid in the airlock has pushed to the exit side of it, so there must be some pressure going on.  I pushed the lid, and I am wondering if I don't have a good seal but if not, that is ok.  So now, I wait.  I will check the gravity in about two weeks and go from there.  I am hopeful since I hit my OG that the wort is where it should be.  After a few fails it will be nice if this one works out. 

After doing some online research, my mash efficiency seems to be somewhere in the 70 to 71 percent.  I am happy with that for now.  Once I get the process nailed down, then I will try and increase that a bit. 
« Last Edit: November 12, 2022, 10:05:28 am by redrocker652002 »

Offline Richard

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2022, 09:38:57 am »
Sounds like you did a good job, but I'm not sure why your gravity went down from pre-boil to post-boil. The wort gets concentrated, so the gravity should go up.
Original Gravity - that would be Newton's

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Just a bit confused
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2022, 09:57:07 am »
Sounds like you did a good job, but I'm not sure why your gravity went down from pre-boil to post-boil. The wort gets concentrated, so the gravity should go up.

Oops, you may be right.  Maybe I misread, but the OG hit is pretty close, so I am happy there.  I will omit that part as it may have been 1.050.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2022, 10:02:47 am by redrocker652002 »