Author Topic: Mash water volume?  (Read 1754 times)

Offline mlager

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Mash water volume?
« on: January 13, 2011, 04:56:18 PM »
Im having trouble understanding how i should calculate the volume of strike water i should use into the mash tun. I will be brewing an amber ale with 11 pounds of grain and a porter with 14 pounds of grain. In the past, ive always just started with 6 gallons. Ultimatly im looking for 7.5 gals in the kettle to end up with a solid 6 gallon batch. Should my strike water vary based on OG and style? If my starting gravities are turning out consistent, should i stick with how ive been doing it? What would striking will a higher volume of water do in comparison to striking with a lower volume?

Thx for any input!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 04:58:20 PM by mlager »

Offline hokerer

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Re: Mash water volume?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 05:09:26 PM »
Strike water should be somewhere in the range of 1 to 1.5 quarts per pound of grain.  Some folks even recommend higher.  At 1.5, your 11 pound batch would strike with 16.5 qts and your 14 pound batch at 21 qts.
Joe

Offline mlager

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Re: Mash water volume?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 05:16:02 PM »
Yikes that sounds like such little water! 5 gals of water in a 14 pound grain bill seems like it would be a thick mash!

Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: Mash water volume?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 05:44:54 PM »
Not really that thick of a mash.  I mash in at 1.25 qts/lb of grain and I always think it's a thin mash.   Whatever you are mashing at, I've had good success with double batch sparging.  Split your sparge water into two batches and run it off twice.  That really helped my efficiency, thanks to Denny!!
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Offline mlager

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Re: Mash water volume?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2011, 05:55:37 PM »
I fly sparge, so id probably want to do 1.25 qt/lb and then sparge until i reach my desired boil volume.

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Mash water volume?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2011, 11:54:43 AM »
Even with fly sparging I recommend between 1.5 and 2 qt/lb for regular strength beers.  If you have the space for them, thin mashed are easier to work with, IMO.

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Offline malzig

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Re: Mash water volume?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2011, 11:52:57 AM »
Yikes that sounds like such little water! 5 gals of water in a 14 pound grain bill seems like it would be a thick mash!
I'd recommend 1.5 to 2+ qts/#, in general, but mostly I'd recommend adding enough water that, after grain absorption and deadspace, you get half your pre-boil volume from your first and second runnings each.

As an example, for 11# of grain and 1 pint deadspace, shooting for 7.5 gallons of wort pre-boil:
7.5 gallons total ÷ 2 runnings) = 3.75 gallons per running

That means sparging with 3.75 gallons and mashin with 3.75 gallons plus the lost volume of:
(11# x 0.12 gal/# absorption) + 0.125 gallon deadspace = 1.445 gallons lost volume.

That means mashing in with 5.2 gallons, or 20.8 qt/11#, or 1.9 qt/#.
 
With 100% conversion, that should give you 80%+ efficiency and a nice thin mash to stir and run-off, but then If you were me, you'd be batch sparging. :)