Author Topic: Is my math all wrong?  (Read 1354 times)

Online morticaixavier

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Is my math all wrong?
« on: February 21, 2011, 02:07:51 PM »
So I am heating my mash water for a 1.111 barley wine (25 lbs 2 row with a little maple syrup to bump the gravity and flavour) And according to Beer Smith at 1.33 quarts per lb that is 33.25 quarts of water. that's 8.31 gallons less 2.5 for absorbtion is 5.81 gallons just from my first runnings. Leaving only about .8 gallons for sparging to get to my full 90 minute boil volume (6.62).

So am I crazy? should I be planning a partigyle here? and bump up to 1.5 quarts per lb so I get my entire boil volume from the first runnings and then sparge with 6 gallons for a small beer?

also am I going to end up with 5.5 gallons of huge 1.3 wort to start with?

okay so I guess if I use the .12 gallons per lb absorption number is't a little better, leaving 1.3 gallons for sparging.

anyway ideas?
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 02:12:48 PM »
Holy Cow Sports Fans! Yes, a partigyle would be a much better plan if you have the time & capacity. If you're batch sparging you can blend the worts back & forth to get the desired gravities.  Otherwise you're going to leave a lot of fermentables in the mash tun.  Cheers!!!
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 02:15:08 PM by hamiltont »
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 07:25:16 AM »
You sure absorption is only 2.5 ? I get 2.75 with 22 pounds. Also the evap for a 90 min boil sounds a little low.

Yup, a second running for a house ale sounds in order..... Also, do a sg reading about 4 gallons into the drain to see where you're ending up and then adjust as necessary?
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Offline narvin

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 10:46:20 AM »
For such a big beer, you could:

- Mash thicker, to get a more balanced mash and sparge runoff which increases efficiency
- Boil longer, so you can sparge more, collect more pre-boil, and get a higher efficiency
- Do a second runnings beer, to avoid wasting all the leftover sugar.  You should prepare for lower efficiency for your first beer when doing no-sparge... see How to Brew for more details.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 11:11:44 AM by narvin »
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 02:02:49 PM »
For such a big beer, you could:

- Mash thicker, to get a more balanced mash and sparge runoff which increases efficiency
- Boil longer, so you can sparge more, collect more pre-boil, and get a higher efficiency
- Do a second runnings beer, to avoid wasting all the leftover sugar.  You should prepare for lower efficiency for your first beer when doing no-sparge... see How to Brew for more details.

I went with option 3, only 54 percent on the first beer but overall around 80!
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 08:29:36 PM »

- Mash thicker, to get a more balanced mash and sparge runoff which increases efficiency


You have to be careful with this. Thick mashes can lead to incomplete or slower conversion which can hurt your efficiency significantly.

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 10:49:51 PM »

- Mash thicker, to get a more balanced mash and sparge runoff which increases efficiency


You have to be careful with this. Thick mashes can lead to incomplete or slower conversion which can hurt your efficiency significantly.

Kai

That's what I was thinking. I had read a few threads about mash thickness and efficiency, probably from you Kai, and it seemed like I didn't want to go much below 1.3 qts/lb. In the end I think I went a bit over that to hit my temp. but it all worked out in the end. If I decide that I really need those extra couple of gravity points I will add another lb of maple syrup at some point in the primary.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2011, 07:08:29 AM »
Large beers can easily experience a “double-whammy” (sp?) when it comes to efficiency. Especially when batch sparging. The large grain bed holds back more wort and reduces the lauter efficiency while the rather thick mash that is necessary can slow down conversion and hurt your conversion efficiency. You can check for the later by taking a mash gravity test and mash a little longer and/or raise the temp if there are substantial amounts of unconverted starches left.

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Offline narvin

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2011, 07:09:37 AM »

- Mash thicker, to get a more balanced mash and sparge runoff which increases efficiency


You have to be careful with this. Thick mashes can lead to incomplete or slower conversion which can hurt your efficiency significantly.

Kai

That's what I was thinking. I had read a few threads about mash thickness and efficiency, probably from you Kai, and it seemed like I didn't want to go much below 1.3 qts/lb. In the end I think I went a bit over that to hit my temp. but it all worked out in the end. If I decide that I really need those extra couple of gravity points I will add another lb of maple syrup at some point in the primary.

Yes, it probably helps to mash longer with a thick mash to allow for complete conversion.  I don't think it's uncommon among English brewers to use a thick mash for a barleywine, though.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2011, 08:50:19 AM »
This has been a learning experience! This is only my 5th AG batch and I intend to do a barley wine once a year from now on so I will have plenty of opportunity to experiment and learn. This one is bubbling away now.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2011, 08:51:23 AM »
- Mash thicker, to get a more balanced mash and sparge runoff which increases efficiency

My efficieny seems to have increased when I started using a thinner mash.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2011, 09:25:38 AM »
- Mash thicker, to get a more balanced mash and sparge runoff which increases efficiency

My efficieny seems to have increased when I started using a thinner mash.

I normally mash thin now too, and I find that I get more predictable results and possibly better efficiency.  But for a big ass beer, mashing thicker and sparging with more than 1-2 gallons of water would probably help your lauter efficiency.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 09:31:38 AM by narvin »
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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2011, 10:06:29 AM »
Generally when I do a really big beer (1.100+) I don't plan on sparging at all.  I can get my boil volume just from the mash, and I partigyle the rest.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2011, 10:33:09 AM »
Generally when I do a really big beer (1.100+) I don't plan on sparging at all.  I can get my boil volume just from the mash, and I partigyle the rest.

This is more or less what I did and I think I will continue to do so from now on. the extra few lbs of grain doesn't make much cost difference and you get an extra batch of beer out of it so win win!
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Offline tom

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Re: Is my math all wrong?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2011, 10:04:31 AM »
Kai has a great no-sparge/partigyle calculator at  http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Batch_Sparge_and_Party_Gyle_Simulator
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