Author Topic: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)  (Read 1254 times)

Offline quest4watneys

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I think I figured out how much water I'll need so that I end up with 5 gallons in the fermenter. Please have a look at my math and correct if necessary (go ahead, I can take it)  :)

I'm starting with 10.13 lbs. of grain.
I'm figuring 2 quarts per pound of grain in mash for a total of approx. 5 gallons.
I'm figuring .12 gallons of loss to grain absorption for a total of approx. 1.2 gallons.
Equipment dead space loss = approx. 1/2 gallon.
Evaporation loss due to boiling = 1.5 gallons.

Total water needed = 8.2 gallons.

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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 01:48:53 PM »
We need to know what kind of set up you'll be using.  And remember it will take a couple of times to get your volumes and procedure down.
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 02:58:00 PM »
1.5 gallons loss in boil seems a little high. I could be wrong.  But I do a 60-90 minute boil (depending on what I'm brewing) and usually only lose 1/2 to 3/4 gallon.
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Offline Will's Swill

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 04:01:09 PM »
Get a bigger burner.  ;D 

I generally lose 1.5 - 2.5 gal/hr. The low end is where I usually am unless I'm trying to evaporate extra water for a higher gravity.
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Offline quest4watneys

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 04:11:57 PM »
We need to know what kind of set up you'll be using.  And remember it will take a couple of times to get your volumes and procedure down.

My mash tun is a converted 48 quart Igloo Icecube cooler. I'm using a 1/2" braided SS hose in the mash tun connected to a brass 1/2" ball valve. My kettle is a SS 30 qt. pot and an 80,000 BTU propane turkey fryer. I'm using 6.5 gallon HDPE buckets for fermenting and bottling. I have a home-made 3/8" copper immersion chiller. If there's anything else you need to know, let me know and I'd be happy to post it.
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 07:41:19 PM »
I am assuming that you are batch sparging.  You water amount might be a little a high especially with a 30 qt boil pot.  You might want to try mashing with 4 - 4.5 gal and sparging with 3.5 gal.
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Offline malzig

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 04:14:57 AM »
I generally lose 1.5 - 2.5 gal/hr. The low end is where I usually am unless I'm trying to evaporate extra water for a higher gravity.
That's pretty high.  You're shooting for 8-15% boil-off.  You might want to turn your burner down and try and control your boil.

Offline Will's Swill

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011, 09:17:24 AM »
Are you saying that I'm out of control?  ;D

Why the magic 8% - 15% number?  That's a new one on me.  I shoot to get to my target fermenter volume (and thus final gravity) as opposed to a percentage boiled off.  I guess to get it to a range of percentages I could adjust the volume of my mash/sparge water volume, but that seems like a pain.  I just use the same water/grain ratio for every target gravity and adjust volumes during or after the boil to hit my gravity.
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Offline malzig

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 03:58:11 AM »
Are you saying that I'm out of control?  ;D

Why the magic 8% - 15% number?
Control is over-rated. ;)

The 8% is an approximation of the boil-off required to remove DMS, which is probably only a problem for brewers using Pilsner and (maybe) "American 2-row" malts.  I've never seen any hard data nailing down the 15% value, but it's an attempt to quantify the observation that an aggressive or unnecessarily long boil can introduce undesirable flavors.  I don't know what size batches you brew, but 2.5 gallons is a pretty high percentage for even a 10 gallon batch.

I'm not saying that you really need to temper your boil, your high evaporation may be due to something like your kettle geometry and may have little negative impact on the beer's flavor.  However, it might be worth giving it a try and seeing if you prefer the flavor.  I don't know any brewer that doesn't think their beer could be improved, even if it is already darn good.

Offline tygo

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2011, 04:04:32 AM »
I generally lose 1.5 - 2.5 gal/hr. The low end is where I usually am unless I'm trying to evaporate extra water for a higher gravity.

I lose 2 gallons per hour and that's with about as gentle a boil as I'm comfortable with.  My kettle is pretty wide and I believe that's the culprit.  I used to worry about it but short of getting a new kettle there's nothing I can do about it.  So I've found other things to worry about instead.
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Offline Beer Monger

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2011, 08:00:13 AM »
I generally lose 1.5 - 2.5 gal/hr. The low end is where I usually am unless I'm trying to evaporate extra water for a higher gravity.

I lose 2 gallons per hour and that's with about as gentle a boil as I'm comfortable with.  My kettle is pretty wide and I believe that's the culprit.  I used to worry about it but short of getting a new kettle there's nothing I can do about it.  So I've found other things to worry about instead.

I use a 14 gallon kettle for 10 gallon batches (11-12 gals starting out in kettle), so I watch my boil closely.  On avg. I think I lose a little over 1 gallon during my boils (for a 60 minute boil).  My last batch came up a bit short as a result (first batch brewed in a few years). 
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 06:48:54 PM »
I think I figured out how much water I'll need so that I end up with 5 gallons in the fermenter. Please have a look at my math and correct if necessary (go ahead, I can take it)  :)

I'm starting with 10.13 lbs. of grain.
I'm figuring 2 quarts per pound of grain in mash for a total of approx. 5 gallons.
I'm figuring .12 gallons of loss to grain absorption for a total of approx. 1.2 gallons.
Equipment dead space loss = approx. 1/2 gallon.
Evaporation loss due to boiling = 1.5 gallons.

Total water needed = 8.2 gallons.



Sounds like a good place to start. Make a measuring stick to see how much you end up with in the kettle. It'll  help you dial in your numbers.
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Offline euge

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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 11:37:51 PM »
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Re: Attempting 1st AG tomorrow - Have a look at my #'s please :0)
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 02:36:03 AM »
For 5 gallon batches, I shoot for an ending wort size of 5.5 gallons into the fermenter. After fermentation and the yeast settling out takes up volume, not to mention the racking cane's "widget" to leave most of the flocculated yeast behind. Anyway, it will take a few times to hit your target. Take good notes of each batch so, you can duplicate your results or at least know what to expect from your system. Good Luck and let us know how it turns out.