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Old 05-05-2016, 06:08 PM   #1
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Default Sparge water

I still get confused about the amounts of water i need i usually mash say 4.5kg grain for a 21 litre brew in about 11.5-12 litres of water, i can never work out the amount of sparge water i need though, do i sparge with the amount i need to reach the boil volume of water?
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:29 PM   #2
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Basically yes.... I take a reasonable guess at what I will need to ensure I have enough water. After the initial run off I then work out what I need to achieve my boil volume.

So say I get 8l to start, I them sparge a total of 22l or so, in 2 batches. Then as long as the sg coming out of the mash is over 1.015I I may do another couple of litres as there is still sugars but if it goes below 1010 you risk tannin extraction
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:34 PM   #3
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You essentially need the following formula;

Batch size (into FV) + kettle losses + evaporation losses + grain absorption = total water required.

Total water - mash water (depending upon what L/kg ratio you prefer to mash with) = amount sparge water required.

Hopefully that helps. Otherwise, if you batch sparge, just drain your first runnings into your kettle and top up to reach pre-boil volume.
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:34 AM   #4
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I guess my method is a wee bit simpler. But might not suit all!

I normally brew a 28l batch.
For most of my beers, this will be 5kg grain, or a bit less.
I mash this in 12-13l water. I then transfer the mash to a separate sparging bucket & keep percolating hot water through it. I do not bother to calculate any volumes - but I do know that the boiling pan I use has a volume of 22l up to the handle rivets, and I don't usually go more that this.
I do taste the spargings occasionally. By the time the boiling pan is at 22l, I have always found there's no residual sweetness (and no hint of harsh bitterness), so I stop there. I used to get about 70% efficiency with bought crushed grain. Now I have my own malt mill, and mill finer than before, then 80-85% is normal.
After the boil, I must obviously have less than 22l. I leave this to cool overnight, then pour it with vigorous aeration into my primary FV. I dilute this with tap water to 25l & ferment for about 4-5 days, ideally. After this, I transfer to a 2nd FV, add dry hops (well, sweated hops in the extra 3l of water to make up 28l), purge with CO2 and leave for a target 10 days.
Works very well for me........
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:43 AM   #5
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Sponge nailed it.
Then just think what grain ratio you want which will give you your OG. If you fly sparge, I go down to 1.005.
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