Brew Monk Newbie - Mash Water

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Eddie90

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Hi all,

I am about to do my first ever brew! I invested in a 35l Brew Monk and I am following a recipe from a Greg Hughes book that I bought.

The problem that I am having is that the book calls from 13l of mash water and a further 13l of sparge water. But, when I put 13l of water into the Brew Monk it is only a few inches above where the bottom of the separate compartment starts (which is effectively the mash tun). I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be enough water for the amount of grain than needs to go in.

I was thinking that the easiest way around this may be to alter the amounts of water around. So I would do it something along the lines of 19l for the mash and then add another 7l for the sparge. But I'm worried there must be a reason that the recipe is written this way. Would this have much of an effect on the end result and, if it would, what would they be?

Thanks,
Eddie
 

jeg3

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Use brewing software. I've used beersmith in the past but now use brewfather. You can input your equipment and it will calculate the mash volume based on the grain bill and your equipment. Or the easiest way to do it, any volume you add to the mash water you basically take from the sparge water.

By using software you can check how efficient the brew is along the way by measuring preboil gravity and volume to determine mash efficiency.

Once you have completed a few brews you will get a feel for volumes etc.
 

the baron

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Hi what is the actual recipe you are doing as most of the Greg Hughes recipes are for 40 pintsand you are only posting 26ltrs in total. Is this for a high ABV beer of lower volume?If you post this info you will get the help and answer you are looking for
 

Slid

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Hi all,

I am about to do my first ever brew! I invested in a 35l Brew Monk and I am following a recipe from a Greg Hughes book that I bought.

The problem that I am having is that the book calls from 13l of mash water and a further 13l of sparge water. But, when I put 13l of water into the Brew Monk it is only a few inches above where the bottom of the separate compartment starts (which is effectively the mash tun). I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be enough water for the amount of grain than needs to go in.

I was thinking that the easiest way around this may be to alter the amounts of water around. So I would do it something along the lines of 19l for the mash and then add another 7l for the sparge. But I'm worried there must be a reason that the recipe is written this way. Would this have much of an effect on the end result and, if it would, what would they be?

Thanks,
Eddie
The water volume GH quotes for the Mash assumes a mash tun with no "dead space" at the bottom. An All-In-One system will have significant space for liquid below the grain basket and you need therefore to first fill your A-I-O to the point at which there is some water visible above the bottom of the grain basket, before you start counting the "water that will be in contact with the grain". As you say, the total amount - mash plus sparge- need not be that much more than the total suggested by GH.

As an indicator, for a 25L brew in an A-I-O system, I would have a mash plus sparge water total of 35L.
 

AXW123

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I have just got a Brew Monk too -a great investment but it takes a little bit of getting used to. You can do a full volume mash - I add the water from the sparge to the initial mash volume which will then fill up your Brewmonk sufficiently. It Will affect your efficiency a little bit but my efficiency has been considerably better since I started using the brew monk anyway. I have to say I didn’t think the instructions for the brew monk were particularly good. It’s taken a bit of trial and error and watching of YouTube videos to be totally confident of what I’m doing. So far I’ve dropped the little black plastic bung into my wort, allowed it to overfill and dropped some hops which then blocked the pump off! Apart from that I’ve really mastered it!
 

the baron

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Further to help you as AXW says you can do a full volume mash or I use the same system and do 19Ltrs for mash and them sparge to your required boil volume which is usually approx 28Ltrs in other words 19Ltres for mash plus 12 to 14 litres of sparge to give approx 28Ltrs for the boil losing anywhere between 4 to 5 litres to the grain then the boil off of approx 3 to 4 litres should get you where you need to be but each system will need fine tuning depending on grain bill and how vigorous your boil is
Hope this helps
 

Eddie90

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Thanks guys, some great advice. I'll definitely check out some software. I guess it is just a bit of trial and error too like AXW said.

Baron - It is the DDH Pale Ale from his book 'Home Brew Beer'. It says that it makes 23l with 13l for the mash and 13l for the sparge. So, it seems that he is saying I should only lose 3l to the grain and boil, I didn't really know what to expect on that front as it's my first brew. Would you normally expect to lose a lot more than that?

On the very next page there's an english IPA which apparently also makes 23 litres but with 13.9l for the mash and 27l for the boil. I must admit, this confused me a lot!
 

the baron

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Hi Eddie You will have to adapt slightly the recipes to suit your Machine but as a starter I would brew that with the figures I have suggested so use 19Ltr to mash then sparge to get 28Ltrs for the boil this will be around the 12 Ltr mark of sparge water approx then when you boil for a hour you should lose about 31/2 litres to the boil off and about 1 Ltr to trub giving you around the figure you require for the FV.
Boil off is approx 3 to 4 Ltrs for 60 mins 1 Ltr loss to trub( what is at the bottom of the boil vessel) and 3 to 4 Ltrs to the grain loss so you should need about 32Ltrs in total including the sparge water.
The reason the figures are different are that you are using a different system to what Greg was using but if you go with my figures you will not be far off and you can then adjust and fine tune over your next few brews also different grain bills will need slight adjustment as the bigger the grain bill the more loss to grain but I am sure you will soon be able to judge this after a few brews.
Good luck am sure you will enjoy finding your way around using the Brewmonk if not just ask again as I am not the only person on this forum using this type of system. If you use a brewing app you will need to add the figures/losses in to create a profile for the Brewmonk but I am sure somebody will have one to suit the App you will use so again just post a request for the profile.
Ps the recipes in some books do have misprints and anomalies so use a brewing App and put the figures in to it and by the way you can then adjust any recipe to suit your tastes and IBU's etc
 

Al_SBH

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Really helpful info, thanks everyone. I have only done 1 brew so far on my 30L Brew Monk and also getting to grips with it.
Many thanks!
 

Braufather

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not sure how brew monk, works but with the braumeister all in one system you put 23 litres in for mash, then top up (or sparge) before boil, normally about another 4 to 5 litres, ive done loads of recipes from that book this way to good effect.
 

devexwarrior

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interesting reading, I have a load of overtime coming from policing the G7 conference (I even got a long distance glimpse of Boris) and SWMBO allows me to spend OT (and compensation for being assaulted - sadly another lot came earlier this year but that is the nature of the job) on myself and I'm looking at an all in one system. One question based on what has been said above. If you have filled your tank up tot he bottom of the mash tun then added the mashing volume, what happens to the water in the bottom when you circulate. Wouldn't that mean you have too much mashing water, or does it save that for the sparge? It's all a bit confusing. I now have TWO books of all grain recipes from the offspring nd another one in the post so I will have to make the leap soon.
 

the baron

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Hi you just put in your mash volume which becomes part of the water in the deadspace this is then recirculated with the pump so do not add deadspace volume onto your mash volume as it is part of it.
Hope that helps
 

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