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Calculating Sparge Water Volume
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    I am wondering how everyone is going about calculating their sparge volume. Only ever done BIAB and realized that I have never done a "real" sparge. Once I have built my MLT I will need to start knowing what the hell I am doing.

    I read somewhere that general technique is 2.0 qts of water per pound of grain. Should I just use the difference between my first runnings and the volume needed to get to a desired pre-boil volume?
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,872
    (Preboil volume - first runnings) /2
    But I would go single sparge if the MLT was big enough.
    Last time I "fly sparged" with hot tap water. If conversion is done then sparge temp shouldn't matter right? Anyway, that was off topic and weird.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    My keggle boils off 1.5 gallons per hour, so I would need 7 gallons pre boil to hit my target 5.5 gallons in the fermenter, I use .1 gallon of water absorption per pound of grain in the mash

    So for a grain bill of say 10 pounds, I absorb 1 gallon in the grain so in order to hit my numbers I need 8 gallons of water because one is lost to absorption.

    I usually mash at 1.3:1 qts/lb so for my 10 lbs of grain I'm doughing in with 3.25 gallons, that leaves 4.75 gallons of water left for the sparge, I usually split my sparge into two seperate batch sparges so I would be doing two sparges with ideally 2 3/8 gallons, I realistically would do a 2 1/2 gal sparge, and the second one with the remaining water.

    I have also brought the volume lost to absorption to a boil (in the above case a gallon) and added it in as my mash out volume, then I would be sparging with only 3.75 gallons for sparging and with that volume I would likely just do a single sparge.

    If I'm doing a 1.5:1 mash obviously the numbers change, but my thought process is always following my above blueprint.
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    C_B said:

    (Preboil volume - first runnings) /2
    But I would go single sparge if the MLT was big enough.
    Last time I "fly sparged" with hot tap water. If conversion is done then sparge temp shouldn't matter right? Anyway, that was off topic and weird.



    azscoob said:

    My keggle boils off 1.5 gallons per hour, so I would need 7 gallons pre boil to hit my target 5.5 gallons in the fermenter, I use .1 gallon of water absorption per pound of grain in the mash

    So for a grain bill of say 10 pounds, I absorb 1 gallon in the grain so in order to hit my numbers I need 8 gallons of water because one is lost to absorption.

    I usually mash at 1.3:1 qts/lb so for my 10 lbs of grain I'm doughing in with 3.25 gallons, that leaves 4.75 gallons of water left for the sparge, I usually split my sparge into two seperate batch sparges so I would be doing two sparges with ideally 2 3/8 gallons, I realistically would do a 2 1/2 gal sparge, and the second one with the remaining water.

    I have also brought the volume lost to absorption to a boil (in the above case a gallon) and added it in as my mash out volume, then I would be sparging with only 3.75 gallons for sparging and with that volume I would likely just do a single sparge.

    If I'm doing a 1.5:1 mash obviously the numbers change, but my thought process is always following my above blueprint.




    Awesome, this is what I was looking for. Thanks to both of you. I appreciate the info. I can't wait to get this started.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670
    Pretty much what Scoob said...
    I typically mash at between 1.25 and 1.3 quarts per pound of grain...
    figure 0.12 gallons per pound in grain absorbtion...
    I run around 15% boil off losses...
    then back into sparge volume and divide by two... to get a post boil volume of 5.5 gallons.
    for me sparge volumes run between 2 and 2.5 gallons each (I always sparge twice)

    I got real tired of doing this by hand... so I wrote up a simple spreadsheet to do the math for me...
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    ceannt said:

    Pretty much what Scoob said...
    I typically mash at between 1.25 and 1.3 quarts per pound of grain...
    figure 0.12 gallons per pound in grain absorbtion...
    I run around 15% boil off losses...
    then back into sparge volume and divide by two... to get a post boil volume of 5.5 gallons.
    for me sparge volumes run between 2 and 2.5 gallons each (I always sparge twice)

    I got real tired of doing this by hand... so I wrote up a simple spreadsheet to do the math for me...



    I think I am getting about 19% boil off. I was thinking of shooting for a 1.5 qt/lb ratio to start, but it seems like most here are going with a thicker mash. Maybe I'll shoot for 1.3
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    I like the finished beers better when mashed thicker, and with the thicker mash it frees up more water for sparging with!

    Ceannt and I had a lengthy discussion on sparging in another thread, I believe it was a thread I started on improving efficiency.
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Beersmith tells me what to do.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    I also mash with about 1.25 q per lb. For the sparge I usually do two as I have tried as single sparge and got horrible efficiency. I have had great luck with doing two equal sparges of around 3 gal each. I have NO idea if this is wrong or right or if it even matters that much at the end of the day? But it is how I was taught and I guess I haven't changed much.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670
    Yeah ... if you batch sparge do two .... or leave a lot of fermentables behind
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    One thing I have wondered though. When I do two equal batch sprages there is always some left in the MT. Is this a problem? am I hurting efficiency? Or does it not matter?
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,966
    jlw said:

    One thing I have wondered though. When I do two equal batch sprages there is always some left in the MT. Is this a problem? am I hurting efficiency? Or does it not matter?



    how much is a little?
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417

    jlw said:

    One thing I have wondered though. When I do two equal batch sprages there is always some left in the MT. Is this a problem? am I hurting efficiency? Or does it not matter?



    how much is a little?


    I don't know. Never measured it. Maybe a gallon?
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,966
    jlw said:

    jlw said:

    One thing I have wondered though. When I do two equal batch sprages there is always some left in the MT. Is this a problem? am I hurting efficiency? Or does it not matter?



    how much is a little?


    I don't know. Never measured it. Maybe a gallon?


    that seems like a lot of wort. is that at the end of each sparge or only at the end of the last sparge?
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417

    jlw said:

    jlw said:

    One thing I have wondered though. When I do two equal batch sprages there is always some left in the MT. Is this a problem? am I hurting efficiency? Or does it not matter?



    how much is a little?


    I don't know. Never measured it. Maybe a gallon?


    that seems like a lot of wort. is that at the end of each sparge or only at the end of the last sparge?

    only after the last sparge and after I have reached pre-boil volume.
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    I am a mash tun tipper, I get most all the wort out that way
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,966
    jlw said:

    jlw said:

    jlw said:

    One thing I have wondered though. When I do two equal batch sprages there is always some left in the MT. Is this a problem? am I hurting efficiency? Or does it not matter?



    how much is a little?


    I don't know. Never measured it. Maybe a gallon?


    that seems like a lot of wort. is that at the end of each sparge or only at the end of the last sparge?

    only after the last sparge and after I have reached pre-boil volume.


    oh, that's not too bad, then. i usually have about a pint or so. if i eyeball my volumes wrong and i have a gallon left over, i'll boil that down on the stove, or my burner after the beer is done, to use for starters.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312

    jlw said:

    jlw said:

    jlw said:

    One thing I have wondered though. When I do two equal batch sprages there is always some left in the MT. Is this a problem? am I hurting efficiency? Or does it not matter?



    how much is a little?


    I don't know. Never measured it. Maybe a gallon?


    that seems like a lot of wort. is that at the end of each sparge or only at the end of the last sparge?

    only after the last sparge and after I have reached pre-boil volume.


    oh, that's not too bad, then. i usually have about a pint or so. if i eyeball my volumes wrong and i have a gallon left over, i'll boil that down on the stove, or my burner after the beer is done, to use for starters.


    Oooooooo... I like that idea!
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Maybe I'll start using less sparge water for sparge #2.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,966
    jlw said:

    Maybe I'll start using less sparge water for sparge #2.



    that would also work fine.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,872
    azscoob said:

    I am a mash tun tipper, I get most all the wort out that way



    I am the opposite... I usually finish up the sparge with hot tap water in order to overrun the sparge to get extra wort for boiling down for starters.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • BenSBenS
    Posts: 6,248
    My sparge method = 11 gal dough in liquor (10.5 gal batches), 4 gal fly sparge. Typically gives me about 13 gal after grain absorption. I stop the sparge after 12 gal pre-boil is reached. I don't lose much potential sugar because of the fly sparge.
    There's no starting point. It's just a massive sea of shit to wade through until you find the occasional corn kernel. -DrCurly
  • LothosLothos
    Posts: 2,146
    scoob said:

    I am a mash tun tipper, I get most all the wort out that way



    i got tired of tipping the tun

    i bought a pump and a dip tube and false bottom

    empty's it every time
    Ain't that a Bitch
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670
    Lothos said:

    scoob said:

    I am a mash tun tipper, I get most all the wort out that way



    i got tired of tipping the tun

    i bought a pump and a dip tube and false bottom

    empty's it every time


    Lazy lazy little man .... tun tipping is twice the fun
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • Ace_ClubAce_Club
    Posts: 1,916
    Pretty much what everybody else said, though the following were left out:

    In addition to mash ratio, absorption volume, and boil off rate, you also need to account for wort shrinkage when cooling off from boiling to pitch temperatures (typically about 4%), possible equipment loss (if you tip your MT, then you can have this as 0), and any trub loss that would be leftover in your BK after you transfer to the fermenters.

    All this added up would be the total water volume that you start with. Subtract out the volume from the initial mash, and the remaining is your sparge volume. Depending on the size of your MT, you can choose to either do one sparge or split the volume and do two.

    I've attached the spreadsheet that I put together for my all-grain brews. It worked like a charm.
    All-Grain Brew Program.xls
    76K
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    Ace_Club said:

    Pretty much what everybody else said, though the following were left out:

    In addition to mash ratio, absorption volume, and boil off rate, you also need to account for wort shrinkage when cooling off from boiling to pitch temperatures (typically about 4%), possible equipment loss (if you tip your MT, then you can have this as 0), and any trub loss that would be leftover in your BK after you transfer to the fermenters.

    All this added up would be the total water volume that you start with. Subtract out the volume from the initial mash, and the remaining is your sparge volume. Depending on the size of your MT, you can choose to either do one sparge or split the volume and do two.

    I've attached the spreadsheet that I put together for my all-grain brews. It worked like a charm.



    I tried using the little question mark in the box before, never works for me.
    Jesus didn't wear pants