How much water

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by brunsy70, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. brunsy70

    brunsy70 New Member

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    I am a newbie to all grain. I brewed a batch last week and I missed on just about all fronts. My gravity was way low my volume was was low. I had tons of issues with my new (to me) equipment. So here goes. I have 2 keggles
    My HLT with valve and pickup tube, MLT has a valve at the bottom and a port located near the top for infusions or wort circulation. The false bottom sits a couple inches off of the bottom so there is an approximately 2.5 gallon dead space. My big question is how do I account for this dead space if at all. I plan on recirculating my wort with a march pump and a piece of high temp tubing and circulating it throughout the mash. My question is basically how can I set up my equipment profile so that it gives me proper water amounts? How much water in my mash and then how much should I have in my HLT for fly sparge.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I believe the profile has space to enter all the "dead space" in your equipment. You should lose water/wort to the grain, the dead space in your lauter tun, the hops, the kettle, trub, evaporation, racking and the lees. In your setup, the 2.5 gallons are kettle losses - there's nothing at all you can do to regain this liquid unless you dump your wort through some kind of screen into the fermentor or remove the false bottom and rack the wort underneath. So, starting from the fermentor volume you want, add all the losses above to get your total water requirement on brew day. Once you know these losses and plug them into your equipment profile - the little gear symbol at the top right of the page - the water calculator will be nearly dead on every time. For my six-gallon batches the water requirements are always very near 10 gallons, more for a big beer with higher loss to the grain, less for smaller beers.
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    once you get your equipment losses and pot size set up in defaults there are 2 places for water, they both show the same info, one is in the brew session as a tab and the other is called quick water requirements in tools of each edited recipe, you will need to click the more button and select your equipment profile in the recipe then based on your mash thickness and profile settings the water sheets will read correct
     
  4. brunsy70

    brunsy70 New Member

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    Thanks for your replies. I wanted to post an update since I brewed on Sunday. I used at least 9 gallons of water. I mashed with about 5 gallons total. This means my 16 lbs of grain sitting above the false bottom of course with about 2.5 to 3 gallons of water. I ran the pump and recirculated the wort for most of the mash. I ended up with issues with my sparge arm and had to abandon it completely and sort of sparged through the recirculating port. I ended up putting about 6 gallons in the boil kettle and My gravity was pretty high 1.056 ish. I anticipated gaining points through the boil so I was able to sparge another gallon of wort that was still in the 1.020 ish. I boiled for an hour with the lid on and I was pleased with the 5.5 gallons of wort at flame out. I wasn't super pleased with my gravity of 1.045. All of my reading were taken with my refractometer.
    So here are my questions could me refractometer me giving me bogus reading? I ask because I used the recipe builder on here and according to the program my gravity should be in the 1.070's and on iBrewmaster it should be in the 1.050's
    If not how in the heck is my efficiency sooooooo low??? I am planning another brew day for Sunday and will hopefully have my sparge arm issue corrected and am planning to mash out as well. I saw a video claiming mash out can gain some gravity.
    Oh yeah I had removed my dip tube and tilted my mash tun to squeeze as much wort out as possible. I watched a couple videos on dip tubes and I am going to experiment with them again and get them back in my HLT and my MLT.
    Thanks again
    Brunsy
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    first don't boil with the lid on, DMS issues will happen, at least leave a 2 inch crack to allow steam to escape, a retractor isn't the best tool for all the readings, most people just use it for the first reading and temperature is an issue, a hydrometer is the best tool
     
  6. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

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    That's a lot of dead space. Seems like it anyway. The stainless steel screen I got with my mash/lauter tuns sits flush with the bottom (like a squashed dome) and there's very little dead space in it, maybe a pint or two. Haven't measured it yet, but it doesn't seem to be throwing any of the calculations off as of yet.

    I'm just curious, as I'm still learning, even after 20 years, what does "recirculating the wort throughout the mashing process" do? During sparging, I've just been collecting two mugfuls (1L each) of runoff for about 6 to 10 cycles and returning it to the lauter tun, then I start letting the wort drain into my boil kettle. For mashing, I just fill my tun up with the recommended volume for my grain bill and stir it in well to wet it thoroughly, then I let it sit for about an hour. I might stir it a few times because I just like to stir — can't stand it sitting there — will recirculating the entire time help extraction rates or something? Is it worth the added hassle?
     
  7. brunsy70

    brunsy70 New Member

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    I don't know what you mean by DMS? I left a gap for the steam to escape though.
    As far as recirculating I honestly am not sure. The guy I bought the equipment from explained his process with the equipment so I figured since I have the pump I might as well. I saw a brewing tv episode once and they recirculated toward the end to act as a vorlauf and clarify the wort. This has been preffty affective as I have been getting very clear wort.
     
  8. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

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    DMS is Dimethyl Sulfide, something that grains give off during boiling and it's undesirable in the final product, tastes like creamed corn. Doesn't really show up in heavier darker beers, but can be a problem in lighter beers like pale lagers where malt and hops flavors can be overwhelmed by too much DMS. I've never gotten it in any of my brews, but I've never done a really light lager.

    http://beerandbrewing.com/VJSzsisAAC0A1WG0/article/off-flavor-of-the-week-dms
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    as for recirculating, I recirculate the whole mash, drain to the boil kettle then add fresh 5.5 php water and recirculate again for as long as it takes for the temp to reach 170 then pump that water to the boil kettle to the correct amount I need to boil that batch
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty manual when it comes to recirculation: I use the mash tun and a pitcher. The key is to draw wort from under the false bottom or whatever screen you're using and put it back on top of the grain bed until the wort you're drawing out is reasonably clear. My sparge process is simple, too, heat the sparge water to 172 degrees, add it to the grain after first runnings have been drawn off, stir and let stand. Most of the time, if I'm using dark grains or crystal malts, I'll add them to the sparge. Let stand for 15 minutes, recirculate again and let the runnings into the kettle. Add water to bring the volume up to your boil volume, if necessary, and start your boil.
     

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