(RESOLVED) Foundation Water in Equipment Settings


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Mar 12, 2013
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I mash in a converted keg with a false bottom and dip tube and currently batch sparge. The false bottom sits at the point where the curve of the bottom of the keg starts. Because of this, there is 4qt/1gal under the false bottom during the mash. This is not dead space because the dip tube allows all of this water to be extracted from the tun during vorlauf and mash runoff.

This article (http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/library/backissues/issue5.2/miller.html) from brewing tecniques, although dated, gives a decent description of my situation.

In practice, this means calculating (on my own or using the "water requirements") my strike and sparge water based on my water/grain ratio for a batch (I have read a feature is coming to adjust this batch to batch!) and then add 4qt to the strike water and subtract it from the sparge water. Therefore, my volumes in practice are always different than the listed volumes in my recipes and brew sessions.

The feature I would like to request is this: A box in the "equipment settings" tab for "foundation water". This amount would then be used along with the mash thickness and other variables to calculate the water volumes in the "water requirements" and the "mash calculator." Foundation water is different than the available choice of "launter dead space" because it is not left in the tun upon draining.

The part I am unsure about, and maybe others with more experience using a false bottom would know, is how this would affect strike temperature. In my four batches since moving to the false bottom from a braid, I have not noticed a major difference in strike temperature with the extra gallon of water. I have been calculating my strike temp based on the grain ratio only and seem to be hitting my mash temperature accurately.

While I realize that I could just increase my mash thickness to compensate, mash thickness changes based on grain bill and the foundation water is a fixed amount regardless of grain bill or batch size.

Any information or advice on this issue would be appreciated.
Re: Foundation Water in Equipment Settings

I'd like other brewers to jump in here, and I could be wrong, but I think the generally accepted approach is to count the false bottom space as part of the overall strike water and mash thickness and just proceed as normal.

Sure, it is debatable how much the water under the false bottom is interacting with the mash, but I bet it is doing something through convection currents, osmosis, or other means. In my mind it is okay, perhaps even necessary, to count the entire space towards mash thickness.

Do you recirculate the mash or plan to start doing so? I would think this is a moot point for people who recirculate the mash since all the water is being rinsed through the grains continuously during the mash.

From an effort standpoint, this would not be easy because it acts on several steps in both water requirements and mash logic (strike, sparge, overall, etc). We'd need to see that it would be of use to others as well, since it is equipment and process specific.