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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * January 12, 2004 * Batch sparge questions < Previous Next >

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Ken Durning (
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 12:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

After building denny's mash tun, I am ready to try my hand at AG brewing tommorrow, and have a few questions.

What water to grain ration should I use for a single infusion mash for a pale ale?

Accounting for a ~10% Loss to absorption and trying to collect 6 gals for boil, how hot should the water I add be to collect my first 3 gallons? (I guess what I am asking, is whether or not I should be trying to denature the enzymes with the top up water.)

Besides the evaporation rate of my boil, what other things should I be measuring that will help me with future brews?

Thanks Guys,

Dave Witt (
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 01:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I mash in a round cooler and use 1 qt/# of grain most of the time. To mash in, 170 deg water gets me to about 153. I preheat the cooler with hot tap water.

As for mashing out/first sparge water charge, you should be able to add 200 deg water and stay below 170 for a grain bed temp. Then add 170 deg water for the last sparge.

Remember, it takes a lot of hot water to raise the mash temp and a little ice or cold water to lower it. That said, its better to overshoot than undershoot. Be careful if you have to lower the temp. If you lower too far, its even harder to raise it back up.

Good Luck!

Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 01:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If your in a cool climate try 175 degrees for dough in..Also pour in 8 qts of boiling water into the cooler and let sit for 5 mins and dump out and repeat for preheat. put the grain by a heater vent or at 70 degrees overnight. I speak for brewers that brew below freezing outside.. put some water in the cooler to cover the bottom maybe 1" and then add some grain alternate grain and water until done and then stir and shut the lid...I use a temp probe that is waterproof and supposed to come calibrated. I get a 2 degree loss/and or change in an hour mash with a 5 day super cooler. Remember you can cool it easy but low is a bad blow.

Bill Pierce (
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 01:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The general rule of thumb for sparge water is 2 quarts per pound of grain. This varies somewhat with the thickness of the mash and other losses.

You can do the math; it's not rocket science. Start with the volume of strike water minus what is absorbed by the grain (a ballpark figure for absorption is one pint per pound). Add the amount of sparge water; the result is the pre-boil volume. Subtract boiling losses, any losses in a counterflow chiller and hoses, as well as what is left in the kettle. This will provide the post-boil fermenter volume. For better accuracy remember that water expands in volume about 4 percent between room temperature and boiling.

Denny Conn (
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 04:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill's ROT for sparge water volume goes out the window with batch use what you need. I usually mash with 1.25-1.3 qt./lb., or sometimes less if I'm doing a step mash. For your single infusion, go wihth the 1.25-1.3 ratio. For more info, see

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