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Author Topic: Mash and Sparge Question  (Read 1980 times)

Offline Jake

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Mash and Sparge Question
« on: June 19, 2011, 08:34:39 PM »
Alright so I have a couple questions that I'm caught up on before I begin my first AG batch. I'm working off of Kyles recipe for the Summer Ale FYI.
When I'm doing the mash, how much water for this vs the sparge? If I'm doing a 5 gallon batch, how much water to start with? Is there an easy calculation or rule of thumb to follow? Will each recipe be different? I was looking at other recipes online and a guy was using 3 gallons for the mash and 4 for the sparge

Is there an easy-to-use program that anyone would recommend? I believe kyle told me start with 7 gallons of water for this batch, but what if I'm doing other recipes ...
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Offline Ian Grant

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Re: Mash and Sparge Question
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 08:52:33 PM »
3 gallons is good for your mash.  After your first running measure the amount of sparge water you think your gonna need.   So from this you should have 2 gallons from the first runnings 4 for sparge and that should give you 6 gal pre boil.   If you have more or less on your first runnings adjust your sparge.   To be honest I wouldn't be too worried on hitting all your numbers for your first batch.  My first batch i pretty much winged it over shot my mash temp and never checked any gravities..  I thought it tasted fine.   Each batch you do your gonna dial it in more and more.  Don't sweat the small stuff and enjoy brewing.

Offline Thomas

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Re: Mash and Sparge Question
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 09:41:36 PM »
Here is a link to a free and useful program:


You can build a recipe and calculate the amount of strike and sparge water, and the necessary temperatures.
When mashing, you want to target a specific grain weight : water volume ratio to maximize enzymatic activity, and therefor grain conversion (sugar extraction from grains). A good ration (that I always use) is 1.25 qt : lb grain, however depending on your setup, or the recipe, this can range from 1qt : lb to 3 qt : lb grain.
The volume of water used for the sparge is determined by the ration of strike water you use, and the amount of grain. Since grain will typically (although not always) soak up about 0.125 gallons water per lb grain, you wil then calculate how much water to sparge with based on your target boil volume.

Ex: 10 lb grain
 @ 1.25 qt:lb = 12.5 qt strike water
 Assuming 0.125 gal/lb absorption = 6.25 qt wort available (1st runnings)
 To bring the initial volume to 6 gallons pre boil you will want to add 17.75 quarts of sparge water. (good website to calculate sparge water temp: http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml)

This is likely lots of stuff you guys already know. My advice would be to keep careful notes of volumes and temperatures of all the water you use, this will allow you to calibrate your own setup and give better, and more consisten results. BeerTools is the program I use, and for $28 it is worth every penny. It can mke brewday go  lot smoother sometimes.