All-Grain Brewing

1. The brewstand equipment list

  • 32 gallon kettle
  • 15.5 gallon kettle
  • 10 gallon mash tun
  • 2 propane burner stands
  • sparge arm

2. Amount of Water

  • The correct amount of water is important. Not enough and your volumes will be too low, or not enough to complete sparge and incomplete extraction (low efficiency). Too much and volumes will be too high, longer boils to reduce volume.
  • Determine amount of water needed, treat it if necessary.
    • Need to know amount of grains being mashed in pounds. (G)
    • Need to know final volume of the batch. (FV)
    • Need to know length of your boil. (T)
  • Excel spreadsheet
  • Note about efficiency, typically ~75%, but varies depending on how grains were crushed, mash temp and length, sparging. Don’t be concern about getting a very high efficiency 

FV / 0.96 (reduction in volume) / (1-(0.05*T)) = volume in kettle before boil, after mash and sparge

Equipment losses in gallons (hoses, false bottoms, etc…)
The KLOB’s mash tun has a loss of 0.56 gallons.
Water retained by spent grains, typically 0.11 gallons per pound.
Add these up, that is your total volume needed, then use as follows.

Water needed for mash, mash ratio of water to grains, usually 1.25 qts per pound, can vary.
The rest for the sparge.

Example:
5.5 gallon batch
1 hour boil
9 lbs of grain

5.5 / 0.96 / (1-0.05) = 6.03 gallons
Equipment loss = 0.56
Spent grains 9 * 0.11 = 0.99 gallons
Total is 6.03 + 0.56 + 0.99 = 7.58 gallons or there abouts.

Then 2.81 gallons used for mash, the rest 4.8 gallons for sparge.
This works well for most beers, when getting into really high gravity it will not work as the mash takes up most if not all the water, then none for sparge.

3. Grain bill

  • This will vary depending on the style of beer you are brewing.
  • Grain bill is the ratio of which type of grains you are using; pale malt, vienna, roasted, caramel 40L, etc…
  • Each grain will have a percentage, to determine its weight, multiple its percentage by the total weight of the grains being used. If the grain bill is 65% of pale malt, and the total weight is 9 lbs, then 9 * 65% = 5.85 lbs of pale malt is needed.
  • Designing Great Beers has a great chapter on figuring this out.
  • Each type of grain has a gravity potential per pound (gppp), and you need to know or guess an efficiency to know how many pounds to use. The darker the roast, usually the lower the gppp.
  • Example;

If you want to brew a beer with a original gravity of 1.044, and 75% is pale malt, 15% is caramel 40L, and 10% is Vienna, here is how you calculate the weight for each grain.

Pale malt gppp is ~1.036
Caramel 40L is ~ 1.034
Vienna is ~ 1.036

Of the OG, 75% is pale, 15% is caramel 40L, 10% is vienna, and it is a 5 gallon batch. Multiply the OG by the volume, 220 GUs.

Pale = 75% * 220 = 165 GUs
C40L = 15% * 220 = 33 GUs
Vienna = 10% * 220 = 22 GUs

Pale = 165 / 36 / 0.68 = 6.74 pounds
C40L = 33 / 34 / 0.68 = 1.42 pounds
Vienna = 22 / 36 / 0.68 = 0.90 pounds

Total pounds of grain = 9.06 pounds
If efficiency is higher, less pounds needed.

4. Mashing

  • All the grains go into the mash tun, and hot water is added.
  • Mash temperatures vary a bit, but 152°F to 155°F is common.
  • Amylase is the enzyme responsible for converting the starches into sugars, it denatures at 172°F.
  • Mash for about an hour, can test for full conversion by iodine test. 

5. Sparge

  • Rinsing the spent grains with hot water, removes converted starches.
  • Typically higher temperatures then mash.
  • Can check the runoff gravity to see if you need to keep going, if gravity is 1.010 or lower, usually can stop sparging. 

6. Boil

  • All the collected runoff is poured into the boil kettle, and the boil is begun.
  • Once the boil has started, this is when you would add hops, spices, adjuncts, either during boil, end of boil, afterwards.
  • Once boil is done, the wort can either cool off, or be chilled.Using copper chillers is most common as it chills the hot wort faster, allowing for the yeast to be pitched sooner. The sooner the yeast is pitched, the sooner the fermentation starts. The longer the wort sits around without fermentation, the more likely it is to get infected.
  • Once chilled, add to your sanitized fermenter, pitch yeast and wait.
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Brewing Water Calc.xls25 KB