Mashing a 3 gallon batch.

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Mashing a 3 gallon batch.

Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:58 pm

So, I was about to start brewing an Imperial Stout recipe I concocted today, but then I started getting confused about mash water.

I've never done anything but 5 gallon batches, but this is my first all-grain imperial and I don't have a big enough brew pot to do the full 5.

So, I'm assuming that my mash water has to stay the same? I'm using 1.4qts/lb. of grain. My recipe has 11.5lbs of grain. So that leaves me with 16qts for my mash. I'm fine up to this point...

Where I get lost is when it comes time to sparge and boil. If I was making this a 5 gallon batch, I would probably sparge with around 6 gallons of water. But since I'm only doing a 3 gallon batch, should I cut that down to 4 gallons for my sparge?

Or should I use the 6 gallons still and boil until it's down to 3 gallons?
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3 gallon sparge

Postby slothrob » Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:33 pm

When I make a 3 gallon batch, I halve the volume then add the boil-off, just like your 4 gallon calculation. The first couple time I did this I had more boil-off than usual because the smaller volume boiled more vigorously than usual, until I learned that I just needed to turn the heat down a little for small volume batches to keep the boil vigor the same. So, you might want to collect a little extra volume, then if you don't evaporate more than usual you can just boil a little longer.

Also, a lot of people collect more volume and boil longer for Imperial beers to improve their efficiency, which can be lower than usual for big grain bills.

Good luck!
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Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:36 pm

You're right, my efficiency was a little off.

At 3 gallons, I should have hit around 1.090 for my OG. I ended up collecting 5 gallons after the sparge, boiled it for about 2 hours total and still ended up with a little under 4 gallons total. My gravity reading on that was 1.070, so I suppose it was right on target for 4 gallons.

The other thing I noticed was my color was a little off. It's a very dark brown. I won't know for sure until it's in a glass, but Beertools is estimating it's at around 26.5SRM which is a little low.
Primary - Belgian Dubbel, Belgian IPA
Secondary - Cherry Lambic
Bottled - Bourbon Barrel Coffee Porter, Double Chocolate Raspberry Stout, Imperial Nut Brown, Apfelwein, American Amber Ale w/Homegrown Hops, Breakfast Stout
Kegged - Bass Clone, ESB
User avatar
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Double IPA
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Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:39 am
Location: Rockford, Illinois


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