How much sparge water

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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How much sparge water

Post by sholbert » Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:42 pm

I am finally ready to begin partial mashing. I have the mash/lauter tun and everything else I need, the problem is that I really don't have the space (I have a small apartment) or $ right now to get the larger brew kettle and propane cooker, etc. that I need for all grain.

I'm trying to decide how much grain vs. extract I can use. I use a 22qt. kettle, so I could safely boil about 4G. My real question is, how much sparge water is enough to be effective? Everything I read says to use enough to yield 6G for all-grain, but do I really need all that to extract the sugars? Thanks in advance for any help.

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Partial Mashing

Post by BillyBock » Tue Mar 29, 2005 6:19 am

Ideally you want to achieve a full-volume boil which leads to a lighter colored beer. More sparge water rinses out more sugar. However, it can also be overdone leading to astringency in the beer. But..if you don't have the space, you don't have it. So it's perfectly fine to do a reduced volume boil and top it off with water--I did this alot when I started.

For simplicity, have an equal amount of sparge water available as you used for the mash. So if you had 10 lb of grain and use 1.25 qts/lb, you'll use 12.5 qts, or 3.1 gals, of water. The grain will absorb 1.2 gal of water, so without sparging you'll get 1.9 gal out. Heat another 3 gals of sparge water (always handy to have a little more) and sparge with this. In this case, you'll only need 2.1 gals to get you to your 4 gals in the brewpot. After an hour boil, this your volume will be down to 3 to 3.5 gals. You'll therefore want to top it off with 1.5 to 2 gals of water.

Another possibility would be to do smaller batches (3 gal?), and then you'd be able to do a full volume boil without any problems with your given setup.

Incidentally, on the question of determining how much grain vs. big is your mash/lauter tun? There're other fators to consider, but that's a big one there. You might be able to get the majority of your fermentables from grain and use the extract as a supplement. But really...everything comes down to what you're comfortable with and what you're trying to achieve.

Hope this helps.


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Partial Mashing

Post by Dutchbrew » Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:56 am

great info billybock. I want to move to partial mash but didnt know how much max grain i could use for my size boil. This really helped, thanks.

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