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Strike volume

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by GeeL, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. GeeL

    GeeL Aficionado (185) Massachusetts Aug 27, 2008

    Hi. I always do a variety of calculations on brew day. A buddy told me that for a batch ending with 6 gal after the boil (8 pre-boil) and up to 14# of grain, he always strikes 4 gallons. He figures absorption at about .3gal/# and goes from there.

    Do any of you get really specific or just strike a set amount.

    I'm guessing I'm making it a little more complicated than it needs to be.
  2. I usually estimate about 1 quart per pound of absorption, but I imagine it would depend on the grain, the grind, your brewhouse setup, etc. I usually strike to get close to my collection volume (26 quarts) and add a little extra if necessary.

    This is a little easier for me because my brew kettle is graduated, so I know how much wort I've got in there. Do you have the same, or are you relying on your strike volume to know whether you've hit 8 gallons collected?
  3. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (435) New York Dec 20, 2006

    Striking with a constant amount of water regardless of how much grain you're using seems like a lazy way of doing things to me. Personally I generally strike with 1.25-1.33 qts of water per lb of grain, and on my system lose about a pint per lb to absorption. Losing a qt per lb to absorption sounds like a lot, if you're brewing with 12 lbs of grain that would mean losing 3 gallons of water, and I don't really see how that's possible unless you have a ton of dead space in your mash tun.
  4. Adding the strike water that way would seem to me to also make it much more difficult to attain a consistent mash temperature...

    Mind you if you are used to it, you're used to it.
  5. chiefydawg

    chiefydawg Aficionado (225) Ohio Dec 22, 2007

    Most brewing calcutator sites or software are fairly consistent. Enter your water-grain ration, grain temp, wort volume, mash temp etc, and you will get what you want.
    That said...
    After enough batches I have learned to wing it. Keeping in mind that withing reason, your water-to-grain ratio is quite flexible, I'll dump in ~4-5 gallons (using educated guesses based on the situation) of 165f-170f water, measure temp quickly, and adjust with cold or hot water accordingly. No worries.

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