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I have a recipe for a 1-gallon, all-grain rye ale that calls to:

1. Mash in with 1 gallon of water (1.3qts/lb)
2. Rest 152F for 60 minutes
3. Sparge with 1.5 gal water at 167F
4. Collect 2 gal wort and bring to boil
5. ... and so on ...

Why does it say to collect only 2 gallons of the wort? Why would I dispose of some wort? Also, 1 gallon seems to much, given that I have 2.8 lbs of grain ...

  • Only author knows why, but for me it simply does not make sense. Where did you get this from? and what style it is supposed to be? – Mołot Jan 29 '17 at 0:00
  • It's from a local brew shop (closed today!), and is for a rye – tim.farkas Jan 29 '17 at 15:07
  • I've always read "collect 2 gallons of wort" as in "you'll roughly get 2 gallons" or "you can stop lautering when you have collected 2 gallons". – Robert Jan 29 '17 at 16:58
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2.8 lbs of milled grain will absorb approximately .34 gallons of water, so if the authors mash tun has .16 gallons of deadspace that would explain 2.5 gallons total water going into the mash tun, and 2 gallons of wort coming out.

However, there is still a confusing detail. Your recipe lists the mash thickness as 1.3 quarts per pound. The problem with that is 1.0 gallons (4 quarts) into 2.8 lbs of grain is 1.43 quarts per pound. To get 1.3 quarts per pound as stated then either you need 3.08 lbs of grain and 1 gallon of water, or with 2.8 lbs of grain it requires only .91 gallons of water. You are right to be confused!

I can't answer why the recipe seems to contradict itself, but I will say don't throw away wort. You should collect all the wort until you have completed sparging, and you'll probably collect somewhere between 2 and 2.25 gallons using the volumes in your recipe on a typical system. Technically, since the recipe doesn't use significant figures, e.g.) "2 gallons" could be anything from 1.5 to 2.49 approximated, so thats right in the ballpark. I'm sure you'll end up with a great beer!

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