3.All Grain Brewing Batch Sparge

Batch sparging is the process which rinses the grains by adding two lots of water in batches.  The brew which is used on this occasion is an Irish Red Ale. The recipe was changed to assume 80% efficiency. Batch size 46 litres.


5.1 kg. Maris Otter
340g. Crystal Malt
16g. Nugget (Whole, 14.2 %AA) 60 min.
16g. Chinook (Whole, 12.7 %AA) 30 min

32g. Cascade (7.6 %AA) boiled 10 min
58 g. Cascade (7.6 %AA) boiled 0 min
Yeast : S-05
Boil volume 26lt
Fermenter 23lt

Original Gravity 1.051  Alcohol 5.1%


The first stage is to calculate how much water you will need for each stage, including the amount of water which is used in the mash.  Fortunately there is an excellent calculator available online:




Batch Sparge Calculator

Brew Length:


Enter the batch size you want to finish with, e.g. 23L.

Loss due to evaporation:


Enter the amount you expect to lose during the boil, e.g. 10%

Loss due to hops and trub:


Enter the amount you expect to lose when it is absorbed by the hops and trub, e.g. 2.5L

Total Grain Weight:


Enter the total weight of the grist, e.g. 3kg

Dead Space:


Enter the mash tun dead space, e.g. 1L

Water/Grain ratio:


Enter the Water/Grain ratio you will use for the mash in L/kg, e.g. 2.5L/kg



Total volume of water:



Total quantity of water required (useful to know when calculating salts for treatment)

Calculated wort volume:



Calculated wort volume required for the boil

Batch Volume:



Collect two equal quantities of wort from the mash.

Water required for batch #1



Total quantity of water required for batch #1.

Mash Volume:




Top up Volume:




Water required for batch #2:





The calculator is easy to use. Enter your brew size in the required box; in this case it was 23 litres. Enter the percentage loss in the required box, in my case it is 10% as we are brewing 5 gallons. Enter your estimated loss to hops and trub in the required box.  You will need to know this from your own system, mine is 2 litres.


Enter the total grain bill in the required box.  Mine came to 5.44kg.  If your brew contains sugar, please remember not to add this to the grain bill as the sugar is not mashed.


Enter your mash tun dead space in the appropriate box. To determine this is simple. Put some water into your tun.  I used around 10 litres myself. I then drained the mash tun until the water stopped running from the tap.  There was a small amount of water remaining in the mash tun.


I then poured the remaining water in the mash tun into a jug and measured it. The amount collected in the jug was 1 litres; this is the amount that I need to enter in the appropriate box for dead space. 


Enter the mash water to grain ratio in the appropriate box.  I used 2.5 litres of water for each kg of grain; therefore I entered 2.5 in the box.


Then press the calculate button and you will have your water amounts calculated for you.  Now I have this information it's time to start sparging.


Preheat the tun by rinsing it with some boiling water, a bit like wetting the teapot before making a pot of tea. Add the first batch of water- 13.5 litres to the tun. This should be at 76°C. Add the grain, this will bring the mix down to the optimum 67°C temperature. Leave mash for 1 hour.


While the mash is in progress heat the remaining water, 20.7lt (top up 6.8lt plus batch 2 13.9lt) as shown on the calculator to 80c.  After the 60 minute mash is complete, I add the 6.8 litre batch of water to the mash tun without letting any of the mash water out of the mash tun.  


The first lot of sparge water is now in the mash tun.  I give the grains and water a thorough mixing and then I place the mash tun lid back on and leave the mash for 10 minutes before running the first batch of water into the boiler. 


Before I drain the tun, I run a few jugfuls of wort out of the tun until the running are clear. I recirculate the running back into the top of the tun over some tinfoil with holes to ensure the grain bed is not disturbed.


As you can see from the photo, the wort is nice and clear.  I let all of the wort run out of the mash tun into the boiler.  Once all the wort from the first batch is transferred into the boiler, I close the mash tun tap and add the second batch of water, 13.9 litres at 80 C. I then leave it for a further 10 minutes and repeat the process which I did with the first batch of water, i.e. I filled the two jugs up with the first running’s of the wort, returned them to the mash tun before transferring the wort to the boiler.


I boil all my all grain brews for 60 minutes.  The boil is one of the easiest stages of the process; it is also one of the most important.  It is preferable to get a vigorous, rolling boil going.  This ensures that the bitterness is extracted from the hops and that the proteins in the brew settle out in a gummy, light brown substance.  This ensures a sound brew will result which has no off flavours.


It is during the boil that the hops and whirlfloc tablet are added at various stages.    


Once the boil begins, we start the clock counting down from 60 minutes. At 60minutes we add our bittering hops, in this case 16g Nugget at 60 minutes. We add our 16g Chinook at 30 minutes, our whirlfloc tablet at 15 minutes to go along with the wort chiller. We add 32g of Cascade with 10 minutes to go and 58g at zero minutes when the boiler is switched off. These give the aroma and flavour.


When the 60 minute boil time is over, I switch the boiler off. Time to cool. I add the wort chiller at 15 minutes to go to sterilise it in the boiling water. I do not switch it on until the boil is finished.


When the boil is finished I switch on the chiller and chill the beer down to the region of 20c-25c, which is a safe temperature for adding the yeast.  I let the brew splash into the fermenting bucket to allow aeration to take place, this is essential for allowing the yeast to grow when it is added to the wort. Add the yeast. 


I take a hydrometer reading at this stage to determine the gravity of the brew. 


There are no products to list in this category.