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Old 04-13-2011, 02:25 AM   #1
ryandlf
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Default 2 Vessel Brew System

I am thinking about stepping up from my turkey fryer/cooler MLT AG system to a 2 vessel brewing system and wanted some opinions from the experts on whether or not my process will work. My main concern is the way I plan on sparging. My understanding is that this is basically the brutus 20 system. I don't want to be limited in what I can and cannot brew. Any comments will be appreciated before I pull the trigger on the equipment to set this up. The process will be (I will use an example 5 gallon batch):

1) Heat 4 gallons water to 165 in MLT.
2) Add grain, stir, and mash for 60 minutes at 152.
3) Calculate grain absorption (lets say its 1.5 gallons in this case) and start heating 3.5 gallons sparge water to 170 in HLT.
4) When mash is finished add sparge water to MLT on top of mash.
5) Recirculate to set the grain bed.
6) Drain MLT to HLT for a collection of 6 gallons total wort.
7) Boil etc etc!

So is it possible to add my sparge water to the mash tun before I collect any wort at all and then simply collect it all at once?

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Old 04-13-2011, 02:52 AM   #2
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You should search no sparge brewing. It sounds like you are trying to do no sparge with a mashout step. You can do it, but your efficiency will probably be lower than if you sparged the grains in some manner.

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:24 AM   #3
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I guess the way I see it I would technically still be batch sparging because I wouldn't be starting out with the total volume. Wouldn't the mash be completed by the time I added the second batch of hot water? Does it really matter if I don't drain the original mash liquid prior to adding the sparge water?

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:16 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice about looking into no sparge brewing. That's exactly what i'm looking to achieve here. It looks like efficiency will take a hit, but no big deal when compared to the cost savings plus the storage space i'll gain by having to store one less kettle, a much smaller stand etc.

Should I still mash will my standard amount of strike water (say 4 gallons if I was continuing to use the example in my first post) and then add my addition sparge water after the mash has completed? Or should I just add the entire 8 gallons at once, mash for an hour and then drain? Any no sparge brewers out there?

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:20 PM   #5
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And I also see differing instructions regarding recirculating during the mash. Will recirculating the water through the mash tun and into the boil kettle back and forth during the mash disturb the grain bed and otherwise cause a problem with the mash? I guess I was always under the impression that the mash needed to be stewing undisturbed for the extraction to occur. Maybe i'm wrong.

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:41 PM   #6
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If you mash with the full volume (very thin mash) and recirculate the whole time you should actually achieve very good efficiency. I'm coming in at 78% consistently mashing with my total volume of water and not recirculating.

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:55 PM   #7
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So just to clarify and help myself understand this process. I'll continue to use the 5 gallon batch mentioned in the first post as an example. I bring 7.5 gallons of water to mashing temp of about 152 (for example) in the mash tun, add the grain, stir, and immediately drain the mash tun into the boil kettle while I pump the liquid back into the mash tun at the same time. From here I should be able to sample and test the wort and the mashing process is complete once I achieve my target OG. When complete I will simply turn the recirculating pump off and allow the wort to drain into the kettle at which point I will begin the standard boil.

So there will be no need to vorlauf since the bed should already be settled due to the constant recirculating?

Will I still be able to produce wort with an OG above 1.050? I have read in a couple places that the Brutus 20 method can't make "bigger" beers.

Using this method should I still raise the temperature of the wort to around 165 - 170 when I plan on collecting the running like I would sparge water?

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Old 04-13-2011, 01:11 PM   #8
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Here is what I would do. Bring your 7.5gal of water to Strike Temp, not Mash Temp then add your grain. Stir to break up any doughballs then begin the recirc and maintain your Mash Temp. When your mash is complete raise to Mashout Temps while recirculating, then pump to the BK. If your calculations were correct you should have the proper boil volume in your kettle and a proper Pre-Boil Gravity.

No need to vorlauf, you've been doing that the entire time.

Depends on the size of your mash tun and your BK, take a look at THIS thread to see how big your mash tun should be for certain batch sizes/OG's etc... ...if you are making a bigger beer you always have options if it is beyond the limits of your system. You can make a smaller batch, it takes me forever to drink 5gals of a big Barleywine. You can also add DME to make up your gravity.

Yes, raise to mashout temps while recirculating, it helps with sugar extraction.

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Old 04-13-2011, 01:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice! So there is absolutely no issue with the liquid in the mash tun constantly moving and the grain never having a chance to sit and stew? Will the mash still take about 60 minutes as usual, or should I be testing periodically and determine when its finished based on OG alone?

I guess i'm having a hard time wrapping my head around why everyone doesn't choose this method. Two kettles, one burner, and a pump...seems so simple. Or maybe too simple

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Old 04-13-2011, 01:39 PM   #10
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You're welcome, glad I can assist. No issues with the recirc, it actually improves efficiency because you are putting the enzymes (mostly in the liquid) in contact with more of the sugars (mostly in the grain) by moving them around so much. Do a search for Mash Stirrer's and you'll see that their efficiency jumps a bit as well. Mash for whatever the recipe calls for, even when starch conversion is finished (iodine test) you are still extracting sugars from the grain.

To each their own, I currently use the BIAB method and use only one vessel. I am also in the "parts gathering" phase of my own build that is a single vessel system (well really a vessel inside of a vessel) based on the Speidel Braumeister's concept. One kettle, one mash tube, one pump, one electric element... ...no sparging, no propane, no uneeded equipment and hopefully no troubles!

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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