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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Batch Sparging
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:05 PM   #1
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Default Batch Sparging

I've been reading this article on Cheap 'n' Easy Batch Sparge Brewing. I'm not ready to move to all-grain yet, but I was thinking that this method could be used to turn "steeping" into "partial mash", without have to buy or build a mash tun. Here's the gist of the article.

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Batch sparging is like partigyle brewing or the English method described in Palmer’s How to Brew, but instead of a separate beer being made from each runoff, the runoffs are combined into a single batch. In batch sparging, mashing is done at the normal ratio of
anywhere from 1 to 1.3 qt./lb. After conversion, the sweet wort is recirculated as normal and the mashtun is completely drained as quickly as possible, and an addition of sparge water is added. This is stirred into the mash, allowed to rest for a few minutes,
thoroughly stirred again, and after recirculation is once more drained as quickly as the system will allow. Sometimes, multiple batches are added if necessary or an additional infusion is made before the first runoff is begun. The advantages of batch sparging are no (or reduced) worries about pH because you’re not continually diluting the buffering power of the grains, inefficient lautering systems don’t really affect the extraction rate since the sugars from the grain are in solution, a mashout is seldom necessary (though may still be
desirable) since the wort will be in the kettle more quickly and enzymes denatured by boiling, and extraction rates that range from slightly less to slightly more than fly sparging. The more inefficient your lautering system is for fly sparging, the bigger the gain in extraction you’ll see from batch sparging.
What i focused on in the above is this: "...and the mashtun is completely drained as quickly as possible". So what if you mashed your specialty grains, along with some 2-row, for 90 minutes at the proper temp, then just dumped the wort into your brewpot thru a strainer, then dumped the grains into the sparge water, let them set, then dumped that into the brewpot thru the strainer again. I realize that this is going to affect clarity, but I'm aiming for an imperial stout so that doesn't concern me too much.

With the 90 minute vs 30 minute steeping time, and the addition of some 2-row, is this turning steeping into mashing? Would one expect to get reasonable efficiency this way? Would a second sparge help?
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:41 PM   #2
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It sounds to me like you are confusing the mash and the sparge process.
They are 2 different steps that have to be separated.
I know this gets harped repeatedly in here, but read Palmer's all-grain section in How to Brew--it will clarify on what enzyme activity takes place during a mash process. Then you'll understand further why sparging is a different animal from the mash.

Bottom line is--IMHO, the "steeping" thing will make your efficiency suffer greatly. And I just don't understand partial mashing--if you are that close you might as well go the next step.

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Old 12-18-2005, 04:02 PM   #3
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Once you add any malts that contain enzymes, and you're at the right temps, you've crossed into the realm of mashing.

My main concern would be over hot side aeration from dumping the wort through the strainer.

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Old 12-18-2005, 04:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORRELSE
Bottom line is--IMHO, the "steeping" thing will make your efficiency suffer greatly. And I just don't understand partial mashing--if you are that close you might as well go the next step.
I don't want to go to the next step yet, because I'm not ready to build a mash tun. I understand the mashing part...I've got a cooler that will work fine. I just don't have time to build the fittings to sparge properly with it, plus I can't spend anymore money on that right now cuz I just got a keggle and a hop stopper and still need a chiller and a thermometer.

What I was wondering is, if I mash in the cooler I've got, but when it comes time to sparge just dump the whole thing thru a strainer, then do it again with the sparge water, isn't that essentially batch sparging, without the recirculating part? Normally I'd just steep the grains and be done with it, but I noticed in the BC recipe that the mini-mash variant says mash specialty grains with 12 oz. 2-row for 90 mins at 150...omit 2.75 lb DME for extract recipe (3 lbs of specialty grains). That's $15 of DME saved just by adding 12 oz of 2-row and steeping in my cooler for 90 mins instead of in the pot for 30...that is if "sparging" this way will work.
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LupusUmbrus
My main concern would be over hot side aeration from dumping the wort through the strainer.
Hadn't thought of that...didn't realize it was a problem before boiling.
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
I don't want to go to the next step yet, because I'm not ready to build a mash tun. I understand the mashing part...I've got a cooler that will work fine. I just don't have time to build the fittings to sparge properly with it, plus I can't spend anymore money on that right now cuz I just got a keggle and a hop stopper and still need a chiller and a thermometer.

What I was wondering is, if I mash in the cooler I've got, but when it comes time to sparge just dump the whole thing thru a strainer, then do it again with the sparge water, isn't that essentially batch sparging, without the recirculating part? Normally I'd just steep the grains and be done with it, but I noticed in the BC recipe that the mini-mash variant says mash specialty grains with 12 oz. 2-row for 90 mins at 150...omit 2.75 lb DME for extract recipe (3 lbs of specialty grains). That's $15 of DME saved just by adding 12 oz of 2-row and steeping in my cooler for 90 mins instead of in the pot for 30...that is if "sparging" this way will work.

What kind of cooler do you have? Does it have some kind of spicket on it?

What you are suggesting is essentially batch sparging, yes.

On another note--omitting 2.75 lb.s of DME for 3.75 lbs. of grain? Something is wrong with that recipe calculation. Even with 100% efficiency (Call it lucky if you'd get even 65% in a partial mash, IMHO) that isn't even 3/4 of what you'd need to make up what 2.75 lbs. of DME would give you.

You'd still save some money partial mashing I guess, but you'd have such a hard time adjusting efficiency the first couple of times. You'd miss your target gravity every time. You'd have to compensate by adding DME anyway.
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