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-   -   Batch sparging. I'm a convert (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/batch-sparging-im-convert-191155/)

winvarin 08-16-2010 02:49 AM

Batch sparging. I'm a convert
I've been shying away from batch sparging for awhile because I have been a bit intimidated.

That being said, I did it for the first time today and I am convinced this is the way for me to go from here. I followed Denny's guidelines at http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/ and it could not have been easier. I still have a couple of kinks to work out in the process but I will call it a first time success.

I was expecting an efficiency hit from batch sparging which I may or may not have taken (I'll explain)

I usually anticipate 65% efficiency in my rig with fly sparging and usually wind up no less than 65%, sometimes 70%. I don't own a sparge arm and I mash and lauter in a 10 gal Igloo round cooler with a bazooka screen. I have always just spent a few extra pennies on grain and anticipated 65%. Sometimes I would squeeze a few extra points out of my mash and be happy.

So I was pretty timid about jumping to batch sparging because I'd always heard that you could anticipate a small drop in efficiency with it.

This time however, in addition to batch sparging, I'd spent a few days in the Brew Science forum getting a crash course in water chemistry from "ajdelange". I hit my mash temp dead on the nose today and with AJ's water chem tips, I was sitting around 5.1 mash pH with the alkalinity in my water MUCH reduced.

So I may have taken the efficiency hit and just been fortunate to have had some good water adjustments on my side. Or I could have wound up with good water chem and the batch sparge left me no worse off than I usually am in terms of efficiency.

Either way, batch sparging went alot quicker. It was nice to see that I didn't wind up with a load of grain chunks in my wort (my second biggest fear). I'm sold and will make it part of my brew day process going forward. The wife was also pleased that I was done brewing a little faster and on to family time.

p.s. - I went for the trifecta of new processes today. First the batch sparging. Then the water chemistry. I also made my first big yeast starter. 1.3l for a 1.052 beer. It fell in line with the calculater at Mr. Malty. It's been 2 hrs since I pitched and I am hoping to see som bubbling any minute :)

Suthrncomfrt1884 08-16-2010 05:52 AM

Using an igloo cooler, batch sparging is actually a better way to go. It all really depends on your system. When I was using a cooler, I batch sparged and consistantly saw 75%+ efficiency. I still batch sparge on my single tier and hit 80% now.

nootay 08-16-2010 02:27 PM

im about 8 brews in to all grain. i double batch sparge and get 80-85% every time. I tried a single batch sparge and got about 73%. the extra rinse seems to help me out a good bit. what was your efficiency with yoru first batch sparge?

nootay 08-16-2010 02:28 PM

forgot to mention - i use a 10gal round cooler with steel braid

RebelHouse32 08-16-2010 04:00 PM

Double batch sparge is the way to go. I consistently get 75-85% efficiency with my double batch sparge and the beer comes out great.

cactusgarrett 08-16-2010 05:26 PM

I find a double batch sparge is easier & quicker than a fly anyway. Welcome to the club!

winvarin 08-16-2010 07:25 PM

I did double-batch, I think. Actually, I tried for 2 but had to do a small amount of extra water and do a third sparge to get my pre-boil volume. I mashed for 60 min. Added about a half gallon of boiling water, stirred, recirculated until clear and then took my first running. I then added half of my anticipated sparge amount, stirred, waited a few min, then recirculated and drained.

I repeated this and collected again. I found I was about a half gallon short of where I wanted to be, so I added another gallon of sparge water and repeated the process a third time, stopping at my anticipated pre-boil volume.

My efficiency numbers are a bit hard to nail down on this one. I had a minor boil over and lost a little wort (that will teach me to watch football and brew at the same time). I also boiled a little more vigorously than I anticipated and wound up about a half gallon shy of what I had calculated for. When I topped off with 1/2 gallon of water and mixed it in with the wort, I hit the gravity I had anticipated at an assumption of 65% efficiency.

I'd be willing (even happy) to believe that I actually achieved higher efficiency than expected but that between my boil overs, my top offs, etc., I just lost the data needed to effectively calculate.

RebelHouse32 08-16-2010 09:22 PM

win- I personally wouldn't top off with 1/2 gallon of water after your boil even if you missed your intended wort level. This will only diminish your OG and give less flavor to your beer. When I have missed my intended wort amount after boil I just leave it as is. Its never below 4.5 gal for a 5 gal batch either way. That's about 5-7 beers extra anyway and I wouldn't jeopardise my finished product for such little return. Anyway just my two cents. Welcome to double batch (and sometimes triple batch) sparging.

Malticulous 08-16-2010 11:47 PM

With a braid you should batch sparge, with a false bottom you could fly sparge (but you should batch sparge.) At a homebrew level there is little to be gained fly sparging. To fly spage you need a very good launtering system (manifold/false bottom.) A braid/bazooka is not a very good launter device. You also need a good sparge diffuser to fly sparge. Channeling is a big problem that batch spaging totally eliminates.

cactusgarrett 08-17-2010 12:15 PM

Alright. I'm outta this thread before it turns ugly (and it will). ;)

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