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Old 04-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #1
ayupbrewing
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Default Help with 1st all grain process - fly sparging

Hi, this is my suggested process, sound OK? Some questions after step-by-step. Sorry for all the questions, first time and didnt see these directly addressed in all the research I have done so far....

Thanks for any help

Ayup!

No mash out all grain fly sparge method in a cooler MLT – 5G

1) Heat strike water to X°F above suggested strike temp in HLT
2) Pipe over to MLT and let sit to preheat MLT (converted cooler, no built in heater)
3) When cooled to strike temp add grains slowly with stirring
4) Close lid and mash for 60mins
5) Whilst mashing heat 1-2G in excess of suggested sparge water volume to sparge temp in HLT
6) When mash is completed, vorlauf until runnings are clear and grain bed settled (~1G) adding runnings back to mash being careful not to disturb grain bed.
7) Start collecting wort slowly from MLT into bottling bucket (using BK as HLT)
8) When level of water in MLT is 1-2” above grain bed start adding sparge water from HLT such that in flow rate = out flow rate.
9) Continue until either achieve boil volume (6G) or runnings hit 1.010 gravity)
10) Top off to boil volume if necessary
11) Add to BK
12) Continue as normal…..

Questions/Comments

I am using a “no mash out” process since for my 5G recipe, using a qt/lb ratio of 1.3 – the mid point between recommended 1.25-1.35, Beer Smith said I would only have ~1G of sparge water available after mashing out, which didn’t seem worth bothering with, and I am not able to direct fire the MLT as it is a cooler with no built in heating element.

Can the sparge water temp be increased to do a kind of “in-situ” mash out? if so by how much? Should lid be closed during sparge?

After vorlaufing I feel as though I will have the urge to collect the whole first runnings out of curiosity to see what the absorption/deadspace actually was and then calculate the required amount of sparge water? If I was to do this, and lets say I need 4G of sparge water would I first add enough back to the MLT to bring volume back up to 1-2” above grain bed (mix/don’t mix?) and then begin sparge? I feel I should, but won’t I be back to probably only having about 1G of actual sparge water left? This seems like a kind of hybrid sparge method. Is the expectation that I should do this once and calculate for next time I brew this recipe/grain bill in this system?

Lets say I don’t collect the runnings and plan to heat an excess of sparge water, are there any efficiency/flavor benefits to having just the right amount of sparge water such that by the time the grain bed is dried out you have just the right volume/gravity?

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Old 04-17-2013, 07:26 PM   #2
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If you're fly sparging, I would suggest a mash out. Otherwise, the mash sits at mash temps for another hour, and probably will drop temperature over the sparging. If you're not mashing out, I'd suggest doing batch sparging.

If you want to collect the first runnings anyway, why not do that, and then just batch sparge this time?

Generally, when you fly sparge, you don't drain the MLT. You just stop filling/draining when you hit your boil vollume.

Fly sparging (continous sparging) works by the principle of diffusion. By draining it, you mess up that principle, although I believe that there are people who do drain the MLT.

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Old 04-17-2013, 08:26 PM   #3
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Thanks Yooper, more options to consider - or reconsider... Im glad you responded as I respect your opinions

Im not hell bent on nailing my sparge water volumes (its no big deal to heat up an excess) AND if its best/normal practice to NOT drain the MLT then I wont.

So, I will fly sparge. But i'm still concerned about mashing out and only fly sparging with ~1G. More questions....

1) I assume if I mash out, the mash out water is added before draining MLT, right? So this becomes my first running

2) Will the remaining ~1G be enough to fly sparge with and obtain good efficiency?

3) Whats the concern with mash sitting at mash temp for another hour? It will anyway whether I mash out or not right? If I understand correctly all mashing out does is decrease viscosity to allow to drain more readily (I dont believe normal mash out temps deactivate enzymes as they are too low, IMO).

4) Regarding temp dropping during sparge, what are the normal precautions against this? I was relying on a closed cooler lid (once appropriate flow rates have been achieved) during sparging to reduce heat loss (im planning on my MLT having a rubber bung on one side which sparge tube goes through connecting to sparge arm).

Thanks
Ayup!

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Old 04-17-2013, 11:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayupbrewing View Post
Thanks Yooper, more options to consider - or reconsider... Im glad you responded as I respect your opinions

Im not hell bent on nailing my sparge water volumes (its no big deal to heat up an excess) AND if its best/normal practice to NOT drain the MLT then I wont.

So, I will fly sparge. But i'm still concerned about mashing out and only fly sparging with ~1G. More questions....

1) I assume if I mash out, the mash out water is added before draining MLT, right? So this becomes my first running

2) Will the remaining ~1G be enough to fly sparge with and obtain good efficiency?

3) Whats the concern with mash sitting at mash temp for another hour? It will anyway whether I mash out or not right? If I understand correctly all mashing out does is decrease viscosity to allow to drain more readily (I dont believe normal mash out temps deactivate enzymes as they are too low, IMO).

4) Regarding temp dropping during sparge, what are the normal precautions against this? I was relying on a closed cooler lid (once appropriate flow rates have been achieved) during sparging to reduce heat loss (im planning on my MLT having a rubber bung on one side which sparge tube goes through connecting to sparge arm).

Thanks
Ayup!
First, consider your volume. What is the size of the grain bill? You mentioned only 1 gallon of sparge water, which is too little, so I assume it's a small grainbill. But if you tell us the size of the grainbill, I can type up, step by step, what I would do in that situation to fly sparge the batch.

But I'll quickly answer your questions:
1. Well, not first runnings as it goes in the MLT with the mash but comes out during the sparge. When you fly sparge, you don't have "first runnings" and "second runnings".
2. Probably not. But it depends on the grainbill size and the volume you're shooting for.
3. Holding the mash for another hour at mash temps (or lower) will allow the enzymes to keep working on the mash, so you'd have a thinner, drier beer in the end with a low FG. Mashing out denatures the enzymes, to "lock in" your mash profile.
4. Mashing out, and then sparging with 170-172 degree water will hold it at 168.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:42 AM   #5
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Thanks!

1) Makes sense
2) That's what I'm thinking, 12.6lb and 6G pre boil vol, for 5G in ferm after boil off and contraction.
3) Sounds good in principle, any evidence for this...? I thought enzymes didn't denature until well over typical mash out temps?
4) Ok so nothing special. But just to confirm, mashing out does not help maintain temps in anyway? just something you said in previous note sounded like that's what you were saying.

Grain bill, see 2) above.

Beer Smith says; from memory.....

1) Mash in with ~16.5 qt water (qt/lb = 1.3) 168*F
2) Mash out with ~8qt water 204*F
3) Sparge with ~5.5qt water. 174*F-ish

Total ~30qt = 7.5

Minus ~1.5G absorption

6G pre boil

Minus 0.8 G evap and 0.2G contraction

5G in fermentor

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Old 04-18-2013, 03:42 AM   #6
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A scotch wee heavy.....

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Old 04-18-2013, 03:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayupbrewing View Post
Thanks!

1) Makes sense
2) That's what I'm thinking, 12.6lb and 6G pre boil vol, for 5G in ferm after boil off and contraction.
3) Sounds good in principle, any evidence for this...? I thought enzymes didn't denature until well over typical mash out temps?
4) Ok so nothing special. But just to confirm, mashing out does not help maintain temps in anyway? just something you said in previous note sounded like that's what you were saying.

Grain bill, see 2) above.

Beer Smith says; from memory.....

1) Mash in with ~16.5 qt water (qt/lb = 1.3) 168*F
2) Mash out with ~8qt water 204*F
3) Sparge with ~5.5qt water. 174*F-ish

Total ~30qt = 7.5

Minus ~1.5G absorption

6G pre boil

Minus 0.8 G evap and 0.2G contraction

5G in fermentor
The enzymes will denature at 168 degrees, after about 10 minutes. If you don't mash out, and fly sparge, then the enzymes will continue to work on the mash and change your profile causing a thinner, drier beer in the end with a lower FG.

If you don't want to mash out, why not just batch sparge? That way you could get your first runnings onto boil right away and it's a non-issue.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:27 PM   #8
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There isn't just one enzyme that you need to worry about and the different enzymes denature at different temperature and over time too. What you are trying to accomplish is the denaturing of the beta amylase (I think that is the right one) because it will continue to break down the longer chain sugars to shorter, more easily fermented sugars. Beta amylase is active over a range of temperatures but it does deactivate at mashout temperatures if kept at that temp long enough. That's why you mashout and keep the mash temperature near the 170 for the 10 minutes or longer.

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Old 04-18-2013, 06:24 PM   #9
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Thanks both. I understand the result of not mashing out but just wondered if it was another homebrewing myth, I figured not, since its a well established technique but had not read any info as yet about the beta-amylase specifically being the target enzyme, thanks RM-MN.

I like the concept of fly sparging its relatively hands off. Once you have the in/out flow rates equal you can just let it rip.....of course it might take all my sparge volume to get to that point but hey-ho i'll give it a go!

I will do a mash out. One last question...THANKS!

So, whats the order of event?

Mash completes
Add mashout hot water
Stir??
Wait 10mins
Vorlauf
Drain to 1-2" above grain
Start sparging with "warm" water until boil volume achieved or gravity of runnings = 1.010.

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Old 04-18-2013, 08:23 PM   #10
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No reason to wait after stirring the mash out in. Vorlauf and flow the sparge.

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