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dudybrew 03-18-2013 03:33 PM

My mash method, is it good?
 
Hey guys... I am a bit confused as to the method Ive been using to mash...
Even though i managed to make great beers this way i want to make sure nothing is wrong with it.
I am an all grain brewers... I use a bazooka screen and am pretty fond of it.
Now after I finish my mash out what I do is to manually recirculate my wort, meaning I take the wort through the valve at the bottom, letting it run slowly, into a watering can, the pour it back at the top, so the watering can makes it fall into various little streams, so no channeling. I do this about 15-20 times to get the wort really clean and make the grain bed quite solid, wich I guess makes for good lauter. And then I run off all the wort to my boil kettle and start the sparge with the same method as the recirculation but instead with the sparge water at ~78C, and let the sparge water run until I get my preboil sg. I usually add water up to 2" above my grain bed.
So the question is... I was thought to brew this way, even though I am familiar with other methods I wanted to know if you guys see any set backs with this method.
Like production of tanins and stuff...
I know while I am recirculating the wort i lose some temperature, do you think thats a no no?

Cheers

weirdboy 03-18-2013 03:39 PM

Seems fine to me. Recirculating 15-20 times seems like quite a lot, although it doesn't hurt anything.

Varmintman 03-18-2013 03:42 PM

Sounds to me like you would benefit from going to a batch sparge since you are pretty much doing that already.

Before you dump your first running stir the crap out of the mash. I mean beat it like a red headed step child with braces then run that into your boil kettle. You can vorlaff if you like or run the outlet hose through a mesh bag. Point is you just open her up and dump it all in at once. Put your sparge water in the tum and beat the stuffing out of it again. Dump into your boil pot and start the boil.

All told for me it takes 10 minutes tops to do. Less now that I have gone no sparge :)

dudybrew 03-18-2013 04:25 PM

thanks guys...
but @varmintman do you really believe that mixing the grains again at sparge is necessary as I believe it would compromise clarity? or should I do the batch sparge and vorlauf, and repeat until I get my preboil sg?

dudybrew 03-18-2013 04:32 PM

oh... and the reason I do it 15-20 times is because it seems to get my efficiency up... I guess I get around 70-75% efficiency as before i used to do it like 5-10 times and it would not be as much.
I think I'll give batch sparge with the mixing the hell out of it method plus another vorlauf and see where it gets me... but maybe no recirculate it as many times as it is realy time consuming... maybe 5-10 just to get the new wort clear and the grain bed settled...
should be good, right?

mdgagne 03-18-2013 04:33 PM

You typically recirc between sparges when batch sparging; however, a few pints is typically enough to runoff clear wort.

dudybrew 03-18-2013 04:53 PM

cool... i'll do that then...

Varmintman 03-18-2013 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dudybrew (Post 5018408)
thanks guys...
but @varmintman do you really believe that mixing the grains again at sparge is necessary as I believe it would compromise clarity? or should I do the batch sparge and vorlauf, and repeat until I get my preboil sg?

Oh heck yes it is important. I kind of look at it like doing dishes. When you are washing the pot that you made mac and cheese in you can drop the pot in a sink of hot water but it will not get clean. Same with the sugars in your mash. All you are doing is beating the sticky sugars off the grain and diluting it into the wort.

As far as a vorlaff is concerned if you want to then do it. I have a small fine weave grain bag I run the wort through that catches all of the grain chunks. And I only get grain chunks for a couple of quarts in my run off.

Do not let anyone tell you that any way of brewing is right or wrong. As long as you are getting the important things right how you get there does not matter so much. Some people fly sparge and others batch sparge and some like me do a no sparge. You got your brew in a bag group and your extract group. You got the no cool group and the race to cool group. It is all good my friend and we all get to the same place just on different roads.

In the end it is just beer :mug:

dudybrew 03-18-2013 06:58 PM

ok... so now i am trying to understand how to calculate my batch sparge and am finding it a bit confusing, specially because most of the articles and texts are not in metrics... so lets see if I got it right...
lets say i am doing a 20 L batch... my boil size has to be 24L, acording to my equipment...
so I mash with a 3 liters per kilo thickness... so say a 4kg grain recipe... considering 1 liter absorbtion per kilo of grain...
So 4 kg of grains...
12 liters to mash...
consider 1,5 liters of dead space...
that would give me a 6,5 litres to the boil kettle... so before I vorlauf that first running I would add 5,5 liters of sparge... the after vorlauf i'd run off 12 liters...
then for my batch sparge I would add 12 liters, mix it all, vorlauf and run off to the boil kettle...
a bit confusing but can anyone correct me if i am wrong... please...
cheers

dudybrew 03-18-2013 07:06 PM

@varmintman thanks again... as I said I'll start doing the batch sparge as it should be... beating it off... but will stick with the vorlauf as I like the clear look in the beer... unless a bit of turbidity is called for on the style...
just trying to work out the sparge volumes now...


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