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Old 11-11-2009, 05:28 PM   #1
B2theYORN
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Default Sparging Techniques

I have a malt extract kit with specialty grains that I'm excited to brew but before I do I would like to get some advice. In the past I've added specialty grains, in a muslin bag, to 2-3 gallons of water and let steep for 20-30 min at 155-165 degrees (whatever the directions called for). Recently, however, I stumbled upon some directions where less water is used for the steep. Like 2.5-3 qts. The directions still call for grains to be steeped in a muslin bag but after steeping the directions call for rinsing or sparging the grains with 1.5 qts of warm water. I'm looking for advice on how to do this. Do you just place the bag in a strainer above the brew pot and pour warm water on top of it? How warm should the rinsing water be and what is the best way to get it to temperature? I'm interested to hear people's advice.

Thanks for any advice you may give,

Bjorn

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Old 11-11-2009, 06:04 PM   #2
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In the past I've put the bag of steeping grains in a strainer that fit over my pot. You want to make sure the bag is kinda 'loose'. If it's packed to tight then the sparge water will just roll off the edges and not get into the center of the bag. As far as temp, your basically just rinsing the grain off...so you want it warm but surely not boiling. 150-160ish I would guess. I usually have two pots going so I would grab some water from there....

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Old 11-12-2009, 04:13 PM   #3
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Similar to Hammy-

To try to speed things up, I use 3 pots. It seems to trim about 15-30 minutes off an extract brew.

I get 4 gallons of water to 170F in the main boil kettle. I pour off 1 gallon to another smaller mash pot, and another gallon into a "Hot liquor" pot. Into the mash pot the grain bag goes, double check the temp (usually around 140 to 150F), then cover to preserve heat. I set a timer for 30 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary to keep the hot liquor around 170 and the mash pot at around 155F.

When the timer goes off, I dump the grain wort into the boil kettle, then place the grain bag into a colander on top of its pot. Then you guessed it- I sparge by hand using the hot liquor. I let the grain bag drain for about 15 minutes or so, then toss the sparge into the boil kettle.

When the timer goes off, I also mix DME into the boil kettle and bring to boil.

I always hit or exceed my OG =D

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Old 11-12-2009, 05:17 PM   #4
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I'm glad to hear you always hit or exceed your OG. We consistently had trouble hitting the OG on our first four batches.

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Old 11-13-2009, 09:31 AM   #5
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I brew DME with specialty grains. Here's my technique:

I use three pots: My 16 qt. brew kettle, and two standard 5 qt. pots.

From the 2 1/2 gallons of water that will eventually go into the brew kettle, I measure out 1 1/2 qt. per pound of grains into each of the 5 qt. pots. I typically have 1.5 lb. of specialty grains so I use 2.5 qt. of water - that's 2 1/2 qt. in each pot (yeah, it's a little more than 1.5 qt. per pound).

I heat up one of the pots to 170-175F, turn off the heat, add the grains, stir, and put a lid on it.

After 45 minutes, I heat up the other pot to 160-170F. This gives the steeping grains another 5-10min.

I put a colander over my brew kettle and pour in the steeped grains. After they drain a few minutes, I pour over the other pot of hot water. I let that drain a few minutes, then discard the spent grains.

I add the remainder of the 2 1/2 gal. to the brew kettle and proceed with boil, DME, boil, hops, etc.

Actually, the remainder of the water is usually in the brew kettle heating up before I "sparge" my grains. Speeds things up a bit.

Edit: To add this is for a 5gal (maybe 5.5gal) batch. After the boil, I run another 2.5 gal of fresh, refrigerated water through a sieve (to aerate) into my primary. I cool the wort to about 110F, then through the sieve into the primary as well. Then top off to 5-5.5gal. Temp at this point is typically 70-85F. Pitch, lid, wait.

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Old 11-13-2009, 04:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTEXX View Post
Similar to Hammy-

To try to speed things up, I use 3 pots. It seems to trim about 15-30 minutes off an extract brew.

I get 4 gallons of water to 170F in the main boil kettle. I pour off 1 gallon to another smaller mash pot, and another gallon into a "Hot liquor" pot. Into the mash pot the grain bag goes, double check the temp (usually around 140 to 150F), then cover to preserve heat. I set a timer for 30 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary to keep the hot liquor around 170 and the mash pot at around 155F.

When the timer goes off, I dump the grain wort into the boil kettle, then place the grain bag into a colander on top of its pot. Then you guessed it- I sparge by hand using the hot liquor. I let the grain bag drain for about 15 minutes or so, then toss the sparge into the boil kettle.

When the timer goes off, I also mix DME into the boil kettle and bring to boil.

I always hit or exceed my OG =D
I do this also, but I always let my steeping grains set in the hot water for an hour. Not because I get more out of them but so I can smoke a cigar and drink 2 beers.
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