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Old 10-04-2012, 05:31 AM   #1
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Default sparge...?

maybe this should be in the beginners forum, but i have been home brewing for a couple of years and have even come up with a couple of my own recipes.
i have not gone to all-grain yet, but am (and have been for a while) flirting with more and more grain, and less extract..
a couple of things have slowed my progress to AG:
equipment (easy to get)
and knowledge of the usage of said equipment (not as easy)
the purpose of this post, before i get too windy (read) is to find out exactly what is meant by "sparging" the grains.
i read many more forums than i post in, but i am still pretty lost as to what this means.
i have the MW definition (: to agitate (a liquid) by means of compressed air or gas entering through a pipe), but do not understand how that equates to a mini-mash, or AG brew..
most of my MM brews, i have simply rinsed the grains with water @160
and it works, and most are fan favorites, but i don't think that that is the intention when i see this in recipes. (recipes are only loose guidelines to me)
so, do what works, right?
not if i want to expand and expound..
cooking has been, to me, an art for many years. my art may not be pretty, but it tastes great, and i want to make more, and make more from more, or less....
so, i could have made this an easy question, but no, i have to expound and not digress... such is my brews, more and not less...
more flavor, more yeast farts, more fun!
i have read (a couple of times) deathbrewers thread about AG without the equipment, but have not tried that yet... may though
anyway... understanding what "sparge" means to home brewing MAY send me right on my way to AG...
thanks for the advice that i have gotten from these forums in the past, and more thanks for advice and tips that i will get in the future!
cheers and huzzah



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Old 10-04-2012, 05:41 AM   #2
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i have simply rinsed the grains with water @160
You got it. That's what the sparge process is doing. It's simply rinsing the grains to collect sugar. The mash process converts all the starches in the grain to sugars (both fermentable and non-fermentable sugars based on the mash temperature). The sparge process is used to collect as much of the sugar as possible. The higher the sparge water temperature, the more sugar is dissolved into the water. However, the temperature of 160 degrees is preferred because any higher and tannins from the grains are also dissolved into the sparge water, causing off flavors.

There are a couple different methods to sparge: fly sparge and batch sparge. Both have benefits and drawbacks and which one to use mainly comes down to your equipment and personal preference. There is plenty of information about both processes in the all grain section of the forum. There is even a sticky that shows a good sparge technique that is a kind of hybrid between batch and fly sparging.

I hope that answers your questions.. for now at least. If you have any more, don't hesitate to ask. Cheers


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Old 10-04-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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All grain is easier than you are making it. Mash for one hour(most of the time)drain container making sure to catch the first little bit that will contain grain and what not and pour it back into mash tun, then add additional water to mash tun this is your sparge water and drain it the same way. This is a very simplified definition and there will others chiming in on how to do it also. Like Mike said there is batch and fly sparging and modified versions of them.It mainly comes down to what equipment do you have to use or how much you want to spend on equipment.

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Old 10-04-2012, 02:16 PM   #4
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awesome!
thanks for the quick replies! that is exactly what i wanted to know.
now, i suppose, i will be spending some quality time in the AG section...
thanks again!

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Old 10-04-2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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Also check YouTube. There are quite a few good videos on all grain brewing. I liked one by Don Osborne and another by Bobby_M.

All grain has more steps to take and takes longer, but it is not difficult. You need to pay more attention to what is happening though. Do not get intimidated, you can do it!

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Old 10-05-2012, 04:16 AM   #6
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+1 to Bobby_M. I found his video very helpful when switching to all grain. Good call on referring to YouTube. There are some great brewing videos on there (and some not-so-great).

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Old 10-11-2012, 07:17 AM   #7
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this afternoon, i bought a 30qt brewpot and 8.5# of base grains, a pound of 60L, and a particular assortment of hops...
if i do not enjoy too many of my previous concoctions the night before, then i will enjoy my first attempt at brewing all grain no extract per deathbrewers "easy-stovetop-all-grain-brewing" circa 2008...

i got interested in brewing about 20-some years ago when my dad and his buddies did it a few times. he never really did much more than a few cans, but it was fun to watch the wort percolate..
he gave me his buckets and a ****-load of bottles when i started myself, and said "have fun"..
and i have... brewing is almost as wet as fun, but way more (i stop for a second to taste a honey brown that has peaked) tasty...
...got lost for a minute
too much mind-babble... need to stay on topic...
(minutes to write, seconds to read)

i have been flirting with the thought of doing an AG brew for some time now
i guess it's about time, yeah?

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Old 10-11-2012, 01:27 PM   #8
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anyone else have a personal conflict with love of brewing slash love of imbibing said brew?

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Old 10-11-2012, 05:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12pack View Post
awesome!
thanks for the quick replies! that is exactly what i wanted to know.
now, i suppose, i will be spending some quality time in the AG section...
thanks again!
From www.dennybrew.com (also published in Zymurgy and BYO)...

What is sparging and how do you do it?

Sparging is the rinsing of the grain bed to extract as much of the sugar from the grain as possible without extracting mouth puckering tannins from the grain husks, says John Palmer (How to Brew, John Palmer 2nd Edition 2000, 2001). We’ll further specify that sparging begins only after runoff of the sweet wort from the mashtun has begun. Otherwise, there would be no such thing as no-sparge brewing, which we’ll get to in a minute.

Fly Sparging

The usual way most brewers sparge is continuous (also called on the fly, or fly) sparging. In this method, after vorlauf, the wort runoff is begun and water is added to the mash tun at the same rate as the runoff. It’s important to go slow so as to extract the maximum amount of sugar and not compact the grainbed, which would stop the runoff. Lauter design is also highly important in fly sparging. Your lautering system must allow no channeling, or the sparge liquor will “drill” straight down through the grain bed in only one or 2 locations and leave the rest of the mash unrinsed. Because the buffering power of the grains in the mashtun is continually being diluted by the sparge water, it’s necessary to monitor the pH of the runoff. Too high a pH will cause the extraction of tannins and polyphenols, compromising the quality of the beer. To counteract this, it is often necessary to acidify the sparge water to keep the pH of the runoff below 6. Because the runoff may take an hour or more, many brewers do a mashout step in an attempt to denature the enzymes and prevent further conversion from taking place while the sparge is happening. However, this method will usually yield the highest extraction from the grain.

No Sparge Brewing

As described by John Palmer in his BYO article “Skip the Sparge” (May-June 2003), a no sparge brew has the entire volume of “sparge” water added to the mash and stirred in before any runoff has taken place. Even though additional water has been added, since it’s been added to the mash before runoff has begun, we can more properly think of it as a mash infusion, rather than a sparge addition...hence the name “no-sparge”. This method is the easiest way to mash, but at the expense of poor extraction, typically 50%. The advantage, though, is that because all the sugar from the mash is in solution from the agitation of adding the water, lauter design has minimal effect.

Batch Sparging

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 (NOTE:quick draining is a benefit, not a requirement, of batch sparging. I recommend you start the recirculation with the valve just cracked open, to set the grain bed correctly. After you return the vorlaufed portion to the mash tun, you can open the valve whatever amount works for your system), and an addition of sparge water is added. This is stirred into the mash, 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.

Here's a bit of video of me doing a batch sparge...

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Old 10-12-2012, 06:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
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No Sparge Brewing

As described by John Palmer in his BYO article “Skip the Sparge” (May-June 2003), a no sparge brew has the entire volume of “sparge” water added to the mash and stirred in before any runoff has taken place. Even though additional water has been added, since it’s been added to the mash before runoff has begun, we can more properly think of it as a mash infusion, rather than a sparge addition...hence the name “no-sparge”. This method is the easiest way to mash, but at the expense of poor extraction, typically 50%. The advantage, though, is that because all the sugar from the mash is in solution from the agitation of adding the water, lauter design has minimal effect.
This section could use an update. Most no sparge brewers now are using a slightly different technique. Instead of adding additional water just before lautering, they now add all the water needed at the beginning of the mash. This technique is called Full Volume Mashing with no sparge. It's very similar to just using the first runnings from a partigyle brew, except the initial water to grist ratio is much higher. This produces a lower gravity wort, instead of the normal high gravity partigyle first runnings wort. Extraction efficiencies can easily range from 60-70% with a typical lautering technique, the more thorough the lautering the more extraction efficiency is increased.


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