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Old 11-06-2009, 12:26 PM   #11
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I mash in with 4 gallons every time, unless its an extra large grain bill. No mash out, collect runnings and measure. Then I batch sparge twice with enough water to hit my target volume, divided evenly. I could add it all before first runnings, or just sparge once, but I follow the advice of Bobby_M who contends that double batch sparge is the sweet spot for efficiency. If you were rinsing soapy water from a dish in the sink, it is more efficient to rinse twice with enough water, than once with a lot. Just my $.02, but I've been happy with the results.

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Old 11-06-2009, 12:33 PM   #12
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After reading some post/comments by Pol, I am now trying to avoid a large sparge and trying to get most of my wort from First wort. Definately trying to avoid 2 sparges. On Monday I did 2qt/pound and it was great.

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Old 11-06-2009, 12:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseRC View Post
After reading some post/comments by Pol, I am now trying to avoid a large sparge and trying to get most of my wort from First wort. Definately trying to avoid 2 sparges. On Monday I did 2qt/pound and it was great.
I'm going a step farther, im going to try ye old recirculating mash with the whole nine yards in it. I'm hoping to shave an hour + off my brew days.
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Old 11-06-2009, 02:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
It might be a good idea to use Kai's efficiency spreadsheet to see exactly what is going on.
Holy cow! I just took a look at Kai's website. I didn't realize Kai had gone off the deep end on the brewing science.

I've been away from HBT for a while... pretty much every since Kai moved away from here in NC and up to Mass. He was always very technical with is brewing, but... I mean... WOW. He's been busy since I last saw him, that's for sure!

Anyway, according to his little "first wort OG" table, my old method of single batch sparging will get me only a teeeny bit higher OG than just mashing the whole thing with all my water and running it all off an once. (The delta is less than 0.001.

Sounds fine to me. I think I have just become a thin-mashing non-sparger.
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:35 PM   #15
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Im in my second all grain batch sparge, and for that I decided to do 2 sparges just so I could better control my system(rubbbermaid MLT) that I am not that familiar with yet. The efficiency I got for my first batch with 1 sparge was much worse then my 2 sparge. But then again, its a first vs second brew so I think I learned alot.

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Old 11-06-2009, 05:50 PM   #16
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I've been double-sparging with my 5 gal Igloo since I started. If I use around 10 lbs of grain, 1.25 qt/lb makes it up to the 4 gallon mark, but I'm left with 4.5 gallons of sparge water. I just divide it in half and do it twice. It's been working well for me thus far and I've got the whole brewing process down to 6 hours max, including clean up. Just make sure you treat your sparge water. I keep the pH down around 5.8 at room temp.

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Old 11-06-2009, 06:13 PM   #17
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This is sort of what happens when I do a mashout by raising mash temp with a large infusion of hot water. Without doing seperate batch sparging, you're just going to leave a little bit more sugar behind in the mash. Like you said, the efficiency would drop, but it will work just fine.

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Old 11-06-2009, 06:42 PM   #18
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Walker...

I have started determining my sparge volume based on the size of the grain bill.

The formula I am using is grain bill lbs x .25 = sparge volume in gallons.

This way I sparge MORE with larger grain bills and LESS on smaller grain bills. Which is in fact the OPPOSITE of what people typically do. But, it only makes sense, why sparge more with a smaller grain bill?

So my 10 pound mashes, require a 2.5 gallon sparge. The rest of the water comes in the front end of the process.

My mashes range from 7-15 pounds with OGs ranging from 1.041 - 1.087

With a preboil volume of 7.5 gallons:
7 pound grain bill
1.75 gal sparge water
5.95 gallons mash water
.7 gallons absorption
3.4qt/lb mash

15 pound grain bill
3.75 gal sparge water
5.25 gallon mash water
1.5 gal absorption
1.4 qt/lb mash

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Old 11-06-2009, 07:12 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Conroe View Post
I mash 1.4 qt:lb, mashout and double batch sparge. With my stock barley crusher and a 10-12 lb grain bill I usually get 85% or higher efficiency.
I get the same efficiency with a single sparge. Have you tried that? If so, how much did doing a second one add?
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:17 PM   #20
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This is where the calculation of conv. and lauter eff. is needed.

Even though I mash at 2-2.5qt/lb, and sparge less than many people, my lauter eff is still about 92%. I am trying to bring that down a bit. Tracking my conv. and lauter eff. on each session is the only way to monitor the changes. Eff. to the kettle means nothing to me, but the breakdown certainly does as this sayes a lot about the process. Eff. to the kettle doesnt tell you what is happening in your process, the truth about your process is in the individual #s IMHO

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