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Old 08-27-2008, 01:04 PM   #21
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I can't believe I didn't think to do this!! Is this common among other batch spargers? This HAS to decrease the amount of time it takes to come to a boil by quite a bit!

On my first AG, I waited until I had both runnings before starting the boil, and it TOOK FOREVER!!

Are there any negative effects to doing it this way e.g. boil off from first runnings affecting the total pre-boil volume? Would you be boiling off more of the first runnings this way, as opposed to boiling off the total amount of water including the sparged (2nd) runnings.

Sorry if this has been covered before. I'm quite new to all this.
Actually, if you don't do a mash out, you SHOULD bring those first runnings to a boil right away- you're stopping the conversion process. If you just wait, the enzymes keep working and can change the profile of the wort.

The only thing I can add to your technique Dubble is a little nitpicky thing but it struck me. You mentioned that your mash/sparge water volumes are reversed. Well, you should have more sparge water than mash water. I know that there is some absorption, but your efficiency is better when the mash water is around 1.25 quart/pound (up to 1.5 quart/pound) for the mash and about twice that for sparge water. Also, that keeps your mash ph in the proper range. Just something to think about!

Thanks so much for the pictures- it was great to see the process!
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:19 PM   #22
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Actually, if you don't do a mash out, you SHOULD bring those first runnings to a boil right away- you're stopping the conversion process. If you just wait, the enzymes keep working and can change the profile of the wort.
YB... tell me if what i'm doing is similar to mashing out. when the 60 minute mash is complete i'm adding 170 degree F water to the MT (to make-up for water lost due to grain absorption), i stir and let it sit for a bit before the vorlauf and first runnings.
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by americanweirdo View Post
This HAS to decrease the amount of time it takes to come to a boil by quite a bit!

On my first AG, I waited until I had both runnings before starting the boil, and it TOOK FOREVER!!
Yeah... I don't even remember if I read it somewhere, or if it just seemed like it made sense and I did it, but I credit this technique with making me a pretty fast AG brewer. I can bang out a 5 gallon batch in about 4.5 hours. That and cleaning as I go.

Not sure about all that pre-boil volume stuff, but I do know that I'm going to start setting my mash calculator for 5.25 gallon batches. I've been just shy of my 5 gallon mark a few times, and I'd rather have a touch more than 5 gallons when finished.

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Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
The only thing I can add to your technique Dubble is a little nitpicky thing but it struck me. You mentioned that your mash/sparge water volumes are reversed. Well, you should have more sparge water than mash water. I know that there is some absorption, but your efficiency is better when the mash water is around 1.25 quart/pound (up to 1.5 quart/pound) for the mash and about twice that for sparge water. Also, that keeps your mash ph in the proper range. Just something to think about!
Ahhhhh, so that's right then. I will try this next batch. Also, can you define "mash out"? That's one of the terms I hear, but never know what it is...

I usually figure my water amounts based on 1.33q/lb. Had a real low level batch the first time when I did 1.25q/lb.
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:41 PM   #24
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YB... tell me if what i'm doing is similar to mashing out. when the 60 minute mash is complete i'm adding 170 degree F water to the MT (to make-up for water lost due to grain absorption), i stir and let it sit for a bit before the vorlauf and first runnings.
Hmmmm.... How much do you add?

After 45 or 60 mins, I just go straight to the vorlauf and 1st runnings. Then I add my 180 sparge water to the grain, sit for 10, and vorlauf and do 2nd runnings...

Maybe your technique is the elusive "mash out"....
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:45 PM   #25
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Also, can you define "mash out"? That's one of the terms I hear, but never know what it is...
When you mash out, you add near boiling water to the MLT to denature the enzymes, effectively 'stopping' them in time.

From Palmer's How to Brew:

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What is Mashout?

Before the sweet wort is drained from the mash and the grain is rinsed (sparged) of the residual sugars, many brewers perform a mashout. Mashout is the term for raising the temperature of the mash to 170°F prior to lautering. This step stops all of the enzyme action (preserving your fermentable sugar profile) and makes the grainbed and wort more fluid. For most mashes with a ratio of 1.5-2 quarts of water per pound of grain, the mashout is not needed. The grainbed will be loose enough to flow well. For a thicker mash, or a mash composed of more than 25% of wheat or oats, a mashout may be needed to prevent a Set Mash/Stuck Sparge. This is when the grain bed plugs up and no liquid will flow through it. A mashout helps prevent this by making the sugars more fluid; like the difference between warm and cold honey. The mashout step can be done using external heat or by adding hot water according to the multi-rest infusion calculations. (See chapter 16.) A lot of homebrewers tend to skip the mashout step for most mashes with no consequences.
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:55 PM   #26
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I was under the impression that mash out was more useful for fly sparging than for batch sparging...

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Old 08-27-2008, 03:12 PM   #27
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Hmmmm.... How much do you add?
it comes out to about 1.5 gallons.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:30 PM   #28
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I was under the impression that mash out was more useful for fly sparging than for batch sparging...
True- and it doesn't really increase your efficiency if you're doing 2 batch sparges with the grainbed in the 168 degree area. Bobby_M has some great posts and tutorials on this subject, and I recommend reading those- he's much more easy to understand than I am!

For me, the key is EITHER mash out, OR put those first runnings on right away to boil. Either one of those will denature the enzymes and preserve your mash profile. I no longer do a mash out, since I sparge hotter the first time, and start those first runnings on to boil.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:35 PM   #29
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I was under the impression that mash out was more useful for fly sparging than for batch sparging...
It is. It's MOSTLY for denaturing enzymes while you're doing a rather long fly sparge. If you didn't raise the temp, you'd still be converting over that 45-60 minutes which you may not want. It has a side effect of loosening a bit more sugar but it's absolutely NOT necessary with batch sparging.

The best efficiency I've ever gotten was 94% and it was taking 3 distinct runnings. One following the mash (no mash out infusion), then two runnings following half sparge volume infusions. I don't recommend a mash out infusion unless you want to reduce your number of runnings to two (for a slight reduction is task load/time).

In summary you have two choices:
#1
mash
infuse an amount equal to your grain absorption (about .1 gallons per pound of grain) for your mash out (200F).
stir, vorlauf and drain.
Infuse single batch sparge volume @ 170F, stir, vorlauf and drain.

two runnings, both at elevated temps, relatively high efficiency

#2
mash
vorlauf and drain
add half sparge amount @ 185F, stir, vorlauf, drain
add second half sparge amount @ 185, stir, vorlauf, drain

3 runnings at progressively higher temps, very high efficiency
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Last edited by Bobby_M; 08-27-2008 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:50 PM   #30
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#2
mash
vorlauf and drain
add half sparge amount @ 185F, stir, vorlauf, drain
add second half sparge amount @ 185, stir, vorlauf, drain

3 runnings at progressively higher temps, very high efficiency
so, in this case each of the runnings would be sent straight to the flame as soon as collected?

this thread is actually becoming very helpful. thanks to all!
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