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Old 11-02-2007, 02:01 PM   #1
broadbill
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Default Anyone actually oversparge?

Hello All,

I'm a AG newbie (have a few AGs under my belt) but have been lurking here for awhile. In the many responses I've read to newbies who post Q's about their AG setup and procedure, there is always the caution: BE CAREFUL OF OVERSPARGING. However, I have yet to come across the post that starts: "Damn, I oversparged my beer! What can I do?"

Don't get me wrong...I can see how a newbie might be tempted to oversparge to get the last sweet drop out of their MT and to maximize their efficiency...but really, is it really that easy to oversparge? My gut feeling is "no" and that you are following general AG guidelines you will be no where close to oversparging, especially if you are batch sparging.

I don't mean to sound overly confrontational, but I'm wondering if this is a real concern for on the long list of things newbies need to worry about, or if its merely a concern because the brewing books tell us that it is.

My question: Has anyone actually oversparged their mash to the point it created off flavors in their beer?

Thanks!

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Old 11-02-2007, 02:05 PM   #2
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Yes

My first AG...and I did have tannin extraction as a result. The beer mellowed a bit over time but even then it still had a tea bag/iced tea thing going on.

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Old 11-02-2007, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewt00l
Yes

My first AG...and I did have tannin extraction as a result. The beer mellowed a bit over time but even then it still had a tea bag/iced tea thing going on.

Ok so: How did it happen? How did you fix it?
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
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It is difficult to oversparge because you usually craft your recipe with a fixed efficiency and pre-boil volume in mind. I've never reached tannin extraction range when I stop collecting 7.5 gallons on a 6 gallon batch. My final runnings are still safely above the 1.010 threshold. If you have the idea that you're going to collect 50% more than your batch size and boil it down for 2 hours, then yes, it's possible. I suppose this can happen on barley wines or impy anything when you're too cheap to simply use first runnings.

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Old 11-02-2007, 03:44 PM   #5
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I did once. I collected 14.5 gallons for an 11 gallon batch.

I did this because my previous AG batches left me with less than the desired amount after the boil. Now if i do not have enough pre boil volume and have used 8 gallons of sparge water i just put a little top off water in the boil kettle.


Seems to work out great.

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Old 11-02-2007, 04:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill
Ok so: How did it happen? How did you fix it?
I miscalculated and over sparged w/ three batch sparges....

Fix? The astringency mellowed a bit to the point that it was tolerable but was still present after several months.
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Old 11-02-2007, 04:59 PM   #7
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You do have to create the right environment to oversparge/extract tannins.

From what I've learned so far, pH rising too far is part of it, along with too high a temperature.
And I'd wager you'd have to be pushing efficiency with a low grain bill (i.e. being too cheap on the grain) as well.

So far (knock on wood) I've not tasted any odd astringency in my first few AG batches. my most recent batch is force carbing and I used pH 5.2 to see if it had any effect on the final beer.

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