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Old 01-08-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
Mrakis
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Default Batch sparge confusion

Quick question: So when batch sparging, should my goal be to sparge with 170 degree water? Or is my goal to get the batch up to 170 degrees (so use water higher than than 170 degrees)? I've just been batch sparging with 170 degree water.

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:56 PM   #2
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The idea is that at 170F all enzyme activity is stopped, so you don't have any more conversion at that point. By stopping enzyme activity after a set period of time, you get a more consistent results time after time.

That being said, I sparge with 170F water and my grain bed never quite reaches 170F; I don't worry about it....I just collect my runnings quickly (batch sparge) and start them heating.

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:59 PM   #3
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I'm with Bill on this, I sparge with water that's 170ish and don't really worry about it. I'm batch sparging and the wort goes immediately into my brew pot on the burner and is heated up quickly to where the enzyme activity stops. Plus, there is a worry on the other end - if you batch sparge with water that is too warm, you can extract tannins and get a harshness in your final beer that is unpleasant.

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Old 01-08-2013, 02:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrakis View Post
Quick question: So when batch sparging, should my goal be to sparge with 170 degree water? Or is my goal to get the batch up to 170 degrees (so use water higher than than 170 degrees)? I've just been batch sparging with 170 degree water.

Thanks
Other than denaturing the enzymes I do not see why you would need any temp be it boiling or tap cold. Myself I try to use as hot a water as I dare to put in my tun with out melting it just to save time on the propane. Batch sparging you will most likely not change the ph enough to extract tannins so if you can add boiling water I say go for it.

And yes I have forgot to heat up my sparge water before and pretty much used the water right out of the tap to sparge with. That is the beauty of batch sparging. You are not rinsing the grain but washing it. The sugars are there already and you just have to get them off the grain.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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I usually heat my sparge water into the 180's. Between pouring and stirring it usually heats the grain bed up to around 170. I have heard that if you go above 170 you risk extracting tannins, but I'm not sure how true that is. The warmer your runnings are the easier they are to drain. I agree that stopping enzyme activity immediately isn't that big of a deal with batch sparging. By that time the enzyme activity is probably pretty low and you are draining and boiling it pretty quickly anyway.

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Old 01-08-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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The only way you can extract tannins is by PH and heat. For the most part as long as our grain bill is right we do not run the risk of extracting tannins.

For the longest time I thought the same until I saw a buddy dump boiling water in his for the sparge. I did some research and found that it was the ph that extracted the tannins not the heat. I use my stove to heat my sparge water and I cannot quite get it to a boil nor would I drop boiling water in my plastic mash tun but I do heat the heck out of it and I have not ever tasted any tannins in my beer.

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Old 01-08-2013, 03:00 PM   #7
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If you're interested, check out Brau Kaiser's article on cold sparging--not that I would use this method, but I think it shows pretty conclusively that you don't need to be too worried about raising the temp above 170F. He sparged with 65F water, IIRC, and it made almost no difference whatsoever in the final product.

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Old 01-08-2013, 03:06 PM   #8
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Interesting Jerrodm. Thanks to all for commenting and sharing.

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Old 01-08-2013, 06:39 PM   #9
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I use 190F water for sparging. It gets the grainbed to around 170. In order to truly denature enzymes, you need to not only raise the temp to 170+, but hold it for 20+ minutes. I don't do that and I don't know many homebrewers that do. High temps will not extract tannins. If they did, no one could ever do a decoction mash.

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:52 PM   #10
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Like others, most recipes i end up batch sparging around 185 degree's ...i usually just use what beersmith tells me minus a few degree's.

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