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Old 01-14-2007, 12:20 AM   #1
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Default Batch sparge + full wort boil: top off ot not?

I've been doing mini mashes with batch sparging for a while now but have always had to do a partial wort boil. I recently got a kettle big enough to let me do a full wort boil and will soon be brewing an Anchor Steam clone with the following grains:

5lbs 2-row
1 lb crystal 60
2.25 lbs DME

In the past, I would have mashed with 2 gal and sparged with a total of about 3 gal. My wort volume ususally comes out just right for a 5-gal kettle (about 3.5 - 4 gal).

Now that I'll be doing a full wort boil, I'm wondering where to add the additional water: to my sparge or directly to the kettle? So for example, sticking with a 2-gal mash and aiming for 6 gal before boil, if I stick with a 3 gal sparge I'll need to add 2-2.5 gal water to the kettle. Or I could just bump up the sparge volume to 5.5 - 6 gal. Since you don't have to worry about over sparging with batch sparging, I don't see any reason not to add the water to the sparge. It might even increase my efficiency a bit. Anyone know any reason not to increase the sparge volume?

Thanks,
SP

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Old 01-14-2007, 12:45 AM   #2
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I would top up in the boil kettle after you've sparged and have your wort but before your wort comes to a boil.

Mash
Sparge
Top Up
Drink a Homebrew
Bring to boil
Add extract
Drink a Homebrew
Bring back to boil
Add Boiling Hops and brew as normal.

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Old 01-14-2007, 01:01 AM   #3
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If you are sparging 6# grain, I woudn't try collecting much more than 4g from the sparge. If you do, you would run the risk of over-sparging which all the experts say results in excess tannin extraction. For a full boil, you could add the extra water at the start of the boil.

However, if you are going to the trouble of mashing and sparging that amount of grain, why not increase the pale malt to 8 or 8.5#, collect 6 - 6.5g from the sparge, and forget the DME. It will only take a few minutes longer and will save you some cash.

-a.

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Old 01-14-2007, 01:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf
However, if you are going to the trouble of mashing and sparging that amount of grain, why not increase the pale malt to 8 or 8.5#, collect 6 - 6.5g from the sparge, and forget the DME. It will only take a few minutes longer and will save you some cash.
I had a feeling someone would ask that. I've already got the DME and want to use it up. The time after this will likely be AG.

As for the over sparging, I thought that wasn't a concern with batch sparging

Thanks,
SP
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:11 PM   #5
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The DME won't go bad if you store it properly. Save it for starters and priming.

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Old 01-14-2007, 02:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPY
As for the over sparging, I thought that wasn't a concern with batch sparging
SP
I honestly don't know, which is why I said the "experts" say this.

But keeping the DME for starters and making up the gravity if it doesn't come up to expectations is a good idea.

-a.
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