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Old 09-18-2007, 12:46 AM   #1
Grimsawyer
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Default Batch sparge question(s)

When I batch sparge I completely drain my mash tun after heating it to 170 Herms style to mash out. I then add just enough water to slightly cover the grain and stirr it up really well, recirculate and drain that. I'll do this 3 times. Counting the origional draining of my MLT I drain it completely of liquid(as well as possible within reason anyhow) 4 times. I also sparge with 185*F water with a scoop of 5.2 in it. Another thing I do is collect 8 gallons of wort and boil it down to 5.5. That's 2.5 gallons of water evaporating. I only get 64% brewhouse efficiency. I also just got a barley crusher. I have not adjusted it. My next brew I plan on adjusting it. Does this sound like it's the problem, the crush that is? I would love to get higher efficiency with less wort collected so I can do 10 gallon batches. As it is right now the hot break with 1 gallon left in my boil kettle would be a nightmare then having to sparge some more into the boil kettle after boiling for an hour just seems to be a pain just to hit 64% . Any suggestions beyond adjusting the crush of my grain?

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Old 09-18-2007, 01:39 AM   #2
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Go ahead farmer, tell him how he'll never get better efficiency by batch sparging

I just hit 87.5% by pulling 13 gallons preboil on an 11 gallon batch. This was simply using a hot first sparge to get the grainbed up to 166F (no mash out) and one additional sparge.

Honestly, with all the separate sparges and mash out you're going through, you should be hitting 90+.

Have you figured out your preboil effeciency yet? Are you leaving a ton of wort in the kettle?

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Old 09-18-2007, 02:28 AM   #3
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Next time you brew, take the gravity of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th runnings (cool them to a reasonable temp (<90 degrees) before reading) and post the gravities and temperatures. This should give us a good indication as to whether the problem is in the mash or the sparge.

-a.

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Old 09-18-2007, 03:06 AM   #4
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How's your water? A couple of tsps of gypsum made my efficency go from 64 - 80%.

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Old 09-18-2007, 04:05 AM   #5
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Come up and bring your boil kettle and mill so we could fit the inlet screen to improve on the volume left in the kettle and set the gap in your mill. Have a project for you, convert the grain left from previous years into 8-10% alc. unhopped beer for me as assembling and wiring the phase 2 controls are taking up my time.

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Old 09-18-2007, 02:07 PM   #6
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Too fine a crush isn't as big a problem with batch sparging as in fly sparging, so adjust a little tight. I do two sparges (both around 175F with pH 5.2) and run 80-82%. More water in each sparge makes it easier to stir. That means better mixing and each grain is exposed to more fluid.

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Old 09-18-2007, 11:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladue
Come up and bring your boil kettle and mill so we could fit the inlet screen to improve on the volume left in the kettle and set the gap in your mill. Have a project for you, convert the grain left from previous years into 8-10% alc. unhopped beer for me as assembling and wiring the phase 2 controls are taking up my time.
Sounds like a blast! I still have your tools in a bag waiting for a weekend day off so I can bring them on up. Are you ever around during the week by any chance?
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...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. :)
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:31 AM   #8
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As the company was so kind as to send me to a job in NW portland i am home at 6PM this week, next week it is back to the paper machine job at Wauna. Have bent the 1/2"ss inside a 1"ss tube for a counterflow chiller but have not welded the fittings on yet. Inside tube is 20' long and outside dimensions of the octagon shape are 16-1/2", will probably have time for another before job is done.

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Old 09-19-2007, 12:44 PM   #9
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As suggested above, take a look at your water profile.

I had consistently 65% efficiency until my last brew where I hit 75% - only change was adding 3ml of lactic acid to my 11 liter mash water

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Old 09-19-2007, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladue
As the company was so kind as to send me to a job in NW portland i am home at 6PM this week, next week it is back to the paper machine job at Wauna. Have bent the 1/2"ss inside a 1"ss tube for a counterflow chiller but have not welded the fittings on yet. Inside tube is 20' long and outside dimensions of the octagon shape are 16-1/2", will probably have time for another before job is done.
ALRIGHT!!! Thursday I'll be off at a reasonable hour. I'll swing on by right after I stop by home!
How does one go about checking one's water profile? I am on Salem, OR city water. I have fish tanks and they seem to stay right around 7ph... I think, been about 5 years since i've tested it.. LOL! In the water department I think I'm in one of the better places in the world. I hear, however, if you live in norway or sweeden or Iceland or somewhere like that, if you can grab a chunk of a glacier floating by it makes some killer beer too. LOL! geography isn't my strong suit. I apologize if I have offended anybody by my geological ignorance!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFlyingBeer
...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. :)
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