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Old 03-16-2008, 05:37 PM   #1
scottfro
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Default Batch Sparge Troubles

I brewed a 5 gal batch yesterday using batch sparging (for the 2nd time). I had 12.75 lb of grain and mashed in with 12.75 L of water. My first runnings gave me approximately 8L which is about right figuring a 0.2 grain absorption and my measured 1.5L deadspace. Following that I ran 21 L of sparge water through. I was shooting to have an initial volume of around 26-27 L which I measure with my dipstick stirring spoon. However after running off all the water I was short on my volume (not sure by how much).

Isn't the sparge water suppose to go through the grains with its volume basically unaltered as the grains are already as wet as they will get?

I ended up having to use some extra water that was just luke warm (added 6-7 L) to finish the sparge and bring my volume up (since I had already used my "safety factor" water) and ended up with pretty bad efficiency (59%). I started my boil with a bit more water than I think I had planned but my final volume was right on.

Can any provide any incite to what might have gone wrong with the sparge?

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Old 03-16-2008, 06:16 PM   #2
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No idea why your grain absorbed more water, but I do have a little advice that helped my raise my efficiency.

I remember reading somewhere that you get the best sugar extraction if the two batches are equal volumes. In other words mash in with your normal ratio, then after your rests and before you do your first runnings add more water until your first running will equal the second. I also have found that lots of stirring and raising the temp with your water additions help efficiency.

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Old 03-16-2008, 06:34 PM   #3
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i have read that too and i forgot to do that this time around.

what temp do you usually try to get the grain bed up to during the sparge?

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Old 03-16-2008, 07:09 PM   #4
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168ish... That takes 185F sparge water for me.

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Old 03-16-2008, 10:11 PM   #5
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so does not having equal sized runoffs contribute more to my lose of efficiency or would it be adding the extra water just luke warm?

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Old 03-17-2008, 12:05 AM   #6
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Could be both Scottfro...efficiency can be elusive as there are many variables at play. Without actually witnessing the process, its difficult to hypothysize.

Luke warm sparge water certainly didn't help the cause, and If I had to guess I would say that has more effect than unequal volumes. Only guessing here .

Sorry such a bland answer.

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Old 03-17-2008, 12:38 AM   #7
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It takes a while for all the water to drain from the grains. If you are in too much of a hurry then you might think you got all the runnings. Always check your mash tun half way through the boil for more wort. You might get lucky.

Look at this thread as it deals with efficiency and a "Modern Batch sparge method" now being tested by several on this forum.

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Old 03-17-2008, 12:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WBC
It takes a while for all the water to drain from the grains. If you are in too much of a hurry then you might think you got all the runnings. Always check your mash tun half way through the boil for more wort. You might get lucky.

Look at this thread as it deals with efficiency and a "Modern Batch sparge method" now being tested by several on this forum.
I have noticed that and have collected about one gallon of wort after i thought i was done collecting and at the start of the boil.....if i collect too quickly!!!!
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottfro
so does not having equal sized runoffs contribute more to my lose of efficiency or would it be adding the extra water just luke warm?
Equal sizes are not important at all as long as none of the infusions result in too stiff of a solution. I wouldn't want any sparge batch to be less than 1qt per pound of grain. As many different configurations as I've tried, the highest yield is drain the original mash first, then make up your remaining desired preboil volume with two equally sized batch sparge infusions (fully draining in between). Sparging with water under 180ish has killed my efficiency twice now. I'm convinced cold or even warm sparging is wasteful.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:01 AM   #10
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I have also read that doing 2 equal batch sparges in volume would increase your efficiency %.

I just did a batch yesterday and was shooting for 27L and hit it right on doing the steps you did with no problems. My only guess would be you miss measured the water you sparged with or miss measured your deadspace loss. Now Im no expert but honestly I can't see anything you did wrong in your calculations or process. I would do another batch and measure everything exactly and see if you get the same result.

Hope I could help in my little insight...

Grimmy

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