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Old 01-26-2007, 06:18 AM   #1
FlyGuy
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Default Batch sparging and Beersmith

I haven't tried a full AG batch yet (only PM), but after hearing more about how easy a single infusion mash with batch sparging can be, I think I might give it a shot.

Everything I have read suggests batch sparging with a volume of water equal to the volume of water added at mash in (if I am interpretting this correctly). However, if I use Beersmith and select one of the default single infusion batch sparge profiles, the brewsheet instructs me to sparge with more water (i.e., the first sparge is the same volume as the mash, plus a second sparge volume that is equal to the amount required to bring up the boil volume to the required amount).

Sooo, after that lengthy intro, my question is: should I be running a second round of batch sparging, or should I just use that water to top up the kettle? I ask because I thought I had read that 'over-sparging' the grain led to problems, like tannin extraction.

Here is my example to illustrate:

Port O'Palmer Porter
Brew Type: All Grain
Style: Dry Stout
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Volume: 6.00 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %

Brewing Steps
Clean and prepare equipment.
-- Measure ingredients, crush grains.
-- Prepare 7.30 gal water for brewing
-- Prepare Ingredients for Mash
7.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain
0.50 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain
0.25 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain

2 min Mash Ingredients
Mash In: Add 2.73 gal of water at 169.6 F
60 min - Hold mash at 154.0 F for 60 min
-- Drain Mash Tun
-- Batch Sparge Round 1: Sparge with 2.74 gal of 168.0 F water.
** Batch Sparge Round 2: Sparge with 1.83 gal of 168.0 F water. *********
-- Add water to achieve boil volume of 6.00 gal
-- Estimated Pre-boil Gravity is: 1.039 SG with all grains/extracts added
Boil for 60 min Start to Boil.
-- Cool wort to fermentation temperature
-- Add water (as needed) to achieve volume of 5.00 gal
-- Siphon wort to primary fermenter and aerate wort.

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Old 01-26-2007, 06:40 AM   #2
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Batch sparging is really very simple and the water calcs can be done without the aid of software. I read that and get more confused. You need to determine how much wort to collect for your beer first. You want to divide that by 2 and you get the sparges needed. The only thing is that on the intial mash you have to account for water absobtion by the grain and maybe some deadspace in the cooler that will not drain. You add additional water at the end of the hour to account for this so that your runnings are fairly equal.
If you read this page it is explained pretty thoroughly > http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

In this thread at posts 5-9 also has some good info on batch sparging. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=20113

If you decide to give it a shot make your efficiency in the 60-65 range as it takes a few runs to get the process running smooth and effeciently.

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Old 01-26-2007, 06:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blender
Batch sparging is really very simple and the water calcs can be done without the aid of software. I read that and get more confused. You need to determine how much wort to collect for your beer first. You want to divide that by 2 and you get the sparges needed. The only thing is that on the intial mash you have to account for water absobtion by the grain and maybe some deadspace in the cooler that will not drain. You add additional water at the end of the hour to account for this so that your runnings are fairly equal.
So I shouldn't worry about water to grain ratios (e.g., 1.25 qt/lb) even with varying sizes of grainbills? Just calculate the water needed (accounting for losses, grain absorption, etc.), divide it by two, and mash/sparge away? Hey, that *IS* easy.

Thanks.
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:07 AM   #4
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No need to worry about the size of the grain bills, just use the same calcs. Many brewers use the 1.25 qt. per pound regardless of size. Then once you figure out how much grain absorbtion is and other losses your set. My absorbtion rate is about .15 qts. per pound.

It is a good idea to preheat your cooler with a gallon or so of hot water before mashing. Helps with temperature control.

I make 5.5 gallon batches so that when I transfer to the clearing carboy after fermentation I have a good 5 gallons of beer to bottle.

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Old 01-26-2007, 10:57 AM   #5
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There is a little program out there also it's called mashcalc.exe you put in your ratio and rest Temp and it will tell you how much water to mash in and @ what temp, this is the best program I've seen so far for hitting your mash temp, no warming up the tun just right on the money every time so far, I use Beersmith and its always 5 degrees lower, I'm curious how much this would affect the first rest Temp, anyways good luck, It's not hard at all.

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Old 01-26-2007, 02:24 PM   #6
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I used to worry about measuring my sparge water. Now I just know where I need to be in my kettle pre boil, and I sparge until I hit that mark.

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Old 01-26-2007, 05:01 PM   #7
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If you want to have two equal runnings- you can mash in with a water to grist ratio (say 1.25 qts/lb) and then add enough water at the end of the mash so that you collect half your boil volume when you drain the mash. Then you can batch sparge once with enough water to collect the second half of your boil volume.

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Old 01-26-2007, 05:22 PM   #8
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When I first started using Beersmith, I was stoked that it was giving me what looked to be great numbers for batch sparging - until I realized it was having me collect a huge, huge amount of wort.

The only problem with using your desired total runnings as your starting point (as I noted in the other thread, usually 7 - 7.5 gallons for me) is that for really BIG beers, your efficiency will suck. So, you have to either know to collect more on those, or factor in lower efficiency. My 1060 - 1065 beers have been 65% - 70% efficiency, my last ~1050 beer was almost 80%, so there will be a bit of a learning curve with your system.

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Old 01-26-2007, 05:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
The only problem with using your desired total runnings as your starting point (as I noted in the other thread, usually 7 - 7.5 gallons for me) is that for really BIG beers, your efficiency will suck. So, you have to either know to collect more on those, or factor in lower efficiency. My 1060 - 1065 beers have been 65% - 70% efficiency, my last ~1050 beer was almost 80%, so there will be a bit of a learning curve with your system.
Thanks for the advice -- that is really helpful. I think I am understanding this process MUCH better now -- I sure appreciate everyone taking the time to help out!
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
The only problem with using your desired total runnings as your starting point (as I noted in the other thread, usually 7 - 7.5 gallons for me) is that for really BIG beers, your efficiency will suck. So, you have to either know to collect more on those, or factor in lower efficiency. My 1060 - 1065 beers have been 65% - 70% efficiency, my last ~1050 beer was almost 80%, so there will be a bit of a learning curve with your system.
I'm not quite sure I follow why your efficiency was so much lower for the bigger beers.

Are you saying that beersmith was calculating that you collect say 8.5 gallons of wort? That in fact may be true, no matter what sparge method you use. I know for big beers, often people collect a lot of wort and then boil for longer than an hour to get the volume back down.
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