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Old 08-11-2010, 08:46 PM   #1
MacGruber
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Default Batch Sparging Help

I've searched on the forums and couldn't find a definitive "How to Batch Sparge" thread. I did my first AG Pilsener and so far it tastes mighty fine eventhough it's green. I had a question on exactly how to batch sparge. This is what I did can someone help me because my efficiency sucked. I only ended up with 4.5 gal post boil. My mash water was 14 gal. and my sparge water was 5 gal.

I had 11 lbs of grain and mashed for 75 min after a decoction. I then added everything to a Zapap lauter tun. The first runnings were coming out rather quickly as I had no way of slowing down the flow. I recirculated the first runnings until the wort was flowing without any solid particles, but it was cloudy (is this okay?). I then began to add it to my boiling kettle. While it was flowing into my boiling kettle, 5 added about 5 gallons of 175F water to the lauter tun in 1 gallon intervals. I ended up collecting about 5.5-6.5 gal of wort, I couldn't tell. Post boil I ended up with 4.5 gal. The beer is REAL tasty, but I'm pissed that there's not more of it. What can I do differently?

Since then, I've converted a Home Depot 5 Gal. drink cooler into a MLT with a ball valve to slow down the flow hoping that this will improve my efficiency. Please give any insights you can! Thanks everyone!

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Old 08-11-2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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the way I have been doing it is this.. 1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain to mash. So for your 11 pound grain bill the strike water would be approximately 3.5 gallons. I mash then drain and lauter til it is clear. I collect my first runnings and measure the volume. If for example I plan on a 6.5 gallon pre boil volume and my first runnings are 2.5 galllons I know I need 4 more gallons in the boil pot. I divide the 4 gallons in half and batch sparge for ten or so minutes with 2 gallons of 185 degree sparge water.. Then a drain and lauter again. Then I add another 2 gallons of 185 degree water, sparge for 10 minutes and drain and lauter. At this point I have my 6.5 gallons. My efficiency has been pretty good 75%+ ( I assume this as I use 75% efficiency when entering recipes and I consistently hit my OG or even a little high) I am new to this so if someone completely contradicts what I say...listen to them.

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:02 PM   #3
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MacGruber....Let me get this straight before moving on too much...you used a total of 19 gallons of water, and only got 5.5 - 6.5 gallons in the kettle? By the way, you'll want to start being a little more precise w/ your measurements. 1 gallon difference is huge.

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:12 PM   #4
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MacGruber....Let me get this straight before moving on too much...you used a total of 19 gallons of water, and only got 5.5 - 6.5 gallons in the kettle? By the way, you'll want to start being a little more precise w/ your measurements. 1 gallon difference is huge.
Willing to bet he meant 14 quarts...right around 1.25 qt/lb.

MacGruber, you did more of a fly sparge, sort of. Recirculating is fine, (it's called vorlaufing if you aren't using a pump). Most say "no chunks" is fine...I prefer "not cloudy", myself.

To batch sparge, you mash, vorlauf, then lauter, (drain). Then you add your sparge water, stir, let sit 10 min, vorlauf, then lauter again. You can either add all your sparge water at once, or add half, stir/sit/vorlauf/lauter, then add the other half, stir/sit/vorlauf/lauter.

You also want to raise your grainbed to 168 after the mash. You can do this by decoction before the first lauter, by addition of near boiling water before the first lauter, or by adding your first sparge volume at a temp more like 185 so that it settles at 168 after you stir.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:24 PM   #5
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Hi MacGruber. A member here, Bobby M, has a great web page on batch sparging - clear and simple. If you go to his profile or one of his posts here, the link is in his signature. Cheers!

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Old 08-11-2010, 10:21 PM   #6
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In a nutshell, my recipes are not big gravity beers, so my mash water is usually a little more than the sparge volume, just to account for grain absorption. So I get almost half my volume from the first runnings, and then my two small batch sparges get me to 6.5-7 gallons for the pre-boil volume.

1.25qts per lb should be you in that ballpark. be sure your water volumes are correct. I have a food-industry grade lexan pitcher with accurate markings...when I got it I compared the "1 gallon" rubbermaid pitcher I'd been using and found it was only 1gallon when practically overflowing.

I've since hit my boil volumes much more accurately

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Old 08-11-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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I did mean 14 qts - just over 3 gal of water for the mash. Thanks for all of the help guys. I guess I just didn't sparge enough. I kind of just poured the sparge water in and let it drain out because I had no way of controlling the flow. Next time I'll let the sparge water sit for 10 minutes and stir before vorlaufing and going again. Thanks for the advice everyone.

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Old 08-12-2010, 02:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGruber View Post
I did mean 14 qts - just over 3 gal of water for the mash. Thanks for all of the help guys. I guess I just didn't sparge enough. I kind of just poured the sparge water in and let it drain out because I had no way of controlling the flow. Next time I'll let the sparge water sit for 10 minutes and stir before vorlaufing and going again. Thanks for the advice everyone.
Almost...you want to add sparge water, stir right away, THEN let sit 10 minutes, then vorlauf.

G'luck!
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:12 AM   #9
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Thanks guys. I'm converting my 5 gal. Coleman Drink cooler/Mash Tun into an MLT to hopefully control the flow a little better and get a better sparge.

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Old 08-12-2010, 05:12 PM   #10
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Here is my page on batch sparging...

www.dennybrew.com

I also have a batch sparging article coming out in the next issue of Zymurgy.

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