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Old 09-14-2012, 06:35 PM   #31
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This seems to be getting WAAAYYYY too complicated. Here's what I do....mash with about a 1.5-1.75 qt./lb. ratio. At the end of the mash, drain into your kettle and measure how much wort you have. Subtract that from the boil volume you want. Heat that much water to 185-190F. Stir it well into the mash, vorlauf a bit and run it off into the kettle. That's all there is to it. Beersmith is a great tool, but it's NOT instructions about how to brew. Use it for what it is and don't let it boss you around! For more info on batch sparging, see www.dennybrew.com. I've done it for 426 batches and nearly 15 years. I wouldn't consider any other technique for sparging. I average 85% efficiency.
Denny - does the 2nd running strike water temp 185-190F extract more sugars than say 170F? If so, any estimate how much more?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:56 PM   #32
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Denny - does the 2nd running strike water temp 185-190F extract more sugars than say 170F? If so, any estimate how much more?

Thanks in advance.
Nope, it doesn't necessarily. I've done Kai's experiment with sparging with room temp water and found no effect on efficiency. But it does get you to a boil faster since the wort is hotter. It also _might_ increase your efficiency if you didn't get 100% conversion efficiency by solubulizing and converting the remaining starches in the mash.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:16 AM   #33
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wow a lot of great info everybody! Thanks I have certainly learned a lot. I just made my starter today. Brew day is coming up Sunday i'm hopeful on how it will turn out.

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Old 09-15-2012, 12:21 PM   #34
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It will turn out fine. Just relax and enjoy it.

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Old 09-16-2012, 10:08 PM   #35
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OK, first AG brew day is done. No major problems to report.

I finished with a OG of 1.045 (NB estimates 1.047), so not too bad I don't think.

I don't know how to check my efficiency, though I would be very curious.

There isn't much headspace in my 6 gallon Better Bottle, I'm hoping for no blow-off.

Cheers!!

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Old 11-14-2012, 04:33 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Denny View Post
This seems to be getting WAAAYYYY too complicated. Here's what I do....mash with about a 1.5-1.75 qt./lb. ratio. At the end of the mash, drain into your kettle and measure how much wort you have. Subtract that from the boil volume you want. Heat that much water to 185-190F. Stir it well into the mash, vorlauf a bit and run it off into the kettle. That's all there is to it. Beersmith is a great tool, but it's NOT instructions about how to brew. Use it for what it is and don't let it boss you around! For more info on batch sparging, see www.dennybrew.com. I've done it for 426 batches and nearly 15 years. I wouldn't consider any other technique for sparging. I average 85% efficiency.
I followed these steps and got good efficiency. The only thing that concerns me is the sparging temperature is at 185-190 degrees instead of the 170 that I usually read about. Is that to improve efficiency? Would lowering that temperature drop efficiency? I have read that sparging that high can result in off flavors.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:38 PM   #37
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Temp is really a very small concern in sparging. pH is the real issue. If your pH is correct, you can even boil the grain. That's how and why decoction mashing works. I find that sparging with 190ish water ensures complete conversion and may be responsible for boosting my efficiency a bit.

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Old 11-14-2012, 04:39 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by MrMista

I followed these steps and got good efficiency. The only thing that concerns me is the sparging temperature is at 185-190 degrees instead of the 170 that I usually read about. Is that to improve efficiency? Would lowering that temperature drop efficiency? I have read that sparging that high can result in off flavors.
The water is that warm to raise the temp of the mash tun/grain bed. No off flavors whatsoever.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:42 PM   #39
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The water is that warm to raise the temp of the mash tun/grain bed. No off flavors whatsoever.
That makes sense to me. So would it be OK to do a single sparge with all the water at 185? Otherwise I guess you would do the first sparge at 185 to raise the grainbed and the second sparge at 170. I only do double sparges if I have a large grainbill and can't fit all the water into the first sparge.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:53 PM   #40
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Yep, that's it exactly!

How I figure the sparge water temp is sort of a work-around in Beersmith. If I'm batch sparging, I look at the "mash out" volume and temp. And I use that for my first sparge addition (it'll say something like "mashout with 9.5 quarts of water at 202 degrees). I stir well, and it almost always makes my grainbed 168. Then add the rest of the sparge water at 168-170 to keep the grainbed there. I hope that makes sense.

Since I have a larger MLT now, I just do one round of batch sparging. On Monday's brew, I got 75% efficiency- which is exactly the same I get when I fly sparge.
I wish I'd thought of this before I spent all those batches trying to dial in my system. lol, brilliant. Thanks Yoop.
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