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Old 08-20-2008, 04:17 AM   #1
weremichael
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Default BeerSmith Batch Sparging Question...

Greetings,

I just switched over to BeerSmith as my homebrew app. and I have a question about the Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Mash Profile. I brew with a ten gallon round cooler with a copper manifold that acts as my mash/lauter tun. I have a ten gallon stainless brew kettle.

The way that the profile is set up is 1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain and it calculates proper temperature for the mash. I am using the default settings which are "Batch Sparge using batches that fill 90% of the mash tun volume" and "Sparge using equal size batches." The Sparge Water Temp is set to 168 F.

On an IPA that I brew using 13.35 lbs of grain it tells me to add 16.69 qts of water and mash for an hour. Then it tells me to Sparge with 1.43 gal of 168 F water. Am I supposed to add the 1.43 gal of water to the mash and then sparge?? I also don't see a way to have BeerSmith calculate the correct temperature of the sparge water to take the mash from 154 to 168. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

The second Sparge Round is 4 gallons of 168 F water. That part makes sense.

Thanks for helping me out,

Michael

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Old 08-20-2008, 01:38 PM   #2
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I use the no mashout, equal double sparge method at 180 degrees with a 10 G cooler MLT. I've set BeerSmith to the following.

Batch Sparge using batches that fill 70% to the MLT volume
Sparge using equal size batches
Drain the mash tun before starting to batch sparge

Sparge Water Temp 180 F

1.25 qt/lb ratio

and then on the main recipe screen for the beer you're working on, I check Adjust Temp for Equipment.

Following those steps I've hit my temps every time so far, without bothering to pre-heat the MLT and I'm getting 75% efficiency without too much trouble.

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Old 08-20-2008, 02:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I'll give it a try.

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Old 08-20-2008, 03:43 PM   #4
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Those volumes sound about right to me. You should get about 9 or 10 quarts in your first runnings. If you add another 1.5 gals of water to that, that puts you close to 4 gals, which is roughly the same amount as your second runnings.

One tip -- use that extra 1.5 gals of water at the end of the mash (i.e. before you drain the tun) as a mash-out. That is, use really hot water so that you raise the grainbed temp as close to 170 F as you can get it (Beersmith has tools to figure this out), and stir really well. The idea is to not only equalize the runnings with this addition , but also to raise the temp of the mash so that more sugars are dissolved and so the viscosity of the mash is reduced. This will result in higher extract efficiency and easier lautering.

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Old 08-20-2008, 04:17 PM   #5
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FlyGuy,

So you're saying to add the 1.5 gallons to the mash (at whatever temp gets the mash to around 170 F) and run that out into the boiling kettle. Then a single batch sparge with the remaining 4 gallons (at around 170 F) to equal the amount drawn from the initial mash-out/sparge. Is that correct?


Efficiency wise, is it better to drain the mash tun before doing a double (and equal volume) sparge or to do the mash-out/single (but equal volume) batch sparge??

Thanks,

Michael

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Old 08-20-2008, 04:32 PM   #6
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Yes, that's the method I use, and the one suggested by a lot of batch spargers.

You can also skip the mash out, and do two separate sparges. In theory, it should yield slightly higher efficiency -- some see big gains, but some (myself included) have seen little to none. I prefer the single sparge method because I find it quicker and easier, which is the essence of batch sparging. But it is worth trying two sparges to see if you get significantly better efficiency.

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Old 09-01-2010, 04:59 PM   #7
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I think this may be slightly off topic, but here goes.

I don't like the batch sparge calculations that Beersmith comes up with. In other words, I think the amount it specifies can seem off at times and I used to come up either over or under my target volume. What I've begun doing is using the suggestion for mash volume (based on grain:water ratio). Then after I've pulled off the first runnings, I measure the volume in my kettle, subtract that from my target volume and divide the remaining volume needed by 2. I then do 2 batch sparges using this result. I seem to hit my volume perfect every time. Anyone have thoughts on this method? I'm sure others have done it. To me, it seems to be the dummy proof way of hitting your target volume while still having 2 sparges.

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Old 09-02-2010, 05:53 AM   #8
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I was doing two equal sparges, and getting mid to upper 70s. On my last brews, I just did a single sparge in the interest of time. Lower 70's. I do the drain first on both.

I have noticed you have to play around a bit to get Beersmith to do it right. One area I've not gotten it to do right is mashout water temps - I have to use much higher water temps than they say to. I suspect I cool down a bit more when sparging than most.....

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Old 09-02-2010, 05:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagobrew View Post
I think this may be slightly off topic, but here goes.

I don't like the batch sparge calculations that Beersmith comes up with. In other words, I think the amount it specifies can seem off at times and I used to come up either over or under my target volume. What I've begun doing is using the suggestion for mash volume (based on grain:water ratio). Then after I've pulled off the first runnings, I measure the volume in my kettle, subtract that from my target volume and divide the remaining volume needed by 2. I then do 2 batch sparges using this result. I seem to hit my volume perfect every time. Anyone have thoughts on this method? I'm sure others have done it. To me, it seems to be the dummy proof way of hitting your target volume while still having 2 sparges.
I agree with completely about Beersmith, unfortunately! The emp[irical method you use works really well. But try just doing one sparge and see what happens...my bet is that the impact will be nil to minimal. For more info on batch sparging, see my article in the current issue of Zymurgy or www.dennybrew.com .
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:09 PM   #10
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Denny,

I'll think about reducing the batches to 1, but I won't be able to get a good idea of what that does to my eff as I just picked up a barley crusher and am switching over from the lhbs crush. Their crush was suspect, so I expect my eff will increase slightly.

I don't know if I get a better eff with the double batch sparge (and, quite frankly, don't care that much. I'm not all that concerned about eff.), but I don't mind the extra effort. I do the second batch while the previous runnings are coming up to a boil, so it's not extra time for me. Maybe I need to think about a new burner as the turkey fryer takes a long time to get a boil going.

Sorry to take this thread off topic.

Aaron

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