Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Correcting for over sparging

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-07-2013, 06:54 PM   #1
cscade
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cscade's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wooster, Ohio
Posts: 456
Liked 15 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default Correcting for over sparging

On my last few batches, as I have progressively dialed my system in, I have started to have a problem with too high of efficiency into the kettle, as a side effect of very good rinsing.

High efficiency is not generally considered a problem, but in my case it's just a bit too high and is causing extraction issues with undesirable compounds.

My typical efficiency into the kettle is now up around 92-98% (as calculated by BeerTools), depending on the grist. Mash pH varies depending on grist, but I stay between 5.4 and 5.6 at mash temp, correcting with 88% lactic acid. I fly sparge, to kettle volume. Sparge water is acidified to pH 6-6.5. Run-off rate is very carefully monitored at 5 min/gal for the entire sparge.

I have started to notice tannin extraction, and it's hurting my beers. On the batches with the problem, final runnings have been well into the danger zone, at 1.004-1.005, with a pH of 5.7-6. I had thought I could get away with it by keeping my pH under 7, but the beers prove otherwise.

I'd like to correct for the over-sparging, but I'm not sure how best to approach changing the process without a ton of trial and error. The way I see it I could do either of;

  1. Speed up the sparge
  2. Stop sparging early and top off pre-boil

With either method, I don't really know how to pre-calculate the effect, and come up with a recipe that won't be terribly off.

Has anyone dealt with this, and come up with a simple correction?
__________________

Seeker Brewing Co.
est. 2008
Build Thread - Blog
cscade is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 07:19 PM   #2
divrguy
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
divrguy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Northern CA, California
Posts: 889
Liked 44 Times on 42 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cscade
On my last few batches, as I have progressively dialed my system in, I have started to have a problem with too high of efficiency into the kettle, as a side effect of very good rinsing.

High efficiency is not generally considered a problem, but in my case it's just a bit too high and is causing extraction issues with undesirable compounds.

My typical efficiency into the kettle is now up around 92-98% (as calculated by BeerTools), depending on the grist. Mash pH varies depending on grist, but I stay between 5.4 and 5.6 at mash temp, correcting with 88% lactic acid. I fly sparge, to kettle volume. Sparge water is acidified to pH 6-6.5. Run-off rate is very carefully monitored at 5 min/gal for the entire sparge.

I have started to notice tannin extraction, and it's hurting my beers. On the batches with the problem, final runnings have been well into the danger zone, at 1.004-1.005, with a pH of 5.7-6. I had thought I could get away with it by keeping my pH under 7, but the beers prove otherwise.

I'd like to correct for the over-sparging, but I'm not sure how best to approach changing the process without a ton of trial and error. The way I see it I could do either of;

[*]Speed up the sparge[*]Stop sparging early and top off pre-boil


With either method, I don't really know how to pre-calculate the effect, and come up with a recipe that won't be terribly off.

Has anyone dealt with this, and come up with a simple correction?
From winning homebrew site.

There are many causes of process-related astringency: over-sparging, sparging with water above 168°F (76°C), steeping your grains too long, mash pH above the 5.2-5.6 range, over hopping, or boiling your grains can extract excessive tannins from the husks. Milling your grains too fine and poor hot-break removal resulting in too much trub may be sources of astringency as well.

Seems speeding up might be my first attempt if your mash PH, temps and mill are all correct.
__________________

Dive Often! Play Hard and Have a homeBrew!

divrguy is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #3
cscade
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cscade's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wooster, Ohio
Posts: 456
Liked 15 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Sparge temperature is locked at 168F, mash rest time overall doesn't exceed 90 minutes including mash out, hot break is very good, and my crush is producing almost no flour.

I'm concerned that my pH might not be quite close enough to ideal. I have been reluctant to correct farther, just because of the amount of acid I'd have to use.

Speeding up the sparge is an easy change to make, but I'm concerned it will produce inconsistent results across batches.

__________________

Seeker Brewing Co.
est. 2008
Build Thread - Blog
cscade is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 07:41 PM   #4
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,318
Liked 4273 Times on 3113 Posts
Likes Given: 820

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cscade View Post
Sparge temperature is locked at 168F, mash rest time overall doesn't exceed 90 minutes including mash out, hot break is very good, and my crush is producing almost no flour.

I'm concerned that my pH might not be quite close enough to ideal. I have been reluctant to correct farther, just because of the amount of acid I'd have to use.

Speeding up the sparge is an easy change to make, but I'm concerned it will produce inconsistent results across batches.
I think it's a combination- the last runnings at too low an SG, and the pH too high.

Definitely stop the sparge by the time you get to 1.010, and top up with water if you have to- but oversparging sounds like a problem for you.

I would also say that the pH of the sparge runnings needs to be under 6. One that that really helped me is to sparge with 100% RO water. If that's not possible, you could try diluting with RO water which may help a lot. Also, consider phosphoric acid for reducing the pH (both mash and sparge) which doesn't have the flavor impact that lactic acid does.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 07:44 PM   #5
divrguy
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
divrguy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Northern CA, California
Posts: 889
Liked 44 Times on 42 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cscade
Sparge temperature is locked at 168F, mash rest time overall doesn't exceed 90 minutes including mash out, hot break is very good, and my crush is producing almost no flour.

I'm concerned that my pH might not be quite close enough to ideal. I have been reluctant to correct farther, just because of the amount of acid I'd have to use.

Speeding up the sparge is an easy change to make, but I'm concerned it will produce inconsistent results across batches.
All your thermometer's correct? I just found one of my mash thermometers was off 7 degrees for a while but didn't know until I had a few issues and stuck three others in there to figure it out.
__________________

Dive Often! Play Hard and Have a homeBrew!

divrguy is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 08:28 PM   #6
cscade
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cscade's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wooster, Ohio
Posts: 456
Liked 15 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by divrguy View Post
All your thermometer's correct? I just found one of my mash thermometers was off 7 degrees for a while but didn't know until I had a few issues and stuck three others in there to figure it out.
Pretty sure. I have a thermapen that I use to calibrate the error on all my RTD probes, and everything seems to be accurate +/- 0.5ºF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I think it's a combination- the last runnings at too low an SG, and the pH too high.

Definitely stop the sparge by the time you get to 1.010, and top up with water if you have to- but oversparging sounds like a problem for you.

I would also say that the pH of the sparge runnings needs to be under 6. One that that really helped me is to sparge with 100% RO water. If that's not possible, you could try diluting with RO water which may help a lot. Also, consider phosphoric acid for reducing the pH (both mash and sparge) which doesn't have the flavor impact that lactic acid does.
RO isn't in the realm of possibility unfortunately. Distilled is, but I'd prefer a different solution, because remembering to buy distilled doesn't always happen in time

Switching to a different acid is something I have been wanting to do. I have to use so much lactic to overcome my water's buffering capacity it makes me uncomfortable.
__________________

Seeker Brewing Co.
est. 2008
Build Thread - Blog

Last edited by cscade; 05-08-2013 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Typo'd in the wrong acid.
cscade is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 09:29 PM   #7
Bsquared
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Bsquared's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,808
Liked 55 Times on 51 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

Have you considered using mash pH buffer? I think the simplest thing is to speed up your sparge, your efficiency will drop a bit , but if you are getting better than 80% you could afford to loose some efficiency to avoid tannins. I was under the impression that ideal sparge rate was closer to 1 liter/ min, so that would be just under 4min/ gallon.

Personally I'm to impatient for 4min/gallon, I'm closer to 2.5min/ gallon. that gets me between 75-80% extraction efficiency.

__________________
Bsquared is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-08-2013, 02:06 AM   #8
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,318
Liked 4273 Times on 3113 Posts
Likes Given: 820

Default

I don't agree with using the 5.2 buffer stuff.

What I'm thinking about is that if your alkalinity is so high that you need a large quantity of acid to drop it to get an acceptable pH for your mash is sparge is that it's too much.

I bought an RO system for my house ($120) because that was my issue.

If that's not possible, I'd consider looking at the water report and then doing something to reduce the alkalinity. Maybe lime softening (which I tried). It's not that bad to do, and it might work well depending on your water chemistry.

Otherwise, preboiling to decarbonate the water and then racking off the precipitates is something that would maybe work.

It really is a water issue, and without fixing the water issue I don't think the flavor issue will go away even if the efficiency is reduced.

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-08-2013, 01:14 PM   #9
nstnate
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 69
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

My typical efficiency into the kettle is now up around 92-98% (as calculated by BeerTools), depending on the grist. Mash pH varies depending on grist, but I stay between 5.4 and 5.6 at mash temp, correcting with 88% lactic acid. I fly sparge, to kettle volume. Sparge water is acidified to pH 6-6.5. Run-off rate is very carefully monitored at 5 min/gal for the entire sparge. [/QUOTE]

Isn't 5.4 - 5.6 a little high for at mash temp? Wouldnt that be roughly 5.7-5.9 at room temp (where it should be measured). I second the highly alkaline water problem, I would try diluting with distilled also.

__________________
nstnate is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-08-2013, 01:58 PM   #10
cscade
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cscade's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wooster, Ohio
Posts: 456
Liked 15 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

The only thing keeping me away from going RO is my goal; I have solid long term plans to open a nano, and I don't want to train myself to use techniques that won't scale beyond a homebrew size.

I have looked into large industrial RO systems to see if that will be an option down the road, and it really isn't.

Perhaps my fear of lactic is unfounded, let's get some real numbers in play here and you can tell me what you think:

Base Water:

Code:
pH			8.2
Sodium, Na		48
Potassium, K		2
Calcium, Ca		25
Magnesium, Mg		12
Total Hardness, CaCO3	113
Sulfate, SO4		72
Chloride, Cl		71
Carbonate, CO3		<1
Bicarbonate, HCO3	50
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3	41
By the numbers, my water is not overly hard - it's actually pretty good brewing water. There's nowhere near enough temporary hardness that it will precipitate out from boiling. My biggest problem for water chemistry is getting my calcium up to acceptable levels without blowing my chloride and sulfate way out of proportion to the hardness.

On an upcoming beer (see attachments to this post. Note: SRM is 3.3) I would need an estimated 4.6ml of lactic overall to bring the pH in line. This is on a batch that will yield 11 gallons into the fermentor. This seems like a lot of lactic to me. My experience has been that I typically need more like 6+ml to get the calculated results to actually happen, which means I'm driving my RA way, way into the negative. The estimate is always low. As such, I tend to refuse to add more than 4ml lactic overall on brew day, and let my pH ride high.

My pH measurements are taken ~130F, with a good calibrated meter with temp probe, not strips. So at that temp I'd assume that 5.2-5.6 would be the optimum mash pH?

My understanding is that the pH 5.2 that is always quoted as the best mash pH is measured (and adjusted) at mash temp, not at room temp. Optimum range at room temp is 5.4 - 5.8, from what I have read.

Having typed all this out, I feel like everyone will say this much lactic is no big deal, but that highly negative RA seems like a bad thing to me. Fortunately on dark beers I don't have to drive the RA negative, but it's light colored beers where I'm extracting tannins.

Note that the attached sheet shows a sparge water volume of 14 gallons - that's the volume in my HLT at the beginning of the sparge, not the amount I'm actually sparging with. I match rate and only sparge to pre-boil volume.
File Type: pdf Hot Streak.pdf (27.4 KB, 20 views)
__________________

Seeker Brewing Co.
est. 2008
Build Thread - Blog
cscade is offline
suldruphaandbryggeri Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Correcting an undercarbed keg? sully20331 Bottling/Kegging 3 03-06-2013 11:17 PM
Correcting overshot OG BassManNate All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 11-17-2012 06:22 PM
Correcting high OG Valvefan Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 09-24-2012 03:37 AM
correcting ph Gustavo Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 09-09-2011 12:02 AM
Correcting a Low Prime Sudz All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 05-03-2010 10:54 PM