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Old 05-27-2011, 04:14 AM   #21
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Fatastic post. Thanks so much for imparting some knowledge and experiance. My first AG batch will be next week, and I'm definately comming back to this post :cheers:

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Old 05-27-2011, 05:01 AM   #22
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great advice on the dough in. Makes perfect sense in hindsight. Will be adding that to my brew day for sure.

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Old 05-27-2011, 06:17 PM   #23
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Definitely a sticky please! Very clear and straightforward ... Thanks!

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Old 05-28-2011, 03:06 PM   #24
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Great write up. I'm 4 AG batches in and have been doing the dump and pray. I've been coming in pretty close thanks to brew target as they do take deadspace etc into consideration...at least I think they do since there's a space for it. I will definitely give your method a try next batch...already mashed in this morning :doh:.

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Old 05-28-2011, 05:17 PM   #25
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Hey, just wanted to say - I just doughed in like you described in this post and for the first time, I didn't have to use any cold water to bring my temp back down. Worked really nicely - thanks!

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Old 05-28-2011, 05:41 PM   #26
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Awesome primer. I'm hoping to move into AG this summer, provided I can allocate enough funds to it!

And I'm just curious with your technique: How consistent is your efficiency? Or perhaps put a better way, how near to your planned OG do you usually come after the mash? My partial mashes with ~4lbs of grain has been all over the place, but then again I'm working with pretty basic equipment.

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Old 05-29-2011, 01:38 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blender747 View Post
And I'm just curious with your technique: How consistent is your efficiency?
All of my recipes are built for 75% efficiency. That was not originally my target, but 75% became the trend I saw once I settled into a brewing process I was comfortable with. IMO, a "target" is actually a pretty silly thing to have had in the first place. It is my philosophy now to let your process dictate your efficiency, and not to let efficiency dictate your process. Think about that for a second.

Also, if the process is repeatable, the efficiency is repeatable. I know I mentioned this in the primer, but you don't need it to be a high number, you need it to be a consistent number.

Joe
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:44 PM   #28
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It is my philosophy now to let your process dictate your efficiency, and not to let efficiency dictate your process. Think about that for a second.
Touché. And well put. I suppose it's easy to get caught up in the efficiency race.

On another note, I've been assembling my list of equipment for going all grain. I'll be back to this thread once it's procured!

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Old 06-01-2011, 08:07 PM   #29
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Quick question. For us batch or double batch spargers, it seems the common convention is to not perform a mash out to allow more water for sparging.

How would you recommend raising and stabilizing sparge temp for us? I normally follow a dump and pray method from brew software here but maybe we could do something similar to your dough in advice?

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Old 06-01-2011, 09:02 PM   #30
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Quick question. For us batch or double batch spargers, it seems the common convention is to not perform a mash out to allow more water for sparging.

How would you recommend raising and stabilizing sparge temp for us?
Good question.

The meat and potatoes of the primer is hitting your desired rest temp for a single infusion mash. It gets a little hazy once you get to the sparge step because that process is very system dependent....but I'll take a shot.

Look at this question in two parts.
1) Mash-out and Recirc
2) Sparge

Mash-out and Recirc
I know the mash-out is technically there to quickly raise the grainbed above 170F, and denature the enzymes in the mash; essentially, locking in the fermentability of the wort. In truth, I don't know if that gallon (or in some cases, less than a gallon) of boiling water I add prior to recirc is enough to get me to 170F. Rather, I look at the "mash-out" as one last opportunity to liquify my mash as much as possible, and to get the wort to a temperature more capable of dissolving sugars into solution - whatever that temperature may be. As I said before, don't sweat specifics of the mash-out.

However, in my experiences, the mash-out and the recirc go hand in hand, and one would be borderline useless without the other. Obviously, the process does not need to be automated with a pump, and reviewing your question, is also independent of the upcoming fly/batch sparge. Even if I were to batch sparge, I would still follow my advice as given and add about a gallon (if it fits) of boiling water to my mash about 10 minutes before I want to begin my sparge. I would give the mash a good stir to incorporate the boiling water, and then begin a varlouf (or as I say, "recirc"). My recirc is automated, but slow. Over 10 minutes, I would be surprised if I recirculated more than 2 gallons. Recirculating 2 gallons can easily be done manually. Up to this point, there is no difference between your system and mine, so that mash-out + recirc process should be familar.

Sparge
I appreciate your concern about "If I mash-out, I have less water to sparge", but in my opinion, that is exactly what you want to do. Again, this is only opinion, because I do not batch sparge. Look at it this way, you are essentially moving that gallon from the last bit of wort collected to the first bit of wort collected. In my mind, the first runnings trump your last runnings. This plays to the logic of no sparge brewing from a wort quality standpoint, but in this case, you give yourself a little help in the efficiency department by doing that second (or third) batch sparge. To be honest, I don't really understand the concern about maintaining sparge temps, because if you follow the infuse, recirc, drain method I just laid out, each upcoming "batch" sparge you do after first runnings is like its own mini-mash-out (you just don't need the water to be boiling because the grain you are adding the sparge water to is "dry"). So to take a guess, you would only have to heat the sparge water to 180F or so, infuse, stir to incorporate, recirc, and drain - and do that as often as you need to reach the designed preboil volume. Maintaining temperature should be a non issue, because you are controlling what is going into the tun for each sparge step, and you know better than me what temp that water needs to be. Temps only need to be maintained long enough for you to run your recirc and get the tun drained.

So in summary, if I were to batch sparge, I would still do a mash-out. I think you would want to collect as much of your pre-boil volume from first runnings as possible, because those first runnings are going to hold the highest quality wort. Additionally, the mash-out will aid in dissolving the sugars back into the solution you are about to drain, and the now slightly thinner mash will make recirculation easier.

This process may change the efficiency you have become used to, but I really think the wort quality will be better. To me, that is the name of the game.

Joe
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