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Old 04-05-2009, 11:27 PM   #1
Tetzlaf
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Default Draining Speed for Batch Sparging

I was reading an older post about different batch sparging techniques and had a question for brewers like BobbyM. I myself am new to brewing (about 12 batches) I read Palmers book first and decided to fly sparge and got bad efficiency probably due to the fact that I am impatient when it comes to watching something trickle for 90 mins. I decided to try batch sparging and raised my efficiency 10%, been doing it since. I have noticed with my set up that while draining, if I "let er rip" and open the ball valve all the way it ruins my vorlaufing and I get cloudy wort. I use a 10gal Gott Cooler with a false bottom from MW. I vorlauf 4 quarts usually then end up opening the ball valve 1/3 to 1/2 of the way open before my wort clouds up again.

For you brewers who open the valve all the way while draining batch sparges do you always get crystal clear wort or does it have to do with the equipment. I know when BobbyM does it in his video he is using a braid not a FB? Just wondering if anyone else noticed clearer wort when batch sparging slowly?

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Old 04-05-2009, 11:36 PM   #2
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i run full open but also vorlauf that way.

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Old 04-06-2009, 02:19 AM   #3
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Cloudy isn't a problem. Eriktlupus is right though, it helps to set the bed at the same runoff speed. Even since I got a false bottom I notice I have to do that.

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Old 04-06-2009, 02:24 AM   #4
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I used to batch sparge slowly just to prevent a stuck sparge but since I started conditioning my malt before the crush I get husks that are cracked in two and plenty of flour. Big chucks of husk make a free flowing but very effective grainbed filter, and now I runoff with my valve fully open.

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Old 04-06-2009, 05:02 PM   #5
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I start my runoff slowly, then once I return the vorlauf portion to the mash tun I open it up. Cloudy wort is not unusual...you just don't want chunks in it! There was a German study cited in a recent issue of BYO that said cloudy runoff has nothing to do with the finished beer.

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Old 04-06-2009, 05:15 PM   #6
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Interesting. Clarity is supposed to be a good indicator of complete conversion, and my sparges are usually clear but usually my first runnings are not really clear regardless of how much I vorlauf or how long I wait, partly because the color is darker.

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Old 04-06-2009, 05:44 PM   #7
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Clarity _may_ be an indicator of conversion, but lack of it doesn't necessarily indicate a lack of conversion, either.

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Old 04-06-2009, 08:15 PM   #8
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I vorlauf slowly at first, after it starts clearing up (grain bed is settling) I vorlauf at full throttle. Once clear I drain at full throttle as well. Seems to work for me.

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Old 04-12-2009, 10:39 AM   #9
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Did two batches this weekend with double crushed grain.

On both I just opened the valve up and after about 2-3 quarts the wort cleared up of all the grain pieces.

I got half a stuck sparge on the second batch but I also had problems with dough balls on that one. It was a different kind of base grain and I think it might of had something to do with the moisture content of the grains, meaning dryer grain might have produced more flour from the double crush.

I messed around with the vorlauf speed a few times and noticed if my tube backed up with wort to the spigot creating a siphon I instantly got grain chunks into the pot and lots of them. I had to recirculate 2 quarts like my false bottom was full of crap from it. I also still think a slow run off creates clearer wort but maybe its just me.

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