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Old 05-31-2012, 03:20 AM   #1
scottyg354
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Default First all grain batch this weekend...Sparge question.

Know the basics. 1.25-1.5 quarts per pound of grain when mashing. Heat water 10-15 degrees warmer than desired mash temp. My question is when I sparge do I use the same amount of water as when I mashed? Also do I need to sparge for an hour like when I mash or will a shorter time work.

I also kno when mashing you lose roughly a half gallon of water to absorption. Does this happen with the sparge as well? Should I top off in my boil kettle?

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Old 05-31-2012, 03:32 AM   #2
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If you are fly sparging, after you drain the tun, you need to add water heated to the right temperature to an inch or so above the grain bed. Then you need to slowly drain so that the total sparge takes almost an hour. You need to end up with your preboil amount in the boil kettle.

If you batch sparge you first drain the mash tun then either add the sparge water in either one or two batches. You stir this up really well, vorlauf then you can drain right away. The total needs to give you your preboil volume. You will not lose any more to grain absorption.

You should not need any top off. You should gather the right amount in your mash and sparge.

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Old 05-31-2012, 03:39 AM   #3
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+1 except when fly sparging you are both draining the mash tun and adding the sparge water simultaneously, keeping about an inch of water over the grainbed. It's easy to rush the sparge so slow it down. Take about half an hour to sparge if you can.

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Old 05-31-2012, 04:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyg354 View Post
Know the basics. 1.25-1.5 quarts per pound of grain when mashing. Heat water 10-15 degrees warmer than desired mash temp. My question is when I sparge do I use the same amount of water as when I mashed? Also do I need to sparge for an hour like when I mash or will a shorter time work.

I also kno when mashing you lose roughly a half gallon of water to absorption. Does this happen with the sparge as well? Should I top off in my boil kettle?
oh, a multi-part question. . .

Q: When i sparge do i use the same amount of water as when I mashed?

A: Not necessarily. Sparge with enough water to hit your pre-boil volume. For me I aim for 6 gallons at the end of the boil so I can have 5.5 into the carboy and 5 into the keg. To do this I need to have 7.25 gallons pre-boil for a 60 min boil. So if I get 3 gallons out of my mash then I need to sparge with 4.25 gallons (doesn't matter which way you sparge, this math is true).

Q: Do I need to sparge for an hour?

A: The fly sparging section of this answer has been covered well enough. My regimen when I batch sparge goes like this: Drain the mash, Fill with half of my sparge volume, stir well, let sit 10 min, vorlauf, drain slowly (I find this helps to avoid grain bed channeling thus preventing poor efficiency), repeat.

Q: Does losing half a gallon happen with sparge as well?

A: Short answer, no. Long answer, I'm not exactly sure what you mean so I'll give both possible answers. There is dead space with every MLT I've ever come across, experience and measuring can help you determine that. You won't lose that dead space twice since it will have wort in it when you add your sparge water. Grain absorption is roughly one half gallon PER POUND of grain in your grist. Since your grain has already absorbed water during the mash you can safely assume it won't absorb a significant amount more.

Q: Should I top off my boil kettle?

A: No, I kind of cover this one early. If your short of your pre-boil volume it'll be okay to sparge a third time if your batch sparging. If your fly sparging, just sparge until you get to your desired pre-boil volume.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:09 AM   #5
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look at www.dennybrew.com A fellow member real good info on sparging

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Old 05-31-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
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Grain absorption is 1.1 pints per pound of grain or 1 gallon for every seven pounds of grist. Sparging in some ways is matter of simple arithmetic. For example my last batch of Sierra Nevada pale used 10.6 pounds of grain mashed with 4 gallons. I lost 1.5 gallons to grain absorption which left me with 2.5 gallons first runnings. I'm looking for 8 gallons preboil so I need to sparge with 5.5 gallons.

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Old 05-31-2012, 01:33 PM   #7
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Here is how I do it.

Figure 1.25 quarts of mash water per pound of grain. You should lose about 0.5 quarts of water per pound due to grain absorption, but after I drain the mash I measure how much wort I collected. Let's say you collect 2 gallons from the mash.

Next, take your target preboil volume and subtract the amount you gathered from the mash. For me, I need 7 gallons preboil because I'll boil off 1.5 gallons in an hour and I want to end up with 5.5 gallons after the boil. So I will need 5 gallons of sparge water to add onto the 2 gallons I collected from the mash to give me 7 gallons preboil.

If it's more than three gallons of sparge needed, I'll split it into two batches. So for our hypothetical brew I'll do two sparges of 2.5 gallons at 180 F. None of that will get absorbed into the grain. No need to let it sit a long time. Just mix it in, vorlauf, and drain it slowly.

I get about 75% efficiency using this method.

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Old 05-31-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt2778 View Post
Grain absorption is 1.1 pints per pound of grain or 1 gallon for every seven pounds of grist.
DOH! I knew that sounded wrong.
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