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Old 05-14-2014, 10:25 PM   #11
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As far as I remember, as long as there is 1-2" wort above the grain, that should help it not compact, and filter correctly. Slow in the beginning, and then speed up, but make sure there is wort above the grain bed all the time, or you may get a stuck mash. Been there, done that... The idea is for the vorlauf to run clear is, to keep as much as possible grain out of the brew kettle. If you can afford two five gallon buckets and a spigot, you can make your own vorlauf/sparge tun for less than $10.00. Search "Zapap" I have been brewing for 2+ years, and I have not purchased an insulated mash tun yet.

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Old 05-14-2014, 10:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jay-Brew View Post
Does it makes sense to sparge with the volume of water that is required following first runnings to get you to your final volume in your kettle?
Typically, the goal is to get the proper amount of gravity units from your sparge. Boil time should be a variable based on how much sparge water you required to hit your desired number of gravity units.

A long boil can be advantageous in regards to eliminating DMS.

Sounds like you handled the high volume sparge properly.

The only problem is you will have half of a gallon less of beer at the end!
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MindenMan View Post
As far as I remember, as long as there is 1-2" wort above the grain, that should help it not compact, and filter correctly. Slow in the beginning, and then speed up, but make sure there is wort above the grain bed all the time, or you may get a stuck mash. Been there, done that... The idea is for the vorlauf to run clear is, to keep as much as possible grain out of the brew kettle. If you can afford two five gallon buckets and a spigot, you can make your own vorlauf/sparge tun for less than $10.00. Search "Zapap" I have been brewing for 2+ years, and I have not purchased an insulated mash tun yet.
When you are talking about wort above the grain is this not fly sparging you are referring to (unless I am confused)? I was batch sparging. The wort did clear but not as much as I would have wanted. Hopefully with practice.

Thanks for the Zapap suggestion but I have an Igloo 10 gallon cooler mash tun conversion.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeErieMonster View Post
Typically, the goal is to get the proper amount of gravity units from your sparge. Boil time should be a variable based on how much sparge water you required to hit your desired number of gravity units.

A long boil can be advantageous in regards to eliminating DMS.

Sounds like you handled the high volume sparge properly.

The only problem is you will have half of a gallon less of beer at the end!
Next time I think I'll empty the kettle more. Just worried about my ss brew bucket filling up with junk rendering the valve useless, but I suspect it can hold a bit and I'll get a sense of it with use.
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Old 05-18-2014, 03:55 PM   #15
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You can definitely account for that extra trub by adjusting your allowance for kettle dead space in your software. As an aside, you can always put that break material/hop residue in your fermenter. Plenty of people do, and make great beer. It will all drop out during fermentation, and you rack the same as normal. The only reason you might not want to is if you plan to culture the yeast for future batches. Even so, if you look into yeast washing, it's fairly easy to take that stuff out of the yeast and get a pretty clean culture for future pitches.



Congrats on the first AG brew!



BTW, I would try to find a bigger vorlauf pitcher. Letting it run longer will definitely help it clear better.

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Old 05-18-2014, 04:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by djfriesen View Post
You can definitely account for that extra trub by adjusting your allowance for kettle dead space in your software. As an aside, you can always put that break material/hop residue in your fermenter. Plenty of people do, and make great beer. It will all drop out during fermentation, and you rack the same as normal. The only reason you might not want to is if you plan to culture the yeast for future batches. Even so, if you look into yeast washing, it's fairly easy to take that stuff out of the yeast and get a pretty clean culture for future pitches.



Congrats on the first AG brew!



BTW, I would try to find a bigger vorlauf pitcher. Letting it run longer will definitely help it clear better.
Thanks very much! Definitely going to use a bigger jug/pitcher to vorlauf next time. I entered all of my volumes into BeerSmith including the deadspace in my kettle. My problem was I quit draining it before it hit the deadspace so I lost that volume going into my fermenter. I have drained much more of the junk at the bottom of the kettle in the past without concern when using a carboy or bucket. The reason I didn't so much this time is because I am using an SS Brew Bucket for the first time, and I wanted to be sure I didn't get too much junk in it and fill up the cone at the bottom over top of the valve opening and thereby render it useless. After I drain it I'll have a much better idea of how much I can get away with on future batches in the Brew Bucket. I have read it's about 0.7 gallons. I will also be dry hopping with around 4 oz. too I think which will add a little bit. Hopefully there is lots of room at next time I will feel good about draining down to the kettle deadspace.

Thanks again! Really looking forward to batch #2, which I hope is in a couple of weeks.
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:38 PM   #17
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You didn't mention the water you use and if you treated it or not. What I mean is by that is adding a bit of brewing salts it will help your grains better convert while in the mash by lowering your mash pH. I'm sure you're aware of the starch conversion enzymes called alpha and beta amylase.
I use CaSO4 which is calcium sulfate to lower my strike water pH of one tsp per five gallons. It's important not to add too much to guard against sulphur undertones in your beer and especially careful if you're making a lager. The alternative to that is calcium chloride CaCl2. There are other ions, but personally I don't make british style beers that use Nacl or MgSO4 as well.
It's just something to consider as you move forwards and have a better feel for your brewing process.
Something I like to do personally is to continue to sparge past the extracted amount. I like to for two reasons. First is to control boil overs with a bit of cooler wort and the second is to make a weak table beer. I can typically collect 2.5 gallons or more of wort that is 1.020 og and ferment that out in a glass carboy to an alcohol content of 2% abv. It ferments and matures very fast and gives you something to drink while waiting for the main beer to catch up.
Congrats on your first all grain brew!

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Old 05-18-2014, 07:10 PM   #18
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Thanks, Biergarden!

I have read a little about water chemistry but still have a ton to learn about it. I didn't concern myself with it too much for this one, but it will be something I research more going ahead.

For this batch I added a tablespoon of 5.2 stabilizer. I have read mixed thoughts on its efficacy, but I have it.... I also added a quarter tablet of campden to the strike and sparge water. It was tap water that I used.

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Old 05-19-2014, 02:41 AM   #19
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One way to manage your trub us with some whole leaf hop. You'll see a bunch of the trub/hot break caught up in the loose hops at the bottom of your boil kettle once you drain off into your fermenter.

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Old 05-19-2014, 01:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
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One way to manage your trub us with some whole leaf hop. You'll see a bunch of the trub/hot break caught up in the loose hops at the bottom of your boil kettle once you drain off into your fermenter.
Will have to try that on a future batch. Thanks.
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