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Old 07-04-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
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Default Fly Sparging and Mashout

Well only a few months into homebrewing and I have 5 all-grain brews under my belt since I received my mash/lauter tun in May and completely overlooked the mashout step. I have a 10 gallon round drinking cooler as my mash lauter tun. I've been mashing 60-75 minutes with a 1-2 degree temp loss. All my efficiencies have been just over 80% fly sparging wth 175 degree water. By fly sparging, I mean sprinkling hot water over some tin foil with holes as I'm draining my wort. I've been nailing my FG so I don't think the lack of a mashout is hurting me. At this point with consistent efficiencies and predicted FGs, is there a reason to add a mashout into my brew process? What will I gain from a mashout?



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Old 07-04-2012, 10:01 PM   #2
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Well only a few months into homebrewing and I have 5 all-grain brews under my belt since I received my mash/lauter tun in May and completely overlooked the mashout step. I have a 10 gallon round drinking cooler as my mash lauter tun. I've been mashing 60-75 minutes with a 1-2 degree temp loss. All my efficiencies have been just over 80% fly sparging wth 175 degree water. By fly sparging, I mean sprinkling hot water over some tin foil with holes as I'm draining my wort. I've been nailing my FG so I don't think the lack of a mashout is hurting me. At this point with consistent efficiencies and predicted FGs, is there a reason to add a mashout into my brew process? What will I gain from a mashout?
Nothing that I can figure.

A mashout is supposed to do two things- stop enzymatic activity by denaturing enzymes after the mash, and make the sugars more soluble by the warmer temps.

Since you're fine with both (Efficiency good and FG on target), I wouldn't change a thing!


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Old 07-05-2012, 02:11 AM   #3
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Thanks... just trying to make sure I'm not overlooking anything or missing a critical step. Everything went well my first time around so I stuck with it completely forgetting about a mashout till I came across some older threads discussing the topic. Looking into it a little more, some people who haven't performed a mashout with fly sparging seemed to have higher than expected attenuation, but mine have been finishing right where they should.

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Old 07-05-2012, 12:26 PM   #4
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Thanks... just trying to make sure I'm not overlooking anything or missing a critical step. Everything went well my first time around so I stuck with it completely forgetting about a mashout till I came across some older threads discussing the topic. Looking into it a little more, some people who haven't performed a mashout with fly sparging seemed to have higher than expected attenuation, but mine have been finishing right where they should.
That's why I think you're fine! If you aren't having overattenuation issues and the beer tastes great, then I wouldn't fix anything at all.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:51 AM   #5
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Revisiting this thread. I found the information in the following link interesting.

http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2013/01/mash-temperature-theory.html?m=1

Still haven't tried the mashout step yet, but have found my wort to be more fermentable with longer mashes. More than once I've let my mash go much longer than an hour while running errands or working around the house. Each time my fg came in lower than expected. Not by much. 2-3 points. The graphs in the article confirm what I've observed to this point.

I'm at the point now where I've refined my technique. 60 min mash, 30 minute fly sparge with 195 degree water raises my grain bed to 170 and I'm getting great consistency on my fg. Still working on plotting my efficiency to grain size. 10 pounds and less, I'm getting right around 80%. My efficiency starts dropping quickly once I have over 14 lb of grain even though there's space to hold over 20 lb. A couple more big brews and I should have everything dialed in.

Getting further from the original topic, but I've actually extracted more sugar in 7.5 gallons of runnings from 15 lb of grain than I did from 21. Once I plot a couple more big beers I think I'm going to find my grain bills hit a critical point where my sugar extraction in 7.5 gallons of runnings start to decline. Im thinking that will be around the 17 lb mark. If that's the case, at some point I'll either have to use dme, collect more/boil longer, or maybe try batch sparging on very large grain bills to hit my target gravity. Anyone else experience this?

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Old 01-17-2013, 09:45 AM   #6
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Similar situation here, I have a 5 gallon beverage cooler set up with fly sparge manifold.
I've always mashed with a single infusion for an hour or so then went directly to fly sparging with water that is typically heated to around 185 degrees.
I'll sparge for 45-60 minutes.
Last couple of batches have had me between 80-85% efficiency.

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Old 01-18-2013, 03:13 PM   #7
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I typically brew big beers with 17 to 20 pounds grain. Have been mashing 60 min, drain fast, batch sparg for 30 min and drain fast but rarely hit much above 60% mash efficiency. Have hit 75% once, thought it was the better crush from a distant LHBS so bought a grain mill and crush at .039. Still got 60%. Moving to mashing 60 min and fly sparging 30 min next batch to see if efficiency improves. If not, will try mashing 90 min and batch sparging 45 min.

Until now, never considered a large grain bill would decrease efficiency. Thanks for the observation.

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Old 01-18-2013, 03:42 PM   #8
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I typically brew big beers with 17 to 20 pounds grain. Have been mashing 60 min, drain fast, batch sparg for 30 min and drain fast but rarely hit much above 60% mash efficiency. Have hit 75% once, thought it was the better crush from a distant LHBS so bought a grain mill and crush at .039. Still got 60%. Moving to mashing 60 min and fly sparging 30 min next batch to see if efficiency improves. If not, will try mashing 90 min and batch sparging 45 min.

Until now, never considered a large grain bill would decrease efficiency. Thanks for the observation.
Let me know how that works out. I have never tried batch sparging, but was toying with the idea on my imperials to see if it helps my efficiency. Make sure your runnoffs are roughly the same volume. Ive read thats importanr to getting consistently good efficiency when batch sparging.

Working on a keezer now so purchasing a grain mill will be put on hold till thats up and running..


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