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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Good...but not what I expected
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Old 02-17-2006, 08:12 PM   #11
ESPY
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Originally Posted by Janx
Oh, and hydrometers are evil, worry-inducing tools. Stop using it and you'll have no more problems

Cheers
Uh oh. Let's not go there! I recall some pretty lengthy threads about that about a year ago when I first came here. I'm not convinced that I will continue to use the hydrometer, but I do want to try it a few times before I make that decision.

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Old 02-17-2006, 08:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
Low conversion is almost always sparge technique.
Keep in mind I'm doing a partial mash, only ~4.5 lbs of grain. I don't have an AG setup so I'm pouring the results of the mash through a strainer into my main brew kettle and then "slowly" pouring the sparge water over the grain. How slow? Probably did the 1.5 gal of sparge water in no more than 5 minutes.

Most of the partial mash instructions I've seen don't specify how slow to sparge. In fact, I've even seen some that just say "rinse" the grains. That seems misleading.

Anyway, how long should it take to sparge 4 - 5 lbs of grain?
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Old 02-17-2006, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPY
Keep in mind I'm doing a partial mash, only ~4.5 lbs of grain. I don't have an AG setup so I'm pouring the results of the mash through a strainer into my main brew kettle and then "slowly" pouring the sparge water over the grain. How slow? Probably did the 1.5 gal of sparge water in no more than 5 minutes.
A lot slower than that. And you want to gently sprinkle the water over it. What you're doing is exactly what I and lots of others did when they first started. You're sparging too fast and not gently enough. To do it right, you really need a hot liquor tank above the height of the mash tun to hold the hot water. Then you need a sprinkler of some sort. Phil's Sparge Arm is a commercially available one. Then you set the flow of water to a slow gentle sprinkle and the outflow of the mash to a slow trickle.

Even though you are doing partial mash, I think the sparge is your culprit. The extract from the malt extract is a given...no problems there. So you know your mash didn't yield what it should.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPY
Most of the partial mash instructions I've seen don't specify how slow to sparge. In fact, I've even seen some that just say "rinse" the grains. That seems misleading.
Definitely. That's why so many of us do it wrong at first. Plus, intuitively, it seems like you should just be able to flood the grains and rinse them off, but it really doesn't work that way.

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Originally Posted by ESPY
Anyway, how long should it take to sparge 4 - 5 lbs of grain?
At least half an hour probably. Been a while since I did a batch that small. Actually small mashes are harder than large ones (other than the ease of getting and handling the equipment) because a small mash will lose heat more quickly. I sparge my batches (12 gallons all grain) for well over an hour usually.

Cheers
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Oh don't give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
No, don't you give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
For my head will fly, my tongue will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die
Won't you pour me one more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit
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Old 02-18-2006, 10:49 AM   #14
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I used to work with hydrometers to check battery acid regularly. I can remember dropping off hydrometers to a lab for a calibration check.

Most of them failed the calibration test. They were the glass kine just like the one I bought from the brewing store.

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