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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Hello, Double Batch Sparge
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:49 PM   #1
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Default Hello, Double Batch Sparge

I have been having troubles with my efficiencies since I began all-grain brewing roughly 8 months ago. During this time I was doing single batch sparging and hitting 60-65% efficiencies. After talking with a local brewer, he recommended I try double batch sparging or fly sparging. Since I dont quite have the equipment yet for fly sparging I chose to do try double batch sparging first.

Yesterday, brewday of a big milk stout yielded me with an 84% efficiency! A 20%+ jump, which I am very satisfied with. All mechanical variables were the same as prior mashes with the exception conducting a double batch sparge vs. single batch sparge.

So, if anyone is having trouble with low efficiencies and has not tried to step up to a double batch sparge - it's a must! Don't wait as long as I did

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:51 PM   #2
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Did you just split your single sparge water volumes in half for a double sparge

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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It's baffling to me how this happens for some and still others (such as Denny) have experimented with it heavily and saw no appreciable increase in efficiency with double-batch sparging...

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:58 PM   #4
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The same thing happened to me. I was consistently hitting 60% on the dot with a single batch sparge. When I split up my sparge water I immediately started hitting 80-85% on each batch.

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:06 PM   #5
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My last two beers I have gone to a single batch sparge. I have noticed I lost about 10% on each batch. I thought I was just doing something wrong. I think next time I'll go back to a double batch sparge and see what happens.

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:07 PM   #6
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I don't understand how this could be possible.

Each subsequent sparge will extract less and less sugar; to suggest that efficiency can increase 20-25% with a second sparge sounds just plain crazy to me. I don't have my numbers in front of me, but I always measure the gravity of my first and second runnings, and on "normal" 5-6% ABV beers (pale ales, ESBs, and the like), I'm pretty sure my second runnings are in the 1.012 range. Yet another sparge wouldn't get me much more than about 1.006, which is almost pure water at that point.

I used to double-sparge, but saw maybe a 3-4% difference in efficiency. Since I typically get about 75% with a single batch sparge, I see no reason to double it.

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tre9er View Post
It's baffling to me how this happens for some and still others (such as Denny) have experimented with it heavily and saw no appreciable increase in efficiency with double-batch sparging...
I'm in this boat as well. I went to a double batch sparge and am still only at around 65%. I'd love to take the time to pick it apart and see why I'm only hitting that.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:24 PM   #8
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Who said 20-25%? 4-5% is typical. If one gains more than that, it causes me to consider the longer rest times and ramped temps are completing what is normally incomplete conversion.

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:25 PM   #9
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I also always get 72-75% using a single batch sparge on a typical recipe. Tried double sparge on two different batches and yielded about 2-3% better efficiency. About the same increase I observed with fly sparging. Wasn't worth it so I went back to single batch sparge.

Another reason I don't do double sparges is that the pH starts to climb to a level that can start extracting unwanted tanins from the grain bed (unless you adjust the pH of the sparge water).

However, I'm going to throw a second sparge in my next brew (an AB Jr Rebrew) and collect separately just to see how much I get.

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:34 PM   #10
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One other factor to consider is deadspace. Since batch sparging works on the principal of dilution of the trapped wort in the grain (absorption) it also applies to wort trapped below the drain height. Conclusion: multiple batch infusions will show a greater efficiency gain the more deadspace you have.

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