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Old 09-09-2012, 07:23 PM   #11
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+1 to stirring making the big difference vs time. You are just trying to get the sugars dissolved in the water. 5 minutes of stirring does that a whole lot better just sitting there.

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Old 09-09-2012, 07:44 PM   #12
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Does anyone batch sparge with a round cooler with a false bottom and also use a bag inside the cooler? I've been using a 10 gallon RubberMaid cooler with a false bottom, but have to vorlauf a lot to get reasonably clear wort. I found one thread where someone said he used a large grain bag inside his cooler with a false bottom and got very clear wort immediately, so I've been thinking about trying that. If I could eliminate the vorlauf on first runnings and sparge, and run wide open, it would be worth the added effort to clean the grain bag. Anyone tried this?

Or how about adding a paint strainer bag in the kettle to filter the wort from the MLT?

I suppose I could use a SS braid, but:
1. I don't know if the filtering is good enough to eliminate vorlauf
2. With my current false bottom with a tube down to 1/8 inch above the bottom of the cooler I can drain all but 1 1/2 cup of wort from my MLT. I don't think I could drain that well with a braid.

Looking to shorten my brew day a little - any good ideas are welcome.

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Old 09-09-2012, 10:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafSmith View Post
Does anyone batch sparge with a round cooler with a false bottom and also use a bag inside the cooler? I've been using a 10 gallon RubberMaid cooler with a false bottom, but have to vorlauf a lot to get reasonably clear wort. I found one thread where someone said he used a large grain bag inside his cooler with a false bottom and got very clear wort immediately, so I've been thinking about trying that. If I could eliminate the vorlauf on first runnings and sparge, and run wide open, it would be worth the added effort to clean the grain bag. Anyone tried this?

Or how about adding a paint strainer bag in the kettle to filter the wort from the MLT?

I suppose I could use a SS braid, but:
1. I don't know if the filtering is good enough to eliminate vorlauf
2. With my current false bottom with a tube down to 1/8 inch above the bottom of the cooler I can drain all but 1 1/2 cup of wort from my MLT. I don't think I could drain that well with a braid.

Looking to shorten my brew day a little - any good ideas are welcome.
I use the hop spider I made to filter grains when draining into the kettle. I kind of like the grain bag idea in a the cooler (I have 10gal round Igloo). At the very least it would make cleaning the MLT a little easier.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafSmith
Does anyone batch sparge with a round cooler with a false bottom and also use a bag inside the cooler? I've been using a 10 gallon RubberMaid cooler with a false bottom, but have to vorlauf a lot to get reasonably clear wort. I found one thread where someone said he used a large grain bag inside his cooler with a false bottom and got very clear wort immediately, so I've been thinking about trying that. If I could eliminate the vorlauf on first runnings and sparge, and run wide open, it would be worth the added effort to clean the grain bag. Anyone tried this?

Or how about adding a paint strainer bag in the kettle to filter the wort from the MLT?

I suppose I could use a SS braid, but:
1. I don't know if the filtering is good enough to eliminate vorlauf
2. With my current false bottom with a tube down to 1/8 inch above the bottom of the cooler I can drain all but 1 1/2 cup of wort from my MLT. I don't think I could drain that well with a braid.

Looking to shorten my brew day a little - any good ideas are welcome.
At the homebrewer level (speaking of batch size), a little grain in the boil kettle has no impact. I wouldn't worry too much about a "good vorlauf."
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:18 AM   #15
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Thanks for the help. It clears things up.
Kevin

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Old 09-10-2012, 01:26 AM   #16
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Thanks for the help. It clears things up.
Kevin
Nice pun... intended? Ha
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:37 AM   #17
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Intended

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Old 09-10-2012, 02:32 AM   #18
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Just to be safe I use a grain bag over the end of my drain tube. It probably caches a few tablespoons of crud.

Also double batch sparging is unnecessary. Go with a single. It doesn't affect efficiency.

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Old 09-10-2012, 03:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgmartin000
Just to be safe I use a grain bag over the end of my drain tube. It probably caches a few tablespoons of crud.

Also double batch sparging is unnecessary. Go with a single. It doesn't affect efficiency.
I think folks double sparge due to volume restrictions, no?
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:50 AM   #20
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Volume restrictions are often my reason for a double batch sparge.

I batch sparge and consistently get above 75% efficiency and formulate recipes for 75%, If I fall between 75% and 80% I'm really happy, when I hit 70-75% i'm a little disappointed but it's usually a higher gravity beer anyway. I attribute part of this to the fact that boiling outdoors on an average day I boil off 2 gallons over the course of the boil. More water = easier to absorb sugars. I've batch sparged every which way (wait 10 minutes after sparge infusion, stir after sparge infusion, Stir and wait 10 minutes, and drain almost immediately after sparge infusion) and haven't found that any of these techniques impact my efficiency.

I've settled in to stirring a little and draining immediately. My last efficiencies have been: 80.2%, 73.7%, 86.3%, 80.7%, 82.1%, 75.1%, and 78.4%. The 73.7% efficiency batch was a 1.066 SG batch that I opted to mash in my 10 gallon cooler instead of the 5 gallon. Previously I have mashed the same recipe in the 5 gallon and attained 75.1%. So it seems that the narrower and taller grain bed serve to deliver a little better efficiency.

As part of my process I check the SG of each of the batch sparge runnings with my refractometer to ensure that I do not get below about 1.015 SG because I have heard that this can extract tannins and I know that I am using 1 gallon more water than many brewers.

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