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Old 10-30-2009, 07:32 PM   #1
gman1
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Default Importance of Sparge Water Cyphering?

I am probably missing an important point but, why can't I prepare 6 g. or so of sparge water (skip the arithmatic) and use what I need until I have my pre-boil amt. of wort? Since sparge water is supposed to be replacing the sweet wort does it matter if you just stop the lauter process when you have the desired amount in the boil pot. Thanks for your input.

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Old 10-30-2009, 07:41 PM   #2
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Its less important in a fly sparge compared to batch sparge but ideally you get the best efficiency when your preboil volume is hit as the MLT is fully drained.

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Old 10-30-2009, 07:47 PM   #3
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Thanks! I do currently fly sparge and can see the importance when batch sparging.

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Old 10-30-2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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With a batch sparge, the sparge volume will be dependent on the amount of first runnings collected, which in turn is influenced on the size of the grain bill and the rate of absorption.

For instance: I calculate all my recipes based on 80% efficiency and 8 gallons pre-boil. With my kettle, I lose 2 gallons to evaporation over a 90 minute boil.

So, if I collect 2.5 gallons in first runnings, I need 5.5 gallons total sparge water to get me to that volume.

Am I correctly understanding your question?

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Old 10-30-2009, 07:50 PM   #5
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Because as you sparge you are continuously diluting the wort.

We like to think of the clean water "pushing" the sugars out but it doesn;t really work that simply.

Point is, if you diregard water volumes and just sparge to pre-boil you will likely miss your target pre-boil gravity or post boil volume to gravity.

If you calculate your volumes to gravity targets then your chances of hitting the numbers improves.

That has been my experience at least.

Plus, not draining the draff in the MLT thoruroghly makes for a heavy summombitch to move to clean. Or, a lot of muck to vacuum out.

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Old 10-30-2009, 07:55 PM   #6
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Yes Angler. But say, in your example, you mistakenly figured 6.5 g. for sparge and then seeing that your reaching your 8 g. and still have sparge water remaining you stop the lauter with the extra g. in the grain. Would that be a big problem or not since you were supposedly replacing "the good stuff" with sparge water anyway.

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Old 10-30-2009, 08:00 PM   #7
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Gila, Thanks. My problem seems to be that when I try to figure the right amts. of mash and sparge water I always seem to come up short. Then I wonder if its better to add more sparge water or keep what I got and add plain water to the boil???

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Old 10-30-2009, 08:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gman1 View Post
Yes Angler. But say, in your example, you mistakenly figured 6.5 g. for sparge and then seeing that your reaching your 8 g. and still have sparge water remaining you stop the lauter with the extra g. in the grain. Would that be a big problem or not since you were supposedly replacing "the good stuff" with sparge water anyway.
If I made an error like that, I'd collect the total volume and boil longer to compensate.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gman1 View Post
Yes Angler. But say, in your example, you mistakenly figured 6.5 g. for sparge and then seeing that your reaching your 8 g. and still have sparge water remaining you stop the lauter with the extra g. in the grain. Would that be a big problem or not since you were supposedly replacing "the good stuff" with sparge water anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gman1 View Post
Gila, Thanks. My problem seems to be that when I try to figure the right amts. of mash and sparge water I always seem to come up short. Then I wonder if its better to add more sparge water or keep what I got and add plain water to the boil???
Have you dialed in boil off between seasons and verified system losses? How quickly are you sparging? sparge time is a HUGE factor on the fly.

Kinda sounds to me you are accounting for too much system loss and too much boil off, or sparging too quickly.

As to the volume question, I focus more on target gravity than I do volume. So, If I come up short after the boil and my grav is high, I will dilute to gravity target. If I come out low, I'll either eat it or boil to grav.

If my grav is spot on and I am low or high in volume, so be it I am done.

Aside from losses, and boil off, re-evaulate your system efficiencies and go from there.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:06 PM   #10
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It's like GilaMinumBeer says, you're not "replacing" wort with sparge water. While sparging does rinse the sugars in the runoff downward, it's not exactly like you're pushing a separate layer of sugary runoff through the outlet - every bit of water you add dilutes the sugars in solution. If you keep adding water, you'll leave behind several gallons of water that definitely contains some sugar in it.

How about try it the way you propose, and then measure the gravity of the liquid that doesn't make it in your brew kettle? Then you'll understand how much you're leaving behind.

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