Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Maximizing Efficiency when Batch Sparging
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-08-2013, 03:47 PM   #281
Denny
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Eugene OR
Posts: 4,270
Liked 433 Times on 326 Posts
Likes Given: 517

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by afr0byte View Post
Hmm, Bru'n Water recommends 5.3 - 5.5 at room temperature? EZ Water recommends 5.4-5.6. I personally tend to shoot for about 5.4.
I tht Brunwater was a bit lower...obviously. 5.4 is a good place. IIRC Martin has said he likes it a bit higher (5.4) for darker beers and a bit lower (5.2) for lighter beers.
__________________

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

http://www.experimentalbrew.com - the website for the book "Experimental Homebrewing"...coming Nov. 2014

Denny is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-08-2013, 03:58 PM   #282
AZ_IPA
PKU
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
AZ_IPA's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: The Cold Part of AZ
Posts: 42,614
Liked 6138 Times on 5347 Posts
Likes Given: 750

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewKnurd View Post
Pretty much. You may have a very small amount of additioanal conversion going on during the sparge, but the vast majority will occur during your mash, assuming you mashed properly.
True. The first part of troubleshooting efficiency issues is to figure out where you're losing it. If your mash conversion is poor (<90%), it doesn't matter how effecient your sparge/later is.

If you're getting significant efficiency improvement with a hotter sparge, your mash conversion probably isn't as good as it could be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
There's no sugar in solid form to be dissolved. Your mash starts out with solid starches, which are drawn into solution as part of enzyme conversion. At no point do you have actual crystals of sugar waiting to be picked up by the water.

Furthermore, the solubility of sugar in even 150ºF water is well above anything that would be a limit for brewers. I'm going off of memory here, but I believe the number is somewhere around 1.400.

Some people do notice increased efficiency from a warm sparge, but I never have. I've sparged with both hot and cold water over dozens of batches, and my efficiency is incredibly consistent. I suspect those who are getting better efficiency from a mash out are either (a) ending the mash a bit early, and the mash out speeds up the last remaining conversion or (b) having grain bed fluidity problems and are thus getting a more complete lauter from warm temperature.
This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewKnurd View Post
Yes, but if you get really technical about it, even if you're not at the solubility limit, i think the sugars will have a stronger driving force to migrate from the grains to the bulk liquid at higher temps. At least that's what I think I remember from p-chem.

Now, whether that change in driving force is actually relevant in a typical homebrew situation..... totally different question, and one to which I must admit I have no answer.
Kaiser did a cold sparge experiment and didn't notice any significant difference, similar to what Mal noted (other than it takes longer to heat up your wort with a cold sparge). A good discussion on it here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/cold...sparge-110856/
__________________
AZ_IPA is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-08-2013, 04:13 PM   #283
BrewKnurd
Formerly discnjh
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
BrewKnurd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Prairieville, LA
Posts: 2,754
Liked 238 Times on 197 Posts
Likes Given: 112

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
Certainly, but remember, there's never a point where you have solid crystal sugar waiting to be snatched up by the water. It's not as though the solid grain with solid starches turning into solid sugars, which then get dissolved. The entire enzymatic process of the mash happens already in solution.

If you've got remaining solids at the end of the mash, they're not sugars but starches. If you've got significant remaining starches, relative increases in solubility won't help you.

At least, that's my understanding.
Agreed, but you have a bunch of water held in the grain material, and i'm thinking that water also has sugar dissolved in it. So even though you're not dissolving any sugar, I would think you would get more efficient transfer when there's a greater driving force between the sugar water absorbed in the grain, and the less sugar-y water you're sparging with, which could occur either by having a larger volume of water (therefore less concentration) or a higher sugar solubility (therefore less "relative concentration").

I would like to make it quite clear, if its not already already so, that I'm talking on a very "technicality" basis here, and not claiming that it makes an actual measurable difference, because I would be lying if i said I was sure it did.
__________________

Fake it til you make it.

BrewKnurd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-08-2013, 04:27 PM   #284
MalFet
/bɪər nərd/
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
MalFet's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NYC / Kathmandu
Posts: 8,209
Liked 1235 Times on 821 Posts
Likes Given: 563

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewKnurd View Post
Agreed, but you have a bunch of water held in the grain material, and i'm thinking that water also has sugar dissolved in it. So even though you're not dissolving any sugar, I would think you would get more efficient transfer when there's a greater driving force between the sugar water absorbed in the grain, and the less sugar-y water you're sparging with, which could occur either by having a larger volume of water (therefore less concentration) or a higher sugar solubility (therefore less "relative concentration").
Hmm... I can't really comment on the effect of temperature gradients on perfusion, but if you've got significant stratification in your wort like this you've got much bigger problems. I'm not saying it wouldn't help, but it's a bit like turning on your AC because your kitchen is on fire.
__________________

"Be excellent to each other." -Benjamin Franklin

MalFet is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-08-2013, 05:01 PM   #285
BrewKnurd
Formerly discnjh
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
BrewKnurd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Prairieville, LA
Posts: 2,754
Liked 238 Times on 197 Posts
Likes Given: 112

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
Hmm... I can't really comment on the effect of temperature gradients on perfusion, but if you've got significant stratification in your wort like this you've got much bigger problems. I'm not saying it wouldn't help, but it's a bit like turning on your AC because your kitchen is on fire.
I'm not referring to temperature gradients, I'm talking about effective concentration gradients.
__________________

Fake it til you make it.

BrewKnurd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-08-2013, 05:21 PM   #286
MalFet
/bɪər nərd/
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
MalFet's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NYC / Kathmandu
Posts: 8,209
Liked 1235 Times on 821 Posts
Likes Given: 563

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewKnurd

I'm not referring to temperature gradients, I'm talking about effective concentration gradients.
Right, but you're saying that a relatively higher temperature equalizes those concentration gradients faster/better, aren't you? If not, I think I'm completely misunderstanding you. Is this what you're referring to as solubility?
__________________

"Be excellent to each other." -Benjamin Franklin

MalFet is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-08-2013, 05:29 PM   #287
BrewKnurd
Formerly discnjh
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
BrewKnurd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Prairieville, LA
Posts: 2,754
Liked 238 Times on 197 Posts
Likes Given: 112

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
Right, but you're saying that a relatively higher temperature equalizes those concentration gradients faster/better, aren't you? If not, I think I'm completely misunderstanding you. Is this what you're referring to as solubility?
I'm saying that higher temperatures lower the "relative concentration" of the solution. I made up the term "relative concentration" as an analog to relative humidity. If you have a pot of water in a room with 50% relative humidity and 10% relative humidity, the pot with in the room with 10% relative humidity will evaporate faster, even though you are nowhere near the maximum concentration of water than the air can hold in either situation.

Similarly, my completely theoretical argument is that the same absolute concentration of sugar in water of two different temperatures has a different "relative concentration" in the two situations, and therefore provides a different gradient for transport of dissolved sugar absorbed in the solids into the mash to the water.

Anyways, all this is stupid. Kai did an experiment that says it basically doesn't matter, and I have no problem believing that.
__________________

Fake it til you make it.

BrewKnurd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2013, 04:01 AM   #288
vabeergeek
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina [NC]
Posts: 18
Likes Given: 2

Default

That's funny because this is the very topic I came over here to investigate. Thanks for the information.

__________________
vabeergeek is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-14-2013, 03:50 AM   #289
backwoodbrewin
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy
The question of how to improve efficiency often comes up, and I sometimes get PMs asking advice. Rather than repeat the same information, I thought I would write my thoughts down in this thread so that it could be referenced in the future.

Efficiency issues are often difficult to diagnose -- it is just something you have to figure out through trial and error (for this reason, always take detailed notes of your recipe and process each and every brew!). Here are some ideas to think about, in approximate order of importance:

• Your crush will have a big impact on your mash efficiency (although some debate this point). Regardless, the biggest gains in efficiency that users tend to report are when they improve their crush (e.g., buy their own mill). If your LHBS is crushing your grain for you, consider that most shops will set their crush so that their customers get between 60 and 70% efficiency. They may claim it is to help brewers avoid stuck mashes, but conveniently, it also helps them to sell more grain!

• The ratio of sparge water to mash water is a critical factor determining efficiency when batch sparging. Some brewers forget that high gravity recipes will have proportionally less sparge water (because so much water was needed to mash the large volume of grain), and therefore, they will also have less water to dissolve extracted sugars resulting in lower extract efficiency. This seems to be particularly true for those who batch sparge. The two common solutions are either to add extra sparge water and lengthen the boil to compensate, or to simply plan for the reduction in efficiency in the recipe.

• It is very important to hit your mash temperature and hold it for the length of the mash to get full conversion. A common problem is that people miss their temp (e.g., didn’t pre-heat their mash tun or their thermometer is out of calibration), and their extract efficiency suffers because the enzymes in the mash were operating in less-than-optimal conditions.

• Wort losses in the system (e.g., incomplete draining of mash tun or other dead spaces in gear like counter-flow chillers, etc.) can take a big toll on your brewhouse efficiency. These are sometimes overlooked because people are too focused on their extract efficiency rather than their overall (brewhouse) efficiency.

• It is hard to accurately compute efficiency if you don't have precise measurements of your water/wort. Sometimes people think they are getting poor efficiency in their system, but it just turns out they are over-estimating the amount of water used in a brew or under-estimating the amount of wort collected.

• When mixing your grain with water at the beginning of the mash, it is CRITICAL that everything is mixed completely to avoid doughballs or dry lumps of grain. If the grain is not sufficiently wetted, it won't convert, robbing you of efficiency points.

• When batch sparging, the temperature of the mash-out and/or sparge water influence your extract efficiency. You want to make sure that either your mash-out infusion or your first batch sparge addition are hot enough to raise the grist to as close to 170 F as possible. This allows more sugar to be dissolved and reduces viscosity to facilitate easier lautering, both of which will improve your efficiency.

• Also when batch sparging, it is critical that you stir the mash fully after adding mash-out water and/or the first sparge water addition. It may help to stir before each subsequent sparge water addition, but that depends on your system.

• pH of the mash is usually not a problem for most brewers, but some water sources can be problematic. If so, the use of a pH stabilizer, like Five Star 5.2 buffer can help achieve an optimal mash pH, and may result in a 5 - 10% increase in efficiency.
Sparging batch
__________________
backwoodbrewin is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-14-2013, 03:59 AM   #290
Denny
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Eugene OR
Posts: 4,270
Liked 433 Times on 326 Posts
Likes Given: 517

Default

In most, but not all, cases, 5.2 is ineffective. I have also found it to have negative impact on beer flavor.

__________________

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

http://www.experimentalbrew.com - the website for the book "Experimental Homebrewing"...coming Nov. 2014

Denny is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Two types of batch sparging and efficiency. chase All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 06-21-2009 01:26 PM
What % Efficiency do you get batch sparging RobertHSmith All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 22 12-29-2008 06:27 PM
Batch Sparging EamusCatuli All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 06-21-2008 08:46 PM
Fly Sparging Vs. Batch Sparging New2HomeBrew All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 28 08-08-2007 05:25 PM
Batch sparging efficiency david_42 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 04-08-2007 12:40 PM