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Old 04-19-2012, 03:15 PM   #1
chasman
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Default Modified Batch Sparging - Taking an idea from BIAB

I finished my second BIAB last week and was not particularly thrilled with the method nor the OG results. Therefore, I have been researching more traditional ways of all-grain brewing such as batch sparging since I basically have all the required tools (minus a kettle screen). I was wondering about combining the 2 techniques. Whereas:

1. Fill 10gal. MLT with all necessary water required for brew day (BIAB concept minus the bag)
2. Heat to strike temp, dough-in, mash, mash-out to 170
3. Then drain, and use the first runnings to do the batch sparge.
PS: I will buy and attach a kettle screen to lauter of course.

If I have an aluminum MLT that is large enough, why heat sparge water in a separate vessel? Has somebody already thought of this, and assigned a name to the procedure? Or is it a stupid idea?



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Old 04-19-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
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Your process is rinsing sugars from the grains with water that has already been laden with sugars; kinda like washing your socks with pond water.



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Old 04-19-2012, 03:43 PM   #3
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But instead of using 3.5 - 4 gal. of mash water, I would be using ~7 gal. (which includes my boil-off and grain absorption) so it would be pretty thin to start out. Recirculating it would allow it to get "dirtier", so to speak. Right?

I've read posts about using reiterated wort in other mashes to make high gravity beers, but this is simply using my thin first runnings to batch sparge.

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Old 04-19-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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I was in the same boat as you -- my first BIAB was an awful 45%!

I changed four things:

1. Got a better thermometer (+/- 0.5°F)
2. Started iodine testing the mash
3. Stirred the mash vigorously every 30 minutes
3. Added a two gallon sparge @ 170°F after mashout

So I hit temps more accurately, and stir every 30 minutes until conversion has completed. Usually this is done in 40-60 minutes so only 1-2 stirring is necessary. I also heat 2 gallons on the stove while mashing. I use an aluminum pot with an aluminum basket in it. After mash out, I pull the whole basket out and rest it at an angle using the lid so it drips into the kettle. While it's dripping, I get one gallon from the kitchen and dump it into the basket -- no real art here -- just dump it on the basket -- then I fire up the burner while I repeat with the second gallon. I let the grain drip until the boil starts.

Since making these changes, my efficiency has consistently been in the 75%-80% range. Not too shabby!

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Old 04-19-2012, 03:58 PM   #5
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This is a no-sparge process just like brew in a bag and the only difference is what mechanism you use to separate grain from wort. There should be no additional sugar picked up by running the wort back through. The gravity of the wort on and absorbed into the grain material is at equilibrium with the wort that drained out. You'd just be figuring out a way to add more time to the day.

What advantage would your proposed process have over going with a slightly thicker mash and doing a real batch sparge. The big deal with moving from BIAB to a batch sparge is holding the grain in a vessel separate from your heatable vessel. You'd already be doing that. Just use your boil kettle to heat a couple gallons of sparge and collect the first runnings in a bucket.

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Old 04-19-2012, 04:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasman View Post
But instead of using 3.5 - 4 gal. of mash water, I would be using ~7 gal. (which includes my boil-off and grain absorption) so it would be pretty thin to start out. Recirculating it would allow it to get "dirtier", so to speak. Right?

I've read posts about using reiterated wort in other mashes to make high gravity beers, but this is simply using my thin first runnings to batch sparge.
The first runnings are usually the highest gravity, since the largest proportion of sugars are availabel to be rinsed off. Each sparge will result in runnings that are progressively lowewr gravity. I have done 2 PMs so far, and my process in the future is going to be 1.)mash at 1.25Qt/Lb 2.)collect first runings into an empty fermenter 3.)heat sparge water at volume required to acheive my target boil. 4.)dunk sparge, return all runnings to the BK and begin boil. I believe that the process of heating and recirculating wort back in to the MLT is to raise the wort temp to a higher protein rest to activiate different enzymes, and to mash out and denature the enzymes without introducing additional water that would lower the SG.
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:34 PM   #7
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Bobby_M: I'm glad you commented on this, as your primer pdf and videos were a huge part of my research. As was Denny Conn's info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
There should be no additional sugar picked up by running the wort back through. The gravity of the wort on and absorbed into the grain material is at equilibrium with the wort that drained out.
You just answered my question, I think... so since the gravity of the wort is at equilibrium with the gravity of the grain, passing it thru the grains again would not increase it's gravity or add anymore fermentable sugars. Right?

(just to answer your question) The advantages in my mind were:
1. I would not need another vessel to heat sparge water. Simply wash MLT out, and dump wort from buckets back in for boil.
2. The larger volume of water in my aluminum MLT (~7 - 7.5 gal.) would maintain mash temp better.
3. I thought it would increase my efficiency.
4. I would get to name a new method!
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:41 PM   #8
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william shakes beer: I didn't quite follow.

I can still mash-out to 170 by turning on the stove, which I would do before Vorlauf. I just wouldn't need to add any additional water to raise my temps as my MLT is "direct-fireable"
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
This is a no-sparge process just like brew in a bag and the only difference is what mechanism you use to separate grain from wort. There should be no additional sugar picked up by running the wort back through. The gravity of the wort on and absorbed into the grain material is at equilibrium with the wort that drained out. You'd just be figuring out a way to add more time to the day.

What advantage would your proposed process have over going with a slightly thicker mash and doing a real batch sparge. The big deal with moving from BIAB to a batch sparge is holding the grain in a vessel separate from your heatable vessel. You'd already be doing that. Just use your boil kettle to heat a couple gallons of sparge and collect the first runnings in a bucket.
Yep! In addition, by using that much water, your pH could be seriously out of whack.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:00 PM   #10
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I have recently started doing even volumes (or as close as I can get) for dough-in, and then 2 separate dunk sparges. I have two decent-sized pots, and it takes a little juggling, but is very doable. My brother and I brewed EdWort's Haus PA yesterday, and hit a corrected OG of 1.053, two points higher than Ed's OG at 75% efficiency.

I think we doughed in with 3 gallons to hit 152° and then did 2 2.5-gallon dunk sparges, looking to hit 170° for mash out on the first, and then another at 170° to get the last of the sugars rinsed out. I worked out the numbers, and 5.5 gallons of 1.053 wort on EdWort's grainbill would come out to 78.5% efficiency. That seems pretty decent to me.



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