Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > One Simple Change, From 72% to 82% Efficiency

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-16-2008, 10:11 PM   #1
BierMuncher
...My Junk is Ugly...
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
BierMuncher's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 12,131
Liked 563 Times on 333 Posts
Likes Given: 201

Default One Simple Change, From 72% to 82% Efficiency

I'm a batch sparger. I can predict to within 1 point, my gravity based on a 72% efficiency.

This last batch was a three-peat of my Kona Fire Rock, Pale Ale.

But this time I took a page fom the latest BYO issue, discussing a variation of batch sparging that uses the fly sparge "theory" of washing down the grains by continually adding fresh hot water to the top of the tun and letting that water "squeegy" though the grains and rinse the sugars.

My normal batch sparge consists of:
Slowly drain the tun completely.
Fill tun with 180-185 degree sparge water, stir, let sit for 5 minutes...drain the tun.
Repeat until pre-boil volume is achieved.
This process has consistently yielded a 72% efficiency.

This time I:
Slowly drained the tun, and before the water droped enough to reveal the grains, I gently ladled in (with a sauce pan) just enough water to keep the level 2-3 inches above the surface of the grains. I was essentially manually fly sparging.

Once my liquor tank was empty and I needed to refill/reheat, I close the tun valve and let the mash sit with 2 inches of water over the surface of the grains until I could continue. This would normally be about 15 minutes.

I'd repeated the ladling process, careful not to "pour" the hot water into the tun, but lay the pot into the top of the water and tip it so as to "fold" in the water and not create any channels.

This time, my efficency was 82%.

I knew I was on to something when my preboil volume of 13.5 gallons was just a few point off of my target OG.

So anyway. From now on, I'll not be stirring in my sparge water...but taking the kinder, gentler approach.

So technically, I guess I'm now a fly sparge guy.

NOTE: This erases my notion that going from the round rubbermaid to a wider rectangular would be beneficial to my efficiency. I have to believe that the narrower cylinder shape lends itself more to this method.


Last edited by BierMuncher; 03-21-2008 at 03:42 PM.
BierMuncher is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-16-2008, 10:34 PM   #2
EricK The Red
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
EricK The Red's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Upstate NY (Southern Quebec)
Posts: 325
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Excellent! I've always been a bit mystified with the sparging process, this sounds like a simple & effective way to go!

__________________

__________________________________________

Primary 1: Cheesefood's Vanilla Carmel Cream Ale
Primary 2: EdWort's Apfelwein w/Montrachet
Primary 3: EdWort's Apfelwein w/Nottingham
Secondary: IPA
Kegged & Conditioning: Northern Brewer ESB
On tap: I.P.A. (BB Kit)
Bottled & aging: American Nut Brown Ale

On deck: Fat Tyre Clone, Irish Red & More IPA!

"Beer is a vegetable"

EricK The Red is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-16-2008, 10:37 PM   #3
the_bird
10th-Level Beer Nerd
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
the_bird's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Adams, MA
Posts: 20,454
Liked 354 Times on 292 Posts
Likes Given: 95

Default

I did a similar quasi-fly sparge once. Efficiency still sucked, but it was either the crush or my hydrometer. What made it a little easier was floating a tin pie pan on top of the mash, to disperse the water gently as I was adding it to the mash.

__________________
Come join Yankee Ingenuity!

"I'm kind of toasted. But I looked at my watch and it's only 6:30 so I can't stop drinking yet." - Yooper's Bob
"Brown eye finally recovered after the abuse it endured in Ptown last weekend, but it took almost a full week." - Paulie
"no, he just doesn't speak 'stupid'. i, however, am fluent...." - motobrewer
"... I'll go both ways." - Melana

That'll do, Pigley. That'll do.
the_bird is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-16-2008, 11:09 PM   #4
Spyk'd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Spyk'd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Waveland, MS
Posts: 1,017
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

Default

Now you're only one step away from a second cooler for HLT, a sparge arm, and a little gravity for an even easier fly sparge.


Welcome to the 80%'s!

__________________
Primary:
Bleach
Secondary:
American Red
Keg Conditioning:
Gruit
On Tap:
ESB
Bottled:
Nada...
On Deck:
Porter, Belgian Abbey Ale
Spyk'd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-16-2008, 11:18 PM   #5
LS_Grimmy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
LS_Grimmy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Cold Lake , Alberta
Posts: 297
Liked 3 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Nice thanks for the notes on that experiment... I was thinking about doing the switch but wondered how much it would increase. Downfall is that it does take a little longer eh

Cheers
Grimmy

__________________
LS Grimmy

My Web Site:
www.grimmysbeer.com

LS_Grimmy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-16-2008, 11:46 PM   #6
Evets
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evets's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
Posts: 1,835
Liked 133 Times on 67 Posts
Likes Given: 81

Default

Eureka! by golly, I think you're onto something!
I've been fly sparging from the beginning and regularly get 80- 85+ %

__________________
If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself!
Evets is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-16-2008, 11:52 PM   #7
WBC
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
WBC's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: La Puente, CA, California
Posts: 2,175
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Default

BierMuncher, You have done the same thing I did but wanted to do it 2 times in a row before telling the group. I did not get as big a jump in efficiency but did get a bit better. Maybe I do not drain as fast as you do when batch sparging and spend a bit more time and that is why I get 80 % when batch sparging but I did get over 80 when using the "Modern Batch sparge" method. Now all us "Die-Hard Batch Spargers" will get hammered about switching.

__________________

Cheers,
WBC

Fermentor 1: Bill's House Ale II, Fermentor 2: German Helles, Fermentor 3: Bill's Schworzbier (Black Bier)
Tap 1: Bill's House Ale II, Tap 2: German Hefewizen, Tap 3: Nut Brown Ale
Future Brews: Stone IPA Clone, Blonde Ale, Budvar Clone, Newcastle Clone
New toy: Blichmann 27 gallon fermentor


“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging”

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment”

WBC is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-17-2008, 12:07 AM   #8
imasickboy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Landisville, PA
Posts: 171
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Some tips:

--drain very slowly
--place aluminum foil on top of your grain bed, and poke a bunch of holes in it with a stem thermometer, or something of similar size. You then have no need to pour so gently.

I've always used this method, and regularly achieve 90% or better efficiency.

__________________
imasickboy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-17-2008, 12:14 AM   #9
drunkatuw
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 645
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

I jumped from 72% to 80% this weekend for the first time (on your Nierra Sevada recipe). The way I got there was to realize during my second batch sparge that morebeer.com sent me liberty hops instead of perle, so I ran to the LHBS to get some perle, so instead of leaving the second runnings in the MLT for 10 min, it was closer to 30 min.

__________________
drunkatuw is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-17-2008, 12:38 AM   #10
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,831
Liked 905 Times on 602 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

You might as well fly sparge at that point because manually adding sparge water seems like a waste. It takes the same time as true fly, but with the added incremental intervention. I wish I understood why some people (me) get 90% on a regular basis and other batch sparger can't break 80. I've tried running off slower and it gains me nothing. So far, temperature is the only variable that changes my efficiency. If letting your sparge water sit in the grain longer yields higher efficiency, my logic tells me you have a much coarser crush than I'm running.

As an advocate of batch sparging, I don't have anything against fly...In fact there's a certain aura of purity that surrounds it. I might try it in the future but it's hard to justify changing anything with 90% batch sparging. Have you tried the double sparge method?

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M 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
Does beer color change with efficiency? goswell All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 03-23-2008 02:57 PM
Simple Way to Check Efficiency? RLinNH All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 16 02-07-2008 01:13 AM
Simple efficiency tips? loneoak All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 16 09-28-2007 01:51 PM