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Old 08-20-2011, 01:10 AM   #1
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Default Is this a proper batch sparge?

I'm brewing tomorrow and want to hit my OG for once.

1. Mash as normal

2. Drain first runnings slowly (I've heard that draining slowly is better even for a batch sparge)

3. Pour half of sparge water, and raise grain bed temp to 170. Stir thoroughly. Let grain bed settle for 5ish mins, then drain slowly.

4. Pour the last half of the sparge water, stir well again, then drain slowly.


What I'm not sure about: Do I need to drain the batches slowly? Also, I've heard that your not supposed to stir the second sparge batch (third runnings) but I'm not sure why - can anyone confirm this?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 08-20-2011, 01:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarsnik View Post
I'm brewing tomorrow and want to hit my OG for once.

1. Mash as normal

2. Drain first runnings slowly (I've heard that draining slowly is better even for a batch sparge)

3. Pour half of sparge water, and raise grain bed temp to 170. Stir thoroughly. Let grain bed settle for 5ish mins, then drain slowly.

4. Pour the last half of the sparge water, stir well again, then drain slowly.


What I'm not sure about: Do I need to drain the batches slowly? Also, I've heard that your not supposed to stir the second sparge batch (third runnings) but I'm not sure why - can anyone confirm this?

Thanks in advance for your help.
1. Yes.
2. No need. Batch sparging is fast- that's the point. Open it up and let 'er rip. No advantage to draining slowly at all in a batch sparge..
3. Again, stir well. vorlauf, and let 'er rip.
4. As number 3.

Stir, stir, stir, stir. That's what makes an effective batch sparge!
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:27 AM   #3
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Thats how I've been doing it, filling the mash tun with 2.25g of 168F water two additional times after first runnings, to get a 6g preboil volume.

I actually had a similar question for anyone else posting: can you use the same water twice (drain the 2.25g from the mt then recirculate again through the mash) without affecting astringency? The reason I ask is because I'm getting horrible efficiency when batch sparging.

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Old 08-20-2011, 10:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by steven85 View Post
can you use the same water twice (drain the 2.25g from the mt then recirculate again through the mash) without affecting astringency? The reason I ask is because I'm getting horrible efficiency when batch sparging.

Just a guess, but I would look at your crush. No way should you need to recirculate runnings as you propose. Batch sparge IS easy and foolproof IMO w/ the right crush.
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:07 AM   #5
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What do you mean you're not hitting your OG? Your OG is simply the OG you get.

The problem may very well have nothing to do with the process, and be entirely due to assuming too high of a brewhouse efficiency.

Do you know what your brewhouse efficiency is? Do you know what % efficiency is being assumed for the recipes you're brewing?

If you don't know the above, can you give an example of a recipe you did, and include both the OG that you got, and the OG you think you should've gotten? Also, if the volume you ended up with was even a bit different from the recipe, that is also important.

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Old 08-20-2011, 02:55 PM   #6
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I mean OG relative to what beersmith has calculated. Beersmith calculates at 70% by default, and I miss this mark by 5-10 pts sometimes. So I can assume my efficiency is less than 70%, normally around 60% I believe.

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Old 08-20-2011, 03:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven85 View Post
Thats how I've been doing it, filling the mash tun with 2.25g of 168F water two additional times after first runnings, to get a 6g preboil volume.

I actually had a similar question for anyone else posting: can you use the same water twice (drain the 2.25g from the mt then recirculate again through the mash) without affecting astringency? The reason I ask is because I'm getting horrible efficiency when batch sparging.
Your problem lies with the temperature of your water. If you are trying to raise the mash to 168*, you can not add 168 degree water. I always batch sparge my first batch with 180 degree water and the second one around 170. Works well.
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarsnik
I mean OG relative to what beersmith has calculated. Beersmith calculates at 70% by default, and I miss this mark by 5-10 pts sometimes. So I can assume my efficiency is less than 70%, normally around 60% I believe.
There's nothing necessarily wrong with a 60% efficiency system...
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:34 PM   #9
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As far as the speed of run off, I have found that starting slow produces cleaner running's sooner. Also, with a high wheat or oatmeal content beer, starting slow seems to set the grain bed around my braid better, eliminating a slow/stuck sparge. So, I go nice and slow during vorlauf, then I can open it up once the bed is set. And like Yooper said, stir the heck out of it with each water addition.

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Old 08-20-2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolarisSnT View Post
Your problem lies with the temperature of your water. If you are trying to raise the mash to 168*, you can not add 168 degree water. I always batch sparge my first batch with 180 degree water and the second one around 170. Works well.
^^THIS
It made a huge difference when I started batch sparging. On my system I usually need about 184* for the first sparge in order to raise the mash temp to 168-169.
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