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Old 04-27-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Quick Batch Sparge Question

Hey y'all. I've been doing extract batches for 2 or 3 years and I'm planning on doing my first all grain brew day next week. I've been reading up on all the great advice here, but I'm a bit confused on something. I plan on doing a mash at 153 F and then a single batch sparge. But I'm not sure what temperature I should sparge at. I see 170 F listed in a lot of places, but does that mean my water should be 170 F before I add it to the grist, or should the grist be at 170 F after I add the water meaning my water should be somewhere in the 175 F range before I add it? I understand some people say tannin extraction is a concern at temps over 170 F.

I have a 10 gallon round igloo cooler for a mash tun with an 11 gallon brew pot and propane burner. Any other advice is appreciated.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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The sparge water should be 185F ballpark.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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Hot. It's good if it's hot*. Beyond that, it doesn't really matter much. Theoretically, it's best if your water is ~185ish to bring the grain temp up to ~170ish, but the difference in efficiency between 150 and 170 is small - well within most people's margin of error.

So just get it hot and spend your effort elsewhere.

*But it'll still work with cold water.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:27 PM   #4
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Awesome. Thanks guys.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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Closer to 170F is the best target. This temp will avoid tannin extraction. And the higher temp will make the mash less viscous, allowing more extraction of the sugar and thus better efficiency. To reach 170F exactly you'll need to do some calculations. Most brewing software will do this, but I usually just add my sparge water between 175-180F.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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As mentioned cold water works too. I usually heat mine to 150+ just cause things seem to flow a little better hot, but I have used cold water without issue. You don't really have to worry about mashout when batch sparging because its over quickly and you're boiling before there would be an issue. I don't think too hot would be much of a risk either for the same reason, its not sitting in there steeping, its just a quick rinse.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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Okay, so I've done a search and found some other threads that address this. I feel like now I know "what" to do, but now I want to understand "why". I'm an engineer. It's just my nature.

I had originally thought you were raising the mash up to 170 F in order to activate different enzymes and increasing your efficiency. But from what I gather, you're raising the temperature to stop the enzymes from breaking down the starches and stabilizing the wort until you can get it up to a boil. Is this accurate? If so, is there a minimum temperature (say 160 F) you need to achieve to denature the enzymes?

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masonsjax View Post
As mentioned cold water works too. I usually heat mine to 150+ just cause things seem to flow a little better hot, but I have used cold water without issue. You don't really have to worry about mashout when batch sparging because its over quickly and you're boiling before there would be an issue. I don't think too hot would be much of a risk either for the same reason, its not sitting in there steeping, its just a quick rinse.
+1

I read on HBT all the time how sparging with ~170+ water somehow increases your efficiency. I've never seen that. I've sparged with hot tap water and my efficiency remains unchanged. The only reason I heat my sparge water is that it leaves the mash tun hot(ter) and I spend less time waiting for my collected wort to boil.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:58 PM   #9
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I use 168, and certainly no more than 170.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngerManagement View Post
I use 168, and certainly no more than 170.
See, that contradicts what was said earlier about using 185 F water. Please explain why?
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