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Old 11-30-2010, 05:35 PM   #11
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Step 1: This 170F water is called strike water and combined with the malt is called the mash.
Step 2: Yup, vorlauf then first batch sparge
Step 3: Second batch sparge
Step 4: This is a third batch sparge, the only thing is that if you want to stay true to the batch method, you should heat the water to 175 or so and add it all at once, let sit again, and then drain completely. What you are doing is kind of like a continuous/fly sparge with water that is too cool.

I am very partial to the fly sparge method and think the batch method over complicates things (I'm sure I will get nailed to the wall for saying that but it is my opinion). To fly sparge, all you would do is heat water to 170F during the mash. Then, at the end of the mash duration vorlauf as usual, then start adding water to your mash tun while you are simultaneously draining very slowly (1 qt per minute is about right), keeping the water level above the grain bed at all times. You will need approximately 1.5 times as much sparge water as strike water. So if your recipe called for 3 gallons of strike water for the mash, you would need around 4.5 gallons (I usually need a bit more to get the desired volume) of sparge water. Anyway, the advantage is that it is one continuous process rather than three different ones with three different temperatures.

As an added note, 158F is at the high side of the mash temp range and will lead to a less fermentable wort. I mash the majority of my beers right around 150F.

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Old 11-30-2010, 05:45 PM   #12
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If I were you, I'd increase the volumes of the first two sparges, so after draining getting your second runnings, you'd be at your pre-boil volume. You probably aren't hurting anything the way you are doing it, but you probably are gaining much in terms of the amount of sugar/fermentables coming out of the mash. You can shorten up your brewday by increasing the volume of the first two sparges...

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Old 11-30-2010, 06:27 PM   #13
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Tell beersmith NOT to use a mashout infusion. If you really wanted to do this, you'd add that 4.5quarts of near boiling water to the mash and stir it in PRIOR to vorlauf and drain. Any infusions after the first runnings would be considered batch sparges.

You want simple?
Mash 1.5 qts/lb of grain for 60 minutes.
Vorlauf and drain first runnings. If you want 6.5 gallons preboil volume, subtract your first runnings from 6.5. Whatever's left is your sparge volume.

Sparge with said volume at about 185F. You can do this is one step. Add it all to the tun, stir like mad, vorlauf and drain. Done.

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Old 11-30-2010, 06:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonK331 View Post
Step 4: This is a third batch sparge, the only thing is that if you want to stay true to the batch method, you should heat the water to 175 or so and add it all at once, let sit again, and then drain completely. What you are doing is kind of like a continuous/fly sparge with water that is too cool.
Hence my question... I had decided to do this "weird step" instead of just using "top up water"... because I have an unlimited supply of 130 F water right from the tap and, because of that, it really isn't adding a third step. However, I can visually see that even the sparge water that is too cool is increasing efficiency. Intuitively, I wouldn't think that "too cool" would add off flavors... but, ?

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Originally Posted by JonK331 View Post
I am very partial to the fly sparge method and think the batch method over complicates things (I'm sure I will get nailed to the wall for saying that but it is my opinion). To fly sparge, all you would do is heat water to 170F during the mash. Then, at the end of the mash duration vorlauf as usual, then start adding water to your mash tun while you are simultaneously draining very slowly (1 qt per minute is about right), keeping the water level above the grain bed at all times. You will need approximately 1.5 times as much sparge water as strike water. So if your recipe called for 3 gallons of strike water for the mash, you would need around 4.5 gallons (I usually need a bit more to get the desired volume) of sparge water. Anyway, the advantage is that it is one continuous process rather than three different ones with three different temperatures.
I may try that! My biggest problem is knowing how much water to prepare / add for the fly sparge. It does sound like it might actually be faster because once you get the mash draining, you keep it draining to you have your boil volume. Since I've gone all grain, faster would be a whole lot better.

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As an added note, 158F is at the high side of the mash temp range and will lead to a less fermentable wort. I mash the majority of my beers right around 150F.
How do you define less fermentable? I'm just curious because dropping to 150 would be a big change from BeerSmith's target... which, given the fact I don't really know what I'm doing, was my heretofore "trusted foundation".
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Tell beersmith NOT to use a mashout infusion. If you really wanted to do this, you'd add that 4.5quarts of near boiling water to the mash and stir it in PRIOR to vorlauf and drain. Any infusions after the first runnings would be considered batch sparges.

You want simple?
Mash 1.5 qts/lb of grain for 60 minutes.
Vorlauf and drain first runnings. If you want 6.5 gallons preboil volume, subtract your first runnings from 6.5. Whatever's left is your sparge volume.

Sparge with said volume at about 185F. You can do this is one step. Add it all to the tun, stir like mad, vorlauf and drain. Done.
I think I'll try this. Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:00 PM   #16
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I may try that! My biggest problem is knowing how much water to prepare / add for the fly sparge.
Grain absorbs roughly 0.15 gallons per pound so take your quantity of strike water (1.25 quarts per pound) , subtract 0.15 gallons per pound of grain, so for 10 pound grain bill you'd have 3.125 gallons water (10 x 1.25 = 12.5, 12.5 /4 = 3.125). Then subtract 0.15 gallons per pound (10 x 0.15 = 1.5, 3.125 - 1.5 = 1.625) to get 1.625 gallons left. So then you know you'll need a total of 6.5 gallons in the kettle to get 5.5 gallons of wort (~1 gallon loss to evaporation) so 6.5 - 1.625 = 4.87 gallon of sparge water. It really isn't that complicated though, you'll get used to how much you need to fill you hot liquor tank, I don't even measure any more, I just know that I need to fill the HLT to just below the bottom of the handle. The calculation gives you an exact amount but all you really need is to get in the ballpark. Exact water calculations aren't really necessary but it's nice to know how to do it.

For the mash itself: keep in mind that you can mash with anywhere from 1.1 to 3 qts of water per pound of grain and still have a successful mash so that amount doesn't have to be exact either. I usually start with about 1.25 quarts of water per pound but have to adjust the temp with either hot or cold water to hit the right mash temp. This is a more hands on approach and takes out some of the math.

Re: your question about mash temp: temperatures in the mid to high 140's will give you more fermentable sugars resulting in a drier beer. Temps in the mid to high 150's will give more unfermentable sugars and will result in a sweeter beer. 150-152 is a great balance. Here's another thread on mash temps: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/effe...rature-139318/
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:31 PM   #17
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im new to this and i was going to say that 130F was i little low lol im glad you caught that.

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Old 11-30-2010, 08:21 PM   #18
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For what it's worth, on my PM brews, I will do my usual run off of the mash then do a good sparge. Then I'll add some more sparge water and run it off until I fill my kettle. I suppose I could just be more exact on my sparge volume the first time and hit my boil volume right off, but this seems easy and I figure the second sparge helps get every bit of goodness rinsed out of the grain.

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Old 11-30-2010, 08:48 PM   #19
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so what temp is your sparge water?

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Old 11-30-2010, 08:52 PM   #20
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so what temp is your sparge water?
Who?
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