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Old 10-07-2009, 03:00 AM   #1
BigdogMark
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Default Sparge confusion

I need some clarity on the sparge process...

My current process is fly sparging, I think. After the mash period is completed I start the vorlauf and get a gallon that goes back into the 10 gallon cooler. If it is clear I then start to run the sparge into my keggle. I also start my pump and sprinkle the sparge water over the top at 168 degrees. I run the sparge until I get my boil volume, roughly 13 gallons.

My concern is I occasionally see reference to mashing out. Is there a problem because I don't bring all the grains up to the mash out temp? I have been scared to but water that is too hot onto the grain bed and risk bad flavors being extracted.

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Old 10-07-2009, 03:11 AM   #2
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You are doing it just fine that way. Essentially your grains will reach a temp of 168 if that is what your sparge water is at. I rarely do a mashout, unless I am doing a wheat where I will decoct for a mash out, but that is a whole nother animal.

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Old 10-07-2009, 03:38 AM   #3
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I enjoy wheat beers when they turn out good. What is the benefit of the decoct mash out for the wheat?

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Old 10-07-2009, 03:39 AM   #4
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Sparging with 168F without a mashout will never get the grainbed up over 160 and that's assuming the water that hits the grain hasn't lost heat in the sprinkling. It's not to say you'll have a problem though.

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Old 10-07-2009, 01:51 PM   #5
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I suppose it is all a matter of how long the sparge is. If you run 168dF water over a 150+dF grain bed for long enough, eventually it will reach 168dF.

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Old 10-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #6
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What is the reason for the need to get the grain bed up to 168?

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Old 10-07-2009, 02:16 PM   #7
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One main reason for a mash out is, that when you raise the grain temp above 170ish, it halts the enzymnatic activity, essentially stopping the conversion.

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Old 10-07-2009, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigdogMark View Post
What is the reason for the need to get the grain bed up to 168?
It stops all of the enzyme action (preserving your fermentable sugar profile) and makes the grainbed and wort more fluid. (according to Palmer)

I routinely use 190f water to batch sparge with, that's the only way to get the grain bed up to 168-170f. You will not extract harsh flavors.
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:21 PM   #9
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I fly sparge and do not mash out.

Whether you do or don't the key is a consistent process so you achieve consistent results. I know that starting the "sprinkle" at 172 degrees will take me about 40-50 minutes to get to pre-boil volume and hit target starting gravity.

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