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Old 07-09-2005, 05:19 PM   #1
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Default Sparge Temp

I got a question on sparge temp management. If you are supposed to sparge at 170, you have that temp in your HLT. I use a Phil's sparge arm and by the time the water gets to the mash your less than 170. If I check the temp of the water above the mash it's at about 150. So, should your HLT be more like 190 then?

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Old 07-09-2005, 07:09 PM   #2
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Yep.
I learned that the hard way my first 2 times as well. I heat up my sparge water to 185°.

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Old 07-09-2005, 07:12 PM   #3
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Sounds good. Will head in that direction next time. I did read after adding this post however that you don't want it above 170 so I'll keep that in mind as I increase the HLT temp...

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Old 07-13-2005, 07:35 PM   #4
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I ditched the phils sparge are a few months ago. Since I usually like to keep a good inch of water on top of the grain bed having water sprinkle down and lose temp makes no sense at all. I build a copper distribution assemble that brings the water gracefully down to the top of the grain bed with only losing very little temp from HLT to mash tun.

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Old 07-13-2005, 11:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roverz
I ditched the phils sparge are a few months ago. Since I usually like to keep a good inch of water on top of the grain bed having water sprinkle down and lose temp makes no sense at all. I build a copper distribution assemble that brings the water gracefully down to the top of the grain bed with only losing very little temp from HLT to mash tun.
Yea, after my 1st sparge and also keeping about 1" of water above the grain I thought the same about equally distributing water upon water gimmicks...
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertBrew
I got a question on sparge temp management. If you are supposed to sparge at 170, you have that temp in your HLT. I use a Phil's sparge arm and by the time the water gets to the mash your less than 170. If I check the temp of the water above the mash it's at about 150. So, should your HLT be more like 190 then?
Damn, I'd been wondering about this. So the actual sparge temp should be the temp of the water going onto your grain bed?

Having only done two AG batches thus far, this is one thing I still don't understand. I've read that sparging over 175F will release tannins, so I've kept my sparge temps down. My last batch, I heated my water to 185, hoping to bring the water in my HLT to 170. I think it went to 175, but upon measuring my temp on top of my grain bed, I was only getting maybe 160F, or so.

Perhaps a contributing factor to my low efficiency?
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Old 07-15-2005, 03:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam75
Damn, I'd been wondering about this. So the actual sparge temp should be the temp of the water going onto your grain bed?

Having only done two AG batches thus far, this is one thing I still don't understand. I've read that sparging over 175F will release tannins, so I've kept my sparge temps down. My last batch, I heated my water to 185, hoping to bring the water in my HLT to 170. I think it went to 175, but upon measuring my temp on top of my grain bed, I was only getting maybe 160F, or so.

Perhaps a contributing factor to my low efficiency?
I've only done 2 myself so others can slap me upside the head if need be but... It would make sense that the higher temp you get the more free-flowing the runoff of the sugars which would lend to better efficiency. I'll trust them on the above 175 and the off flavors. My second batch yield was not as efficient as my 1st (1# more grain too) and I was scrambling once I recognized I was sparging with water probably a couple degrees cooler than the mash after it hit the mash. I'll try and creep up to 170 but I don't want to go over that. I might toss the sparge arm as well (return?) as that is a big variable on the temp management based on ambient temp. I like the thought of a gentle copper plumbing pour to reduce temp loss from the HLT. But I'm still just as concerned of the sparge PH and am going to hit this next time. Below is an excerpt from http://www.beer-brewing.com/wort_separation.htm giving a summary of key points.
-----------------------------------
Sparge Water

Water Quality

The quality of the beer may be affected if the sparging water is too alkaline. A pH greater than 7.0 is unacceptable; preferably, the pH should be around 6.0, which leads to better coagulation of proteins, better drainage of the grains, and a higher extract yield (17).

(DesertBrew: Mine is 8!)

Water Quantity

The total volume of sparge water will vary with beer styles and mashing processes. For both mashing and sparging, most designs assume a grist-to-water ratio of from 2.5 to 3.5:1, with 3:1 as the average.

Water Temperature

The temperature of the sparge water (75–78ºC) must be higher than that of the mash to help maintain mash temperature and increase runoff. However, if the sparge water is too hot (above 80ºC), it will extract unwanted materials such as tannins, proteins, and unconverted starch (15).

-----------------------------------------

That and testing runoff gravity to determine when you should cease the sparge and it sounds like we'd be following a well defined and documented process.
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Old 07-15-2005, 05:03 AM   #8
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Good stuff....I'll do my best to apply to the next batch. Thanks!

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Old 07-16-2005, 02:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertBrew

Water Quality

The quality of the beer may be affected if the sparging water is too alkaline. A pH greater than 7.0 is unacceptable; preferably, the pH should be around 6.0, which leads to better coagulation of proteins, better drainage of the grains, and a higher extract yield (17).
You guys should try the 5.2 ph Stabilizer. You can get it at your HBS.
I use it all the time. It will lock in your mash at 5.2 , keeps your salts in suspension which helps avoid scaling of your equipment, increases your SG,
helps in consistent hop usage. Because it maintains your ph at 5.2 it will optimize the enzymatic activity in your mash. I use it in my sparge water too.

I swear by this stuff.

It's a "Food Grade Phosphate" I call it Magic Dust
1TBS/5 Gal. $13 for about 16oz.

And NO, I don't work for Five Star Chemical.
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Old 07-16-2005, 03:09 PM   #10
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I've never tested my pH. Seems to me like using something like that stabilizer would be the sure-fire way to control it, huh?

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