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Old 01-20-2013, 01:42 AM   #11
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The solubility of malt sugars is way, way, way above anything we deal with as brewers, even with frigidly cold water. It's north of 1.300, if I remember correctly.

I suspect, though certainly can't prove, that people who notice a big jump in efficiency due to a mash out are actually getting it because their conversion wasn't actually complete in the first place. Anyway, I sparge with hot water about half the time and cold water about half the time and I hit my numbers dead on every time.

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Old 01-20-2013, 01:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MalFet
The solubility of malt sugars is way, way, way above anything we deal with as brewers, even with frigidly cold water. It's north of 1.300, if I remember correctly.

I suspect, though certainly can't prove, that people who notice a big jump in efficiency due to a mash out are actually getting it because their conversion wasn't actually complete in the first place. Anyway, I sparge with hot water about half the time and cold water about half the time and I hit my numbers dead on every time.
Interesting you mention that, my buddy said recently that he sparges with cold water, straight from the tap. Cold water. I haven't tried it yet, but he says that he gets the same efficiency whether he hot or cold sparges. Maybe I'll give it a shot next brew.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:01 AM   #13
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This sounds pretty interesting but why risk the efficiency? I'm old school if it isn't broke don't fix it.

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:03 AM   #14
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Interesting you mention that, my buddy said recently that he sparges with cold water, straight from the tap. Cold water. I haven't tried it yet, but he says that he gets the same efficiency whether he hot or cold sparges. Maybe I'll give it a shot next brew.
Yes, I've read some articles at braukaiser.com where he said the same thing. that cold water sparging didn't increase the efficiency.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:13 AM   #15
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This sounds pretty interesting but why risk the efficiency? I'm old school if it isn't broke don't fix it.
Because the conventional wisdom here doesn't make sense. I'm not saying that cold sparging is necessarily better than (or, heck, even as good as) hot sparging, but the standard explanation for why we need a hot sparge is definitely hinkey.

Solubility is not really a relevant fact to mash chemistry, at least not in any way I can see. Your converted sugars are already in solution, and adding a few gallons of 50ºF water isn't going to make them precipitate out.

If you don't want to do it, don't do it. But, there are a lot of brewers out there with systems such that a cold sparge would make their lives a lot easier. For anyone in that situation, I'd say give it a shot. I did it for probably 50 batches and never once noticed a difference.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:16 AM   #16
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This sounds pretty interesting but why risk the efficiency? I'm old school if it isn't broke don't fix it.
For me the bonus would be saving the propane.
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Yes, I've read some articles at braukaiser.com where he said the same thing. that cold water sparging didn't increase the efficiency.
I'm personally more interested in if it decreased the efficiency.. If it doesn't, then heck yeah I'll try it!
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:23 AM   #17
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Sounds great but I won't even consider trying it on a 7 barrel system, I'll stick to what I've been taught. I might try it at home though to save the propane.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:13 AM   #18
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Just using common sense here and I am not known for my common sense but go with me on this one. In a commercial setting where they actually make money making beer.... why would they waste the gas heating sparge water if they could get the same results using cold water? also, why we are at it when we check our gravities we want to do it at 60 degrees right ? why is that ? if we were to check it at 120 degrees the density would be less because the heat effects density so in my mind by heating sparge water it assists the residual sugar to flow free from the mash. This is all speculation but this is what goes through my little mind when I read about cold sparging but, I may be way off.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:21 AM   #19
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Just using common sense here and I am not known for my common sense but go with me on this one. In a commercial setting where they actually make money making beer.... why would they waste the gas heating sparge water if they could get the same results using cold water?also, why we are at it when we check our gravities we want to do it at 60 degrees right ? why is that ? if we were to check it at 120 degrees the density would be less because the heat effects density so in my mind by heating sparge water it assists the residual sugar to flow free from the mash. This is all speculation but this is what goes through my little mind when I read about cold sparging but, I may be way off.
Just to put things in context, though, water is about 1% less dense at mash temp than at room temp. If that made a significant difference to grain bed fluidity, it should be nearly impossible to lauter a barleywine.

There's not a huge amount of savings to be had in fuel, in any case. If you sparge cold, your combined runnings need basically that much more fuel to hit boiling temps.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by MalFet

Just to put things in context, though, water is about 1% less dense at mash temp than at room temp. If that made a significant difference to grain bed fluidity, it should be nearly impossible to lauter a barleywine.

There's not a huge amount of savings to be had in fuel, in any case. If you sparge cold, your combined runnings need basically that much more fuel to hit boiling temps.
I was more thinking of the density change in the sugars, making them more soluble at higher temperatures. I know it's difficult to stir a spoonful of honey into a glass of cold water. Again, I will have to try this myself to know. As far as fuel savings, I think that depends a lot on your system. Also a lot of every is lost heating up the grain bed that could stay in the propane tank. I don't think on a hunch that the savings are huge, but it probably would have gotten me out of trouble that time that my tank kicked right as I was adding my 20 minute hop addition.
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