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Old 01-20-2013, 04:30 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
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.
Definitely, but your wort gains all its gravity during the mash, when temperatures are high. At the end of the mash, there are no solid sugars in your grain bed. There are no more sugars to be dissolved into solution, so the only way solubility could act as a limiting factor would be if temperatures got low enough for sugar to be forced out of solution. That's not a problem, though, because near-freezing water doesn't saturate until 1.310 or so.

It helps to use warm water to make Kool-Aid, but when you stick it in the fridge the sugar doesn't all come tumbling back out.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:24 PM   #22
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J
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.
Right. If you're heating the sparge water, you save on heating the wort to boiling.

Also, sparging with hotter water can have one big advantage- it works as a mashout step. Not a big deal for a short sparge, or for a batch sparge, since you'll be boiling the wort shortly. But for a big commercial set up, a mash-out will keep the profile of the mash by denaturing the enzymes at the correct time.

When I said cold water sparging didn't increase efficiency, I also meant to say that it didn't decrease efficiency either!
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:05 PM   #23
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:10 PM   #24
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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'm not contesting what your saying about only a minute differnce in water density I'm referring to sugar density which is effected by more than 1%. Also, I worked for a fairly large microbrewery up in NewHampshire and trust me on a micro brewery level there is a huge amount of difference in savings by not heating sparge water in the tune of the thousands of dollars. I saw the bills first hand and it was a point never to use more than we had to. My point is if cold water gave the same results why do NO breweries use cold water sparges ?
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:16 PM   #25
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Maybe someone could explain this to me because if its as simple as me not heating sparge water than I'm all about that. But let's say you mash at 152 -154 because you want some dextrins in there so you have some more mouthfeel and body to the beer. You sparge with let say 70 degree room temp water aren't you lowering the grain bed temp and in essence creating almost a beta rest situation or are those enzymes already denatured enough during the main alpha rest not to mater anymore ? I just feel like by using colder water to sparge it may not effect your efficiency but you are stepping it in reverse.
That is why I mentioned an advantage of heating the sparge water- to do a mash out.

but say you could direct fire your mashtun to get it to mashout temps to denature the enzymes first- then the cold water sparge wouldn't affect the mash profile of the wort.

An alpha rest itself will NOT denature the enzymes. But in a home environment, if you're batch sparging, you're talking about maybe 10 minutes before the sparge runnings get put on to boil anyway so any change in the mash profile would be negligible!
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:17 PM   #26
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I'm not contesting what your saying about only a minute differnce in water density I'm referring to sugar density which is effected by more than 1%. Also, I worked for a fairly large microbrewery up in NewHampshire and trust me on a micro brewery level there is a huge amount of difference in savings by not heating sparge water in the tune of the thousands of dollars. I saw the bills first hand and it was a point never to use more than we had to. My point is if cold water gave the same results why do NO breweries use cold water sparges ?
Because then you'd spend the same amount of money anyway bringing up the wort to a boil immediately after. If you start with the wort at 165, you don't have to expend all that much more energy to get up to boiling. Plus, again, at that level, you'd want to do a mash out anyway.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:38 PM   #27
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For the batch I did Friday night I only had 7 and 1/4 lbs grain and 1 lb honey. Aimed for a ratio of 1.50 qts/lb but, as has been happening to me a lot (despite heating mash tun), initial temp came out too low - 148. Took 3 quarts to get it to 152 surprisingly. This brought my ratio up to 1.9 qts/lb. At this point I decided I was no longer going to do two steps in my sparge as it only required a bit more than 3 and a half gallons. Added the sparge water at 190 degrees which brought it up to about 170, went over 170 briefly, I stirred in a few ice cubes and it stayed about 169. Did a pretty good dough in and a good stir in for the sparge. Marked a spot on my ball valve that is 1 qt/minute on the drain. Planned for an OG of 1.047 @ 73% (been getting about 70) efficiency, ended up with 1.052 OG which is about 82% efficiency I believe. This leads me to believe that the higher ratio of water to grain really got it mixed thoroughly and that the hot sparge helped a lot. I am pretty pleased with this outcome.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:50 PM   #28
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For the batch I did Friday night I only had 7 and 1/4 lbs grain and 1 lb honey. Aimed for a ratio of 1.50 qts/lb but, as has been happening to me a lot (despite heating mash tun), initial temp came out too low - 148. Took 3 quarts to get it to 152 surprisingly. This brought my ratio up to 1.9 qts/lb. At this point I decided I was no longer going to do two steps in my sparge as it only required a bit more than 3 and a half gallons. Added the sparge water at 190 degrees which brought it up to about 170, went over 170 briefly, I stirred in a few ice cubes and it stayed about 169. Did a pretty good dough in and a good stir in for the sparge. Marked a spot on my ball valve that is 1 qt/minute on the drain. Planned for an OG of 1.047 @ 73% (been getting about 70) efficiency, ended up with 1.052 OG which is about 82% efficiency I believe. This leads me to believe that the higher ratio of water to grain really got it mixed thoroughly and that the hot sparge helped a lot. I am pretty pleased with this outcome.
For batch sparging, draining at 1 quart/minute is not necessary. Since you stir in the sparge water thoroughly, you can just vorlauf and drain. It doesn't hurt, obviously, but one of the main advantages of batch sparging is the time savings. You can drain with the ball valve wide open, and get the same results.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Yooper

That is why I mentioned an advantage of heating the sparge water- to do a mash out.

but say you could direct fire your mashtun to get it to mashout temps to denature the enzymes first- then the cold water sparge wouldn't affect the mash profile of the wort.

An alpha rest itself will NOT denature the enzymes. But in a home environment, if you're batch sparging, you're talking about maybe 10 minutes before the sparge runnings get put on to boil anyway so any change in the mash profile would be negligible!
You got a point there.... I know this thread is talking about batch Sparging but in my mind I'm thinking about my process which I do not batch I fly sparge. Agreed in batch sparge situations it probably won't make a huge differnce.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:42 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Aschecte View Post
I'm not contesting what your saying about only a minute differnce in water density I'm referring to sugar density which is effected by more than 1%. Also, I worked for a fairly large microbrewery up in NewHampshire and trust me on a micro brewery level there is a huge amount of difference in savings by not heating sparge water in the tune of the thousands of dollars. I saw the bills first hand and it was a point never to use more than we had to. My point is if cold water gave the same results why do NO breweries use cold water sparges ?
Hmm...I'm not sure what you mean by sugar density. Your sugar is in solution, so its density wouldn't really be calculated independently of the water under most conditions. Are you talking about viscosity? There's an argument to be made that colder temperatures increases water retention in the grain bed, but that never was my experience. That might have an impact on lautering rates for fly systems, though I still can't see why it would on a batch system like the one the OP is using.

Yooper explains the cost thing, though bottlebomber correctly mentions some degree of savings that would be had, specifically for the heat left in the grain bed. Like often happens in breweries, there's a tradeoff here between energy use and time.
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