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Old 10-15-2009, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default Sparge water temperature

I see a lot of seasoned brewers stating they sparge with water with temps between 180-190 while John Palmer (and Jamil) state that you should never use water much above 170. Here's a direct quote from How to Brew:

"The temperature of the sparge water is important. The water should be no more than 170°F, as husk tannins become more soluble above this temperature, depending on wort pH. This could lead to astringency in the beer."

At first I thought maybe it was just poorly written and he meant to not let the grain bed get above 170, but while listening to a podcast with both Palmer and Jamil they state the sparge water they use is 170-175. So my question is, what do most people do for sparge water temp and if it's much above 170 do you see any of the associted issues mentioned above? The reason I ask is that I'm attempting to up my efficiency and I see a lot of people state to use higher temps while sparging but I don't want to cause more problems than I'm solving.

Thanks!

Eric

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Old 10-15-2009, 10:45 PM   #2
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I heat my sparge water to 185F. Then I pour it into an unheated cooler. I fly sparge, and when I open the outlet on the cooler, the water dribbles through the hose and out of the sparge arm. By the time it exits the sparge arm and enters the mash, it has cooled to < 170F. I can only speak for my own equipment.

-a.

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Old 10-15-2009, 11:38 PM   #3
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John Palmers says that in the context of sparging AFTER a mashout infusion to get the grain bed up to 170F in the first place. If you don't mash out, you need hot sparge water to perform a similar temp rise. If you batch sparge you may or may not choose to mash out. If you don't, you can raise the temp of the sparge water to near 190F and it will not get the bed over 170F.

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Old 10-16-2009, 12:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
John Palmers says that in the context of sparging AFTER a mashout infusion to get the grain bed up to 170F in the first place. If you don't mash out, you need hot sparge water to perform a similar temp rise. If you batch sparge you may or may not choose to mash out. If you don't, you can raise the temp of the sparge water to near 190F and it will not get the bed over 170F.
Ok, that makes sense. I always questioned why he said in a Mash Out to get the grain temp to 170 but for a sparge water to not pass 170. So the key is for the GRAIN to never get past 170. Got it, thanks!

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Old 10-16-2009, 01:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf View Post
I heat my sparge water to 185F. Then I pour it into an unheated cooler. I fly sparge, and when I open the outlet on the cooler, the water dribbles through the hose and out of the sparge arm. By the time it exits the sparge arm and enters the mash, it has cooled to < 170F. I can only speak for my own equipment.

-a.
This is almost exactly what I do, although I heat my sparge water to near 200 F and pump it into an elevated non-preheated cooler for a gravity fed fly sparge. The sparge water will cool considerably by the time it hits the grain bed. Haven't had any problems at all doing it this way and the grain bed is always below 170F throughout the sparge.
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Old 10-16-2009, 01:19 AM   #6
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I also have started measuring the temp of my grain bed water (on top). I found that when I did 175* it was not getting much warmer than 158. So I started sparging with 200, and my sparge top water was more around 170. Just a note, this is without a mash out, so I'm not raising the temps prior to sparging, after mashing.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:03 AM   #7
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I should have said in my previous post that I do a mash out to raise the grain bed temperature close to 170F prior to starting the sparge. Without the mashout, the sparge temperature would stay in the low 150's, and my efficiency dropped by 10%.

-a.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:33 AM   #8
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I batch sparge with near-boiling water and add pH 5.2 to avoid any problems. Fast and efficient.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:43 AM   #9
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Thanks everybody. I've not paid any attention to pH at this point but perhaps I should. Next sparge I'll shoot to get the grain bed close to 170.

Eric

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Old 10-16-2009, 06:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
John Palmers says that in the context of sparging AFTER a mashout infusion to get the grain bed up to 170F in the first place. If you don't mash out, you need hot sparge water to perform a similar temp rise. If you batch sparge you may or may not choose to mash out. If you don't, you can raise the temp of the sparge water to near 190F and it will not get the bed over 170F.
yes, exactly.

my last brew my final mash temp was 152*F, my sparge was 182*F (I undershot) and my grainbed only got to 164*F

+1 to Bobby_M's primer that's in his signature as well.....(haven't pimped that in awhile )
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