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Old 11-22-2009, 02:39 AM   #1
Beezer94
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Default sparge water temperature....

I made an Ode to Arthur today. Mashed 2.00qt a lb @ 152F, hit my temp, vorlaufed, drained. Add my 3.06gal of sparge water at 186.5F. This raised the 150F grains to 159F. Do i have to sparge with boiling water? Had similar results on my last batch (but on that one I only heated the water to 175F and had a slow first run so temp dropped a ton). Temperature calculators have not been useful for me as their numbers give me temps off by 10F+.

I would just add more hot water until the temperature goes up enough, but I did one brew where I used too much water and spent 3.5hrs boiling in 2 containers simultaneously. I bought beersmith to tell me how much water, now I just need to find a way to hit my temperatures without changing the quantity of water.

Other than this my brewing has been smooth, but with my 10gal rubbermaid cooler I am not looking to use 212F water and melt it.

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Old 11-22-2009, 02:51 AM   #2
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I always have the same problem with the sparge water calculator in Beersmith. It's always off by about 10-12ºF, so I just use boiling water to mash out with the amount BS says I need at around 200ºF, then sparge with 175ºF water.

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Old 11-22-2009, 03:01 AM   #3
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I don't do a mash-out, but I've been sparging with water that's about the same temperature as the mash.

I've been hitting my gravities and haven't had any problems with stuck sparges, so I'm wondering if I should switch to hotter sparges or not. Maybe I'll try it next time and see what difference it makes.

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Old 11-22-2009, 03:07 AM   #4
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I like bringing the mash up to about 160 to 170 degrees. Not for mash out but I figure the higher temp helps rinse the sugars better. I never have worried about mash out. I use a 10 gallon cooler for a mash tun so I just add about 2 gallons of the sparge water at near boiling temperature.

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Old 11-22-2009, 03:55 AM   #5
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My last two batches I fly-sparged with boiling water and had the best sparges I have ever had. I'm sure hotter sparges are better sparges. My efficiency was way up, close to 90%, according to beer calculus, and not even a hint of slowing down or getting stuck.

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Old 11-22-2009, 06:05 AM   #6
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Well, as a general practice I batch sparge but the concept is the same, get above 160F but below 170F bed temperature.
I have never had a lot of luck with temperature calculators unless I adjust the defaults to my equipment. Since your just a little short I would recommend an increase of 2F, see how that works for you.
As a batch sparger I can cheat with a little adjustments here and there in the batch sparges.

The key is to adjust your process to what works with your equipment. It is after all your beer.
Best of luck.

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Old 11-22-2009, 11:39 PM   #7
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Thank you for the responses folks. I suppose I will have to try heating the water a little hotter to try to get the temp up.

I had 80% efficiency on the one, but that was a lot because of the 40 minutes of draining for the first runnings, and about 20 minutes for the sparge drainings.

This one I had 69%, which I know is not terrible (and for this dry irish stout that really is fine with me), but I think this quick draining and not hot enough sparge lowered the effiency. I calculate for 75% for now until I can find a consistency.

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