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Old 05-20-2007, 01:49 PM   #1
HouleyJ512
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Default sparging help and my partial mash brewing method

I'm about to start my 3rd partial mash brew and I have yet to sparge. I didn't realize how important it is to sparge until recently so I previously overlooked the process. Can someone walk me through the sparging process for a partial mash recipe? I have a way to do it so if it is wrong please tell me know how to improve/change my method.

I will be steeping my grains (contained in a musling bag) in a plastic bottling bucket at 165F for 30 minutes.

This is a 5 gallon recipe so how much water should I use to steep with?

Next I will open the spiggot at the bottom of the bottling bucket and let the wort flow through a syphon hose to my brew kettle. As this is happening I will slowly ladle 165F water over my grains which will still be in the musling bag and in the bottling bucket. How much water should I sparge with here? The run-off will then be collected into the brew kettle as well.

After the all of the wort is collected in the brew kettle I will start to stir in and dissolve the malt extract. Once dissovled the wort will be brought to a boil. Next, the hops will be added. (In stages of course) Once the boil is completed I will then strain out of my brew kettle and into the primary fermenter, take an OG reading, cool the wort, then pitch the yeast making sure the temperature is ok and I get a good aeration for the yeast and forget about the brew for a few days. After a steady gravity reading for 3 days in a row I will rack to secondary and add aroma hops. Maybe a week later I will bottle.

How does this sound? Any flaws? Got any suggestions? Criticisms? Please let me know!

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Old 05-20-2007, 02:37 PM   #2
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You will want to do your mash with about 1 1/4 quarts of water per pound of grain. You mentioned that you will mash at 165 degrees for 30 minutes. 165 is too hot. You want to mash in the range of 150-155 degrees. Your strike water (before the grains are added) needs to be about 165 degrees to compensate for the temp absorbed by the grains. You will then mash for 1 hour.
You will want to do a batch sparge using 1/2 gallon per pound of grain. Use 168-170 degree water for this. Put half your sparge water into the mash, gently stir, and then you will want to vourlof by draining some of the wort into a measuring cup. Gently pour this back into the mash. Keep doing this until the wort starts to clear (about 4 or 5 times). You can then drain the wort into the brew pot. After flow stops, add your remaining water, stir, vourlof, and repeat the sparging process.
After this it's just like an extract brewing session.

Here's an example using 5 pounds of grain:
Mash water: 6.25 quarts
Sparge water 2 1/2 gallons
about 1/2 gallon will be absorbed by the grains.
You will end up with about 3 1/2 gallons in the brew pot.

I hope this helps.

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Old 05-20-2007, 02:59 PM   #3
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Thanks! I appreciate your help. But, what does vourlof mean? Is it just the clarifiying process that you decribed or something more?

I am supposed to be brewing a 5 gallon batch so can i just add 1.5 gallons of cold water to the primary fermenter to bring down the temp of the wort before pitching the yeast?

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Old 05-20-2007, 03:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HouleyJ512
Thanks! I appreciate your help. But, what does vourlof mean? Is it just the clarifiying process that you decribed or something more?

I am supposed to be brewing a 5 gallon batch so can i just add 1.5 gallons of cold water to the primary fermenter to bring down the temp of the wort before pitching the yeast?
Vourlof is a term used to describe recirculating the wort back into the mash to clarify it before it is drained into the kettle. The husks from the malted barley filter out all of the bits and pieces but when you first start the flow you can get some pretty cloudy wort with chunks in it.
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Old 05-20-2007, 07:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HouleyJ512
Thanks! I appreciate your help. But, what does vourlof mean? Is it just the clarifiying process that you decribed or something more?

I am supposed to be brewing a 5 gallon batch so can i just add 1.5 gallons of cold water to the primary fermenter to bring down the temp of the wort before pitching the yeast?
I might recommend chilling the wort in an ice bath/wort chiller before you end up adding the water into the primary fermenter. I generally use my wort chiller, bring the temperature down to around 70ish degrees and then add the additional water, airate and pitch.
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Old 05-20-2007, 08:41 PM   #6
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It is unclear to me whether you are really mashing grains or just steeping them. RichBrewer has given some excellent instructions if you are truly mashing grains. But many of the most common specialty grains don't require a mash, only steeping. These include crystal/caramel matls, chocolate malts, and roasted grains, among others.

If you are just steeping, the process is somewhat simpler. Here is a suggested method.

1. Heat 2 gallons of water (for 1 - 2 lbs of specialty grains) in your boil pot to about 160 degrees. Add your grain bag and steep for 30 mins. Meanwhile, heat another gallon of water to 160 F in a separate pot.

2. Remove the grain bag and let it drain into the pot. A strainer like this really helps.

3. Once the grains have more or less drained, gently rinse the bag using your heated water from the other pot. Conduct your boil as normal for the extract recipe.

Some worry about hot side aeration using this method, but it appears that most people have used the method without problems. HSA may also be an unimportant factor for steeped grains, so I don't think it is anything to worry about if the topic comes up.

Hope that helps.

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Old 05-21-2007, 12:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy
It is unclear to me whether you are really mashing grains or just steeping them. RichBrewer has given some excellent instructions if you are truly mashing grains. But many of the most common specialty grains don't require a mash, only steeping. These include crystal/caramel matls, chocolate malts, and roasted grains, among others.

If you are just steeping, the process is somewhat simpler. Here is a suggested method.

1. Heat 2 gallons of water (for 1 - 2 lbs of specialty grains) in your boil pot to about 160 degrees. Add your grain bag and steep for 30 mins. Meanwhile, heat another gallon of water to 160 F in a separate pot.

2. Remove the grain bag and let it drain into the pot. A strainer like this really helps.

3. Once the grains have more or less drained, gently rinse the bag using your heated water from the other pot. Conduct your boil as normal for the extract recipe.

Some worry about hot side aeration using this method, but it appears that most people have used the method without problems. HSA may also be an unimportant factor for steeped grains, so I don't think it is anything to worry about if the topic comes up.

Hope that helps.
You are absolutely right. I am not mashing any grains. I am only steeping them in a muslin bag like I said in my original message. Thank you all for all of your help thus far. I am always looking for good advice and quick tips for a better beer.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HouleyJ512 View Post
...Once the boil is completed I will then strain out of my brew kettle and into the primary fermenter, take an OG reading, cool the wort, then pitch the yeast...
^ Just thought I'd throw it out there that you should definitely be taking gravity readings aaafter cooling your wort down (hydrometers are accurate at 60F and it's much easier to account for, say, 70F)
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:00 AM   #9
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Hello everyone I am doing my first partial mash pumpkin ale! need some advice. first question is can i mash my roasted canned pumpkin with my grains? and if so do I need to put my pumpkin in a muslin bag or can I have it mashing with the grains with no bag? Then my next step would be to sparge. then continue like normal?

Reading the earlier post I have 5.125lbs of grain
so I would use 1.6 gal to mash
and 2.56 gal to sparge? do those numbers sound right?

Please help

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