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Old 07-27-2010, 08:24 PM   #1
crlova2
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Default Sparging times???

I have heard mixed things about how long to sparge. I have read that if you are batch sparging (what I do) you can just run it off with a fully open valve. However, I have also heard from reputable people that like with fly sparging it is important to sparge slowly with batch sparging. Any opinions? I don't wanna waste 60 minutes sparging a batch sparge if it isn't necessary but I DO want to spend the 60 minutes doing it if it is important to efficiency because right now my efficiency sucks.



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Old 07-27-2010, 08:28 PM   #2
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Batch sparging can be done with the valve fully open, no need to go slow. Only fly sparging needs to be done slow. IIRC Palmer's book How To Brew suggests less than 1 quart a minute.



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Old 07-27-2010, 08:29 PM   #3
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Anywhere between 30-60 minutes for a FLY sparge is good. I used to fly sparge and didn't get near the efficiency I do with batch sparging because I probably wasn't dragging it out as long.

With batch sparging, I just add the water, let the grainbed settle for about 5-10 minutes, then vorlauf and drain full speed. It's not absolutely neccessary to let the grainbed settle, but I feel like it helps.

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Old 07-27-2010, 08:47 PM   #4
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just start the run off slow or it can pack down and get stuck. Once it's set you can open the valve all the way.

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Old 07-27-2010, 08:53 PM   #5
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This is exactly what I have heard in the past but today I called Austin homebrew and was talking to a guy that sounded very knowledgeable for about 30 minutes about random brewing questions I had. This discussion came up and he got all scientific about how it is still pretty important to drain for about an hour even with batch sparging due to the pressure and flow routes of the wort coming out of the mash tun when the valve is completely open and initially very sugary water comes out (briefly) but when routes of least resistance are formed basically all the low sugar content water flows through leaving a lot of the good wort in places where the flow is minimal due to the valve being totally open . It was confusing and much more scientific sounding then what I just put but he sounded adamant about it. Any other opinion on what he was saying? I am not saying he is right or wrong I am just trying to gather other opinions.

Thanks

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Old 07-27-2010, 09:04 PM   #6
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Batch sparge once and when the wort is all drained out, dig around in the grain bed and see if there are any pockets of wort. My money is on the fact that there won't be any, if your technique is anything close to good. Drained is drained. Add your 2nd or 3rd sparge water (if you do a 2nd or 3rd sparge) and repeat. Scientific sounding or not, I don't think what he says will line up with reality too well.

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Old 07-27-2010, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crlova2 View Post
This is exactly what I have heard in the past but today I called Austin homebrew and was talking to a guy that sounded very knowledgeable for about 30 minutes about random brewing questions I had. This discussion came up and he got all scientific about how it is still pretty important to drain for about an hour even with batch sparging due to the pressure and flow routes of the wort coming out of the mash tun when the valve is completely open and initially very sugary water comes out (briefly) but when routes of least resistance are formed basically all the low sugar content water flows through leaving a lot of the good wort in places where the flow is minimal due to the valve being totally open . It was confusing and much more scientific sounding then what I just put but he sounded adamant about it. Any other opinion on what he was saying? I am not saying he is right or wrong I am just trying to gather other opinions.

Thanks
I haven't seen it, but a member of our brewclub mentioned a recent BYO article that he may be referencing. I just assumed the article was talking about fly sparging instead of batch, b/c the member who told me isn't an all-grain brewer and wasn't for sure. Regardless, the rationale above doesn't make much sense to me in terms of batch sparging. I only have about .35 gallons of wort left in the mash tun after the sparge so I too much high sugar isn't getting lost anyway. Certainly not enough for me to add another 45-90 minutes to my brew day!
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:08 PM   #8
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Alright, when you do multiple sparges do you use less strike water? I feel like if you split the normal sparge water amount into 2 or three the it will be extremely thick and not dissolve well? I have never done it though so maybe that is me being paranoid. Any tips on doing multiple sparges?

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Old 07-27-2010, 09:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by crlova2 View Post
Alright, when you do multiple sparges do you use less strike water? I feel like if you split the normal sparge water amount into 2 or three the it will be extremely thick and not dissolve well? I have never done it though so maybe that is me being paranoid. Any tips on doing multiple sparges?
Honestly, I just do the easy way and have Beersmith tell what volume to put in each.

Also, I have only ever done one sparge after draining off my initial mash-in volume. So, draining the mash tun three times or more seems overkill to me and would make for a thick mash as you suggest.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:59 PM   #10
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batch sparging, I've lately taken to opening the valve wide, and running it off at full speed. Only takes a few minutes, and I haven't seen any change to my efficiencies. Make sure, though, that you give your infusions a good 5 minute stir before you open the valve again, to dissolve all the available sugars in there.

I did find that I was starting to get some astringency in my beers, so I've been altering my processes slightly, and this was one of the things that helped. It is nice that it didn't affect efficiency.



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