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Old 08-01-2011, 12:35 AM   #1
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Default Sparging vs large, full mash-tun

Curious as to how many out there are using large mash tuns and filling with all/the majority of the water they need and therefore using a really thin mash. I've seen a couple guys do this but also wonder about efficiency, etc. One guy just said "I don't like sparging so I just make a really high water:grain ratio in my large mash tun because it can handle the volume"

I'm a sparger, myself, but anyone else want to chime in?



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Old 08-01-2011, 12:47 AM   #2
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I suppose if you have a way to heat it up once the saccharification is complete to the sparge temperatures, it could work. If the mash tun is also large enough to do this, it could work. I would also question the efficiency level they obtain this way though.

I might try it with a future batch with my soon to be new mash tun (keg conversion happening next weekend). I'll have it setup for RIMS, and be able to directly heat it on my propane burner. I have most of the hardware coming from NorCal (aka, Jaybird) for the conversion. The balance of what I'm using is coming from Rebel Brewer. Two top notch vendors IMO...

Anyhoo, if you can test the method, or get details on how much grain they use and what the OG is (as well as how much wort they collect pre-boil) that would help to figure out their efficiency. For all we know it could be either really poor, or really, really good.



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Old 08-01-2011, 12:52 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I've tasted the one guy's beer before and have no complaints. Yep that would be the way to go, heatable. But these are just picnic coolers.

Loss of heat / raise to mash out--yeah I can see the concern there, for sure.

Thanks

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Old 08-01-2011, 12:58 AM   #4
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Do a search for "no sparge". One of my systems is a Brutus 20 which is essentially what you are describing. My efficiency is typically about 5 points lower than when I do a standard batch sparge. This can easily be made up with a bit more base malt.

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Old 08-01-2011, 01:00 AM   #5
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I use a 60qt converted cooler. doing 5g batches at the moment. while i have the volume, I do however sparge. batch sparger here getting 80's for efficiency regularly

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Old 08-01-2011, 01:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchuklobrau
I use a 60qt converted cooler. doing 5g batches at the moment. while i have the volume, I do however sparge. batch sparger here getting 80's for efficiency regularly
Same here. 78%. I don't really think I want to change anything. Brewing is the one thing I am not lazy about too. How long does it take to sparge anyway? 30 minutes extra. I don't even consider it extra. Its a part of my process. I got the big cooler because eventually I want to do big beers or maybe 10g but either way I want it to be future proof for a while.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:20 AM   #7
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Very true, Beezy. Thanks for the input. I like to sparge, too, because I like to (try--he says in brackets) get to proper mash out temperature but seem to fail at that often.

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Old 08-01-2011, 03:28 AM   #8
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Having trouble hitting the temps is one of the reasons I'm going with the keg mash tun conversion. I'll be able to direct fire/heat it to make sure I hit the temps. With the recirculation setup, I shouldn't scorch grain in the process. Plus, I'm going with a full diameter false bottom (as per Jaybird's recommendation) with ball valve and dip tube (going with a SS 3 Pc ball valve)... I'll put the recirculation port/fitting high enough that I'll be able to do pretty much all my 5 gallon batches and most of my future 10 gallon batches. My cooler (formerly mash tun) will be a HLT for the near future. It might go to my brew buddy later, if he wants to migrate away from BIAB. Or change to BIAB in a 10 gallon cooler.

I've been getting a good amount of hardware in the pursuit of getting better/easier mashes as well as cooling better/faster (plate chiller) and then getting better fermentation (O2 setup)... I never would have thought that I would be this deep into home brewing a year ago when I first discussed it with a friend. That was late in July 2010, by mid November I was starting. It's been a fun journey ever since...

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Old 08-01-2011, 03:32 AM   #9
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I do full volume no sparge biab and have been consistently getting around 65% efficiency into the boiler. The reason I do no sparge is I've always read the first runnings are the highest quality wort. I mash at 150 for 90 mins in the kettle, so I can add heat as I need it.

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Old 08-01-2011, 03:40 AM   #10
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Hitting temp with my cooler is a cinch as far as mash goes. I have hit every time using the calculators and the cooler as never dropped a degree for me. I think it might even hold for a 90 minute. Hitting 170 for sparge is a different story. Last time I put my strike at 190 and it was still about 160 the time before it was more like 150 but I hit 77.5 and 78% eff. I don't think it matters that much. I have heard people sparge with cool water?



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