Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > What kind of mash am I doing?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-18-2013, 05:48 PM   #1
adamjackson
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Canaan New Hampshire, NH
Posts: 735
Liked 76 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 162

Default What kind of mash am I doing?

I'm using Beersmith and there are tons of mash options, fly sparge, batch sparge, something about stepping, etc.... Here's my process and I'm hitting my efficiencies within .1-.3% ABV so I'm going to keep doing it this way unless someone says I'm just doing it in the most effed up way possible.

10 Gal Igloo Converted mash tun w/ false bottome and drain thingy

Pour in double-crushed grain

Add water at temp beersmith tells me to after I get the temp of the grain and put that in with the temp of the mash

try to eliminate any clumpy areas in the tun with a long wooden paddle

keep thermometer in there until the mash water / grain reaches the desired temperature

Seal lid and cover lid with a bunch of towels since most of the heat loss happens there.

I almost always mash for 2-3 hours even if it only calls for 60 minutes to get the most possible sugar content

Drain into kettle, bring kettle "wort" up to 170

Pour wort back into mash tun, (repeat 3 times)

Drain wort into kettle a 4th time.

My home water runs about 140-170 on the highest temperature (i've measured it, not even joking thank goodness we don't have any small children) so I put my kitchen extendable faucet on the multi-spray setting (like a shower head) and pour that over the grain leaving the spout open into the kettle

Once the kettle is at 5.75 Gallons (5 gallon batch), I move it to the Propane burner and reach boil, adding hops etc...usually, I have exactly 5 gallons left after a 1 hour boil, cool with worth chiller, transfer to carboy, pitch yeast.

==========

I've done this the last 4 batches and have hit my efficiency (65-70%) so I don't think I need to change anything but I need to know what kind of mash / sparging I'm doing and if there are some tweaks I should make to improve things.

Thank you.

__________________

I'm a bit crazy...about beer.
My Beer Blog
My Beer Photos
Untappd Profile

adamjackson is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-18-2013, 05:56 PM   #2
stpug
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,552
Liked 368 Times on 320 Posts
Likes Given: 171

Default

Looks like you are doing the hybrid wort-based-batch-rinsing-finalized-with-sink-fly-sparging method - a very common method (joking)

Overall, I would simply call it a non-traditional fly sparge with a prerinse using first runnings.

__________________
:: St. Pug ::
stpug is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-18-2013, 05:58 PM   #3
bknifefight
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 1,905
Liked 95 Times on 73 Posts
Likes Given: 42

Default

Sounds like a weird combo variation of batch sparging/fly sparge.
FIRST of all, mashing is all the same. The differences you are asking about are in regards to the sparge.

__________________
bknifefight is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #4
Pappers_
Moderator
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Pappers_'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 12,106
Liked 1033 Times on 723 Posts
Likes Given: 2110

Default

On the mash side, you are using a 'single infusion' - i.e. you are not stepping up the mash temperature (first 140, then 148, then 154, for example) if I understood your process correctly.

As for your sparging method, yup, that's not standard I'd be curious about the reusing of the first runnings, my first runnings are quite sweet, I wonder if you are pickng up any other sugars by doing that.

I'm not so sure about the folks who are saying you are fly sparging with your sink sprayer. It sounds to me like you're just filling it up with water from the sprayer, not timing the outflow to match the inflow. In which case, I would call it an unusual way to batch sparge.

In any case, you don't really care, because you don't need Beersmith to tell you numbers regarding sparging - you do what I do, sparge until you have the right pre-boil volume.

__________________
http://www.singingboysbrewing.com

My wife's book "Uncovering Lives: Discovering One Immigrant Generation's Secrets and Lives of Forgiveness, Grace and Healing"


"People who ask a question want a conversation as much as they want an answer." b-boy
Pappers_ is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-18-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
progmac
Sponsor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cincy, OH
Posts: 1,909
Liked 256 Times on 207 Posts
Likes Given: 326

Default

i have never heard of someone recirculating first runnings like that. have you shown an increase in efficiency doing that?

from beersmith's perspective, you can't really do anything with the way you sparge unless you can measure volume

__________________

на здравје!

progmac is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-18-2013, 06:12 PM   #6
adamjackson
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Canaan New Hampshire, NH
Posts: 735
Liked 76 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 162

Default

Thanks for the feedback, so I'm totally screwed up in my process, that's good to know :P

Question is, is my process costing me A) Time B) Money C) Efficiency (aka money)?

Basically, do you think changing things up will help me reach 80% efficiency or perhaps I can use less grain or save a lot of time? A lot of people say that if the current system is working for you, don't change it but maybe I think it is and it really isn't working for me so I'd appreciate some input on that.

Thanks guys!

__________________

I'm a bit crazy...about beer.
My Beer Blog
My Beer Photos
Untappd Profile

adamjackson is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-18-2013, 06:12 PM   #7
adamjackson
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Canaan New Hampshire, NH
Posts: 735
Liked 76 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 162

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
i have never heard of someone recirculating first runnings like that. have you shown an increase in efficiency doing that?

from beersmith's perspective, you can't really do anything with the way you sparge unless you can measure volume

I've always done it that way so I have no idea if not doing it hurts efficiency.
__________________

I'm a bit crazy...about beer.
My Beer Blog
My Beer Photos
Untappd Profile

adamjackson is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-18-2013, 06:39 PM   #8
Zubius
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: , NC
Posts: 76
Liked 16 Times on 11 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Wow, that's a lot of work & time spent brewing for only 65 - 70% efficiency... My typical brewday is 3 hours (5 gallon) including cleanup and I consistantley hit 80 - 85%, BIAB.

__________________
Zubius is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-18-2013, 06:43 PM   #9
RM-MN
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Solway, MN
Posts: 7,150
Liked 856 Times on 713 Posts
Likes Given: 319

Default

Your first runnings should typically be saturated with sugars so running that back through the mash tun should only be costing you time for no gain. Your excess sugars should be extracted with a sparge step. By adding water and just letting it flow through the grains you may not be getting all the sugars out that you can. Try doing this as a batch sparge, keeping the tap on the tun closed as you add water and stir, then drain it. Try two batches, one with a single sparge step and one with sparge-drain-sparge again-drain to get your volume. That second sparge will get more of the sugars but it might not be worth the time it takes over just a single sparge step. Hotter water will hold more sugars but tests done by one of the contributors here have shown that it doesn't matter a great deal.

__________________
RM-MN is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-18-2013, 07:03 PM   #10
stpug
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,552
Liked 368 Times on 320 Posts
Likes Given: 171

Default

Just to clarify my 'non-traditional fly sparge' opinion: It sounds like you turn on your sink faucet spray head with the spigot on your MLT open, thus rinsing the sugar from the grains in the process. From your description, it sounds like you leave the grainbed intact during this process. Once you reach your volume you close your MLT spigot. This process in essentially (careless) fly sparging, but 'non-traditional fly sparging' sounds nicer.

Your recirculation of the first running through the MLT three times is ~~kind-of~~ batch sparging but since you're not actually collecting more volume during the process, I tend to think if it more of just rinsing. Either way you dice it, I do not believe this 3x circulation to be very effective or necessary, and is costing you time in your process.

If you are aiming for 80% efficiency then you will need to adjust your system specifically to maximize your efficiency. There are lots of ways to do this. A couple suggestions I would have to your current process that should be easy to implement and stray far from what you are currently doing are:
1) Stop the 3x rinsing of your grains using first runnings. Drain your first runnings and leave them in the BK.
2) Implement a more careful and slow fly sparge where you're keeping the level of water above the grainbed about 1 inch; slow and steady gets better rinsing and, thus, more sugar (i.e. higher efficiency). It will likely take 40-60 minutes to reach your preboil volume when fly sparging, so holding your sink faucet sprayer might not be the best option. Too fast and you risk sticking your sparge, or channeling (channeling leads to reduced efficiency).

That's where I would start for a couple batches. Find out where your efficiency lands after these couple changes. If you're not where you want to be then keep the same process and simply look at a slightly tighter crush of your grain (or double-milled). I believe you'll find yourself in the high 70s in no time.

Then again, high efficiency doesn't matter if you don't have consistent efficiency

__________________
:: St. Pug ::
stpug is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What kind of wood to use for Mash Paddle? Anthony_Lopez Equipment/Sanitation 16 03-01-2014 03:40 PM
What kind of ciders can I brew (what kind of fruit will ferment) BadgerBrigade Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 12-08-2011 09:01 AM
Rubbermaid mash tun smells kind of sour supermoth All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 07-15-2011 04:58 PM
What kind of tubing for mash tun to kettle? brewzombie Brew Stands 11 10-30-2010 08:30 AM
What kind of Mash temp thermometer? Tmeister All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 35 11-26-2009 06:41 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS