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Old 08-17-2007, 03:46 PM   #1
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Default How much do you sparge?

After steeping the specialty grains for 30 minutes at around 160^F, I've read that you should sparge (rinse) the grains to get out the remaining flavors and color. How long do you do this?

I've been rinsing the grains using 150-160^F water until there isn't anymore color coming out. With lighter grains that usually takes about a gallon of water. For darker grains, like for Irish Reds, Porters, and Stouts it never comes clear. Actually, I use rinse water for these darker grains to "top off" at the end of the boil to get my 5 gallons. My darker grain batches are still aging, so I can't tell if the taste is too strong or not.

What do others do?

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Old 08-17-2007, 04:06 PM   #2
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I use specialty grains in all my brews (I use mostly liquid extract - dry occasionally) and generally let them steep in 1.5 gallons of water in a grain bag at 150-155F for 45 minutes or so then rinse with a half a gallon of 170F water.
My grain totals are usually between 1.5 and 3 pounds. I may not get all of the flavor / color but I'm stovetop brewing and my boil size is limited to about 2 to 2.5 gallons.

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Old 08-17-2007, 05:25 PM   #3
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I steep for 20 min at 155 deg in 1.5 gallons of water then sparge with a half gallon of 160 deg water.

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Old 08-18-2007, 06:01 PM   #4
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I sparge with about a half gallon. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe sparging too much would take some of the tannin with it which is not a good thing.

Also, given that it is a steep and not a full or partial mash I'm not sure how "critical" the sparge is.

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Old 08-18-2007, 06:17 PM   #5
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You only get flavor and color from the steeping grains, not fermentable sugars so you don't want to oversparge or you run the risk of off flavors from tannins.

After you steep your grains w/ 150-160* water for 1/2 hour put your grain in a fine mesh stainless steel strainer held over your brewpot, then slowly pour 1/2 to 1gallon of 160* water through the grain being careful not to let the water dig a hole through the pile of grain.

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Old 08-18-2007, 07:37 PM   #6
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I steep grains at 160 to 165 for 30 minutes and rinse with a pint of hot tap water (130 degrees), but after reading this I may double or triple the volume to see what happens

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Old 08-20-2007, 01:38 AM   #7
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Default doesn't make that much difference

After steeping 2 pounds of grains in 2.5 gallons of water for 30 or 40 minutes at 160 degrees I strain through a grain bag and let that drip out. More than a quart of water is absorbed by the grains. I then put the grain bag in an empty pot and pour in about 6 cups of 165' water, then let that drip out again. It doesn't really make that much difference though. You are just adding flavors to the wort. If you are using extract you could make beer with just water. Let the all grain brewers worry about sparge techniques. You and I are just making a quick batch of tea to add flavor and color to the brew. It's easy, don't worry about it.
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:15 PM   #8
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Also if you are not boiling the "topping off" runnings, you risk infection. Good question though!

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