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Old 12-04-2009, 01:59 PM   #1
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Default All Grain Q's -1st Wort Hops - HLT xfer heat loss -

I have a few newb AG questions. I have collected my equipment and after almost a year of extract brewing I'm stepping into the AG world.

1. My first brew will be Orphy's bitter. He has a first wort hops addition. My question is, after my first runnings (my first wort) I add the hops but do I boil the first wort right away? I mean right after I get the first wort I start sparging and that will take an hour right? I guess it never really boils but just is constantly warmed as the sparge is constantly added to the kettle? So then is there hops utilization of there is no boil? I feel really stupid asking this but if sparging takes an hour and I have say 3 gallons of first runnings with a high flame on them will it boil as I slowly add 168 degree 2nd runnings to it? Beersmith takes the first wort addition into account as far as IBU's I just wondered how it worked as far as utilization and what to expect during this step.

2. This is another funny silly newb question... out of my HLT through the tube and out of the sparge sprinkler aren't I losing temperature? Beersmith tells me to sparge out with 168F water. So if my 10 gallon igloo HLT is above my mash tun should I put 168F sparge water in or put in like 170 something to compensate for 3ft of sparge tube and the spreading out of the water as it falls to the grain bed? Do I need to compensate for heat loss through the sparging apparatus and tube so the hot h2o that hits the grain bed is exactly 168?

3. SWMBO got me a set of Igloos for mash/hlt (you think I have it good with her but the reason is her relatives are the beer drinkers and this just gets us to her mom's more often...) anyhow the mash tun has an awesome false bottom. Do I still need to throw a handful of rice in to help with the runoff or no?

Thanks and again I humble my newb. AG self to the forum masters...

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Old 12-04-2009, 02:10 PM   #2
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Welcome to the dark side!

You add the FWH to the boil kettle, and as the wort drains into it, you get flavor from them. I add them first, then start draining my first runnings, and then my sparge water.

My sparge water is nearly boiling when I put it in the HLT (it's a cooler) so I am careful not to crack the cooler but put in the hottest water I can. I mash out, to bring the grain bed up to 168 (I use Beersmith for the calculation) and then keep a thermometer in the grainbed during the sparge to ensure it doesn't get warmer than 170 degrees. So far, even with very hot water in the HLT, it doesn't get over 168, and sometimes drops to 167 or so.

I have never used rice hulls, but I don't make many wheat beers. Even with over a pound of oatmeal, and one time 3 pounds of rye, I didn't need them.

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Old 12-04-2009, 07:26 PM   #3
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I have an Igloo HLT, plastic also, so your sparge water needs to be at 168 ish but not over 170 and you are putting near boiling water in the hlt, does that compensate for the tube travel and 'raining' on the grain bed lost of temperature? Does beer smith tell you what temp to fill your hlt at? My beer smith seems to only tell me to sparge w/168.

Thanks for help!

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Old 12-04-2009, 10:35 PM   #4
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I have an Igloo HLT, plastic also, so your sparge water needs to be at 168 ish but not over 170 and you are putting near boiling water in the hlt, does that compensate for the tube travel and 'raining' on the grain bed lost of temperature? Does beer smith tell you what temp to fill your hlt at? My beer smith seems to only tell me to sparge w/168.

Thanks for help!
The sparge water is hotter, so that the grainbed stays at 168. Beersmith doesn't really help with the sparge water temp, it my case it's all trial and error (mostly error). When I put the hot water in the HLT, it seems like it comes out about 180, and then "sprinkles" and it works out great for me.

I used to batch sparge, and so this is fairly new to me. But it's been working fine so far in the last 10 or so batches.
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