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Old 02-24-2013, 09:36 PM   #1
FearKnowBeer
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Default How do you sparge?

Just did my first all grain, we had an effeciency of just over 70. I am going to describe what i did mash through sparge.

Primed the mash tun with 170 degree water
Began to heat mash water
when mash water reached 150 i drained mash tun of liquid and added grain
when water reached 172 (per beersmith calc) we added liquid to mash tun
stirred vigorously
repeat stirring every fifteen minutes and check temp
at one hour we drained liquid to a pitcher the first 4-5 times until liquid ran clear then drained into the brew kettle
Added sparge liquid 166 degree, stirred for 4-5 minutes and began to drain that first into a pitcher and then into the brew kettle.

We had alot of liquid in the grain, all i can think is that is delicious goodness that is not making it into my kettle. Is there a way to get that into my kettle? Do i want it in my kettle?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-24-2013, 09:58 PM   #2
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Did you hit your numbers; preboil gravity, preboil volume? You used Beersmith, did you set your mash type to "single infusion, batch sparge"?

I batch sparge and get about 82% efficiency. Maybe that's why you had some much sweet liquor in the mash tun. Try to calculate your efficiency and see if that gets more liquor out of the mash tun.

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Old 02-24-2013, 10:03 PM   #3
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Sounds like the mash water was too hot. Mash temps should generally be between 150-155F or so. The higher the temp,the less fermentable sugars you get.

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Old 02-24-2013, 10:43 PM   #4
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After the water and grain mixed my mash temp was 154, and at the end of the hour it was 150. We were shooting for 152.

How do you get the liquid out of the grain? Do you squeeze or weight it to get it out.

Efficiency was 71. I hit my numbers I'm just curious what others do. I had a lot of moisture left in the grain and feel like that is waste.

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Old 02-24-2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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First of all,I finally learned to control my mash temps for my partial mash beers. I use a paint strainer bag,& pour the crushed grains in & stir to break up dough balls & get the grains evenly wetted. This part of the process starts about 150F or so. Working quickly so that when the mash temp hits 152,I transfer the BK/MT to my tinsulate lined winter huntin coat & wrap it up in it. Leaving it for the one hour mash. I then put my other kettle on the burner to heat sparge watr to about 165F. I Unwrap the BK/MT & pull out the grain bag,placing it in a SS collander on top of the kettle to drain. Sparge with the heated water & drain well again.
Then the BK/MT goes on the heat for the boil. That hunting coat maintains temp so well,it acctually gains one degree rather than loosing 5 or more degrees.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FearKnowBeer View Post
After the water and grain mixed my mash temp was 154, and at the end of the hour it was 150. We were shooting for 152.

How do you get the liquid out of the grain? Do you squeeze or weight it to get it out.

Efficiency was 71. I hit my numbers I'm just curious what others do. I had a lot of moisture left in the grain and feel like that is waste.
The grains are always going to absorb some water.I forget the amount it aborbs per pound of grain,but it's pretty constant.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewerBear

The grains are always going to absorb some water.I forget the amount it aborbs per pound of grain,but it's pretty constant.
Yup...about 0.5 qts of water per pound of grain.

OP - if you hit your numbers it sounds like you did everything just fine. I do a single batch sparge and generally get between 72-74% efficiency (unless there's a lot of wheat, in which case my efficiency drops). If you had a lot of "free" liquid in the tun after you sparged, just reduce the amount of sparge water next time.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:38 AM   #8
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Brewed today. I use a 15 gallon Blichmann Mash/lauter, though stick to 5 gallon batches so my run off is rather quick. Mashed-in 11 lbs of grain at 162 F, after mixing hit 154 F. Mashed for one hour; stirring once at 30 minutes.

After 60 miuntes, added half of my sparge water. Stirred, then let rest for 5 minutes of so. Vorluaf'ed for about 1/2 gallon and ran to the kettle. Repeated after wort level got down to the top of the grain bed with the rest of the allocated sparge water. Ran out all the wort to the keetle. When the flow stops, I shut of the lauter valve for 10 minues to let any remaining wort drip through. With a large tun, I can run-off to the kettle in 20 minutes. Seems to work well, simple, no worries. I usually get close to the beer smith numbers.

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Old 02-25-2013, 07:21 AM   #9
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How do I sparge you say...


Fly sparge. Pasta srainer in my 10gal cooler. 2 qt pitcher from a 170deg pot. Almost 80% efficiency. Works for me

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Old 02-25-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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I simply tip my 10gallon cooler to get the last bit of liquid out.

As mentioned, a certain amount of water is going to be absorbed by the grain, this amount should be calculated in advance so you can adjust your water volumes appropriately.

Grain weight in lbs. x 0.2 = Gallons of water retained by grains

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