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Old 02-23-2010, 02:43 PM   #11
The Pol
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Sorry, what I'm asking is, how are you getting salts to dissolve in your distilled and not just precipitate out? If you stir chalk into water and walk away for 10 minutes, you come back to a layer of chalk on the bottom of the vessel. That's why most people treat their mash with salts, not the water.
I don't treat the sparge water... because the salts wont dissolve.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:56 PM   #12
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Isnt your loss in eff. equal to the loss in grain absorption and MLT deadspace?
Yes, strictly for fly sparging and, to a lesser extent, batch sparging. No-sparge does not efficiently rinse the grains, which is another significant loss.

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What am I missing?
The graph I showed is based on a 6.5 gallon batch. The numbers you gave are for a ~13 gallon batch which would produce a 1.046 wort. Going back to the chart for a 6.5 gal batch, yes, you can hit ~75% efficiency with no-sparge.

My point is, no-sparge begins to impose a significant efficiency hit past 1.050 sg. If you hover around 1.050, it's acceptable, but most the brewers I know brew in the 1.050 - 1.090 range, not the 1.020 - 1.060 range.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:02 PM   #13
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Yes, strictly for fly sparging and, to a lesser extent, batch sparging. No-sparge does not efficiently rinse the grains, which is another significant loss.



The graph I showed is based on a 6.5 gallon batch. The numbers you gave are for a ~13 gallon batch which would produce a 1.046 wort. Going back to the chart for a 6.5 gal batch, yes, you can hit ~75% efficiency with no-sparge.

My point is, no-sparge begins to impose a significant efficiency hit past 1.050 sg. If you hover around 1.050, it's acceptable, but most the brewers I know brew in the 1.050 - 1.090 range, not the 1.020 - 1.060 range.
The numbers I gave are for a 10 gallon batch approx at 1.060 OG. 16g of wort, loss of 2.2g to losses, loss of 2.6g to boil off and a loss of .5-.75g to trub and loss of .4g to shrinkage... 10.05g to the fermentor.

I dont get it. I know you arent rinsing the grains as cleanly as you are with a sparge. But if your wort is homogeneous, and you convert 100% of your sugars, why isnt your eff. LOSS equal to the wort LOSS?

I mean, I was under the impression, incorrect I guess... that if I converted 100% of my sugars, my wort was homogeneous, and I drained all but 20% of the wort, my eff. would equal 80%.

Woops

So if eff. loss is equal to MLT deadspace and grain absorption, with a 30 pound grist I would have...

3 gallons lost to absorption
.19 gallons to deadspace

3.19 gallons subtracted from 17 gallons total wort....

This is a 19% loss

Converting only 90% of the sugars would result in a 72% eff., but apparently I am way off on this. This would be a 10 gallon batch of 1.084 beer

Why is the eff. hit so much more significant above 1.050? What is special about that number? I thought it was pretty linear as the grain bill got larger, the absorption amount got larger since it was a steady ratio. Thus causing a pretty linear eff. loss.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:20 PM   #14
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Why is he eff. hit so much more significant above 1.050? What is special about that number?
It's not a magic number, just a number I threw out based on my past experience with no-sparge brewing.

Kaiser quotes the following equation:

Effbatch_sparge_step = 100% * Vrun_off / (Vrun_off + Vgrain_absorption + Vdead_space)

So, if you subtract for deadspace and grain absorption, you can get pretty close. For a 6.5 gal 1.050 batch at 75%, you're looking at ~1.4 gallons of sweet wort lost to the grain. For the same size batch at 1.070, you're looking at ~2.3 gallons lost.

Add the grain absorption loss to your deadspace loss and see where that gets you.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:12 PM   #15
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Meaning I would have to have another vessel and pump it from there to the RIMS heater. Thusly, not a two vessel system.
Maybe so, I guess you could say that it's technically a three vessel system because I need some water storage. However, if you're able to use tapwater, it is a two vessel system. Even if not, you only need a small container for the sparge water.

I start with RO water from my own machine, which only has a 2 gallon tank. So I start several days ahead draining the RO system every so often to build up my stock of water. In the past I've just used a water bottle, which is what I'll use in the future for sparge water.

But I guess it's a semantic argument whether this water bottle is truly a "part" of the system or if it's just a source of water. For the brief time I'm using it in the system, it will sit on top of the MLT (an Igloo Cooler) which for now will not increase the footprint of the unit.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:19 PM   #16
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I dont get it. I know you arent rinsing the grains as cleanly as you are with a sparge. But if your wort is homogeneous, and you convert 100% of your sugars, why isnt your eff. LOSS equal to the wort LOSS?
Your efficiency is further reduced because the concentration gradient between the water/sugar trapped in the mash and the water/sugar in the wort is less.

Just like heat exchange needs a temperature difference, mass transfer needs a concentration difference. As the difference approaches zero, your rate of exchange approaches zero.

If you have a high gravity liquid passing over the grain bed, the point at which the two reach equilbrium (ie no sugar passing into the wort) will be different than if you have fresh water.

In a nutshell, when you have a higher gravity wort passing over the grain bed, there are sugars "trapped" in the mash which you cannot remove. This is why you would have a loss in efficiency.

So it's not just losses.

Another way to look at it is IF it is losses, take your volume x your gravity. Is it more or less with a no sparge system? If it's more, that hurts your efficiency as efficiency is a measure of the sugars your produce, not just the volume.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:25 PM   #17
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Batch sparging and NO sparging (which the brutus 20 and some BIAB methods rely on) do NOT depend on concentration gradients. The process actually does depend on equilibrium. The wort locked in the fiber of the grist and that outside it as liquid should be the same gravity. So efficiency loss is exactly equal to absorption and deadspace in relationship to the batch size.

Of course, the higher the first wort gravity (somewhat a misnomer in no sparge), the more efficiency you lose because the gravity of the absorbed wort is higher and there is more grain doing the absorbing.

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Old 02-23-2010, 05:29 PM   #18
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Batch sparging and NO sparging (which the brutus 20 and some BIAB methods rely on) do NOT depend on concentration gradients. The process actually does depend on equilibrium. The wort locked in the fiber of the grist and that outside it as liquid should be the same gravity. So efficiency loss is exactly equal to absorption and deadspace in relationship to the batch size.

Of course, the higher the first wort gravity (somewhat a misnomer in no sparge), the more efficiency you lose because the gravity of the absorbed wort is higher and there is more grain doing the absorbing.
Bobby, no offense, but what you said above doesn't make sense. If it depends on equilbrium, then it depends on concentration gradients. By definition equilibrium is when the concentration gradient is zero.

If you have, let's say 1.06 gravity potential "locked" in the grist, then you need to rinse it with water whose gravity is less than 1.06. Otherwise you're not accomplishing anything. That's my point about concentration gradients.

So I think you and I are trying to say the same thing.

But NO sparging and Batch sparging are different. In batch sparging you're staring with water whose gravity is 1. As it sits on the grain bed sugars will pass into the water, out of the grist, until equilbrium is reached (concentration gradient is zero). Then you drain the wort. If the gravity of the sparged wort is less than your "first wort", then you've picked up mores sugars than you otherwise would have been able to, thus increasing efficiency.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:39 PM   #19
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Yeah, there's not enough information provided to interpret that chart out of context for no-sparge. You need to have batch size, evaporation rate and boil time, absorption rate, and deadloss. For a no-sparge 5.5 gal batch of 1.070, 60 min boil, .75 gal/hr evap, .15 gal/lb absorb, and .125 gal deadloss, you'll get 74% mash efficiency, assuming good conversion.

cb20eff2.jpg  
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:44 PM   #20
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Yeah, there's not enough information provided to interpret that chart out of context for no-sparge. You need to have batch size, evaporation rate and boil time, absorption rate, and deadloss. For a no-sparge 5.5 gal batch of 1.070, 60 min boil, .75 gal/hr evap, .15 gal/lb absorb, and .125 gal deadloss, you'll get 74% mash efficiency, assuming good conversion.
???

I guess it depends on how you calculate efficiency. The way I calculate it, it doesn't matter the batch size, evaporation rate, or boil time. Really all that matters is the conversion and dead loss. With no sparge, your "dead loss" is necessarily higher. I don't think there's any issues interpreting that chart for no sparge brewing.
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