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Old 02-24-2010, 04:53 PM   #61
The Pol
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This is funny... because PRO and CON lists are different for everyone, it depends on what you value. What do you want? When you get malt for $.49 per pound, you may value a 10% increase in eff. with a sparge, a lot less.



Then you are going to argue about a PRO actually being a CON.

Carry on.

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Old 02-24-2010, 07:32 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by goatchze View Post
People can get confused when you say that a longer boil will increase efficiency because they think "I'm increasing the gravity of my wort in the boil, thus increasing efficiency". This, of course, is not the case.
This is 100% patently false, as I just proved! In a Brutus 20 system, increased boil time or higher evaporation rates MUST be compensated for by adding more water up-front. This drives down the pre-boil gravity which means MORE points get in the pot. MORE points in the pot = higher efficiency.

This is analogous to doing additional sparges in a conventional system. By sparging MORE, you end up with MORE wort in the kettle and LESS points left behind in the MLT.

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Originally Posted by goatchze View Post
As for you last post, I'm not saying sugar as in "sucrose" or "table sugar". If we assume that wort is a mixture of only two things, water and sugar (of whatever kind), then every point of gravity above 1.0 is due to a sugar (of whatever kind).

0.31 lbs i the amount of sugar (of whatever kind) which should be produced from 1 lb of malt.
OK. I've never heard of this and never come across this "0.31 lbs" number in all my years of brewing. Can you point me to some reference so I can understand this concept?

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Originally Posted by goatchze View Post
So, now that we're off of this tangent, let's go back to my original question. Your above comment that the gravity of the wort "lost" affects the overall efficiency (which I agree with completely) is of course the justification for using a sparge. The Brutus doesn't use a sparge, so the above logic means the efficiency must be lower. This means you need more grain to get the same amount of beer.
Absolutely, positively, 100% true.

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Originally Posted by goatchze View Post
The Brutus also requires two pumps, so a higher cost to build (for me the pump was one of the largest expenses on my build).
Absolutely untrue. See my CB20 build discussion here, or the condensed version that was published in the Nov, 2009 issue of BYO.


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Originally Posted by goatchze View Post
So what I'm still not understanding, or seen shown, is what the advantage of the Brutus set up is? I'm not trying to knock it; it obviously works and is quite popular. However, the only advantage I see is the elmination of a small water bottle if not using tap water. If using tap water, I see no advantage at all?

Meanwhile there are multiple negatives, mainly a loss in efficiency and need for an additional pump?

So, again, what am I missing? Do the pros really outweight the cons, or are so many people building this system because it's been done before and is easy to duplicate?
Well, first, It's important to understand there are different Brutus systems. A Brutus 10 is a 3-vessel, direct fired system. A Brutus 20, which is the 2-vessel concept you're asking about has the following advantages:

+ Takes up less space
I've built a version that runs on a single 120V outlet and fits comfortably on a 3' x 2' counter in my kitchen. I can brew when it's 5 below and snowing, sitting in my recliner and watching the game. Have a look at Pol's new system. Besides being a damn work of art, it's a full 10 gallon brewing system in a SUPER compact space.

+ Potentially higher quality wort
First runnings are always the highest quality wort. With every sparge, wort quality goes down and the risk of tannin extraction increases. With no-sparge, ALL wort is first runnings. Batch or fly sparging require a certain level of skill on the brewer's part to monitor wort quality. Too many brewers get caught up "brewing by the numbers" and strut around efficiency numbers as a testament to their brewing prowess. No-sparge brewers care more about getting the best possible wort and are perfectly willing to forgo a few points of efficiency.

+ Higher repeatability
Because the variability of sparging is eliminated, it's trivial to hit the exact same numbers, every time.

+ Time saving
No sparge means no time spent sparging! For a relatively simple ale with a 60 min mash and 60 min boil, I can easily brew a batch of beer in 4 hours, including clean-up.

I'm sure the other no-sparge proponents will chime in with other points, but those are the big ones. Now I'm not saying no-sparge is the be-all end-all of homebrewing. Quite the contrary, it doesn't suit many brewers at all. It's just another option in this hobby.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:38 PM   #63
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Quote:
This is 100% patently false, as I just proved! In a Brutus 20 system, increased boil time or higher evaporation rates MUST be compensated for by adding more water up-front. This drives down the pre-boil gravity which means MORE points get in the pot. MORE points in the pot = higher efficiency.
Sorry, but you proved no such thing. What you proved was that increased water, compensated for by a longer boil, increases efficiency. A longer boil by itself does not help. Goatchze's point, as I understand it, was that when people simply hear that a longer boil increases efficiency they can be misled because they are missing half the picture.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:55 PM   #64
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Sorry, but you proved no such thing. What you proved was that increased water, compensated for by a longer boil, increases efficiency. A longer boil by itself does not help. Goatchze's point, as I understand it, was that when people simply hear that a longer boil increases efficiency they can be misled because they are missing half the picture.
You guys are just getting flat-out silly now.

Nowhere in this thread were the words "a longer boil increases efficiency" said on their own, so it's not possible for your so-called "people" to be misled. In EVERY instance, it was clearly explained that greater starting volume (required for a longer boil) lowered the pre-boil gravity, putting more points in the pot. More points in the pot = higher efficiency. I've said it so many times in so many ways, I'm sick of saying it. If folks aren't understanding the basics of efficiency calculations by this point, this hobby MAY not be for them.

I'm out. Good luck fellas.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:57 PM   #65
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I'll say this another way because it just isn't getting through. If the preboil volume is increased due to willingness to boil down longer, it reduces the mash gravity. That means LESS sugar is locked up as absorption and therefore your sugar loss is less. This is a gain in efficiency. Yes, it DOES matter in no sparge brewing if your preboil is 7 gallons vs. 8 gallons.

We're not generalizing across various sparge methods, we're talking about the situation where ALL preboil wort is derived from the mash liquor.

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Old 02-24-2010, 08:57 PM   #66
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Thirteen,

Thanks, this is my point. EDIT: But, I think we all are saying the same thing, just in different ways.

----------------

Jkarp,

Thanks, these were the "pros/cons" or points I was looking for. I honestly wasn't aware that there was such variety in the term "brutus" (I'm not a subscriber of BYO). I thought all were the same and the #'s were the volume. Guess I should research more!

I did leave off repeatability as a pro; I can see how the Brutus would be more repeatable than sparging. I'm still not entirely convinced that the wort will be of "higher quality", but I can see where sparging at higher t's and using more water has the potential for increased tannins extraction. I'm just now sure how big this risk is.

Also, before this thread, I had never come up with the 0.31 lbs of sugar / lb of grain. I usually calculate brewhouse efficiency the hard way, just converting the added gravity of the wort to a generic "mass". In doing the comparisons we did here is where I finally converted it to a unit of mass sugar per unit of mass grain. Thanks.

-----

The Pol,

I don't know what to say. The whole point of posting something like this to a bulletin board is to get the opinions of others and find out why they like this system for their given situation, then compare their situation to mine. We digressed quite a bit from this question for a while. The system I came up with was out of the blue on my part, only borrowing the idea of a RIMS tube. It seemed intuitive to me, but I wanted to find out why others weren't doing the same, instead going with a no sparge system.

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