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Old 05-28-2009, 12:24 AM   #1
May 2009
Posts: 11

So I tried out my new 5 gallon MLT on the weekend with a 12.5 lbs recipe @ 1.25 qts/lb. I barely had room to put the cooler top on after I added my hot water. When came time to sparge, I was hoping to get about 2 runnings getting my kettle up to about 7 gallons of wort. I guess the MLT being only 5 gallons, this was impossible. I'm not sure what I was thinking but I quit sparging after 2 runnings, afraid to dilute the wort and get a low OG . I only got to 6.5 gallons, to chicken to try sparging a third time...

So my question: Is the process more important than the result? In other words, is sparging three or four times going to give me bad results? Or should I just concentrate on getting 7 gallons in the kettle or and that's it, as long as my final running is over 1.008?

Thanks for your help.

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Old 05-28-2009, 12:37 AM   #2
Beerrific's Avatar
Mar 2007
Posts: 5,562
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I think some here have done experiments and have shown that going from 2 to 3 sparges raises your efficiency but not by that much. Most people swear by 2 sparge additions. That is what I do.

After draining your mash, calculate how much total sparge water you will need. Heat all that up and add about half, drain it, repeat. If you know how much water your grain will absorb, then you can hit your 7 gallons pretty dead on each time and you really don't have to worry about the runnings going bellow 1.008.

Hope this helps.

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Old 05-28-2009, 03:10 AM   #3
Jan 2008
Houston, TX
Posts: 576
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Sparging more than twice isn't detrimental, it just takes more time. 2 sparges seems to be the sweet spot considering time/benefit.

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Old 05-28-2009, 03:31 AM   #4
Orangevango's Avatar
Mar 2008
Posts: 596
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Your volume is much more important than the number of times you sparge.
If it takes you 5 sparges to reach your volume, thats fine. The thing is, you have a smaller cooler, so you are unable to sparge with as large a volume as the 10 gal. MLT crowd. Therefore, you have to sparge more times to get the same amount of water to run through the grain.

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Old 05-28-2009, 01:14 PM   #5
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May 2007
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Posts: 9,590
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Rather than numerous batch sparges, you could try something like this "hybrid" technique.

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Old 05-28-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
Feb 2009
woodlands texas
Posts: 241
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+1 on the fly sparge i just started doing that method and i find it very easy and if anything my efficiency has gone up. it takes me a little longer though

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:15 PM   #7
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 5,387
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My guess is that sooner than later you will realize you need a bigger MT. If you have the $$$ just upgrade now and save yourself the headache.

If you want to do bigger gravity beers you are going to have trouble.

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