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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > If you collect too much runnings, do you just boil longer?

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:36 AM   #1
Oct 2008
Posts: 1,019
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I did my first AG yesterday and followed the recipe for mash and sparge volumes. There was still some liquid left in the mash when I reached the 6.5 gallons the recipe called for so I stopped collecting any more and just boiled what I had. If I had collected the rest, should I have just boiled longer to get to 5.5 gallons or will the longer boil cause off flavors? I'm trying to figure out ways to improve my efficiency and I figured this is probably one of the areas I can improve. I ended up around 55% so there is clearly room for improvement.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:42 AM   #2
Feb 2010
Jackson, WY
Posts: 166
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I collect most of the runnings, some people say to stop when the runnings get to a certain gravity but i can't really measure it quickly. If i end up with 7 and planned for 6...somehow... i will boil a little longer ( keeping in mind hop addition times ) or boil a little more violently ( i prefer this one ). More boiling will mean more caramelization of the wort in the kettle so a slightly more malty flavor than otherwise. if you have to boil longer after hop additions it'll increase bitterness and decrease flavor/aroma.

if you don't drain all you can from the tun you're leaving behind otherwise useful sugar and that will decrease your efficiency.

welcome to all grain, stick with it it only gets better and better and better!
Remember, 'cold' is a flavor

Cooking with beer? Been doing it for years.
Add it to the food? I'll have to try it sometime.

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Old 04-22-2010, 11:10 AM   #3
Apr 2008
Frederick, MD
Posts: 546
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I usually collect all I can, I don't wait to get the last drop but if I overshoot that's fine. If my gravity is still low then I can boil it down a bit more, if I hit my gravity mark then I stop and just waste the extra wort.

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Old 04-22-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
Pubwilson's Avatar
Feb 2010
San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 117

Collect the initial boil size that you had planned for and begin boiling. Then I would take a reading of what you have left to make sure it is something you actually would want to put in your beer. Many light brews can benefit from a good long rolling boil of ninety minutes especially if your trying for a crisp, dry taste. But don't just add sparge runnings just cause they are there. I think that if the running get below 1.010 then you don't want to use them. Not sure though, you might want to search for more info on that.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:44 PM   #5
Bernie Brewer
Grouchy Old Fart
Bernie Brewer's Avatar
Feb 2006
Eldorado, WI
Posts: 7,507
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Collect it, save the extra, freeze it, and use it for a starter on your next batch. Beats paying for DME.
I like to squeeze the nickle until the buffalo craps-mt rob

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Old 04-22-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
erikrocks's Avatar
Jun 2009
Ithaca, NY
Posts: 591
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Originally Posted by Bernie Brewer View Post
Collect it, save the extra, freeze it, and use it for a starter on your next batch. Beats paying for DME.
GREAT idea!

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:15 PM   #7
Jul 2009
Posts: 504
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wouldn't the last little bit of runnings have a gravity way below what you would want for a starter?

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Old 04-23-2010, 05:59 PM   #8
skadalajara's Avatar
Nov 2008
Arizona, the northernmost state in Mexico.
Posts: 512
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Collect what you need.
The rest you can make into tafelbier. Y'know, for the kids.

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Old 04-24-2010, 01:09 AM   #9
Aug 2009
Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 2,174
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Most people prepare more sparge water than they'll need and then runoff until they have their desired pre-boil volume. Then they toss the leftover mash water. I've recently dialed in my system so well that I can predict how much water I'll need within a quart. So in my case, I sparge until I'm out of water. The unfortunate thing? My efficiency didn't change when I switched methods.

I've actually asked a similar question to yours a few times on this forum and have never gotten a great answer. There's no real consensus which is better, and I can make a logical argument for both sides. So just do what's easiest is my best advice.

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Old 04-24-2010, 04:38 AM   #10
HodgsonsBrewer's Avatar
Feb 2010
Santa Roas, Ca
Posts: 33
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I would just collect what you need. I have read that over sparging can give an astringent taste due to the tannins in the husk of the grains. Efficiency is important but it is not going to cost all that must more for more grain. I'm also a fan of keeping some DME around when I fall short on my SG. Happy brewing man!

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