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Old 11-14-2011, 04:04 PM   #1
Brewtard16
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Hello all!

I was reading one of the recent BYO magazine articles that talked all about "No Sparge". I dont have the article in front of me. I thought it was interesting because there is so much talk about increasing efficiency and optimizing the mash/sparge process. The author of the article referenced one of Jamil's books. Saying that Jamil would either use the no sparge technique or aim for 70% efficiency. The author said Jamil claimed his brews tasted better at ~70 eff. than >80% eff.

I just found this interesting and thought I would see what everyone thought, and clarify if I mispoke anything.

Cheers!



 
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:26 PM   #2
BargainFittings
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On my regular rig, I brew with two vessels and do not sparge for recipes at 1.060 or smaller.

My standard calculation is 70% and most times I will hit that or higher depending on the recipe. Smaller beers tend to get better efficiency.

I was using this method while competing heavily and did well with the beer I entered.



 
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
HopsJunkie
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I read the same article and liked it a lot. It made me look at things differently. No sparge brewing, though more costly in grain, could certainly make a better brew. It's definitely something I'm going to try with one of my already brewed recipes in the future.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:20 PM   #4
SPR-GRN
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Isn't one of the potential drawbacks of the sparge process imparting a tanic flavor into your beer? In which case the "no sparge" technique should yield a better beer (unless tanic is a wanted or easily covered quality of your beer). I've done all three - pot sparge, pour over sparge and no sparge; I like the pour-over sparge best, although my best beer (in my opinion) was the pot sparge technique.
Meh i'll just try them all over again =^)
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:21 AM   #5
ultravista
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So if you hit your numbers after mashing out, there is no need to sparge?

 
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:46 AM   #6
SPR-GRN
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Well "your numbers" are based off an assumed efficiency (eg. 75%) so a sparge will increase your efficiency.
By adding grain to negate the need for a sparge, you are essentially lowering your efficiency.

Now were you to add more grain or hit your numbers without a sparge and sparge anyways, it may throw off your numbers, thus putting your beer slightly out of the style, if it's close to the border with any of the criteria (SRM, abv, IBU, etc.). However, for my "drinking beer" I don't particuarly care if I match the style or not - eg. my "dirty blonde"; it's similar to a blonde in most respects, but the abv and srm are a touch high/dark to be a true blonde; I suppose I should just call it my house ale, but dirty blonde makes me and others smile, so I'm sticking with it.

Basically - whatever you feel makes your beer taste better to get your numbers is what you should do. OR If you are trying to adhere to style guidlines, then whatever technique makes that happen is what you should do.

The "tanic" flavor I was speaking of will be less noticeable in something like a wee heavy where abv and smokiness play a role, so a sparge can be a good idea due to grain volume you're already into (also smoked porters/stouts, imp stouts etc.) Whereas in something lighter such as a pale ale, or light American lager, that tanic flavor would be more noticeable, and MAY be undesireable.

What works best for you can only be determined through experimentation/application as no two home brewers work under exactly the same conditions, and there are too many variables to make a proper blanket statement.

So here's my proper blanket statement again; whatever makes your beer taste better, or meet style guidlines (for compatitions etc.) is what you should do.

I've used all three methods and will continue to use all threw methods - I will say however that AG efficiency benefits from a sparge much more than PM due to the grain volume; eg. if you boil 15lbs of grain you lose more fermentables than were you to boil only 2lbs of grain and use extract for the base malt (where the extract manufacturer has already lost them for you).

I'm going to stop now, otherwise I'll be typing on my iPhone all night long.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:00 AM   #7
emjay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPR-GRN
Isn't one of the potential drawbacks of the sparge process imparting a tanic flavor into your beer?
Not typically. As long as the pH is low enough (and unless you add something to raise pH such as lime or chalk, it should be), the temperature isn't too, and you're not oversparging (eg, make sure the gravity of your runnings isn't too low), tannins aren't really going to be extracted in any appreciable amount - you add way more tannins any time you dry hop.

But what many people don't seem to realize is that in most cases where beer is reasonably well-made, any tannins will quickly precipitate out to a below-threshold level.

I double sparge. I've never had a tannin issue. And if I ever determined that I did, there are finings that will actually bind to them and cause them to quickly precipitate out. Either way, it's not really a legitimate reason for avoiding sparging. Not saying there are NO advantages to no-sparge, but this ain't one of them.

BTW, I always encourage people to lowball their efficiency estimate if they're not completely sure. There's really no actual risk of ending up with an "not to style" beer if it matters to the brewer. This is why we take pre-boil gravity readings. Efficiency too high? Just dilute it with some water back down to the appropriate gravity! It's better, IMO, than the alternative of overestimating your efficiency, and having to make up the difference with DME (which alters the malt proportions).

 
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:49 AM   #8
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I read the same articles and tried this for the first time two weeks ago.
I always run a circulation/whirlpool mash through a Rims Tube to maintain temperature.
I had only 2-3% drop in efficiency with a 1-2 hour savings on brew day.
If I can replicate the same results next brew day, I will be sold on this method.

 
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:46 PM   #9
corncob
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I have never done a true no-sparge, but I have done a lot of patrigyles.

If you have another pot laying around, you might as well heat another 7 gallons of sparge water in it while the mash is going, then you might as well dump it into your "spent" grain after you run off your first gyle. Then you might as well put the result on to boil and chuck in some hops while you are standing around watching your first gyle boil. Then after you get your first gyle chilled, whirlpooled, and run into your fermenters, you might as well spend the extra 30-45 minutes it takes to chill, whirlpool, and run your second gyle into fermenters as well. It makes for a half-hour longer brewday, but how else in the world can you get an all grain batch of homebrew for no grain and 30 minutes of your time?

I have nothing against no-sparge, and I am all about a shorter brewday. But for me, partigyling reduces my time input from 5 hours per batch to 3 hours per batch.

Not to mention the flexibility of having one really rich high-gravity gyle, and one thin, crisp, tannic gyle (not always a bad thing) to blend as I see fit. 50/50 makes the same beer a regular batch sparge process would (no need to buy a huge pot), while 100/0 makes a huge beer and a regular bitter with the same efficiency, for instance.


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