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Old 04-09-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
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Default How many batches to batch sparge?

I am seriously considering batch sparging my next brew. It will be a standard american amber, about 12.5 lbs of grain. Mashing in a 10 gallon cooler, kettle is a converted keg. Assuming the typical 1.25 quarts of grain per pound of grain, how many times should I expect to batch sparge? Should the first batch be thinner than the typical mash? I would prefer about a 5.5 gallon volume after a 75 minute boil.

Those who batch sparge got any advice?

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Old 04-09-2012, 02:08 PM   #2
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After i mash out (adding enough boiling water to bring the grain bed temp up to 170), I drain my wort into the kettle and measure to see how much more I need to reach my boil volume. Add that much more 170 degree water for the sparge. It helps to have a couple of pots of water heating on the stove

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Old 04-09-2012, 02:10 PM   #3
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Are you fly sparging now?

I started doing a 1.25 ratio and then splitting the sparge into 2 separate sparges.

Then I went to a single sparge.

Now I'm pretty much splitting the mash and sparge water evenly and doing a single sparge.

Doing a single sparge will slightly drop your efficiency, because you are not rinsing quite as much sugar from the grain, but IMO it's worth it to save the time and effort.

It's really up to you do it the way you want to do it. Just play with the amounts until you get a mash and sparge amount that seems good to you and your equipment.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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I batch sparge, but am not sure what you're asking.

Are you asking how much sparge water to add, and in how many additions?
If so, you should work backwards: 5.5 gallons + deadspace in your cooler + boil off + trub + grain absorption = total volume necessary.

From there, subtract off 1.25 x 12.5 qts, and that leaves you with how much sparge water you'll need to add. Most things I've read indicate that splitting this amount into two equal halves increases efficiency a bit, likely due to the add'l stirring that happens when the second part is added.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:25 PM   #5
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My process mirror's Homercidal's almost exactly.

Here's some great reading for you:

A few points:
  • Try to keep your mash volume and sparge volume relatively similar (e.g., 4 gallons each)
  • Mash out not necessary (you're draining quickly and starting your boil right away which quickly denatures enzymes. Minimal (if any) boost in efficiency not worth the effort)
  • Sparge temp doesn't need to be precise - "hot" water works great (in fact, even cold water works fine)
  • Double batch sparge should increase efficiency slightly, but many say the added time isn't worth the effort. If you do double, split sparge volume in half for each addition.

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