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Old 08-03-2012, 02:24 PM   #1
thebeerisgood
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Default Sparge extraction problems

Hi All,

First post ever, been gaining a lot of useful advice from this site over the last 6 months when I started brewing for the first time...

I'm brewing on a Sabco Brew Magic, and am having trouble with extracting all of the sugars from the mash when I sparge. Typically when the kettle is full, I'm still left with around 5P-8P.. it seems like a waste. Below is a typical process for the mash/lauter/sparge

1. Typically using around 35-45lbs of grist in mash tun.
2. Doughing in with Hot Liquor at about 170F, with around 8-12g
3. After goods are in and a gentle stir, I let it recirc for around an hour, until the sugar reading on the digital refrac isn't rising anymore
4. Mash out Temp of 170.
5. Not sure of sparge rate, but have tried 30 minute sparges, up to 60 min with pretty much the same results.
6. Sparging with 180F liquor, as I've noticed that with a thermometer sitting in the mash, that it only gets to about 168-170F.

Am I just using too much grain? The crush seems fine, but I'm a novice when it comes to crush.

Any thoughts? Thanks for the help!


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Old 08-03-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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Are you hitting the OG and Volume of the beer recipe you are using? If so I wouldn't change anything about the way you are making the beer. But if you really want to get a use out of those sugars and liquid left behind you could run that off into canning jars and freeze it for starters.


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Old 08-03-2012, 03:31 PM   #3
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Ooops, the system caused a double post.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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That does sound like the sparge is not very effective.

But as Nashbrewer said, if you are hitting the numbers of the recipe then I would leave well enough alone and if you can run some more at about 1.038 sg it would make good starter wort.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
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What volume of sparge water are you using?
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeerisgood View Post
Hi All,
Typically when the kettle is full, I'm still left with around 5P-8P.. it seems like a waste.
That's not that uncommon. To gain efficiency, you'd sparge with more water (to 2.5P) but then you'd have to boil longer to get down to your volume. Many brewers give up some efficiency, to just sparge to their boil volume. I do that all the time. Yesterday, I stopped sparging while I was still at 5P because I had reached my desired boil volume (although 8P is very high to stop!).

What have your efficiency numbers typically been?
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:46 PM   #7
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Are you crushing the grain? Do you have a buddy that could crush it for you if not and compare outcomes?

I would avoid a gentle stir and stir the crap out of it, perhaps you have dough balls lowering your efficiency.
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:31 PM   #8
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You're doing just fine. If you're using 35-45 pounds for a 10 gallon batch, those are really huge beers and you can expect efficiency loss there. There is nothing you can do about it.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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Edit: read wrong


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