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Old 01-26-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
DonutMuncher
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About to start a partial mash. 3.75 lbs of grain, and 6 lbs of LME.

I plan on mashing with ~ 5 quarts water (1.33 qt/lb ratio).

I have read that many people sparge with about 0.5 gal water per pound of grain.. this would only be 2 gallons of water for me.

Can I just sparge my 3.75 lbs of grain in 5 gallons of water so that I end up with my pre-boil volume? Or does that risk doing bad things, and should I instead sparge my 3.75 lbs of grain twice in smaller amounts of water?

I think I could also just sparge in 2 gallons of water, I'll have about 1 gallon from the mash, and then top-off with 3 gallons before the full boil, but I want the best flavor and extraction possible which I'm guessing requires more sparging.

Thanks!

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:27 PM   #2
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You can sparge with sufficient water to bring the total volume up to your pre-boil volume. That is a lot of ladling though. If you sparge with the same volume as your mash in water you will see the color fade from your grains. Take a hydometer sample at this point for conversion SG and taste the wort. Sweet and sticky with the starches converted to sugar. A half gallon per pound of grain would be enough extra security for removing all of the sugars. Make sure your sparge water does not exceed 170 or you will extact tannins from the grain hulls.

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:37 PM   #3
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So if sparge water amount equals mash water amount you're saying the color will be lighter?
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
So if sparge water amount equals mash water amount you're saying the color will be lighter?
I meant the color will have faded from the spent grains for a visual indication the good stuff has been sparged out. Thanks for the post. It did look a little confusing.

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:48 PM   #5
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It's cool. I see what you mean now. Never thought of it that way. I've been mashing 5lbs of grain in 1.5G of water & sparging with the same amount. Seemed to work ok. Just need a paint strainer bag to be able to stir the mash to get efficiency up where it should be.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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I'm a two timer guy using around 2 gal of water for both depending on how much grain i got.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:56 PM   #7
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Thinner mashes are popular. I've seen it a lot on brewing tv.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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I don't subscribe to the idea that sparging with hotter then 170 extracts tannins. I won't debate anyone about it either...because all my experience is anecdotal and comes from brewing and speaking with professional brewers...

But ultimately, if we BOIL wort in a decoction and it doesn't extract tannins, to me, that means the tannin extraction is a factor of PH, not temperature.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:31 PM   #9
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I was beginning to wonder about that myself after seeing it on brewing tv. Must be a factor of water volume & ph?...
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I was beginning to wonder about that myself after seeing it on brewing tv. Must be a factor of water volume & ph?...
I think, the way I understand it anyway..I don't want to hold myself out as an expert....that tannins are related to PH and PH is affected by sparge volume...but I think unless you sparge in 3 or more batches...and you batch sparge..you're safe. If you fly sparge, you can extract tannins by oversparging...

Here's a great post by Yooper about it:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/over...1/#post4678796
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