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Old 07-06-2008, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Stir Before Vorlauf?

Simple question- getting ready for round 2. Just making sure everything is clear, I don't want %52 efficiency again. In EdWorts Haus Pale ale instructions he says:

Single Infusion mash for 60 minutes at 152 degrees.
I batch sparge in a 10 gallon water cooler with a stainless braid manifold.
Dough-in with 3.5 gallons of water. After 60 minutes, add 5 quarts of 175 degree water and begin vorlauf. My system only takes about 2 quarts before it clears up, then it's wide open to drain in the kettle. Have another 3.25 gallons of 175 degree water ready for the next batch sparge. You should then get 6.5 gallons to your kettle for the boil.

Do you stir before vorlauf? Or is the only time you stir at dough-in, and after sparging?


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Old 07-06-2008, 03:34 PM   #2
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I usually don't stir before vorlauf, but I fly sparge. My gut says that if you stir, give at least 5 minutes to let the grainbed settle down before vorlaufing.

BTW: I jumped into chat if you need someone to bounce ideas off of in real time.


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Old 07-06-2008, 03:39 PM   #3
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I batch sparge and I dont stir before vourlaf for my mashout. But after i drain the MLT for the first runnings, I add the sparge water and then stir, vourlaf, and drain again. Hope that helps
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:49 PM   #4
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Yeah, I was just curious how much sugar would actually get into solution of that additional 5 qts without stirring the whole thing, but I guess it will go through the grain bed on its way out, picking up sugars without stirring?
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:52 PM   #5
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To stir or not to stir, another never-ending conversation for home brewers

Like I said, 78% eff batch sparger, stir both to get an accurate temp, everything will be fine
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:43 PM   #6
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When batch sparging, I stir at dough-in, 30 mins into the mash, and ANY TIME before I recirc/vorlauf/lautering. The whole idea in batch sparging is to get as much sugar into solution as possible, so stirring is a necessity, IMO (otherwise efficiency will seriously suffer).

When batch sparging, you are not concerned with channelizing the flow in the lauter tun (in fact, I suspect channelizing helps). The only real concern for stirring too much while batch sparging is heat loss from the mash tun.
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:56 PM   #7
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Thanks Flyguy, that is exactly what I needed to know. The moment of truth is coming up. I ended up stirring at dough-in, again with the 5qt addition@ 60 min. Still a little worried- pre-boil was 1.040 and 2nd running was 1.020
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:15 PM   #9
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Crap. 1.034. Is it even worth pitching the yeast? Still dead on 5 gallons. Cant believe I got worse efficiency than my 1st batch. Maybe I will let it rest for an hour and a half and stirr every freakin 15 minutes. I need to figure out what the hell I am doing wrong and quickly. Followed Edworts directions perfectly this time. Maybe a little cool with my sparge, only got bed up to 165. Should I do a 3rd running? How much water?
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:31 PM   #10
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What was 1.034? Pre-boil gravity with both runnings mixed together well?

You only got 5g out of 2 runnings? Did you measure your mash & sparge volumes right? If so, then maybe there is a stuck sparge leaving wort in the tun, or it's leaking into your new MLT?

1.020 sounds decent for 2nd runnings.

I've always double batch sparged. The rule of thumb I've read is you can sparge as much as you want as long as you stay over 1.010. Another sparge might help a little bit.

Remember, you can also compensate your low pre-boil gravity by boiling down to the target gravity. Beersmith has a boil off tool you can use. However, you'll end up with significantly less beer in the fermenter. In which case you have a choice between less volume at proper gravity, or lower gravity & higher volume.


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