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Old 03-18-2006, 02:52 PM   #1
ESPY
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So far I've done all of my mini-mashes by heating the grain and water on the stove and then pouring through a strainer into the brew kettle. Then I would slowly pour my sparge water over the grains in the strainer.

To improve my setup a bit I have put together a more advanced mash tun using a 5-gal round cooler and false bottom and I intend to use this as my lautering tun as well.

I'm considering brewing tomorrow and there are a couple of ways I could go about sparging:

1) Make a sparge arm out of cpvc, use my bottling bucket as a hot liquor tank, and fly sparge. My biggest concern here would be heat loss in the HLT and lines to the LT.

2) Batch sparge

In everything I've seen I think regardless of fly/batch that you add the sparge water without first draining the sweet liquid resulting from the mash, correct?

Also, the typical recommendation for sparge water temp is 170-180F. But if your mash contents are in the low 150's then as you introduce your sparge water its coing to cool down to somewhere in between the two temps. So, does the 170-180F recommended temp take this into account?

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SP


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Old 03-18-2006, 03:02 PM   #2
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my take on batch sparge (and i could be wrong) is that you place your mash in the lauter, mix it up real good, let it sit for 10 minutes, then do a vorlauf, ( recirculate a few quarts untill the wort runs clear), then slowly drain everything. after its done draing you add a few gallons of 170F h2o, mix everything up again let it sit for 10 min. do another vorlauf and drain and your done.

if you do a mash-out by raising your mash temp to 170 for 10 min. prior to sparging you wont lose much heat.


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Old 03-18-2006, 03:18 PM   #3
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I may have just answered my own question on the batch sparge part. Just found this on hbd.org:

"After conversion, the sweet wort is recirculated as normal and the mashtun is completely drained as quickly as possible, and an addition of sparge water is added. This is stirred into the mash, allowed to rest for a few minutes, thoroughly stirred again, and after recirculation is once more drained as quickly as the system will allow."

So I'll probably try the batch sparge since I won't need a sparge arm and HLT. But I swear I just read something yesterday on batch sparging that seemed to suggest that you added the sparge water first before draining the sweet wort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjorn Borg
if you do a mash-out by raising your mash temp to 170 for 10 min. prior to sparging you wont lose much heat.
Can you only do a mash out if you have the capability to heat your mash tun? If you can't heat your MT then the only way to raise temp to 170 would be by adding hotter water and that's not really much different than just doing a batch sparge, right?

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SP
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Old 03-18-2006, 03:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPY



Can you only do a mash out if you have the capability to heat your mash tun? If you can't heat your MT then the only way to raise temp to 170 would be by adding hotter water and that's not really much different than just doing a batch sparge, right?

Thanks,
SP
hmm good point. its my day off from school so i dont want to be thinking all day. but i guess you could add some boiling h2o to raise the temp, then vorlauf, drain, add more 170 h2o, vorlauf drain...

the only thing i wouldnt do is "drain as quickly as possible" you dont want to do that!, you want to drain nice and slow so as to not cut channels through the mash where by the wort doesnt filter through the grain...i dont know why they recomend doing that!
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Old 03-18-2006, 03:47 PM   #5
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I wish I'd found this write up on hbd.org sooner. The more I read it the more questions it answers. Here's the batch sparge step-by-step. It's intended for a 10-gal all-grain with 19lbs of grain so the numbers will vary but the process should be similar:


1.) Mash in with 6 gal. of water for 1.24 qt./lb. The grain will absorb 1.9 gal., so you should get just about 4 gal. out of the mash.

2.) Infuse 1 gal. boiling water at the end of the mash, before the first runoff to get as close to the 168F mashout temperature and stir it in.

3.) After 10 minutes, recirculate the mash by draining into a pitcher. Keep draining and recirculating until the runnings are clear and free from pieces of grain.

4.) Once the runnings clear, direct the runoff to your kettle, and slowly pour the contents of the pitcher back over the top of your mash.

5.) Completely drain the mash tun as fast as your system will allow.

6.) As the first runoff progresses, start heating your batch sparge water. In this case, heat 5 gal. to about 185F to try to get to a grain bed temperature in the 165-168F range.

7.) When the first runoff is done, close the valve and once again use the pitcher to add your sparge water until the pot is light enough to lift. Then pour the rest in. Stir the grain thoroughly , close the cooler, and let it rest for a few minutes.

8.) After the rest, open the cooler and thoroughly stir the grain once again...yep, you heard right! We want to get all the sugar into solution in the water.

9.) Go through the recirculation and draining process again, once more draining the cooler as fast as your system will allow.

10.) Continue the brewing process as you usually do.

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Old 03-18-2006, 03:53 PM   #6
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thats a good system, although i dont understand draining everything as fast as you can...but im not an expert either. if i drained my lauter as fast as possible it would take like 30 seconds! Thats hardly enough time for efficient sparging (IMHO)
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Old 03-18-2006, 04:55 PM   #7
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I guess the purpose of that is that the sugar is in solution due to the high temperture of the mash bed and you need to get the wort out before it cools down and begins to adhere to the mashed grain again.
I take anywhere fron 30 minutes to 45 minutes to batch sparge.
As for worrying about channeling.. it isn't like fly sparging where you seep the water through the bed to extract the sugar. In this case the sugar is in solution and you need to get it out as soon as possible. At least that's my take on it. I'm open to opposing views however.
Cheers.


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