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Old 09-08-2008, 06:45 PM   #1
gonzo brewer
 
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I have been batch sparging for some time now using 2 equal sparge amounts after first runnings. I consistently get 72-73% eff.

I brewed BM's sterling gold a couple days ago, which has a small grain bill. I used 1.2 qt/lb mash ratio. First runnings was only 1 gallon (No Mash out). I then split the remaining 5.7 gallons into 3 equal 1.9 gal sparges (getting the grain bed up to 168º).

Got 82% efficiency.

This will be my Go-To method especially on smaller beers. I may even reduce to 1.1 qt/lb mash ratio. I always use 2-3 oz. of rice hulls for quicker sparge flow.

Are there any down sides to this method???


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Old 09-08-2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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The biggest downside is the extra time and effort. Once you are doing three or more batch sparges, the benefits of batch sparging over fly sparging start to become very small.

I wonder whether moving from 2 to 3 batch sparges really helped you get such a big jump in efficiency. I would look at your process more carefully, and ensure that you are stirring your grains adequately while mashing, and that you are getting your temps up quickly with that first sparge water addition. It could very well be that by doing these two things well, you will get your efficiency into the 80's with just two sparge additions.

While you are experimenting, you might try giving fly sparging a try. Sometimes it just works better on some people's systems, and you might find it easier than 3 batch sparges.



 
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:37 PM   #3
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I tried fly sparging once. I made a cpvc manifold with drilled holes. Ended up with worse eff. due to channeling. Once the minfold is over my rectangular Mash Tun, how do you stir up the top of the grain bed to prevent channeling?

I do agree getting the temp up and vigilent stirring help eff. in batch sparging. As far as time, my tunaround is about 10 min per sparge. 1 min. to add water and stir - rest 7 min - 2 min stir and run-off.

I read that you should spend about 1 hour fly sparging.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:03 PM   #4
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I usually do 2 batch sparges for the brew at hand, then do a third smaller sparge just to keep for other uses like starters and extra volume. The 3rd sparge usually comes out at 1.015-1.022sg, then I increase it by the amount of boil time.
So there are more sugars in the mash and it would make sense (to me ) that with a third sparge can increase efficiency.

 
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
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I typically do 3 sparges when doing a 10gal batch because my 10gal igloo cooler can only hold so much. And I notice that I get a better efficiency when doing 3 sparges than the two sparges I typically do for 5 gallon batches.

 
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol' rummie View Post
I usually do 2 batch sparges for the brew at hand, then do a third smaller sparge just to keep for other uses like starters and extra volume. The 3rd sparge usually comes out at 1.015-1.022sg, then I increase it by the amount of boil time.
I also do this, but my 3rd sparge runnings are usually around 1.010 - 1.015. Usually I use this light wort to serve as a small base for ciders or meads. Just a little something to keep the yeast happy. If I'm doing a larger brew I'll save it for starters.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo brewer View Post
Once the minfold is over my rectangular Mash Tun, how do you stir up the top of the grain bed to prevent channeling?
I think you combined paragraphs of what FlyGuy was saying. He was saying to make sure to stir well when you add your batch sparge water. If you try fly sparging, you don't want to stir once the sparge has begun.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:16 PM   #8
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I use 1.25qt/lb mash thickness and do 2 sparges (3 runnings total) and get 90% so the only downside for me is that I'd oversparge if I made it 4 runnings. As your grainbill gets small, you can oversparge. As the grainbill gets large, 3 distinct sparge infusions might not get the mash into a stirrable consistency anymore. It's highly debatable how thick is still stirrable but I'm going to guess somewhere in the .3qts/lb area is too thick to provide benefit.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:54 PM   #9
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If you got 82% with three sparges I believe you could improve your crush and get 82% with two sparges.

I get 82% with two sparges consistently. My mill gap is 0.041 (still coarse compared to some others, but that's because I don't want super high efficiency, I'd rather use an extra half pound of grain than fuss over watching the gravity of my final runnings for potential over-extraction). Both times I infuse, stir continuously for 2 minutes, rest for 8 minutes, vorlauf for 1 minute, and runoff at 1/3 of max speed (for improved wort clarity).
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
If you got 82% with three sparges I believe you could improve your crush and get 82% with two sparges.
I use a Corona mill and my crush is pretty fine, a good % of flour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
I get 82% with two sparges consistently. My mill gap is 0.041 (still coarse compared to some others, but that's because I don't want super high efficiency, I'd rather use an extra half pound of grain than fuss over watching the gravity of my final runnings for potential over-extraction). Both times I infuse, stir continuously for 2 minutes, rest for 8 minutes, vorlauf for 1 minute, and runoff at 1/3 of max speed (for improved wort clarity).
I thought the common recommendation was to "let er rip" after vorlauf. Don't you stir once more right before vorlauf? The sugars are in liquid suspension right after a good stir, right?. Using rice hulls helps the clarity of wort, and the speed of runoff.


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