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Old 12-22-2008, 03:12 AM   #21
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lately I've been sparging at 188-192 and getting better efficiency - then again, the garage has been cold lately, so even at 188-192, the grain bed is barely getting to 168...



 
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:20 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornbread View Post
You sparge that hot? I thought that I read somewhere that 170f was a high as you should go.
I thought that was pretty hot too. I've been sparging with 168F water.

From John Palmer's How to Brew site:
Quote:
The temperature of the sparge water is important. The water should be no more than 170°F, as husk tannins become more soluble above this temperature, depending on wort pH.
I thought my efficiency was pretty good with sparge water at 168F. It varies depending on which HBS mills my grain but I hit 85% one time last month, though I'm usually around 75%. So is the general consensus to sparge with water over 180F?



 
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:46 AM   #23
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You need to consider the context. Palmer is suggesting a 170F sparge because the preceding paragraphs suggested using a mash out to raise the grain bed temp to 170f prior to the sparge. This is done with water way hotter than 170F anyway. Trust me, there's no problem at any temp as long as the over mash doesn't settle into temps over 170 out of PH range. If it were, I'd have consumed 100 gallons of astringent beer.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:13 AM   #24
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Gotcha. That makes sense. I figured it was something I wasn't understanding and just needed some clarification.

 
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:35 AM   #25
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So the water temp in the 180's is essentially a "strike" temp for the sparge water? Your target temp for the mash should still be under 170. That makes sense.

Would you still go this high if you were doing two smaller but equal sparges?

 
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:56 AM   #26
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Heres my limited AG experience related to this Batch sparge method. My 1st AG (with my own crush) yielded a crappy 60% ish eff using like 168F sparge water.

Later I started using Bobby's Primer with 180-185F sparge water and I increased my eff up to 70% consistently on my next couple batches. I then unwisely used 175F temp sparge water this weekend in my garage when it was about 40F. This only raised my grain bed to about 154-156F.

Needless to say I only hit 60% and I will be making sure I use 185 min temp on the next batch and monitor my GB temp closer
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:46 PM   #27
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If your efficiency improves by letting the grainbed sit after sparge infusions, you need to crush your grain better. Everybody I know who gets really good efficiency crushes the holy snot out of their grain. My crush looks like flour and rice hulls. If you don't have a mill, ask your LHBS to mill the grain twice. No, I have never had a stuck sparge.. but if you are worried use a half pound of rice hulls, they are cheap and they will speed up the vorlauf.

I typically do a double batch sparge, no mashout. I have a big Coleman 70 mashtun, so if I'm doing 5 gallon batches I have to use 195*F water for the first sparge infusion, and 185-190*F for the second. This gets my grainbed to 165*F. My efficiency to boiler is 85-88%. With 10 gallon batches, 185*F and 180*F should be about right. When batch sparging thinking of the sparge water as an infusion temp is the right way to think of it.
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:05 PM   #28
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I used to use a strike water calculator (one of those linked below) to calculate the temp for the sparge water. It is always 190 to 200 for my brews. Now I just heat the needed water volume to 195 and call it good.

TastyBrew.com | Homebrewing Calculators | Infusion Calculator

I couldn't get this page today, but it is usually available.

http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml


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