Any drawbacks to mashing with total pre-boil volume using MLT??

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redalert

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I know this has probably been covered and I am aware of BIAB brewing but just wondering if there are any drawbacks/benefits of this and if any of you employ mashing with your total pre-boil volume. Just seems simpler to add all of your mashing water accounting for grain losses and just sparge as usual. Your thoughts....
 

Walker

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This is called "no sparge" brewing. You can find info on it with e search, but all of the water is put into the MLT with the grains right at the get-go, rest for the hour, and then drain it all to the kettle and start heating to a boil.

I've never done it, but I get the general impression that this causes a loss of efficiency, so you might have to use more grain that you normally would.

One other issue is the shear amount of water involved. A typical recipe for me is about 11# of grain. I will use 8.25 gallons of water to make that recipe. I don't think it's possible for me to get 8.25 gallons of water + 12 lbs of grain in my 10 gallon cooler.
 

jmhart

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Agree with the above: no sparge brewing. Loss of efficiency. BIAB brewers help make up for this by doing a double crush on their grain since the bag does a pretty good job of containing it.

And, agree again, the other drawback is that for anything over a low gravity beer, you'll have trouble fitting it all in your mash tun.
 

bigljd

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If you have a pump and can re-circulate your wort thru your brew kettle back to your MLT, you can follow the no sparge method linked below. While you may never get 80+% efficiencies with this method, I ran my last 2 batches with no sparge and hit around 75% both times. Other advantages are you end up with a very clear wort, since the wort is being continuously filtered thru the grain bed, and you can also use your brew kettle as a rims for raising your wort temp to 168 at the end of mash. You also don't have to worry about your sparge water ph, as all your water is in the system thru the whole mash. Since your wort volume is balanced between the kettle and MLT, you don't have to worry about too much volume to fit in your MLT. You also no longer need an HLT, so you have 1 less piece of equipment taking up space.

I won't go back to batch sparging, unless maybe if I do a very high OG beer, then batch sparging will give better efficiencies. There's a decline in efficiency using no sparge as the grain bill increases.
(I do still cool my wort though, unlike the creator of the thread linked below)


https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/i-love-no-sparge-brewing-140972/
 

Bobby_M

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Regarding the last post, I don't think there's any benefit to recirculating a mash in a cooler without a temp maintenance system like RIMS or HERMS. It's just going to shed heat the entire time. Even if you use your boil kettle as a direct fire RIMS, you'd be constantly messing with it over the 60 minute mash.

IMHO, a single infusion + single batch sparge is so easy there's very little reason not to do it.
 

addis29

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I have been no-sparge brewing for the last 6 brews, I do a double crush and mash out and have been averaging 83% to the kettle. I ask to all the brewers who say you lose efficiency, Have you ever tried it? I see no efficiency loss.
 

TheMan

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I have been no-sparge brewing for the last 6 brews, I do a double crush and mash out and have been averaging 83% to the kettle. I ask to all the brewers who say you lose efficiency, Have you ever tried it? I see no efficiency loss.
Ditto. I did it on my last brew. I only crushed once though. Lost no efficiency. I don't mash with the entire pre boil volume though. All you have to do is mash as normal (1.25 qt/lb for me), then do a mashout with enough water that would give you the preboil volume. I can see mashing with too much water giving poor efficiency, but this is essentially just a mashout.

I've heard that a larger gravity brew will lose efficiency with this method, however for average beers it seems to be fine for me. I'll be doing this again for my next brew.
 

jmhart

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I have been no-sparge brewing for the last 6 brews, I do a double crush and mash out and have been averaging 83% to the kettle. I ask to all the brewers who say you lose efficiency, Have you ever tried it? I see no efficiency loss.
I think the double crush is the key there. When I've done no sparge, I didn't double crush, and always hung out in the low 70s.
 

addis29

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yeah my double crush is very fine. Not all powder but crushed fine, and I am using a grain bag.
 

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today the newbies all call this above mentioned "no sparge brewing" now, but this isn't really "no sparge" brewing as it had been researched and named.

Dr. Fix would mash a batch then add the total batch volume into the mashtun, stir, then drain the tun completely and called this "No Sparge". Another words.. one big batch from the tun to the boiler.

Back then, there was a need to step mash, so you kept the thicker mash to protect the enzymes, then at the end.. the total batch volume including evaporation was added then stirred and drained. This made a very rich malty beer fit for a "King". the cost was efficiency. the plus was the flavor.

Today if you have a rms that will maintain the heat needed you can gain the efficiency some but you still get that more noble quality compared to a sparged brew with high extraction rates
 

bigljd

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Regarding the last post, I don't think there's any benefit to recirculating a mash in a cooler without a temp maintenance system like RIMS or HERMS. It's just going to shed heat the entire time. Even if you use your boil kettle as a direct fire RIMS, you'd be constantly messing with it over the 60 minute mash.

IMHO, a single infusion + single batch sparge is so easy there's very little reason not to do it.
Having run the recirculating mash in my last 2 batches (in some pretty cold weather out in my brew shed), it did not require that much messing with - I only had to fire up the kettle burner on low a couple times during the mash to hold the temps pretty steady. True it's not as simple as a temp maintenance system, and would like to add that someday, but it's really not that hard without one.
I learned to batch sparge from your all grain primer, and it is also a great and simple method of brewing, but I really prefer the recirculating method. That's part of the fun of brewing for me, is trying different things.:mug:
And it really should be called a continuous sparge, or something like that, but as long as it works you can call it what you like, I guess.
 

Bobby_M

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Continuous vorlauf, recirculated mash, maybe. What is the benefit of doing this in your opinion? Clear wort? That only takes 10 minutes of recirculation. I just think holding the mash in the cooler the whole time would keep the temp more consistent.
 

janzik

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IMHO, a single infusion + single batch sparge is so easy there's very little reason not to do it.
Have you found that going to one batch sparge (instead of splitting the volume in half for two) works out just fine (Of course it will be just fine!. duh). What I mean is, do you see no added benefit of splitting it in half?

As is right now, if my sparge volume is anything around 3 gallons or less, I'm doing one sparge just for the time savings. I don't see the point of wasting the time doing 2x1.5 gallon sparges. Especially in the 70qt Coleman I use.

Do you think there is an amount of sparge water too large to not be split up?

Granted, worst case scenario is a possible loss of efficiency by a point or two, so I guess who really gives a crap...
 

bigljd

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Continuous vorlauf, recirculated mash, maybe. What is the benefit of doing this in your opinion? Clear wort? That only takes 10 minutes of recirculation. I just think holding the mash in the cooler the whole time would keep the temp more consistent.
Clear wort is just one of the benefits. As noted in the original post, you don't have to worry about the ph of the sparge water, or need another piece of equipment (HLT). Other benefits are the time savings of not having to sparge, and the fact that with the water constantly re-circulating you don't have to worry about the top of your mash bed being hotter than the bottom.

Here's how easy my brew day is: Add full water volume to brew kettle, and heat to strike temp. Pump about 4 gal water to MLT - dough in and stir. Start recirculating and watch temp on my MLT thermometer - turn on burner 2 or 3 times on low during mash to maintain temp. Have a home brew. When starches are converted, turn burner on high while recirculating until MLT thermometer hits 166-168. Turn off pump, drain MLT to kettle and boil.
It's not like heat is pouring out of this process. I keep a lid on the kettle and MLT and my hoses short as possible. I could run the whole hour mash without the burner and probably only lose a few degrees.
There are probably more benefits that I am missing that Saccharomyces explains pretty well in his thread, along with a lot of others who use this method:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/i-love-no-sparge-brewing-140972/

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the sparge method, I just like this one better, whatever you want to call it.:D
 

logdrum

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IMHO, a single infusion + single batch sparge is so easy there's very little reason not to do it.

Are you no longer recommending a dual sparge? I've had great results using your techniques and wonder if you've changed your procedure.

-d
 

Bobby_M

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Have you found that going to one batch sparge (instead of splitting the volume in half for two) works out just fine (Of course it will be just fine!. duh). What I mean is, do you see no added benefit of splitting it in half?

As is right now, if my sparge volume is anything around 3 gallons or less, I'm doing one sparge just for the time savings. I don't see the point of wasting the time doing 2x1.5 gallon sparges. Especially in the 70qt Coleman I use.

Do you think there is an amount of sparge water too large to not be split up?

Granted, worst case scenario is a possible loss of efficiency by a point or two, so I guess who really gives a crap...
Good questions. My mention of a single sparge in this thread was in the context of someone arguing that full volume, no sparge recirculating mash was so easy/simple and I was suggesting that a static, well insulated mash with a single sparge was equally as easy and potentially more effective if efficiency matters at all.

Granted I'm not an efficiency athlete as much as I was a few years ago. Many times I rely on a single batch sparge due to my forced thinner mashing. Once you mash at 1.6qt/lb on a higher OG beer, the first runnings is pretty close to half the preboil volume. In that instance, a single sparge to make up the other half is pretty darn efficient by itself. If I were still static cooler mashing, I'd mash at 1.25qt/lb for the most part and continue breaking the sparge in two parts for a nearly equal 33%, 33%, 33% preboil runnings.
 
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