Batch Sparge Explained?

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drevilz4l

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I am preparing to make my first all grain brew, and I want to batch sparge. I am a little confused on how it works so I figured I'd ask here. Heres how I understand it.

In my tun, I add my strike water to obtain 154 degrees (probably about 170 degrees) . Allow to mash for 1 hour.
I then drain and recirculate until clear and drain the tun. I then add my sparge water, stir and once again recirculate until clear, then drain the tun.

I have seen this done a few different ways, so I was curious what the difference was. I have seen sparging twice with smaller amounts of sparge water, and I have seen people adding the full sparge volume to the tun before draining the mash. Just wondering what the difference in these techniques is. Thanks.
 

TexLaw

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You pretty much have it there. It's not complicated at all. Many people find substantial efficiency gains by splitting the sparge into two batches, and that's why they do it. Check the Wiki for more details, if you like.


TL
 

jayhoz

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I asked some of the chemical engineers I work with what would be more efficient at removing the soluble sugars from a bed of grain and they emphatically said that splitting the sparge water would be better than adding it in one go. They each said that 2 sparges would be better than 1.
 

CBBaron

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You have the concept down fine. The differences you describe are just techniques that trade off efficiency for time/effort or MLT volumes.
For instance. If you add all the sparge water at the end of the mash and then drain once it is called a no-sparge mash and your efficiencies will be 5-10% lower then the single sparge you described. Doing a double sparge by splitting your sparge water into two additions will gain you a couple percent but cost you the time for the additional sparge.
I have a 5gal cooler so for beers requiring 10# or more grain I don't have room to do a single sparge. Instead I have to do 2 sparges. But when I am making a small beer I can add a mashout step to my mash to increase the volume I drain in the first step and then only do 1 sparge saving time.
With each batch you ca tweak your process to reduce your effort and/or improve efficiency.

Craig
 

CBBaron

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jayhoz said:
I asked some of the chemical engineers I work with what would be more efficient at removing the soluble sugars from a bed of grain and they emphatically said that splitting the sparge water would be better than adding it in one go. They each said that 2 sparges would be better than 1.
And 3 is better than 2 and 4 is better than 3. However your improvements quickly start dimensioning to negligible and the extra time and effort quickly increase. Doing 2 sparges instead of 1 will increase your efficiency by 2-3% but will add some effort and an additional 15+min to your brew day. Thats a trade off you need to make. Dividing into a 3rd sparge results in efficiency improvements that are hard to measure and so its probably not worth it.

Craig
 

jayhoz

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CBBaron said:
And 3 is better than 2 and 4 is better than 3. However your improvements quickly start dimensioning to negligible and the extra time and effort quickly increase. Doing 2 sparges instead of 1 will increase your efficiency by 2-3% but will add some effort and an additional 15+min to your brew day. Thats a trade off you need to make. Dividing into a 3rd sparge results in efficiency improvements that are hard to measure and so its probably not worth it.

Craig
And quite likely bring your sparge water gravity down to a level where you might start to get tannin extraction.

In my case I have eliminated the mash out and added the second sparge. So for me it hasn't added any extra time or effort.
 

Brewing Clamper

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CBBaron said:
And 3 is better than 2 and 4 is better than 3. However your improvements quickly start dimensioning to negligible and the extra time and effort quickly increase.
At which point you might just as well fly sparge, right?
 

EinGutesBier

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Given this information, what's the big drawback to fly sparging? This is from a guy who's never tried batch sparging, but has done what would probably be called fly sparging. I figure it'd be tough to maintain the temperature in the mash tun and the hot liquor tank while doing multiple batch sparges. That issue of time/temperature is what keeps me doing fly sparging.
 

Got Trub?

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Having done both batch is easier, faster, less likely to extract tannins and more consistent in my system(s). YMMV. Both make great beer.

GT
 

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