Batch Sparge Opinions requested

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How do you batch sparge?

  • no mash out and single sparge

  • no mash out and double sparge

  • Mash out and single sparge

  • mash out and double sparge


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Xpertskir

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I am preparing to do my first AG recipe :rockin: and have a few simple questions. Like many things with brewing there are many ways to skin this cat.

1: Do you mash out?

2: Do you do one or two sparges? (If so, do you just evenly split the sparge volume)

3: Can you recommend a good calculator for water temperatures and volumes?
 

rented_mule73

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I had been struggling for consistency in my first three batches and decided to sit down and read until I felt comfortable and checked into many different opinions and techniques....... this is what I do now and it works very well......

Mash water volume mash at recommended temps ..... 149-156 for 80 minutes
Add 1 gallon of 190 degree water (which I subtract from my sparge volume) stir well and let sit for 10 min ....... drain all
Then take remaining sparge volume and cut in half with two sparges .....

this site is pretty basic and a good start..
http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php
 

Yooper

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When I batch sparge, I do it in two additions. The first one is kinda a mash out, in that it's usually about 190-200 degrees and brings the grainbed up to 168 (although I've drained the MLT prior to the addition). The second addition is at 168 degrees.
 

DonMagee

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I've done both double and single batch sparges. I've had no noticeable change in efficiency from either. So now I add a small amount of water before I drain the tun (typically at 170), then I add the remaining sparge water and finish.
 

cyclogenesis

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Mash
Drain first runnings
add 75C water
Stir top of bed being careful not do disturb close to manifold
wait ~3 mins
drain
add 75C water
Stir top of bed being careful not do disturb close to manifold
wait ~3 mins
drain


I could do it in one hit, but why rush?
 

TyTanium

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Honestly, I wouldn't waste your time with a calculator for this. There are times in brewing to be precise; sparging isn't one of them.

Temp doesn't matter much, just use hot water.

For volume, just put in whatever you need to hit your pre-boil volume. Usually ~4 gallons.
Sparge Volume = Pre-boil Volume - Mash Runnoff If double-batch sparging, split water evenly
 
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Xpertskir

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Honestly, I wouldn't waste your time with a calculator for this. There are times in brewing to be precise; sparging isn't one of them.

Temp doesn't matter much, just use hot water.

For volume, just put in whatever you need to hit your pre-boil volume. Usually ~4 gallons.
Sparge Volume = Pre-boil Volume - Mash Runnoff If double-batch sparging, split water evenly

well that's mind-blowingly simple. I will obviously be tweaking things as I progress as an AG brewer, this thread is more about a good "safe" place to start where I can steal someone else's basic process and get some hopefully repeatable results.
 

diS

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I used to do two batch sparges, but recently I do only one (I didn't noticed significant efficiency loss, except it lasts longer).
As for mashout, I don't see huge benefit of stopping enzyme activity with batch sparge since it only takes 5-10 mins to complete- stir, wait few minutes, vorlauf and drain. I may do it if I got a lot of wheat in my grain bill, just to make lauter easier and avoid stuck sparge.
 

CastleHollow

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I "mash out" like Yooper, and either single or double sparge depending on how much time I have to spend on brewing that day. Double sparge gives me only slightly better efficiency, I usually hover around 75-80% each batch anyway so I don't worry too much about it. Easy peasy.
 

makomachine

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Have a braumeister but 'rinse' my grains (not true batch sparge if you want to get technical) with about a 1 1/2 to 2 gallons at 170F depending on the malt bill. This is after a 10 minute mash out at 168F. Hit between 78 to 80% efficiency and I'm a happy camper. Repeatability is so much more important than squeezing an extra 5% efficiency IMO.
 
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Xpertskir

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I'm really not worried about efficiency from a grain cost standpoint, Only a reliability in recipe standpoint. Squeezing extra efficiency out of grains seems more like a macho/cheap thing that is more likely to contribute to off flavors and take more time. Probably one of the reasons I chose batch over fly sparge (my Mlt is capable of both though). Thank you all for your input it sounds like double batch sparge/hybrid mash out like yooper first suggested sounds like a winner.
 

alestateyall

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TyTanium said:
Honestly, I wouldn't waste your time with a calculator for this. There are times in brewing to be precise; sparging isn't one of them.

Temp doesn't matter much, just use hot water.

For volume, just put in whatever you need to hit your pre-boil volume. Usually ~4 gallons.
Sparge Volume = Pre-boil Volume - Mash Runnoff If double-batch sparging, split water evenly
TyTanium, with your approach do you heat ~4 gallons then only add the difference(Sparge Volume) from your equation above or do you add the whole 4 gallons and close the valve when you reach your pre-boil volume? The second option would leave some wort in the tun.
 

Stauffbier

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When I batch sparge, I do it in two additions. The first one is kinda a mash out, in that it's usually about 190-200 degrees and brings the grainbed up to 168 (although I've drained the MLT prior to the addition). The second addition is at 168 degrees.
This is exactly how I do it too!

I'm going to try doing a hybrid batch/fly sparge soon just for fun...
 

KurtB

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I calculate my sparge the same way as TyTanium. What I do is after I drain the first runnings, I measure what I have collected and then only add the amount of water needed to make my total volume. Because the grain has already mashed for 60+ minutes, there will be no more absorbed. What goes in will come out. The calculators will give you an idea how much sparge water you need to heat. I normally heat about an extra 1/2 gallon just in case, though I rarely use any of it.
 

kh54s10

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I do a no mash out double sparge with unequal amounts at the moment because that is what BS2 gives. At least how I have it set up now.

I am 12 batches in on BS2 and I am still working on getting consistent so I am not messing with a lot of adjustments, one or 2 on each batch.
 

hoppedupbrewer

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TyTanium said:
For volume, just put in whatever you need to hit your pre-boil volume. Usually ~4 gallons.
Sparge Volume = Pre-boil Volume - Mash Runnoff If double-batch sparging, split water evenly
This, exactly this. It seems many people over complicate sparging because they try to follow some kind of volume formula they found in a dark corner of the Internet, and are then surprised when their postboil numbers are not at all close to target.

This way is exceptionally simple; one only need know their boil off rate, and simple arithmetic, though the latter is tough for me some days ;)
 

Golddiggie

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Since I direct fire my mash tun (converted keg on a Blichmann burner) I simply heat to the target strike temp (I use BeerSmith for all the math), mash-in, get to the desired mash temp (or close enough) and then let rest. I check from time to time (more often in the cooler/cold months than the warmer ones) to check the temp. Then I heat my sparge water up (on another burner) to about 170-175 and connect it up to the autosparge (or another ball valve with a sparge setup inside the keg). I have the first wort run out as the sparge water runs in (same rate), stopping the flow out of the mash tun when the HLT is empty. I let it rest for 10-15 minutes and then drain into the boil keggle.

I run the wort through a nylon grain bag, clipped to the rim of the keggle, so that I don't get any grain particles in the boil. I also use rice hulls to help prevent stuck sparges. I've also found that BeerSmith 2.x (current release) does a solid job of getting you to your temperatures. It does help to feed it accurate information though.
 

TyTanium

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TyTanium, with your approach do you heat ~4 gallons then only add the difference(Sparge Volume) from your equation above or do you add the whole 4 gallons and close the valve when you reach your pre-boil volume? The second option would leave some wort in the tun.
Well, my mash & absorb numbers are pretty consistent...so my needed sparge volume is usually within a pint or so of estimate. But either way, dump it all in (unless you're WAY off), then adjust your boil time to hit your volume and gravity targets.
 

aberry

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I single batch sparged this last weekend for the first time. I hit the exact same efficiency I have been hitting double sparging. My challenge was adjusting all my temps for 112 deg ambient temp. Find what works for you consistently then look at making tweaks. Cheers!
 

Golddiggie

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Well, my mash & absorb numbers are pretty consistent...so my needed sparge volume is usually within a pint or so of estimate. But either way, dump it all in (unless you're WAY off), then adjust your boil time to hit your volume and gravity targets.
I've been tweaking the settings I have for the mash tun, in BeerSmith. I want to get the correct pre and post boil volumes. Of course, the boil time also impacts that, as well as how high you have the flame. :drunk: Of course, I HAD to toss a monkey wrench into the works last batch by changing my plate chiller to a longer version. So amount of wort left in it changed.

Use tools you're comfortable with, to get your target volumes, with a reasonable efficiency for the batch/brew. If you're happy with the results, that's all that really matters.
 

alestateyall

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TyTanium said:
Well, my mash & absorb numbers are pretty consistent...so my needed sparge volume is usually within a pint or so of estimate. But either way, dump it all in (unless you're WAY off), then adjust your boil time to hit your volume and gravity targets.
Thanks. That's pretty much what I do. I am always .1-.2 gallons above my target boil volume so I just boil a little longer.

I was just wondering.
 

TyTanium

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Use tools you're comfortable with, to get your target volumes, with a reasonable efficiency for the batch/brew. If you're happy with the results, that's all that really matters.
Exactly. There are so many variables....understanding the math and knowing how to adjust on the fly is critical for hitting your numbers and informing your "game time" intuition. And taking good notes so you can learn from it.
 

Golddiggie

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Exactly. There are so many variables....understanding the math and knowing how to adjust on the fly is critical for hitting your numbers and informing your "game time" intuition. And taking good notes so you can learn from it.
Also keep in mind it can take a few batches to dial-in your setup once you've made changes. Even something that seems like a minor change, can have a large impact on your process. Sometimes in a good way, others not so much.
 

TyTanium

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Also keep in mind it can take a few batches to dial-in your setup once you've made changes. Even something that seems like a minor change, can have a large impact on your process. Sometimes in a good way, others not so much.
Definitely agree with this.
 

cyclogenesis

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Honestly, I wouldn't waste your time with a calculator for this. There are times in brewing to be precise; sparging isn't one of them.

Temp doesn't matter much, just use hot water.

For volume, just put in whatever you need to hit your pre-boil volume. Usually ~4 gallons.
Sparge Volume = Pre-boil Volume - Mash Runnoff If double-batch sparging, split water evenly
Withn one caveat: Keep it under 77C or you will extract tannins...
 

logdrum

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Also keep in mind it can take a few batches to dial-in your setup once you've made changes. Even something that seems like a minor change, can have a large impact on your process. Sometimes in a good way, others not so much.
Boil-off rate in summer vs. winter, for example. I actually have 2 separate "breweries" set up in my software to help alleviate this.
 

Pilgarlic

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Withn one caveat: Keep it under 77C or you will extract tannins...
That's certainly one of the truisms that bounces around the echo chamber, but have you ever actually experienced it? I've come to believe, from sources and experience, that tannin extraction is much more of a pH problem than a liquor temp problem.
 

scone

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This may be the wrong thread for this, but I've also wondered about the reality of tannin extraction. People do decoction mashes all the time, usually boiling up to 1/2 of the total mash at one point or another. Even on "light" beers like german style hefs, this doesn't seem to do any harm (actually it makes the beer even more delicious but that's another topic of discussion).

Does mash thickness affect mash pH? If so, it would back up the reasoning behind pulling "thick" decoctions, not thin ones.
 

TyTanium

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Thick vs thin decoction are about enzymes - they stay behind in the liquid. Pull the liquid and you denature the enzymes.

Decoctions don't extract tannins b/c the pH is correct. The pH danger w/sparging (more fly sparging) is your buffering capacity gets washed out, so the temp matters far more to change the pH. With batch sparging, it's less of an issue, especially if you're treating your sparge water w/salts. So use hot, but not boiling water, and you'll probably equalize ~160ish, no problem.
 

Pilgarlic

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Thick vs thin decoction are about enzymes - they stay behind in the liquid. Pull the liquid and you denature the enzymes.

Decoctions don't extract tannins b/c the pH is correct. The pH danger w/sparging (more fly sparging) is your buffering capacity gets washed out, so the temp matters far more to change the pH. With batch sparging, it's less of an issue, especially if you're treating your sparge water w/salts. So use hot, but not boiling water, and you'll probably equalize ~160ish, no problem.
If you're doing a mashout, as I do, you need to get the mash to at least 168 to denature the enzymes and lock in your fermentable/unfermentable profile. I routinely mashout with 190-200 degree water with no problems.
 

TyTanium

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My runnings go straight to be BK, so they're denatured faster than could be accomplished via mashout. But good point for anyone with a longer sparging process.
 
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