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BeerSmith and it's crazy sparge temps

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wildwest450

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I've done 2 ag batches and both times i've done a split sparge (2 equal amounts) and both times the first sparge only raised the grain temp to a little over 150f (with an ending mash temp of 153) that's with sparge water approaching 175f. Why does beersmith always you to use 168f water? Is there an adjustment im missing? Should I raise my initial sparge to 180-185? Im confused.
 

Soulive

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wildwest450 said:
I've done 2 ag batches and both times i've done a split sparge (2 equal amounts) and both times the first sparge only raised the grain temp to a little over 150f (with an ending mash temp of 153) that's with sparge water approaching 175f. Why does beersmith always you to use 168f water? Is there an adjustment im missing? Should I raise my initial sparge to 180-185? Im confused.
When you split your sparge water, are you pouring it into a bucket and then into the MLT? You can lose some heat in the transference. I've been heating my water to 180F lately to account for heat loss. I've been getting striking (from the bucket, not pot) with 175F-176F and that leaves my grains at about 165F. I agree that Beersmith doesn't calculate the water temp high enough, but you may be losing heat elsewhere...
 

Beerthoven

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wildwest450 said:
Should I raise my initial sparge to 180-185?
Yes, you could do this.

Or you could try mashing-out with a small quantity (like 1 gallon) of boiling water before you drain the first runnings. Then the 168º sparge water will do better for you. This is what I normally do and I like my results.

You can also use the infusion temperature calculator to figure out the exact temperature & quantity of water needed to raise the mash from your rest temp to sparge temp.
 

ohiobrewtus

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Interesting idea that I've never even given a second thought to. I also do equal sparges and have just always heated sparge water to 170F.
 
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wildwest450

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Soulive said:
When you split your sparge water, are you pouring it into a bucket and then into the MLT? You can lose some heat in the transference. I've been heating my water to 180F lately to account for heat loss. I've been getting striking (from the bucket, not pot) with 175F-176F and that leaves my grains at about 165F. I agree that Beersmith doesn't calculate the water temp high enough, but you may be losing heat elsewhere...
Yes I do split the water, but I never thought you could lose that much heat, it only takes 30 seconds or so.:confused:
 

Soulive

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wildwest450 said:
Yes I do split the water, but I never thought you could lose that much heat, it only takes 30 seconds or so.:confused:
You can and I do. Just jumping from the pot to the bucket to the MLT, I lose at least 5 degrees...
 
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wildwest450

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Beerthoven said:
Yes, you could do this.

Or you could try mashing-out with a small quantity (like 1 gallon) of boiling water before you drain the first runnings. Then the 168º sparge water will do better for you. This is what I normally do and I like my results.

You can also use the infusion temperature calculator to figure out the exact temperature & quantity of water needed to raise the mash from your rest temp to sparge temp.
I may try this in the future, but im only working with one burner and 2 pot's (ones my brew kettle), and this would further complicate things. I suppose I could run my lazy butt to the kitchen and boil there.
 
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wildwest450

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ohiobrewtus said:
Interesting idea that I've never even given a second thought to. I also do equal sparges and have just always heated sparge water to 170F.
Check your grain temps, you may be disappointed. Btw, I brewed your EF clone this weekend, and it went really well, it smelled awesome.:mug:
 

eriktlupus

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also the sparge calcs in bs are designed for a single sparge so when u split it the mass/temp ratio changes, ie your adding less overall heat to the mash and it can't raise it to desired temps
 
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wildwest450

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eriktlupus said:
also the sparge calcs in bs are designed for a single sparge so when u split it the mass/temp ratio changes, ie your adding less overall heat to the mash and it can't raise it to desired temps
I wonder why that is , because it has ability to split the sparges, it seems that it could adjust the temps also.
 

Beerthoven

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wildwest450 said:
I may try this in the future, but im only working with one burner and 2 pot's (ones my brew kettle), and this would further complicate things. I suppose I could run my lazy butt to the kitchen and boil there.
That's all I have. I drain my runnings into a bucket while I heat sparge water in my brew kettle.
 

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The sparge water temperature is set in the Details of the Mash Profile. The default is 168.0F. That is why it always tells you to use 168.0F water. The best thing to do is to dial in your own setup to see what temperature of water you need to end up around 168F on a batch sparge. Then you can enter that number into the mash profile.
 

FlyGuy

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Also remember that when you pick your mash profile, you have the option of a mash-out or not. If you choose not to, yet you still want to raise the temp of your grainbed, then you have to over-ride the default sparge temp of 168. Doing it this way is not the typical schedule, but it is easy to do in the software.

After all, it is just software. It can't do it all for you. But it is surprisingly good at doing the typical things very well.
 

Kayos

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After I figure out the final recipe, I go to the "strike/infusion temp" and input all my #'s for the target temp to be 168 with the water volume being half the sparge water. Usually I have to use about 8.9 qts at 193, then 8.9 quarts at 170 for the second half of the sparge since the grains are already at 168.

Whatever I figure out in numbers, I put into the notes of the recipe so I don't have to think about it on brew day.

If you do a mashout, the grain will already be at 168, so just sparge with 168. If you choose a mashout schedule, the software will tell you what you need to get to the mashout temp.
 

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Is it possible your thermometer is incorrect? Thermometers (expect scientific mercury-type thermometers) rarely have a linear response across the full band of temperatures they support. If you calibrate a thermometer in ice water, it will be most accurate when the temperature is closest to freezing, but less accurate at boiling. Use two thermometers calibrated at two different points, freezing and boiling, and take the average reading.

However, you can always adjust the specific heat used in the mash tun calculations, either by choosing an alternative substance or by changing the default factor.
 

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