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HERMS and Fly Sparging

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pjkutah12

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We recently incorporate a HERMS system into our brewing process and we cut our fly sparging time in half with the thought that with the recirculation of the mash tun during Mash Out we would still grab the maximum amount of sugar out of the grains. We ended up slightly under gravity and my thought is that even though we recirculated the grain bed maybe it still requires an hour of sparge time in order to maximum the sugar you are pulling out of the bed. We mill our own grain and calibrate before every beer so being under gravity is not due to the crush. The beer was a Porter and I have heard that dark beers can result in lower gravity of wort.

I'm looking to find out if anyone thinks that an hour of fly sparging is required in order to get everything out of the grain bed or if cutting it short is ok because of the HERMS and our lower gravity could have been caused by something else.

Thanks!!
 

tally350z

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I usually do at least a 45 minutes sparge with my herms system. With the recirculating, your not really extracting any more sugars because what you do extract you run back through into the grain bed. You need to "rinse" the grains with fresh water to rinse properly.
 

microbusbrewery

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i usually do at least a 45 minutes sparge with my herms system. With the recirculating, your not really extracting any more sugars because what you do extract you run back through into the grain bed. You need to "rinse" the grains with fresh water to rinse properly.
+1
 

lewdog50

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I have found that with my HERMS system that it definitely produces clearer wort using a constant re circulation during the mash . I normally sparge for at least 45 minutes to collect my full volume of wort for the boil.
 

redman67

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I read somewhere on here that when you are recirculating, the wort gravity is too high to extract the sugars like a sparge would. so the recirc is more to hold temp and prevent stratification during conversion

I dont know myself but it sounds about right
 

lewdog50

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During re circulation, I am not concerned with extracting the sugars. I am more concerned with creating a extremely clear wort(constant vorlauf), and maintaining my mash temperature. I still sparge for at least 45 minutes or so after my mash is complete. I have at least meet or exceeded my expected numbers every time(normally within a point or two).
 
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