Question About Dennybrew Mash

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Blueman89

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Doing my first mash tomorrow and have a question. I'm following the batch sparge method on the dennybrew site and everything makes sense. My question is about the infusion before first runoff. He doesn't mention heating the extra gallon or so of water, but I'm assuming I'd want it to be at the mash temp. Thus if mashing at 154, add the extra water at 154 correct?
 

HomebrewMTB

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If you're talking about Mashout infusion, then you'll want to add water that's close to or at boiling to bring up the temp of the mash to 168 before draining. Or alternatively, you can just drain it out as is and add you 1st sparge water water at just below boiling to bring the mash up to 168. I'm not sure which is better but I think you get better efficiency with the second method. And you need less volume in your mash tun if you do the second method.
 

LuiInIdaho

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The infusion before draining is the mash out. It is intended to raise the temps enough to denature or stop the enzymes from working. This would require water of about 179 or 180 degrees F. It is usually no necessary to add this infusion. I never do. Hope this helps. Mark
 
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Blueman89

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The step he's talking about is to make both runnings equal in volume and account for grain absorption. So I'll need almost a gallon. Even at 212 will that really raise the temp enough to be a real mashout?
 

WilliamWS

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Even if it doesn't get you quite to real mash out temps, it'll make your mash less viscous and it'll drain better. I do a batch sparge and top off the mash with boiling water, stir it up, and let it sit for a few minutes before vorlauf and draining.
 

Denny

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The infusion before draining is the mash out. It is intended to raise the temps enough to denature or stop the enzymes from working. This would require water of about 179 or 180 degrees F. It is usually no necessary to add this infusion. I never do. Hope this helps. Mark

Yeah, I've pretty much stopped doing it, too. For one thing, it's not necessary to denature the enzymes since you reach the boil so quickly by batch sparging. For another, it's much easier to just increase the mash volume to get 1/2 your total boil volume from the mash. And I'm all about easy. I need to update that web page!
 
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Blueman89

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Thanks everyone. And a big thanks to Denny. Your page was the first to make complete sense of the process for me.
 

VAShooter

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Bumping this to get some sparging ideas on an upcoming brew. I am trying to hone in on my sparge techniques. I've fly sparged a few times but hate the time it adds to my brew day....although i did get better eff.
Historically I've batch sparged but the dennybrew technique is new to me and I'd like to try it out.
As far as batch sparging goes; In the past I collected my first running and added ALL of my sparge water to the tun. Let it sit for 20 minutes then drain to kettle after recirculating to get to pre boil amounts. ( usually 7 gallons)

Is there a calculator for dennybrew that may help me out?

My next recipe calls for a total grain bill of 10.5lbs.
I use a 10 gallon Igloo cooler with false bottom and have a 10 gallon kettle to brew

Looking for assistance with water amounts and temps using denny brew. Any help is appreciated!!
 

Denny

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It's easy, but first of all, stop wasting time waiting after adding the sparge water. Waiting does nothing but waste time. Now, as to sparge volume...until you have enough experience to be able to calculate the amount, use the empirical method. Mash using whatever ratio you like...I usually use 1.65-1.75 qt./lb. After you runoff the msh, measure how much wort you have. Subtract that from the total boil volume you;re looking for. The answer you get is how much sparge water to use. Feel free to contact me if you need any more info.
 

jtejedor

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I have seen you say to up the water to grain ratio to avoid the infusion however I have read other people say this might affect the wort and make it "thin" so to speak. Have you noticed this happen with your beers at all?
 

helibrewer

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I have seen you say to up the water to grain ratio to avoid the infusion however I have read other people say this might affect the wort and make it "thin" so to speak. Have you noticed this happen with your beers at all?

I believe as long as you can maintain your mash pH, thinning the grist isn't an issue and helps with first runoff.
 

klnosaj

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I started using the DennyBrew mash method a few batches ago and saw my efficiency jump to over 70%. It takes a little fiddling in Beer Smith to get it exactly right so that the sparge volume is exactly half of the total volume of wort to be collected but once you get it figured out this is by far and away the simplest and best method I've come across.

Thanks Denny! I'm sorry for not having declared my gratitude before!
 

Homercidal

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Usually adding about half of the water will get you at close to 1:1.5 or maybe a bit higher if I recall the calculations I did before. Some experiments done by (I think) Kai seemed to indicate that conversion was not a problem at this ratio.

As far as the mash out goes, a lot of smart people indicate that while it's not needed for the homebrewing scale for stopping enzyme activity (unlike the pros who sparge for a lot longer period), some of them still do it for either thinning the runnoff and preventing stuck sparges, or to get the temp higher to save time getting to boiling.

I've sparged with 155 water before and saw no ill effects from it. I tend to not add water hot enough to raise my mash over 170, but that's because I have highly alkaline water and there is supposedly a risk of extracting tannins at that point due to the pH raising to high.

Since I've become aware of the implication of pH during the sparge, I've started using either water treated with acid or RO/DI water for the sparge. Then temperature is essentially a non-issue for batch sparging IMO.
 

johnbrain

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It's easy, but first of all, stop wasting time waiting after adding the sparge water. Waiting does nothing but waste time. Now, as to sparge volume...until you have enough experience to be able to calculate the amount, use the empirical method. Mash using whatever ratio you like...I usually use 1.65-1.75 qt./lb. After you runoff the msh, measure how much wort you have. Subtract that from the total boil volume you;re looking for. The answer you get is how much sparge water to use. Feel free to contact me if you need any more info.

Denny, I read your thread on another site which said you mash just as you said, then sparge off what you need to get your boil volume, getting about 84% efficiency. I am doing a Southern Brown Ale with a very small grain bill. It seems like the sparge volume is huge unless I went all the way up to 2.2 qt/lb infusion.

Thoughts? Just go with the huge volume? Sparge twice with smaller runnings? Top off infusion? My recipe is calculated at 84% since that is what I hit previously with your method, but those were bigger grain bills where it balanced out easier.
 

Denny

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Denny, I read your thread on another site which said you mash just as you said, then sparge off what you need to get your boil volume, getting about 84% efficiency. I am doing a Southern Brown Ale with a very small grain bill. It seems like the sparge volume is huge unless I went all the way up to 2.2 qt/lb infusion.

Thoughts? Just go with the huge volume? Sparge twice with smaller runnings? Top off infusion? My recipe is calculated at 84% since that is what I hit previously with your method, but those were bigger grain bills where it balanced out easier.

That mash ratio is fine, but you could also mash thicker and infuse water before the mash runoff. It doesn't make a world of diffence either way.
 

wilserbrewer

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This is great advice and worth repeating in bold! A lot of what you read infers that you need advanced mathematics to "calculate" water volumes for batch sparging, not true at all! Also, if Beersmith says you need 12.472 quarts of sparge water, yet you are 15 quarts short of preboil volume...sparge w/ 15 quarts! :rolleyes:

Mash using whatever ratio you like...I usually use 1.65-1.75 qt./lb. After you runoff the mash, measure how much wort you have. Subtract that from the total boil volume you're looking for. The answer you get is how much sparge water to use.
 

Denny

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I have seen you say to up the water to grain ratio to avoid the infusion however I have read other people say this might affect the wort and make it "thin" so to speak. Have you noticed this happen with your beers at all?

No. I think people who say that are repeating what they've read rather than speaking from experience. For example, many German breweries use a very thin mash and their beers don't suck!
 

johnbrain

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In my case, it's based on research and reading since I'm new to this and can't draw upon experience. And throughout my reading so much attention is paid to extraction efficiency. I do know the last time I followed Denny's advice I hit 84%, so thanks.
 

wetzie

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I've sparged with 155 water before and saw no ill effects from it. I tend to not add water hot enough to raise my mash over 170, but that's because I have highly alkaline water and there is supposedly a risk of extracting tannins at that point due to the pH raising to high.

Since I've become aware of the implication of pH during the sparge, I've started using either water treated with acid or RO/DI water for the sparge. Then temperature is essentially a non-issue for batch sparging IMO.

I am using this method with great results for efficiency. I am on well water and the high alkaline is effecting my pH as well. Is there a good method to use for keeping the pH at the pouint it should be? I am looking for an easy explanation like what Denny provided for mashing.
 
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