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I got a question on sparge temp management. If you are supposed to sparge at 170, you have that temp in your HLT. I use a Phil's sparge arm and by the time the water gets to the mash your less than 170. If I check the temp of the water above the mash it's at about 150. So, should your HLT be more like 190 then?
 
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Sounds good. Will head in that direction next time. I did read after adding this post however that you don't want it above 170 so I'll keep that in mind as I increase the HLT temp...
 

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I ditched the phils sparge are a few months ago. Since I usually like to keep a good inch of water on top of the grain bed having water sprinkle down and lose temp makes no sense at all. I build a copper distribution assemble that brings the water gracefully down to the top of the grain bed with only losing very little temp from HLT to mash tun.
 
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roverz said:
I ditched the phils sparge are a few months ago. Since I usually like to keep a good inch of water on top of the grain bed having water sprinkle down and lose temp makes no sense at all. I build a copper distribution assemble that brings the water gracefully down to the top of the grain bed with only losing very little temp from HLT to mash tun.
Yea, after my 1st sparge and also keeping about 1" of water above the grain I thought the same about equally distributing water upon water :confused: gimmicks...
 

SwAMi75

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desertBrew said:
I got a question on sparge temp management. If you are supposed to sparge at 170, you have that temp in your HLT. I use a Phil's sparge arm and by the time the water gets to the mash your less than 170. If I check the temp of the water above the mash it's at about 150. So, should your HLT be more like 190 then?
Damn, I'd been wondering about this. So the actual sparge temp should be the temp of the water going onto your grain bed?

Having only done two AG batches thus far, this is one thing I still don't understand. I've read that sparging over 175F will release tannins, so I've kept my sparge temps down. My last batch, I heated my water to 185, hoping to bring the water in my HLT to 170. I think it went to 175, but upon measuring my temp on top of my grain bed, I was only getting maybe 160F, or so.

Perhaps a contributing factor to my low efficiency?
 
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Sam75 said:
Damn, I'd been wondering about this. So the actual sparge temp should be the temp of the water going onto your grain bed?

Having only done two AG batches thus far, this is one thing I still don't understand. I've read that sparging over 175F will release tannins, so I've kept my sparge temps down. My last batch, I heated my water to 185, hoping to bring the water in my HLT to 170. I think it went to 175, but upon measuring my temp on top of my grain bed, I was only getting maybe 160F, or so.

Perhaps a contributing factor to my low efficiency?
I've only done 2 myself so others can slap me upside the head if need be but... It would make sense that the higher temp you get the more free-flowing the runoff of the sugars which would lend to better efficiency. I'll trust them on the above 175 and the off flavors. My second batch yield was not as efficient as my 1st (1# more grain too) and I was scrambling once I recognized I was sparging with water probably a couple degrees cooler than the mash after it hit the mash. I'll try and creep up to 170 but I don't want to go over that. I might toss the sparge arm as well (return?) as that is a big variable on the temp management based on ambient temp. I like the thought of a gentle copper plumbing pour to reduce temp loss from the HLT. But I'm still just as concerned of the sparge PH and am going to hit this next time. Below is an excerpt from http://www.beer-brewing.com/wort_separation.htm giving a summary of key points.
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Sparge Water

Water Quality

The quality of the beer may be affected if the sparging water is too alkaline. A pH greater than 7.0 is unacceptable; preferably, the pH should be around 6.0, which leads to better coagulation of proteins, better drainage of the grains, and a higher extract yield (17).

(DesertBrew: Mine is 8!)

Water Quantity

The total volume of sparge water will vary with beer styles and mashing processes. For both mashing and sparging, most designs assume a grist-to-water ratio of from 2.5 to 3.5:1, with 3:1 as the average.

Water Temperature

The temperature of the sparge water (75–78ºC) must be higher than that of the mash to help maintain mash temperature and increase runoff. However, if the sparge water is too hot (above 80ºC), it will extract unwanted materials such as tannins, proteins, and unconverted starch (15).

-----------------------------------------

That and testing runoff gravity to determine when you should cease the sparge and it sounds like we'd be following a well defined and documented process.
 

Sir Sudster

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desertBrew said:
Water Quality

The quality of the beer may be affected if the sparging water is too alkaline. A pH greater than 7.0 is unacceptable; preferably, the pH should be around 6.0, which leads to better coagulation of proteins, better drainage of the grains, and a higher extract yield (17).
You guys should try the 5.2 ph Stabilizer. You can get it at your HBS.
I use it all the time. It will lock in your mash at 5.2 , keeps your salts in suspension which helps avoid scaling of your equipment, increases your SG,
helps in consistent hop usage. Because it maintains your ph at 5.2 it will optimize the enzymatic activity in your mash. I use it in my sparge water too.

I swear by this stuff.

It's a "Food Grade Phosphate" I call it Magic Dust
1TBS/5 Gal. $13 for about 16oz.

And NO, I don't work for Five Star Chemical.
 

SwAMi75

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I've never tested my pH. Seems to me like using something like that stabilizer would be the sure-fire way to control it, huh?
 

Rhoobarb

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I plan to pick up some 5.2 Ph Stabilizer tonight at the HBS, assuming he has it. I just began taking ph readings and my water is off the charts! We have well water; our recent water quality report is here.

No matter what additives I use, the ph paper is a deep purple. Deep purple may be good for guitar solos, but bad for beer! ;)
 

SwAMi75

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Sudster said:
You guys should try the 5.2 ph Stabilizer. You can get it at your HBS.
I use it all the time. It will lock in your mash at 5.2 , keeps your salts in suspension which helps avoid scaling of your equipment, increases your SG,
helps in consistent hop usage. Because it maintains your ph at 5.2 it will optimize the enzymatic activity in your mash. I use it in my sparge water too.

I swear by this stuff.

It's a "Food Grade Phosphate" I call it Magic Dust
1TBS/5 Gal. $13 for about 16oz.

And NO, I don't work for Five Star Chemical.
I just picked some up....at what point do you add it? Straight to the mash, or to the water before mashing?
 

SwAMi75

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Sudster said:
To the water before mashing and sparging.
Cool, thanks. I'll be brewing tomorrow. I'll add it in and see what happens. I really should test my pH, but if my efficiency increases, I guess I'll know if it helped!
 

SwAMi75

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Well, I upped my temp at mash out. I heated my sparge water to 190F, and got a perfect 170F out of the sprinkler. I used the 5.2 stabilizer. My efficiency went from 62% on my last batch to about 85%.

I formulated my recipe assuming 65%.....traget OG was 1.050. I got 1.066. :eek: I did come up about a quart low, so I'm sure that has a little to do with it.

This has to be a fluke.....I plan to calculate my next recipe assuming no more than 75% efficiency.
 

Turricaine

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First off, Phil's rotating sparge arm is a great invention folks!

Secondly, I prefer to use hot water for the sparge but I only use maybe 2 gallons in a 5 gallon batch. I use water directly from the kettle although this will have cooled down to 90C by the time it hits the grains.

Maybe this isnt the right way of doing it, I was just sharing with you my experiences [standard disclaimer]
 
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