tweaking my new system

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Sidman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
Messages
137
Reaction score
19
Location
Houston Tx
I got a new stand and BK and have been really trying to dial in on my last two brews. I found for one that I am boiling off at a much higher rate than before but I also feel like I have some other opportunities around water volume. So i took the time this last brew to measure and mark a volume stick for my BK as well as mark off my fermenters. On my last batch I hit my pre boil volume and gravity was just a little low. My final volume was low due to the higher boil off rate but that was 100% accounted for because of the higher rate. This was a 10 gal batch with approx 18lbs of grain. I noticed when I went to clean out the MLT that I had a half gallon of sweet wort that was still in there. At the time I batch sparged I used all the wort that drained from the MLT. I am guessing this is from gravity pulling more of the wort out of the grain over time.

That seemed like a lot of sweet wort to be left. Am I missing any techniques to reclaim that or is that just par for the course?

For my sparging I added half (approx) of my batch sparge water to the MLT when mashing was done, stirred, recirc'd and drained. Then I added the second half of the sparge water and did the same.

Thanks for any help you can give me.
 

acidrain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
2,199
Reaction score
226
Location
Seattle
Just drain the liquor from the initial mash fully before sparging.
Drain, add sparge, stir drain. It doesn't even have to be hot.
You can split your sparge and do it twice, but I don't.
Once you find your efficiency, you can account for any deviation from the recipe you're using, and with a couple of pennies worth of extra grains, hit your numbers every time.
It's all about repeat ability.
 

logdrum

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
1,137
Reaction score
143
Location
North Olmsted
I used to use a cooler MLT with a water heater braid. With this method, I would batch sparge as you've described, start the boil, but put a gallon pitcher below the MLT, prop up the back end & catch the remaining wort. Sometimes I would add it to the BK if my volume was low, but usually I would use it for a starter, often just to revitalize a saved yeast.
 

seatazzz

Well-Known Bloviator & Pontificator
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
2,622
Reaction score
3,392
Location
Seattle
Are you just using gravity to drain, or a pump? If just gravity, what logdrum said will work. There's no harm in waiting for gravity to do its job in completely draining the tun before starting the sparge, then the same applies when draining the sparge. If you are using a pump, need to look into your MT for the issue. Is your braid sitting up too high in the grain bed? Clogging? Also, a rigorous boil isn't necessary, just a nice slow rolling boil will do the trick and then your boiloff won't be so high. It does take time and practice to dial in your system, I'm still trying to get mine where I want it. Most times it's fine, but then I get the odd brew day when I wind up with .5-1 gallon less in my fermenter than planned.
 
OP
Sidman

Sidman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
Messages
137
Reaction score
19
Location
Houston Tx
Just drain the liquor from the initial mash fully before sparging.
Drain, add sparge, stir drain. It doesn't even have to be hot.
You can split your sparge and do it twice, but I don't.
Once you find your efficiency, you can account for any deviation from the recipe you're using, and with a couple of pennies worth of extra grains, hit your numbers every time.
It's all about repeat ability.
Appreciate that. I think that is one of the things that has been confusing me about sparging. I use beersmith and it breaks a single infusion down into two steps so I assumed that was to add water then drain. Seems to be two different schools of thought on this as I saw in Plamers book he says its best to batch sparge in as equal as possible water volumes. So the first water addition is just to make up for the loss by grain absorption and that creates basically two batch sparges of about the same amount. I am guessing that is the theory beersmith uses when you select single infusion batch sparge in the profile

Probably a 6 of one half a dozen of the other kind of thing as far as add then drain or drain then add. I am sure there is probably a brulosophy experiments some where that proves it makes no difference which way you do it :)
 
OP
Sidman

Sidman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
Messages
137
Reaction score
19
Location
Houston Tx
Are you just using gravity to drain, or a pump? If just gravity, what logdrum said will work. There's no harm in waiting for gravity to do its job in completely draining the tun before starting the sparge, then the same applies when draining the sparge. If you are using a pump, need to look into your MT for the issue. Is your braid sitting up too high in the grain bed? Clogging? Also, a rigorous boil isn't necessary, just a nice slow rolling boil will do the trick and then your boiloff won't be so high. It does take time and practice to dial in your system, I'm still trying to get mine where I want it. Most times it's fine, but then I get the odd brew day when I wind up with .5-1 gallon less in my fermenter than planned.
I have a pump and blichman 15 g G2 mashtun.
 
Top