Sparging

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Sparging

Postby daryl » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:00 pm

When you sparge, how do you do it?

Continuous - where a constant flow of sparge water is added to the top of the mash tun; and the outflow from the mash tun is sent to the brew kettle. Inflow and outflows are set such that the level of water above the grain bed is about 1 to 1.5 inches.

Batch - where the mash tun is drained (after mashout) and then all of the sparge water is added to the mash tun and allowed to steep, or is gently recirculated with a pump. After 10 mins or so, the kettle is then filled to the boil volume.


During either of these approaches, do you have other steps...such as monitoring pH or gravity?
In the Fridge/On Tap: Bell's Brown Clone, Salted Caramel Porter, Barrel-Aged Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: Czech Lager; P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead
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Re: Sparging

Postby Matt F » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:22 pm

I do a continuous fly sparge. The water temperature is maintained by an electric element and PID. I use a Blichmann Autosparge so I only have to adjust the flow from my mashtun and the hot liquor tank flow matches automatically. I get at least 1 inch of water above the grain bed but usually much more. I don't worry about having too much sparge water on top. My concern is not enough which can cause the grain bed to compress. I rarely measure the PH during sparge but do about 15 minutes after mash-in. Only gravity reading I take is a pre-boil once the sparge is done. I may take a gravity reading of the runoff during sparge if doing a really low gravity beer. I stopped measuring this years ago because I wasn't getting to a low enough gravity of runoff to worry about tannin extraction or other issues.
Matt Franklin
Slappy Brewing North

On Tap:
Hopodile Dundee IPA (Conan)
Hopodile Dundee IPA (1318)
Saison
MashBros Black IPA

Fermenting:
FYF Triple IPA (NHC 2017)

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Re: Sparging

Postby wyzzyrdd » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:40 pm

daryl wrote:When you sparge, how do you do it?

Continuous - where a constant flow of sparge water is added to the top of the mash tun; and the outflow from the mash tun is sent to the brew kettle. Inflow and outflows are set such that the level of water above the grain bed is about 1 to 1.5 inches.

Batch - where the mash tun is drained (after mashout) and then all of the sparge water is added to the mash tun and allowed to steep, or is gently recirculated with a pump. After 10 mins or so, the kettle is then filled to the boil volume.

During either of these approaches, do you have other steps...such as monitoring pH or gravity?


I do something in between these. I drain the mash/lauter tun into the brew kettle until no more wort comes out. Then I gradually add sparge water to the grain bed until I maintain half and inch to an inch of water on top of the grain. This is drained into a second pail. Then I lift the kettle onto the burner and pour the pail into the kettle. {I am pretty low-tech} This is because I found that lifting a single stainless steel kettle with 7 to 8 gallons of 150+ degree wort was more than I could do by myself. :shock:
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Re: Sparging

Postby andrewmaixner » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:41 pm

I used to do batch sparge in a cooler and measure gravity at each step.

Now i do BIAB, hoist the bag out, squeeze, and if it is a high gravity batch I will reserve two gallons and pour it over then squeeze again.
I estimate pH and do minerals with the ezwater spreadsheet, and record gravity / volumes before boil and into fermenter.


I have a crappy ph meter i only use for monitoring sours currently.
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Re: Sparging

Postby karl » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:05 pm

My process is pretty much the same as Matt's except that I don't have an autosparge. Monitoring the level above the grain isn't too difficult since my runoff rate is only 0.5 gallons per minute.

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Re: Sparging

Postby daryl » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:24 pm

At the end of your sparge, when you have enough wort in your kettle, you just shut off the flow to the kettle? At that time, do you still have 1-2 inches of sparge water on top of the grain bed, or do you anticipate that you are getting close to the end and stop adding sparge water?

D

Matt F wrote:I do a continuous fly sparge. The water temperature is maintained by an electric element and PID. I use a Blichmann Autosparge so I only have to adjust the flow from my mashtun and the hot liquor tank flow matches automatically. I get at least 1 inch of water above the grain bed but usually much more. I don't worry about having too much sparge water on top. My concern is not enough which can cause the grain bed to compress. I rarely measure the PH during sparge but do about 15 minutes after mash-in. Only gravity reading I take is a pre-boil once the sparge is done. I may take a gravity reading of the runoff during sparge if doing a really low gravity beer. I stopped measuring this years ago because I wasn't getting to a low enough gravity of runoff to worry about tannin extraction or other issues.
In the Fridge/On Tap: Bell's Brown Clone, Salted Caramel Porter, Barrel-Aged Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: Czech Lager; P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead
In the queue: Tangerine Wheat, Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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Re: Sparging

Postby Eric B » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:58 pm

daryl wrote:At the end of your sparge, when you have enough wort in your kettle, you just shut off the flow to the kettle? At that time, do you still have 1-2 inches of sparge water on top of the grain bed, or do you anticipate that you are getting close to the end and stop adding sparge water?

D

Matt F wrote:I do a continuous fly sparge. The water temperature is maintained by an electric element and PID. I use a Blichmann Autosparge so I only have to adjust the flow from my mashtun and the hot liquor tank flow matches automatically. I get at least 1 inch of water above the grain bed but usually much more. I don't worry about having too much sparge water on top. My concern is not enough which can cause the grain bed to compress. I rarely measure the PH during sparge but do about 15 minutes after mash-in. Only gravity reading I take is a pre-boil once the sparge is done. I may take a gravity reading of the runoff during sparge if doing a really low gravity beer. I stopped measuring this years ago because I wasn't getting to a low enough gravity of runoff to worry about tannin extraction or other issues.


Yes shut off the flow. As long as your volume calculations are correct you should not have any sparge water on top of the bed when sparging is completed. I usually have a couple of quarts left in the mash tun that I just drain off into the sink.
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Re: Sparging

Postby karl » Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:50 am

Yep. Just shut off the valve.

I usually deliberately have extra sparge water. So, there's usually about two gallons left in the grain.

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Re: Sparging

Postby Matt F » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:46 am

I usually have a bunch of sparge water. I usually don't calculate how much sparge water I need. If I am brewing 10 gallons, I get 20 gallons of water ready and use what I need for the mash, rest goes in the HLT. Unless doing a low gravity beer, the final runnings can be canned and used for starters. Boil to increase gravity if necessary.
Matt Franklin
Slappy Brewing North

On Tap:
Hopodile Dundee IPA (Conan)
Hopodile Dundee IPA (1318)
Saison
MashBros Black IPA

Fermenting:
FYF Triple IPA (NHC 2017)

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Re: Sparging

Postby daryl » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:59 am

Canning for yeast starters....I really like that idea. Thanks Matt.
In the Fridge/On Tap: Bell's Brown Clone, Salted Caramel Porter, Barrel-Aged Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: Czech Lager; P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead
In the queue: Tangerine Wheat, Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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Re: Sparging

Postby Matt F » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:53 am

I wouldn't use anything once your gravity drops below 1.008. That is the cutoff I use.
Matt Franklin
Slappy Brewing North

On Tap:
Hopodile Dundee IPA (Conan)
Hopodile Dundee IPA (1318)
Saison
MashBros Black IPA

Fermenting:
FYF Triple IPA (NHC 2017)

Up Next:
Coffee Chocolate Latte Stout
Peanut Butter Cup Stout
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Re: Sparging

Postby daryl » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:41 am

And I'm really liking the idea of the Blichmann Sparge Arm. I bet one would fit perfectly in my newly acquired, gently used mash tun.

I'm sure it's very similar to what's in Dan's porcelain mash tun, the one he uses for Uncle Dan's Prison Wine.

Not sure how he gets it out of the bowl though, and I'm really sure I don't wanna know! :shock:
In the Fridge/On Tap: Bell's Brown Clone, Salted Caramel Porter, Barrel-Aged Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: Czech Lager; P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead
In the queue: Tangerine Wheat, Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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Re: Sparging

Postby UndeadFred » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:49 am

I am like Andrew in that I used to batch sparge in a cooler. I used a voile lined cooler so it probably was still technically hybrid BIAB. I now use a bag and squeeze the crap out of it. I went from mid 80's In brewhouse efficiency, to the high 70's but that translates into about 75 cents more base grain per batch for a bit less cleaning and a little bit less work... time wise, no major savings though, really...

I'm thinking of rigging up a second electric pot to try a sparge over the bag, but I've not put that together. The recirculating eBIAB system so far has been good enough for me as I'll never (or at least until retirement) have adequate time to be an award winner.

I guess I should measure pH more than I do, but as long as I add the right amounts of the water chemicals/acid I'm always in range anyway when I do spot check. I mostly build up from RO because I have really tasty but moderately hard well water with a lot of temporary hardness. I'll cheat on darker beers and maybe go 25%-30% well water (kind on an unknown) but that's not been a problem when I've done it either...

Fred
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Re: Sparging

Postby andrewmaixner » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:16 pm

Fred, you can "sparge" the bag with cold water. The difference between hot/cold at that point is diminishing an order of magnitude -- like "10% of 10%" increase
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Re: Sparging

Postby Matt F » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:59 pm

daryl wrote:And I'm really liking the idea of the Blichmann Sparge Arm. I bet one would fit perfectly in my newly acquired, gently used mash tun.


The Blichmann Autosparge works great if using gravity to move water from the HLT to the top of the mashtun. My cousin Brandon said it did not work very well when pushed with a pump. I can verify, it does in fact fit very well in your mashtun. :wink:

You can also use a barb with a silicone hose like I did before the Blichmann. I had a ball valve on the out side and screwed a 1/2" barbed nipple through from the inside. If you can't get tight enough add a nut on the outside and then the valve. If doing gravity, the Autosparge is really nice, and actually very low tech.
Matt Franklin
Slappy Brewing North

On Tap:
Hopodile Dundee IPA (Conan)
Hopodile Dundee IPA (1318)
Saison
MashBros Black IPA

Fermenting:
FYF Triple IPA (NHC 2017)

Up Next:
Coffee Chocolate Latte Stout
Peanut Butter Cup Stout
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