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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: ukolowiczd on April 06, 2012, 12:54:31 AM

Title: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: ukolowiczd on April 06, 2012, 12:54:31 AM
Does it matter how you batch sparge?

#1 - put about 1/2 your water in the mash, drain and then add the other 1/2 around 175F.
#2 - put ALL of your water in for the mash and drain.
#3 - put about 2/3 of your water in, add other 1/3 boiling for mash out of 168, drain.

Any of these options give better efficiency, body, flavor?
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: dannyjed on April 06, 2012, 01:15:33 AM
#1 and #3 will give you similar efficiency, give or take a few points.  #2 is not sparging and would give you lower efficiency.
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: tygo on April 06, 2012, 01:33:59 AM
 #1 is batch sparging.  #2 & #3 are no sparging and will give you lower efficiency than #1.
Title: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: denny on April 06, 2012, 02:51:07 AM
#1 is batch sparging.  #2 & #3 are no sparging and will give you lower efficiency than #1.

THIS^^^^^^^^^

For more details about batch sparging, take a look at www.dennybrew.com


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Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: dannyjed on April 06, 2012, 03:00:53 AM
I think I skimmed over the boiling part in #3.  I think adding 1/3 of your water boiling will put you over 168.
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: euge on April 06, 2012, 05:47:16 AM
Does it matter how you batch sparge?

#1 - put about 1/2 your water in the mash, drain and then add the other 1/2 around 175F.
#2 - put ALL of your water in for the mash and drain.
#3 - put about 2/3 of your water in, add other 1/3 boiling for mash out of 168, drain.

Any of these options give better efficiency, body, flavor?

As said before #1. And I'd avoid doing #3 because it isn't mathematically sound per batch sparging as both water additions should be equal when accounting for absorption and dead-space.

However, #2 is a valid approach but with lesser efficiency. I do this from time to time and get about 65% which isn't too shabby. And some would argue that a no-sparge ends up tasting better than a regular batch sparge.


Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: tschmidlin on April 06, 2012, 07:05:06 AM
#1 is batch sparging.  #2 & #3 are no sparging and will give you lower efficiency than #1.
How is adding 1/3 water at the end and then draining it not sparging?
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: tygo on April 06, 2012, 11:16:01 AM
#1 is batch sparging.  #2 & #3 are no sparging and will give you lower efficiency than #1.
How is adding 1/3 water at the end and then draining it not sparging?

I'm reading that as "Add 2/3 of my total water volume, wait, add the remaining water volume to raise temp, drain."  He's step infusing but only draining once.
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: dzlater on April 06, 2012, 11:51:30 AM
I have a similar question.
I usually figure my total water volume and use half for the mash and half for the sparge, as long as the mash ratio is somewhere between 1 and 2 quart per lb.
I am planning on brewing the Bastage English summer Ale recipe from Nov. issue of Zymurgy.
Adjusting the recipe for my efficiency I need 5.37 lbs of grain and 8 gallons of total water.
If I use half for the sparge and half for the mash. It works out to 3 quarts per lb.
Does that thin a mash present any problems?
Should I hold back some of the mash water for a mash out so I'll have a thicker mash?


Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: tygo on April 06, 2012, 12:04:50 PM
Should I hold back some of the mash water for a mash out so I'll have a thicker mash?

You can, and I probably would personally since I like to do a mash out if possible on my system.  But the thinner mash won't hurt you either.
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: erockrph on April 06, 2012, 12:27:16 PM
Should I hold back some of the mash water for a mash out so I'll have a thicker mash?

A lot of brewers doing BIAB report that they routinely get efficiencies in the 75%+ range, and you often end up with a 3 or 4 qt/lb ratio when you are doing BIAB. I doubt a thinner mash is going to hurt you.
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: theDarkSide on April 06, 2012, 12:37:55 PM
I do #1 but my sparge water is usually around 185 -190 F.

I'm going to try a mashout step next time, then sparge like I normally do to see if I can get any increase in efficiency.  I am consistantly coming in just under 70%.  It may work or it may not, but thought it was worth a shot.
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: denny on April 06, 2012, 04:31:49 PM
#1 is batch sparging.  #2 & #3 are no sparging and will give you lower efficiency than #1.
How is adding 1/3 water at the end and then draining it not sparging?

Oh, man, this is a topic that been debated for years!  I think Dixon has been adamant about it in the past.  To me, if you haven't drained the mash when you add that water, you're simply doing a mash infusion, not a sparge.  Other people's definitions (especially Dixon's!) may differ...but they'd be wrong!  ;)
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: denny on April 06, 2012, 04:33:28 PM
Should I hold back some of the mash water for a mash out so I'll have a thicker mash?

A lot of brewers doing BIAB report that they routinely get efficiencies in the 75%+ range, and you often end up with a 3 or 4 qt/lb ratio when you are doing BIAB. I doubt a thinner mash is going to hurt you.

when you go with that high a ratio, it's more important than ever to keep an eye on pH.  Using that much water really reduces the buffering ability of the grain.
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: narvin on April 06, 2012, 06:35:34 PM
#1 is batch sparging.  #2 & #3 are no sparging and will give you lower efficiency than #1.
How is adding 1/3 water at the end and then draining it not sparging?

Oh, man, this is a topic that been debated for years!  I think Dixon has been adamant about it in the past.  To me, if you haven't drained the mash when you add that water, you're simply doing a mash infusion, not a sparge.  Other people's definitions (especially Dixon's!) may differ...but they'd be wrong!  ;)

Right, it's not sparging because you have one runoff of a single gravity!  Batch sparging is two (or more) discrete runoffs, each of lesser gravity.  Fly sparging is one continuous runoff with asymptotically decreasing gravity (think back to calculus :-) ).  In the practical sense, the reason one or more sparges gets you a higher efficiency is because the wort held back by the grain (a fixed amount based on grain mass) contains less sugar.

Assuming that the sugar is in solution and distributed evenly in the liquid in the mash tun, your lauter efficiency will be proportional to the amount of liquid you can drain from the tun, versus the liquid left behind in the grain, for each sparge.

Define:
Q = quarts of water
L = pounds of grain
R is mash thickness in quarts/lb = Q/L

Assume grain absorption of 0.5 qts/lb.  For a single sparge with R = 4 qts/lb, the proportion of water (and therefore sugar) left behind is:

(0.5 * L) / Q = 0.5 / R = 1 / 2*R

So 1/8 (12.5%) of the water is left behind, meaning sparge efficiency is 87.5 %.


Now, assume you mash with 2 qts/lb of water, drain the tun, and batch sparge with another 2 qts/lb of water.

Sugar lost in the first drain of the tun is:

(1 / 2*2) = 1/4 or 25% of sugar left behind, giving you 75% lauter efficiency. 

Now, assuming that stirring in the second batch of water redistributes the sugars equally in the entire volume of the mash, you will be able to extract another fraction of these left behind sugars.  The total water in the tun will be 2qts/lb + the 0.5 qts/lb left behind from the mash, giving you 2.5 qts/lb.

Sugars left behind after the sparge:

(1/4) * (1/2*2.5) = 1/20, or 5%, giving you 95% lauter efficiency.

Whew!  I think that's (mostly) right, but it should at least give an example of why a sparge gives higher lauter efficiency than no-sparge.  With fly sparging, you should theoretically be able to approach 100% lauter efficiency, but it doesn't make too much difference since a lot of efficiency has to do with mash conversion.  Kai did a more complete analysis of this, including factors such as the changes to volume due to addition of sugars to water, and he even put together an efficiency analysis spreadsheet that's on his site somewhere.




Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: ukolowiczd on April 06, 2012, 07:51:43 PM
Ok, well I think I'll stick with the add 1/2 water, drain, add 1/2 sparge water, drain, done method.

BTW I am able to calculate how much boiling water to add to get my 152F mash up to 168F; I just said 2/3 and 1/3 to keep it approximate and easy. (You just use a step mash calculator and knowing my total water used, keep tweaking the numbers until I get the total amount).
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: denny on April 06, 2012, 08:15:56 PM
I have never found a calculator that could accurately predict infusion amounts for a cooler.  If I want to do that, I just stir in boiling water til I hit my temp.  Instead of 1/2 and 11/2, try this...after your mash runoff, measure how much wort you have in your kettle.  Subtract that from the amount you want to boil.  The answer you get is how much sparge water to use.
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: tygo on April 06, 2012, 09:24:52 PM
I have never found a calculator that could accurately predict infusion amounts for a cooler. 

Me neither.  But I've been able to get a pretty good idea of what I need to add to get to where I need to through trial and error over time on my system.
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: thebigbaker on April 06, 2012, 10:32:11 PM
I have never found a calculator that could accurately predict infusion amounts for a cooler.  If I want to do that, I just stir in boiling water til I hit my temp.  Instead of 1/2 and 11/2, try this...after your mash runoff, measure how much wort you have in your kettle.  Subtract that from the amount you want to boil.  The answer you get is how much sparge water to use.

This is what I did. I will mash with a ratio of 1.25 qt per pound of grain.  After the first run off I sparge with an amount that would get me to my boil volume.  After a few times and some good notes, I've now got my system dialed in to where I know exactly how much water for the mash and sparge I'll need.  If you use BrewSmith, the volumes they suggest are fairly close and a good guide to start with.  Each system is different, so it may take a few batches to know how much absorption you get from your system, any dead space and how much water you'll need.  I remember the first time I did this, I had come up short on my boil volume after the sparge, so I did a second sparge to get to my boil volume.  The second time, I had more boil volume than I needed, so I boiled longer until I got to the volume I wanted.  Each of these times, the beer came out great, but just made the brew day longer. 
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: bluesman on April 06, 2012, 11:00:22 PM
A few things to consider during the mash are the grain absorption and dead space in the mash tun. Then I like to target 1.5:1 (water to grain ratio). I then sparge with enough water to collect my pre-boil volume, which for a final volume of 5.5-6 gallons using a 90 minute boil, I collect about 7.5-8 gallons. This pre-boil volume is also dependant upon boil vigor and kettle losses (hop absorption, CFC losses, etc...). I like to target the final gravity not the volume, so if I'm slightly off on the volume it's not a problem as long as I can it my targeted final gravity.
Title: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: tschmidlin on April 07, 2012, 12:34:10 AM
#1 is batch sparging.  #2 & #3 are no sparging and will give you lower efficiency than #1.
How is adding 1/3 water at the end and then draining it not sparging?

I'm reading that as "Add 2/3 of my total water volume, wait, add the remaining water volume to raise temp, drain."  He's step infusing but only draining once.
Ah, I see, I read it as draining in between.  Still, if you are not stirring to homogenize the mash after you add the last third, I think it is close enough to sparging.

#1 is batch sparging.  #2 & #3 are no sparging and will give you lower efficiency than #1.
How is adding 1/3 water at the end and then draining it not sparging?

Oh, man, this is a topic that been debated for years!  I think Dixon has been adamant about it in the past.  To me, if you haven't drained the mash when you add that water, you're simply doing a mash infusion, not a sparge.  Other people's definitions (especially Dixon's!) may differ...but they'd be wrong!  ;)
Like I say above, if you are just topping it up and running it out the bottom without stirring then I think you're sparging.  If you stir it in then I'd agree, it is a step infusion.
Title: Re: Re: Batch sparging specifics
Post by: veldy on April 23, 2012, 02:10:52 AM
I do #1 but my sparge water is usually around 185 -190 F.

I'm going to try a mashout step next time, then sparge like I normally do to see if I can get any increase in efficiency.  I am consistantly coming in just under 70%.  It may work or it may not, but thought it was worth a shot.

If you are trying to increase your efficiency, take a look at your crush; especially if you batch sparge.  I batch sparge and hit almost exactly 75% efficiency every time.  I don't brew much above 1.075 gravity though or I suspect it might drop.

Veldy