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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: euge on April 03, 2010, 05:50:03 PM

Title: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: euge on April 03, 2010, 05:50:03 PM
Been reading and clicking around and found a piece of info on Fred Bonjour's website "sparging demystified" http://beerdujour.com/SpargingDeMystified.htm (http://beerdujour.com/SpargingDeMystified.htm)

Fred states that batch-sparging creates a maltier beer. He cites a quote from George Fix:

Quote
http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/977.html#977-3 (http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/977.html#977-3)“I have found that to get a very high malt flavor the sparge must be omitted as well. This is an expensive way to brew since the amount of grains needed must be increased by a factor ~4/3. Nevertheless, some of the world's great ales and lagers have been brewed this way, and I have found it works in homebrewing as well for special beers. Clearly this is not the way to brew our standard beers.”

Not sure I understand and whether I'm taking this out of context. Maybe because I tend to mash at the lower side of the scale- usually 149-150F; I just don't consider my beers very malty.
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: denny on April 03, 2010, 06:52:20 PM
I've always felt the same way as Fred and Dr. Fix.  Maybe because I was influenced by Dr. Fix's statement when I started batch sparging years ago, maybe because it's true?  I don't know.  I don't try to convince people of it because it's so subjective and hard to quantify.  But I feel like no sparge beers are maltier than sparged beers, and that batch sparged beers are maltier than fly sparged beers.  This is based on my own experience and like I said, I won't try to convince anyone else of it.
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: MDixon on April 04, 2010, 01:13:56 AM
I don't particularly feel that batch sparging in and of itself presents a maltier resultant beer. If it did then every malt centered style would/should be dominated by those who are batch sparging and that does not universally appear to be the case and therefore the statement doesn't seem to be a proven across the board. What a proper batch sparge DOES do is keep one from oversparging.
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: denny on April 04, 2010, 03:27:37 PM
That's a really good point, Mike.
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: euge on April 04, 2010, 05:48:45 PM
I like this too. Never thought about it but it is a built-in failsafe of sorts.

Spent last night thinking about this whole aspect of maltiness. It makes sense that it could be occurring.

I'd put forth that this is one for the blind taste test category if it already hasn't been done.
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: yugamrap on April 06, 2010, 04:23:46 PM
I don't particularly feel that batch sparging in and of itself presents a maltier resultant beer. If it did then every malt centered style would/should be dominated by those who are batch sparging and that does not universally appear to be the case and therefore the statement doesn't seem to be a proven across the board. What a proper batch sparge DOES do is keep one from oversparging.
That's a really good point, Mike.

+1 to Mike's comment.  As well, I think that the calcium / sodium balance in one's water chemistry comes into play here.  That is, balancing toward calcium enhances maltiness, while balancing toward sodium emphasizes bitterness.  Some of my beers were lacking the appropriate maltiness, so I've been tweaking my calcium levels, and am doing much better at achieving the right malt / bitterness balance in the finished beers. 
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: tom on April 06, 2010, 06:42:18 PM
I have heard of altering the sulfate/chloride ratio, but not calcium/sodium.
Can you tell us more?
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: denny on April 06, 2010, 06:42:58 PM
I have heard of altering the sulfate/chloride ratio, but not calcium/sodium.
Can you tell us more?

+1...I was waiting for somebody to mention this!
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: yugamrap on April 06, 2010, 08:37:17 PM
I have heard of altering the sulfate/chloride ratio, but not calcium/sodium.
Can you tell us more?

+1...I was waiting for somebody to mention this!

Doh!  Now I have to go back and check my notes and reading.  I've been adjusting with CaCl2 - so maybe I'm confused (it wouldn't be the first time :-[) and it's the chloride that's responsible for the better results.  I'll check and clarify with another post as necessary.  Sorry if I confused anyone...
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: yugamrap on April 06, 2010, 10:28:06 PM
I have heard of altering the sulfate/chloride ratio, but not calcium/sodium.
Can you tell us more?

+1...I was waiting for somebody to mention this!

Doh!  Now I have to go back and check my notes and reading.  I've been adjusting with CaCl2 - so maybe I'm confused (it wouldn't be the first time :-[) and it's the chloride that's responsible for the better results.  I'll check and clarify with another post as necessary.  Sorry if I confused anyone...

Yep - I'm a knucklehead!  I looked back at my notes and it is indeed chloride/sulfate - not calcium/sodium - and I'm adjusting the chloride with addition of CaCl2.  So, increasing the chloride side of that ratio enhances "maltiness."  Please disregard my previous erroneous post.  My apologies.  Brew on....
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: bspisak on April 07, 2010, 02:30:51 AM

The George Fix comment is referring to the no sparge method. Not sure I buy the argument when it comes to batch sparging.
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: Kaiser on April 07, 2010, 02:37:00 PM
We are treading controversial territory here since we are talking about wort/beer quality and sparging practice.

One thing we are assuming is that the wort quality reduction is the result of increased tannin extraction caused by rising pH. Though I assume that this is the main culprit I can’t rule out that the simple reduction in sugar content in the mash can also lead to the extraction of unwanted compounds. I have not seen good experimental results for this. Most of what we work with is anecdotal evidence.

But let’s assume pH and excessive tannins are to blame then every procedure aimed at reducing lauter efficiency, and we have to make sure we talk about lauter efficiency, should reduce the rise in pH and thus the reduction of tannin extraction. That is especially true for no-sparge which has the worst lauter efficiency. It is also true for batch sparging, which has an inherently limited lauter efficiency that largely depends on the gravity of the beer. But even with that sparging practice you can get significant pH rises if you are brewing a small beer.

The subject is a little more complex with fly sparging since low lauter efficiency is not necessarily a sign of reduced sparging. It can be the result of channeling. In a well conducted fly sparge with even rising of the grain bed the aforementioned principle applies: lower efficiency lower tannin extraction. To reduce efficiency in fly sparging you can mash with more strike water or cut off the sparge once you collected your desired efficiency into the kettle. If you are short on pre-boil volume simply top off with water.

BUT: you need to keep in mind that there is always tannin extraction happening when you mix water and husks. To what extend you will have to limit sparging is a trade-off that you have to make for yourself and base on your experience. It also depends on the alkalinity of the sparge water and using soft water or acidifying the sparge water to neutralize its alkalinity should also help.

Kai
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: denny on April 07, 2010, 03:24:09 PM

The George Fix comment is referring to the no sparge method. Not sure I buy the argument when it comes to batch sparging.

Dr. Fix also said pretty much the same thing in relation to batch sparging, too, IIRC.
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: MDixon on April 08, 2010, 12:01:12 PM
I'm going to point out since some may not know, that Dr. George Fix got his PhD in Mathematics, brewing was a passion and a hobby for him and he liked to experiment and learn the science of brewing.
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: dean on April 14, 2010, 02:04:08 PM
Two things, I'm not sure this is what euge was also asking about but thicker mashes produce a maltier flavor than thinner mashes regardless of the sparge amount as long as you don't over sparge, at least in my experience so far.  The other thing to consider is the yeast, using 1450 seems to give my brews a lot more malt flavor but I need to make another batch with it again to be sure or check my notes because off the top of my head I know I made mineral adjustments on one batch for sure but nothing major either way as I stay balanced with sulfate to chloride ratio.
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: blatz on April 14, 2010, 02:59:16 PM
I'm not sure this is what euge was also asking about but thicker mashes produce a maltier flavor than thinner mashes regardless of the sparge amount

I'm not so sure that's a hard and fast rule. 
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: denny on April 14, 2010, 03:23:38 PM
I'm not sure this is what euge was also asking about but thicker mashes produce a maltier flavor than thinner mashes regardless of the sparge amount

I'm not so sure that's a hard and fast rule. 

Yeah, I can't say I've seen the correlation.
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: bluesman on April 14, 2010, 04:27:50 PM
I'm not sure this is what euge was also asking about but thicker mashes produce a maltier flavor than thinner mashes regardless of the sparge amount

I'm not so sure that's a hard and fast rule. 

Yeah, I can't say I've seen the correlation.

What do you base this on Dean? 
Title: Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
Post by: dean on April 15, 2010, 11:12:21 AM
I think it was JP's book How To Brew, whether he quoted somebody or not I don't know?  That and trying it.  But it is way easier just to split the mash and sparge half and half and use a different yeast... done that too and it works fine.   ;) ;D