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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: bluedog on January 20, 2011, 07:43:20 PM

Title: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: bluedog on January 20, 2011, 07:43:20 PM
If my mash tun can hold enough water after my mash has converted, would I be able to add and recirculate the entire pre-boil volume and then drain? I have been fly sparging but Santa brought me a new (bigger) mash tun so I am thinking about trying this out this weekend. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: euge on January 20, 2011, 07:51:21 PM
Sure. You might suffer a bit of loss in extraction or rinsing away the sugars. Try it and see.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 20, 2011, 08:09:14 PM
What are you thinking this will accomplish?  From a strict chemistry standpoint, two smaller extractions are more effective than one larger one.  All of your water already contacts all of the grain, only the sparge will be more effective on its own.  Some people espouse the benefits of no-sparge, but they're not typically raising their mash volume.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: denny on January 20, 2011, 10:31:10 PM
If my mash tun can hold enough water after my mash has converted, would I be able to add and recirculate the entire pre-boil volume and then drain? I have been fly sparging but Santa brought me a new (bigger) mash tun so I am thinking about trying this out this weekend. Thoughts?

What you are proposing is basically no sparge brewing.  It works great, but your efficiency will likely take a hit.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: bluedog on January 21, 2011, 01:01:50 AM
I am just thinking about saving some time. I am using a RIMS set-up and if I am adding all of the sparge water to the mash after conversion and recirculate for 15 - 20 minutes, I am "rinsing" the grain bed right? But everything I have read is that the no sparge technique is the least efficient method. I'm not sure I understand why though. After mashing you have a saturated sugar solution  - first runnings. Then you add your sparge water either by fly sparging or batch sparge and extract the sugars that are left behind. With the no sparge technique is it because the extra sugars do not enter the comcentrated solution easily? Or does the no sparge technique have the brewer use all of the water during the mash resulting in a thinner mash and less effective enzyme function?
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: Kaiser on January 21, 2011, 01:17:44 AM
compared to a 2 run-off batch sparge the no-sparge should loose you about 7-8% in lauter efficiency.

I don't think the mash will be too thin for the enzymes to work efficiently. I found that starch conversion does happen faster and tends to be more complete in thinner mashes.

Kai
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: malzig on January 21, 2011, 01:28:57 AM
It's because sparging is about dilution of the dissolved sugar held behind in the grain bed.

Imagine that 100% of the sugars dissolve in the no sparge, but you can only drain 75% of the water because of the water absorbed by the grain.  You'd get 75% efficiency.

Imagine instead that you take two runnings, from your first you get 60% of the sugar, because you drain less water and leave the same amount of water behind, but more proportionally.  Then you add and drain your sparge to get 60% again of the 40% you left behind.  The result is 60% + (60% x 40%) = 84% efficiency with a sparge.

That's reasonably close to the numbers I get with the two sparge techniques on an average gravity beer.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: oscarvan on January 21, 2011, 02:26:35 AM
It's because sparging is about dilution of the dissolved sugar held behind in the grain bed.

Imagine that 100% of the sugars dissolve in the no sparge, but you can only drain 75% of the water because of the water absorbed by the grain.  You'd get 75% efficiency.

Imagine instead that you take two runnings, from your first you get 60% of the sugar, because you drain less water and leave the same amount of water behind, but more proportionally.  Then you add and drain your sparge to get 60% again of the 40% you left behind.  The result is 60% + (60% x 40%) = 84% efficiency with a sparge.

That's reasonably close to the numbers I get with the two sparge techniques on an average gravity beer.

With all due respect......I am raising my left eyebrow here....... ???
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 21, 2011, 02:42:43 AM
Kai I think he's talking about mashing then adding in his sparge water afterwards, but before draining.  Like a giant mashout.

But I was just reading that some commercial brewers use as high as 3qt/lb in their mash without conversion suffering.  That was higher than the 2qt/lb I'd seen as an upper end for safe mashing.  I think they do this so the mash is more easily pumped, but it does expand the usable range for us homebrewers.  Especially those who like a no-sparge for the ease.  Those who like no-sparge for the higher flavor to fermentables ratio, probably wouldnt' want to dilut it with this thin of a mash.

Oscar, you didn't understand malzig's explanation of how two rinsings is better than one?  Of course I'd probably raise an eyebrow if you described some simple aspect of commercial aviation.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: oscarvan on January 21, 2011, 03:25:58 AM
Oscar, you didn't understand malzig's explanation of how two rinsings is better than one?  Of course I'd probably raise an eyebrow if you described some simple aspect of commercial aviation.

I understand why rinsing twice will improve sugar extraction. I didn't understand his logic/math.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: tubercle on January 21, 2011, 05:00:32 AM
Oscar, you didn't understand malzig's explanation of how two rinsings is better than one?  Of course I'd probably raise an eyebrow if you described some simple aspect of commercial aviation.

I understand why rinsing twice will improve sugar extraction. I didn't understand his logic/math.

 Tubercle raised an eyebrow too but it was because the logic/math DID make sense.
I'm scared now.

 Wasn't there some talk on here a while back about some kind of super sparge or something like the OP is talking about?
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: euge on January 21, 2011, 06:13:38 AM
To be honest, if I could avg 70-75% eff doing one sparge then that would be my method. I'd be happy with those numbers. Maybe mashing 1.2 to 1.5 qt/# then upping it to 3 for the sparge and lauter would work.

Yeah I was scratching my head too because the math made sense. Still does. ;)
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: brewmasternpb on January 21, 2011, 06:43:02 AM

OK, this post is for those who are not brewing geniuses,
Yep, math hurts my brain...  In "Radical Brewing", Randy Mosher talks about how hard it is to get really high gravities from a particular mash, which makes sense because water can only hold so much sugar (saturation)... Is this the same reason that a no-sparge method would yield a lower efficiency?
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: oscarvan on January 21, 2011, 01:37:17 PM
Yeah I was scratching my head too because the math made sense. Still does. ;)

Well if it makes sense to you all I will write it out, make some diagrams and try to get my head around it. Prima facie it makes no sense to me, but that may say more about me than about the math.

Hope this doesn't turn into the efficiency thread...... ;)
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: Kaiser on January 21, 2011, 01:58:09 PM
If you are interested, there is some info on this here: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Batch_Sparging_Analysis

including some graphs.

Kai
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: oscarvan on January 21, 2011, 02:01:06 PM
Danke schön.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: Kaiser on January 21, 2011, 02:34:22 PM
Danke schön.

Bitte schön.

The nice thing about batch sparging is that it is easily modeled and that one can actually predict the lauter efficiency based on a few parameters like grain absorption and water use and run-off size.

Kai
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: denny on January 21, 2011, 03:32:22 PM
compared to a 2 run-off batch sparge the no-sparge should loose you about 7-8% in lauter efficiency.

I don't think the mash will be too thin for the enzymes to work efficiently. I found that starch conversion does happen faster and tends to be more complete in thinner mashes.

Kai

Boy, I wish my no sparge efficiency only dropped that much!  I go from 85% with a single batch sparge to somewhere between 55-65% with no sparge.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 21, 2011, 04:06:03 PM
The difference is dependent on the qt/lb and whether you add water to mash out.  At 2qt/lb and using 0.125gal/lb bound water, you are looking at a partitioning of 0.125gal bound/0.5gal total.  You get 0.375gal drained which is 75%.

At 1qt/lb, the percentage goes down to 50% (bound is half the total).  At 1.5qt/lb its 62.5%.

The more you leave behind to begin with, the more you'll pick up from the sparge.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: davidw on January 21, 2011, 05:16:43 PM
My last 8-9 batches have been 5.5 gallons vs. my typical 11. Having the extra head space in my mash tun (70 quart extreme) I've been doing exactly what the OP asked about. After I'm done mashing (usually 60 minutes) I've been adding the required amount of sparge liquor to get my desired preboil volume and then recirculating for 15 minutes. My efficieny has dropped slightly, but not that dramatically. For an 11 gallon batch where I would do two run offs from the tun I typically would see anywhere from 76-82% efficiency depending on the recipe. These 5.5 gallon batches where I've been adding all the sparge water prior to run off I've been getting right around 72-74% efficiency. Nothing an extra pound of base malt won't fix were I concerned about the drop. But it isn't significant enough that I care.  
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 21, 2011, 05:39:22 PM
I guess the question is, how much easier is this?  You are still mashing, still heating your sparge water and still running off x gallons total.  The only difference is when you add the sparge water, before or after lautering the first runnings.  I'm sure theres a reason thats associated with the system you're using, just wondering.

Also, why recirc for 15min after adding the extra water?  What is this supposed to do?  Other than a stir to homogenize everything, I'd suppose there would be no reason to wait.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: davidw on January 21, 2011, 05:45:44 PM
I suppose my reasoning was to save a few minutes by adding all the sparge water at the end of the mash vs. running off, adding the batch sparge liquor, recirculating to clear the extract and re-set the grain bed, and then running off a second time. The 15 minute recirculation after adding the water is for the same reason as when I batch sparge, to clear the extract and re-set the grain bed prior to lautering.

And again, doing the smaller batches affords me the head space in the tun.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: denny on January 21, 2011, 05:53:52 PM
In the time it takes you for that 15 min. recirc., I've recirced and run off the mash, added sparge water, recirced and run off the sparge.  Basically done it all in the time it takes you to recirc.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: davidw on January 21, 2011, 06:08:10 PM
I think the answer is, yes, you can add all the sparge water prior to running off if the size of your tun will allow you and you'll likely have a slight drop in efficiency. And your own process/procedures will dictate whether or not you save any time. In my experience I've probably only saved 5 or 10 minutes by cutting out one of the steps.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: bluedog on January 21, 2011, 11:38:59 PM
My thoughts are instead of fly sparging which takes 45 - 60 minutes I could save a little time. I could batch sparge but that involves draining the mash tun, adding the sparge water, stirring again, recirculating again, and running off again which could be done in fifteen minutes. Or simply add the sparge water (which has to be heated regardless of the sparge method) recirculate, and drain the kettle. It sounds like David is already doing this and I will try this out this weekend with an APA. Results to follow...
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: kerneldustjacket on January 22, 2011, 02:08:23 AM
My thoughts are instead of fly sparging which takes 45 - 60 minutes I could save a little time. I could batch sparge but that involves draining the mash tun, adding the sparge water, stirring again, recirculating again, and running off again which could be done in fifteen minutes. Or simply add the sparge water (which has to be heated regardless of the sparge method) recirculate, and drain the kettle. It sounds like David is already doing this and I will try this out this weekend with an APA. Results to follow...

I was a fly-sparger since 1994...switched two batches ago to no-sparge. You've described the method I use:
- Mash at around 1.3 to 1.5 qts/lb.
- At end of mash, add enough hot water to give my pre-boil kettle volume minus grain absorption and raise temp to 165-168.
- Vorlauf then open valve full on and drain

I plugged 70% in as my expected efficiency and hit it both times...cost of the extra grain was nothing to worry about, for me at least.

In another thread with Denny I discovered the time differences between my no-sparge method and his batch sparge method were nil...so I'd say time is not a consideration.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: bluedog on January 24, 2011, 01:22:48 AM
I made that APA today - I was expecting a 1.056 OG. I was following a recipe. Total grain was 11.75 lbs. I mashed in with 4 gallons of water and after one hour I checked the gravity of the wort. It was at 20 Brix. I checked the displacement on the sight gauge at the beginning of my mash and at the end. This is where I made a mistake. It was at the 5 gallons mark after adding grain at the beginning and at 4.5 gallons at the end of my mash. I figured on adding another 3.5 gallons to make 8 gallons minus 1 gallon for displacement to get 7 gallons total. I forgot about absorption by the grain. I recirculated and rechecked after 5 minutes. My wort was at 12 Brix  - higher than I expected but I wound up only collecting about 5.75 gallons. I needed to account for displacement AND absorption. After adding water to come up to 7 gallons I was at 8 Brix. I should have added water put the whole volume back in mash tun and recirculated again. After a 75 minute boil, I wound up with 5 gallons at 13 Brix - 1.052 OG. I think I will have to try again and account for water loss due to grain absorption. I usually fly sparge so I don't account for the volume lost during the mash. At 0.1 gallons of water lost per pound of grain, the math seems to check out.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: hike20 on January 24, 2011, 04:50:34 PM
Just to add another "data" point to this conversation: I've been playing around with no sparge on my last few batches. I mash fairly thin, at around 2-2.5 qt/gal and as observed by others, I'm only loosing about 3% efficiency. I don't have a RIMS or HERMS setup though, so it's not exactly what the OP is talking about. Like

I need to continue working with this, but my observations so far see, to suggest I'm getting a slightly "sweeter" flavor profile than when using the same recipe and using batch sparge (same thinner mashes). As I get more experience with this I expect this to be another tool for tweaking the flavor profile a bit.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: malzig on January 25, 2011, 11:31:31 AM
With all due respect......I am raising my left eyebrow here....... ???
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.  Work sucks.
So, did you figure it out from Kai's page or should I try rephrasing my post?
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: oscarvan on January 25, 2011, 02:22:03 PM
I have read Kai's expose on batch sparging. That all makes perfect sense to me. Your post makes more sense now, however I am not sure how you arrived at the 60% number. I agree that it is somewhere in that range, but don't see where the hard number comes from.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: Kaiser on January 25, 2011, 03:19:28 PM
you may also play around with this: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Batch_Sparge_and_Party_Gyle_Simulator

Kai
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: oscarvan on January 25, 2011, 03:45:17 PM
Hmmm, that didn't translate into Numbers very well, and don't have a working copy of Excell right now.... oh well.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: malzig on January 26, 2011, 02:30:22 AM
I am not sure how you arrived at the 60% number. I agree that it is somewhere in that range, but don't see where the hard number comes from.
If you use Kai's spreadsheet, you'll see that using 10# of grain to make about 6.5 gallons of wort, pre-boil, from equal runnings, should yield about 63% of the total available sugar.  I rounded that to 60%.  My experience has been that ~60%-63% is a realistic real world figure as well. I was also taught that 60% of the available sugar per running was a good way to calculate the expected gravity for partigyle mashes.

Kai's spreadsheet calculates that a similar no-sparge wort, could yield 77% efficiency.  I reliably get about 70-75%.

Essentially, the ~60% and ~75% comes from the percent of the volume of water you drain from a tun relative to that added to the tun (i.e., minus grain absorption), with a correction made for the volume added by the dissolved sugar.

Open Office is a free alternative to Excell.  I think that works with Kai's spreadsheet.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: Kaiser on January 26, 2011, 04:56:28 AM
Open Office is a free alternative to Excell.  I think that works with Kai's spreadsheet.

Open Office works with these spreadsheets. That's what I use to develop them :)

Kai
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: euge on January 26, 2011, 07:53:29 AM
Open Office is a free alternative to Excell.  I think that works with Kai's spreadsheet.

Open Office works with these spreadsheets. That's what I use to develop them :)

Kai

It's what I use. :)

Thank you for the spreadsheet Kai! This is pretty useful for me as I'm sure others. I'm planning to do some parti-gyle beers- but in small batches.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: oscarvan on January 26, 2011, 06:02:47 PM
Very cool..... Thanks for all the info. Learning is taking place.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: Kaiser on January 26, 2011, 07:16:53 PM
You may also upload this to Google Docs. Here is a link to the spreadsheet where I entered my typical beer: 4 kg grist, 16l strike, 13l sparge:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AiZTxwiYv8bvdFBMMHVrd3dKOEpaRG00eE5XZWdaWGc&hl=en&authkey=CJCY4JAK

In case you see the GoogleDocs framework in Russian, I don't know why this is happening. I checked the language preference and it is set to English.

Kai
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: Kaiser on January 26, 2011, 07:31:02 PM
This Google Docs is really nice. But what bothers me that other users cannot make changes to the copy of the spreadsheet that they are seeing unless I make it writeable for everyone which won’t be feasible if they end up modifying the master copy.

Before I start looking for that, does anyone know if one can copy a shared document to their own Google Docs account and edit it there w/o having to download it to the computer first?

Kai
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: malzig on January 27, 2011, 01:27:15 AM
This Google Docs is really nice. But what bothers me that other users cannot make changes to the copy of the spreadsheet that they are seeing unless I make it writeable for everyone which won’t be feasible if they end up modifying the master copy.

Before I start looking for that, does anyone know if one can copy a shared document to their own Google Docs account and edit it there w/o having to download it to the computer first?

Kai

A viewer of the spreadsheet can go to File>Make a copy... and they will have an editable copy of the spreadsheet that can't be saved over your original, with your current settings.

They do need to have a google documents account and be signed in, though.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 28, 2011, 07:58:50 PM
I tried this sparge-in-the-mash method today.  Mashed at 2qt/lb, then added an additional 1.2qt/lb 190F water and ran the whole thing off at once.  I believe I got somewhere around 80% efficiency.  I guess that is consistent with having 3.2qt/lb in the tun and only leaving 0.125qt/lb behind.  All you need is a big enough MLT.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: bluedog on January 29, 2011, 12:24:07 AM
I tried this experiment again yesterday and added the correct amount of sparge water this time. I mashed 11.5 lbs in 4 gallons for 60 minutes (21 Brix) then added water to the 9 gallon mark for compensate for displacement and absorption. I should also add my mash temp was at 170 after adding sparge water. Then I recirculated and collected 7 gallons at about 11 Brix which wound up being 1.052 after a 75 minute boil. The original recipe stated a 1.053 OG. I'll have to try this with a bigger beer to what happens. The process took about 15 minutes between adding sparge water, recirculating and running off.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 29, 2011, 01:19:26 PM
I can't really say this method is any faster than a single sparge.  About the best thing you get is the ability to do a step mash or mashout without adding another step.  I know the sparge should give better efficiency too, but I tend to get a little less than theoretical efficiency numbers so the difference was really minor.  I'd say this method would avoid potential extraction of undesirable compounds but I can't say I've ever experienced that so its more of a theoretical benefit.

The down side is a mashtun that is only 1/2 to 2/3 full during the mash.  I wouldn't mind trying a 3qt/lb mash some time, I understand this kind of mash is used commercially.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: euge on January 29, 2011, 06:48:04 PM
Getting 80% on a single sparge is pretty awesome! The have bigger Coleman Extremes for cheap too...
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: malzig on January 29, 2011, 11:59:28 PM
I can't really say this method is any faster than a single sparge.... 

The down side is a mashtun that is only 1/2 to 2/3 full during the mash.
I can't say that No-Sparge is a huge time saver over a Single Batch Sparge, but at the very least you save the small amount of time it takes for adding the sparge water and stirring in the sparge (since they can occur during the mash of a No-Sparge), as well as the second vorlauf.  Not a 10 minutes I really worry about one way or the other, though.

Why would the mashtun be only 1/2 to 1/3 full with one method and not the other?  I can mash at the same thickness if I want whether I choose to go No-Sparge or Batch Sparge.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 30, 2011, 01:09:25 PM
My "no-sparge" was like a sparge but without lautering off the first runnings first.  Mash at 2qt/lb, then add another 1qt/lb or so and stir then lauter.  If I skipped the addition of water after the mash I'd get a poorer yield.  2qt/lb would theoretically give you 75% efficiency tops.  I need a MLT that hold 3-4qt/lb instead of 1.5-2qt/lb to do this.

That 80% was a rough estimate, then again I use the same estimate for my regular batch sparge and typically get 75-85% depending on my mash schedule.  What I have noticed is that a mashout or near mashout where I raise the temp into the high 150's to high 160's, seems to add a good 5% or more on top of a normal single infusion at 150F.  I was surprised at this initially but it seems to be a consistent thing.  Its making my FG just a touch higher though so I am using it in selected situations.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: malzig on January 31, 2011, 12:15:47 AM
My "no-sparge" was like a sparge but without lautering off the first runnings first.  Mash at 2qt/lb, then add another 1qt/lb or so and stir then lauter.
I may be misunderstanding you, but that sounds like a No-Sparge, to me.  No-Sparge has nothing to do with mash thickness or whether you add a step into your mash before lautering.  It is a sparging technique, not a mashing technique.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 31, 2011, 12:20:17 AM
I always assumed "no-sparge" meant you did a regular mash and just didn't sparge at all.  But you're probably right.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: malzig on January 31, 2011, 01:35:16 AM
I always assumed "no-sparge" meant you did a regular mash and just didn't sparge at all.
True, but you're not doing a sparge, you're doing a mash infusion. 
In a Batch Sparge, you wouldn't count a mashout infusion as a second sparge, either.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: bluesman on January 31, 2011, 02:30:30 AM
This will sound like the obvious...I think of sparging as "rinsing". The sparge step in the brewing process is the rinsing of the sugars from the spent grains. So a "no sparge" step is actually the ommision of the rinsing step.

The no sparge mashing technique implies a mashing technique eventhough it is only one step of a particular mashing/lautering process.
Title: Re: Modified batch sparge?
Post by: malzig on January 31, 2011, 11:33:29 AM
Good simple way to put it.

It never occurred to me to think that No-Sparge implied a mashing technique, though.  I like to use No-Sparge for German beers, to minimize astringency and since they are relatively low gravity.  I typically mash these at ~2 qt/#, usually with a beta and alpha step mash by infusion, often even with a decoction, and finally run out at around 3 qt/#.