Author Topic: German commercial breweries batch sparging?  (Read 1030 times)

Offline anthony

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Re: German commercial breweries batch sparging?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2013, 03:27:49 PM »
Just to be clear, I wasn't advocating one way or another. And I wasn't saying the efficiency change would be large, but I said it would add up. On a 15P beer, on a 15 BBL system, 3% is somewhere in the realm of 15-20 pounds of grain. Every 3-4 batches you would be using up 1 more bag of grain than you needed to. If you have a tasting room, the beer prices can easily absorb that, even if you're just a distributing brewery, you can likely absorb that.

Yes, it is completely dependent on equipment. It will depend on how much deadspace there is in the lautering vessel, etc. I was simply expressing the opinion that walking up to any random brewery's brewhouse and deciding to batch sparge has a high chance of having a lower efficiency than is normal with that system because the overwhelming vast majority were designed for continuous sparge, obviously there are exceptions, like the folks who have Meura setups.

I was echoing the sort of sentiment Horst was expressing in his anecdote about attempting to brew an American style ale on a German system and experiencing a 20% efficiency drop.

Ultimately, if you're buying a new brewhouse, you want a system designed around whatever technique(s) you have adopted in your brewery. If you're stuck with an existing system, your technique choices will be somewhat bound by what the system was originally designed to handle. Continuous vs batch sparging is only one of those decisions, pellet vs whole, already milled grain vs milling on site, cleaning under pressure or not, caustic or alkaline+acid, etc.

Even if you happened to walk into a German brewery where you were all setup for batch sparging and then decided not to decoct because 4 out of 5 Dennys agree that it doesn't make a difference, you would experience some serious problems because the system was designed around decocting (again just as Mr. Dornbusch shared).
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 03:36:22 PM by anthony »

Offline denny

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Re: German commercial breweries batch sparging?
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2013, 03:45:42 PM »
OK, I'm convinced!   :)
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Offline nateo

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Re: German commercial breweries batch sparging?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2013, 04:38:31 PM »
Even if you happened to walk into a German brewery where you were all setup for batch sparging and then decided not to decoct because 4 out of 5 Dennys agree that it doesn't make a difference, you would experience some serious problems because the system was designed around decocting (again just as Mr. Dornbusch shared).

Well, not necessarily. I know of at least two American brewpubs that have German-style, decoction-designed brewhouses but just use single infusion mashes.
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Offline anthony

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Re: German commercial breweries batch sparging?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2013, 04:57:35 PM »
Even if you happened to walk into a German brewery where you were all setup for batch sparging and then decided not to decoct because 4 out of 5 Dennys agree that it doesn't make a difference, you would experience some serious problems because the system was designed around decocting (again just as Mr. Dornbusch shared).

Well, not necessarily. I know of at least two American brewpubs that have German-style, decoction-designed brewhouses but just use single infusion mashes.

How exactly is an American brewpub a German brewery?  ;D

It depends on the manufacturer, but either way if you have a lauter/whirlpool combi (like ABT makes) instead of kettle/whirlpool (like Premiere makes), you have to make adjustments, you may be doing a single infusion but you probably have to do some form of a step mash (i.e. fire up the kettle to take you to a mash out temperature) to compensate for heat loss doing the sparge. Again depends how much rock wool you have on your lauter vessel I suppose :)

Offline gmac

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Re: German commercial breweries batch sparging?
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2013, 05:16:47 PM »
I just discovered that the material I posted was proprietary.  I have deleted my post.  I apologize to the BA for posting it.

I didn't care before but now I have to find out...

Offline anthony

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Re: German commercial breweries batch sparging?
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2013, 05:30:10 PM »
I just discovered that the material I posted was proprietary.  I have deleted my post.  I apologize to the BA for posting it.

I didn't care before but now I have to find out...

It came from the BA members list. I'm guessing their blanket policy is that things posted there are proprietary to the BA. I didn't get the impression that the information Mr. Dornbusch shared itself was secret, but I imagine the BA doesn't want to make a habit of having emails from the list published into public forums because often times you have brewers from various breweries asking questions, etc. and its supposed to be an environment of trust, no stupid questions, etc.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: German commercial breweries batch sparging?
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2013, 07:57:20 PM »
I think that all things being equal, if you simply change from continuous sparging to batch sparging, you will see an efficiency hit. That isn't to say you can't redial in the system to get the same or maybe even better efficiency than you were getting.

There is also no doubt in my mind that for the same amount of sparge water used, continuous sparging will yield a higher lauter efficiency than batch sparging. Again, that isn't to say you can't adjust to compensate though.

Are these just gut feelings or do you have some data to support that?

I step mash with infusion.
I do 142, 160 and 170-is.
I fill the whole mash tun.
I used to sparge that I added larger amounts of water (in batches). Then I drain mashtun till I see the grain and more water...
Now I drain MT till I see grain bed and then fly sparge.
I have seen better efficiency up to 4 points.
The same maltster the same recipe.
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