Author Topic: All Grain setup  (Read 3516 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #60 on: February 20, 2014, 04:11:56 PM »
I spent 14 years fly sparging and didn't notice what you mention. Is this across the whole spectrum of styles, grists, mash temps? I feel I make better, more consistent beer batch sparging. To each his own.
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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #61 on: February 20, 2014, 05:07:44 PM »
I am definitely the odd man out here because I tried batch sparging and went back to continuous sparging.

interesting. what was your reasoning?

I prefer the flavor profile and greater extraction efficiency obtained from continuous sparging.

Ya know, I've judged a lot of homebrew and I've never tasted one where I said "Yep, that one's fly sparged".  With all due respect, I think you're off base there.  I don't know what kind of efficiency you get fly sparging, but mine's in the mid-upper 80s batch sparging.  Since it's a hobby, not a business, that's good enough for me.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #62 on: February 20, 2014, 05:17:57 PM »
If a person mashed for x time, then vorlauf, then began the runoff and sparge, and stopped sparging at a higher gravity than the batch sparger would get... I could see a flavor change. But not efficiency increase.

Offline kramerog

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #63 on: February 20, 2014, 07:52:48 PM »
I prefer fly sparging b/c I prefer less effort over the shorter brew day.  Often I eat lunch during the sparge.  I do batch sparge for parti gyle and when I brew outdoors away from my 3-tier stand.

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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #64 on: February 21, 2014, 01:10:27 PM »
Ya know, I've judged a lot of homebrew and I've never tasted one where I said "Yep, that one's fly sparged".  With all due respect, I think you're off base there.  I don't know what kind of efficiency you get fly sparging, but mine's in the mid-upper 80s batch sparging.  Since it's a hobby, not a business, that's good enough for me.

This kind of response is why I almost never bring the subject up.  I can taste the difference between a batch-sparged beer and a continuous sparged beer that was made using my gear, and that's all that matters to me.

Depending on the percentage of base malt used in a recipe, my average mixed-grist extraction rate for imported malt is currently in the 33 to 35 points per pound per gallon range.   My mill is set at forty thousandths of an inch (achieving an extraction rate in this range with grain milled at forty thousandths of inch is very difficult with batch sparging).

I agree that amateur brewing is a hobby.  Like all multifaceted hobbies, continuous sparging is one of many skills that can be learned and/or mastered.   I also plate and slant all of the yeast cultures that I use.  Using a commercial yeast culture is significantly easier than taking a culture of unknown purity and turning it into something that ferments cleanly 100% of the time.

There is a joy that comes from mastering continuous sparging.  I was lucky to achieve a mixed-grist extraction rate of 22 points per pound per gallon when I first started to brew all-grain beer in 1993.  I quickly learned that lauter tun design played a huge roll in continuous sparging (i.e., a rectangular cooler combined with a slotted manifold is not the most efficient lauter tun design when continuous sparging).  My mixed-grist extraction rate quickly jumped to 28 to 29 points per pound per gallon when I switched to using a cylindrical cooler with a Phil's Phalse Bottom.  My extraction rate remained at that level for several years before it dawned on me that lautering 5-gallon batches of normal gravity beer in a 10-gallon cooler resulted in a less than optimal mash bed depth.  I switched to using a 5-gallon beverage cooler for normal gravity beers, and my extraction rate jumped to 31 points per pound per gallon.  The remaining improvements have come from step-wise refinement of my process. 

In the end, one is free to choose whatever way one wants to sparge.  I personally like the results that I get from continuous sparging.  My brewing schedule is based around having free time while the sparge is running.  I use that time to make log entries, setup my boiling stove (I mash indoors), and perform other brewing-related housekeeping activities.  I usually mash for 90 minutes and boil for 90 minutes; therefore, the time that I spend sparging is a minor fraction of my brew day.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #65 on: February 21, 2014, 01:25:18 PM »
Ya know, I've judged a lot of homebrew and I've never tasted one where I said "Yep, that one's fly sparged".  With all due respect, I think you're off base there.  I don't know what kind of efficiency you get fly sparging, but mine's in the mid-upper 80s batch sparging.  Since it's a hobby, not a business, that's good enough for me.

This kind of response is why I almost never bring the subject up.  I can taste the difference between a batch-sparged beer and a continuous sparged beer that was made using my gear, and that's all that matters to me.

Depending on the percentage of base malt used in a recipe, my average mixed-grist extraction rate for imported malt is currently in the 33 to 35 points per pound per gallon range.   My mill is set at forty thousandths of an inch (achieving an extraction rate in this range with grain milled at forty thousandths of inch is very difficult with batch sparging).

I agree that amateur brewing is a hobby.  Like all multifaceted hobbies, continuous sparging is one of many skills that can be learned and/or mastered.   I also plate and slant all of the yeast cultures that I use.  Using a commercial yeast culture is significantly easier than taking a culture of unknown purity and turning it into something that ferments cleanly 100% of the time.

There is a joy that comes from mastering continuous sparging.  I was lucky to achieve a mixed-grist extraction rate of 22 points per pound per gallon when I first started to brew all-grain beer in 1993.  I quickly learned that lauter tun design played a huge roll in continuous sparging (i.e., a rectangular cooler combined with a slotted manifold is not the most efficient lauter tun design when continuous sparging).  My mixed-grist extraction rate quickly jumped to 28 to 29 points per pound per gallon when I switched to using a cylindrical cooler with a Phil's Phalse Bottom.  My extraction rate remained at that level for several years before it dawned on me that lautering 5-gallon batches of normal gravity beer in a 10-gallon cooler resulted in a less than optimal mash bed depth.  I switched to using a 5-gallon beverage cooler for normal gravity beers, and my extraction rate jumped to 31 points per pound per gallon.  The remaining improvements have come from step-wise refinement of my process. 

In the end, one is free to choose whatever way one wants to sparge.  I personally like the results that I get from continuous sparging.  My brewing schedule is based around having free time while the sparge is running.  I use that time to make log entries, setup my boiling stove (I mash indoors), and perform other brewing-related housekeeping activities.  I usually mash for 90 minutes and boil for 90 minutes; therefore, the time that I spend sparging is a minor fraction of my brew day.

I'm sorry if we hit a sore spot for you. I at least did not mean to antagonize you. I am honestly curious about what you find to be different. Bringing things like this up is exactly what can help move our hobby forward. Perhaps there is a difference but for that difference to be useful to the rest of us out here in homebrew world we need to know the details, the why's and how's of it.

for instance, you say that a batch sparge batch on your system tastes different to you than a continuous sparge batch, but you go on to say that you changed just about every aspect of your system when you switched to continuous spargeing (unless I am misunderstanding your post).

Have you run your current system in a batch sparge format with same recipe, same everything else, just run off mash water, re-fill and run off sparge water rather than set continuous and walk away?

Please do not take this as hectoring, I am honestly trying to understand how these two methods could produce results different enough to be noticeable in a sensory evaluation.
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Offline mugwort

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #66 on: February 21, 2014, 02:36:51 PM »

Maybe OP thinks we are trying to sell him something? Just click on the link. It's instructions on how to batch sparge using a home made cooler. Faster, cheaper method than what you are going to find on More Beer. I mean, you can certainly spend the money and still batch sparge on whatever you buy. And maybe you just have some extra money you want to spend. I get that, I love to spend money sometimes too. But at least check it out.

No, OP doesn't think that! I'm just leery of using any plastic with hot liquids. Considering the cooler companies tell you not to, I'd rather go SS.

I agree with you.

Though we're still far from a consensus on the safety of plastics (with so many different formulations), I think there are very legitimate concerns to consider with regard to heating plastics that are not formulated/tested for those temps. 

Even prior to any real-world usage or heating at all, studies have found that compounds released are absorbed into our bodies and can impact our endocrine systems.  Some of these compounds mimic estrogen and there are still a lot of unknowns regarding how people are actually affected by these chemicals.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not looking for any increase in the man-boobs department.

We can all debate the effect on the human body of these compounds, but what's need are more long-term studies.  What is pretty established is that you're sucking down plastic when you consume liquids that come into contact, especially at warmer temps.

Easy taste test: pour some water out of a non-refillable water jug into a glass.  Don't need much of a trained palate to taste the plastic.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #67 on: February 21, 2014, 03:23:12 PM »

Maybe OP thinks we are trying to sell him something? Just click on the link. It's instructions on how to batch sparge using a home made cooler. Faster, cheaper method than what you are going to find on More Beer. I mean, you can certainly spend the money and still batch sparge on whatever you buy. And maybe you just have some extra money you want to spend. I get that, I love to spend money sometimes too. But at least check it out.

No, OP doesn't think that! I'm just leery of using any plastic with hot liquids. Considering the cooler companies tell you not to, I'd rather go SS.

I agree with you.

Though we're still far from a consensus on the safety of plastics (with so many different formulations), I think there are very legitimate concerns to consider with regard to heating plastics that are not formulated/tested for those temps. 

Even prior to any real-world usage or heating at all, studies have found that compounds released are absorbed into our bodies and can impact our endocrine systems.  Some of these compounds mimic estrogen and there are still a lot of unknowns regarding how people are actually affected by these chemicals.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not looking for any increase in the man-boobs department.

We can all debate the effect on the human body of these compounds, but what's need are more long-term studies.  What is pretty established is that you're sucking down plastic when you consume liquids that come into contact, especially at warmer temps.

Easy taste test: pour some water out of a non-refillable water jug into a glass.  Don't need much of a trained palate to taste the plastic.

okay, but I have never tasted plastic in either the wort coming out of my cooler or the beer I made with it. so i'm fine? also no man boobs. we suck down so much poison as a general rule in this society that I tend to let it go with plastic, at least food contact plastic.
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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2014, 03:50:39 PM »
I'm sorry if we hit a sore spot for you. I at least did not mean to antagonize you. I am honestly curious about what you find to be different. Bringing things like this up is exactly what can help move our hobby forward. Perhaps there is a difference but for that difference to be useful to the rest of us out here in homebrew world we need to know the details, the why's and how's of it.

for instance, you say that a batch sparge batch on your system tastes different to you than a continuous sparge batch, but you go on to say that you changed just about every aspect of your system when you switched to continuous spargeing (unless I am misunderstanding your post).

Have you run your current system in a batch sparge format with same recipe, same everything else, just run off mash water, re-fill and run off sparge water rather than set continuous and walk away?

Please do not take this as hectoring, I am honestly trying to understand how these two methods could produce results different enough to be noticeable in a sensory evaluation.

Unlike brewers who have started brewing in the last decade or so, I did not start out batch sparging.  Almost everyone used traditional sparging when I started to brew all-grain beer in 1993 (the ratio of all-grain to extract brewers was much smaller than it is today).  Batch sparging is something that I tried after I had been brewing for the better part of a decade.  Time to brew was in short supply at the point in my life; therefore, I was looking for ways to trim my brew day (this time shortage eventually led to a long hiatus from the hobby).  I was using 5 and 10-gallon beverage coolers with Phil's Phalse Bottoms to brew normal and high-gravity 5.5-gallon batches at that point in time.  I had a fixed-gap Schmidling Malt Mill, which worked extremely well when continuous sparging, but resulted in a major extraction hit when batch sparging.

What I noticed was that my batch sparged beers lacked the "graininess" of my continuously sparged beers. Whether or not that graininess was the result of over-sparging is up for debate, but it was noticeable (the untreated pH of my water supply is 6.0 and I sparge with a ratio of 0.5 quarts per pound or less; therefore, I doubt that it was tannin extraction).  The beers were still very drinkable, but I did not care for the change.   The switch from continuous sparging to batch sparging only netted a twenty minute savings after factoring in the time to infuse, stir, let rest, vorlauf, and runoff the second sparge. 

With that said, I am not surprised to find that most new amateur brewers are choosing batch sparging over continuous sparging. It's a simple way to lauter a grain bed that does not require much in the way of a tun.  However, there is still value in learning how to continuous sparge.  Continuous sparging is a skill that takes practice to master.  One will also learn applied fluid dynamics while learning how to continuous sparge.
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« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 06:19:49 PM by S. cerevisiae »
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Offline denny

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #69 on: February 21, 2014, 04:19:20 PM »
Easy taste test: pour some water out of a non-refillable water jug into a glass.  Don't need much of a trained palate to taste the plastic.

But is that the same plastic a cooler is made of?  I don't think so.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #70 on: February 21, 2014, 05:05:25 PM »

Maybe OP thinks we are trying to sell him something? Just click on the link. It's instructions on how to batch sparge using a home made cooler. Faster, cheaper method than what you are going to find on More Beer. I mean, you can certainly spend the money and still batch sparge on whatever you buy. And maybe you just have some extra money you want to spend. I get that, I love to spend money sometimes too. But at least check it out.

No, OP doesn't think that! I'm just leery of using any plastic with hot liquids. Considering the cooler companies tell you not to, I'd rather go SS.

I agree with you.

Though we're still far from a consensus on the safety of plastics (with so many different formulations), I think there are very legitimate concerns to consider with regard to heating plastics that are not formulated/tested for those temps. 

Even prior to any real-world usage or heating at all, studies have found that compounds released are absorbed into our bodies and can impact our endocrine systems.  Some of these compounds mimic estrogen and there are still a lot of unknowns regarding how people are actually affected by these chemicals.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not looking for any increase in the man-boobs department.

We can all debate the effect on the human body of these compounds, but what's need are more long-term studies.  What is pretty established is that you're sucking down plastic when you consume liquids that come into contact, especially at warmer temps.

Easy taste test: pour some water out of a non-refillable water jug into a glass.  Don't need much of a trained palate to taste the plastic.

okay, but I have never tasted plastic in either the wort coming out of my cooler or the beer I made with it. so i'm fine? also no man boobs. we suck down so much poison as a general rule in this society that I tend to let it go with plastic, at least food contact plastic.

+1.  Agreed.
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Offline euge

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #71 on: February 21, 2014, 05:26:08 PM »

Maybe OP thinks we are trying to sell him something? Just click on the link. It's instructions on how to batch sparge using a home made cooler. Faster, cheaper method than what you are going to find on More Beer. I mean, you can certainly spend the money and still batch sparge on whatever you buy. And maybe you just have some extra money you want to spend. I get that, I love to spend money sometimes too. But at least check it out.

No, OP doesn't think that! I'm just leery of using any plastic with hot liquids. Considering the cooler companies tell you not to, I'd rather go SS.

I agree with you.

Though we're still far from a consensus on the safety of plastics (with so many different formulations), I think there are very legitimate concerns to consider with regard to heating plastics that are not formulated/tested for those temps. 

Even prior to any real-world usage or heating at all, studies have found that compounds released are absorbed into our bodies and can impact our endocrine systems.  Some of these compounds mimic estrogen and there are still a lot of unknowns regarding how people are actually affected by these chemicals.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not looking for any increase in the man-boobs department.

We can all debate the effect on the human body of these compounds, but what's need are more long-term studies.  What is pretty established is that you're sucking down plastic when you consume liquids that come into contact, especially at warmer temps.

Easy taste test: pour some water out of a non-refillable water jug into a glass.  Don't need much of a trained palate to taste the plastic.

okay, but I have never tasted plastic in either the wort coming out of my cooler or the beer I made with it. so i'm fine? also no man boobs. we suck down so much poison as a general rule in this society that I tend to let it go with plastic, at least food contact plastic.

+1.  Agreed.

Just don't do the boil in a cooler or bucket like I've done (heatsticks). In retrospect that wasn't too smart.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 05:28:40 PM by euge »
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #72 on: February 21, 2014, 05:41:05 PM »
Wow, boiling in the bucket. Holy crap !
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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #73 on: February 21, 2014, 07:10:14 PM »
Regardless, my beer didn't taste like plastic at all even the beer boiled and fermented in an igloo ice cube.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: All Grain setup
« Reply #74 on: February 21, 2014, 07:32:31 PM »
Cool, just joking anyway. I pulled some dumb stunts in my early years too. Brewing while drinking before I had a clue for starters ! Wonder why that didn't work.
Jon H.