Author Topic: Sparge option  (Read 2042 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Sparge option
« on: December 27, 2014, 01:07:10 AM »
Made the leap and ordered some new equipment for all grain! My MT will be a 10 gallon Igloo cooler. I'm interested in either no-sparge or batch sparge. Either option seem easy enough, can I get away with no-sparge for my first brew and just buy some extra grain?

Any noticeable differences in the outcome given the correct extra grain is purchased?

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2014, 01:32:48 AM »
You'll be fine. The issue will be capacity when trying to make beers with higher gravity. I have two MT/HLTs. One is 8 gallon and the other is 14 gallon. I use the bigger one if my grain bill is over about 12 pounds because 12 pounds plus 5 gallons brings it pretty close to the top. Then when I sparge, another 5 gallons gets even closer to the top. So (without doing the math) I'm going guess that you'll need 6.5 gallons of run off for starting boil on a 5 gallon batch, plus hop loss and dead space, so figure 7 gallons. That leaves you 3 gallons of space in the MT for grain. That would be about 9 or 10 pounds. And your mash thickness would be about 2.8:1 which is a tad thin. Your runoff would be in the neighborhood of 1.045 and after boil off starting gravity about 1.050.

Offline BrewBama

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Sparge option
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2014, 02:23:35 AM »
I have a 48 qt Extreme set up per Cheap and Easy Batch Sparging per Denny Conn. Works like a charm every time for 5 gal batches up to about a 16 lbs grain bill.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 02:25:56 AM by BrewBama »
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2014, 02:26:38 AM »

I have a 48 qt Extreme set up per Cheap and Easy ala Denny Conn. Works like a charm every time for 5 gal batches up to about a 16 lbs grain bill.

So which sparge option are you going with?

Batch Sparging. I edited the original post.
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Offline Hooper

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2014, 02:55:18 AM »
I have the 10 gal Igloo MT...works great. I've done no sparge...just add 2 gals of 168 deg water when you get 2 gals down while draining and pull 7.5 to 8 gals...no problem...
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2014, 02:33:54 PM »
I gotta say, the more I read about sparging the more confused I get! I just want to keep my first all grain brew as simple as possible.

Is anyone using no sparge here?

Offline mbalbritton

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2014, 02:43:52 PM »
Sparge really isn't that difficult. While my mash is resting, I heat up more water to about 175-180 and throw it in a second cooler until it's time to sparge. Then I lay a Tupperware lid on top of my drained grains and add the water to the MT and keep draining at a slow rate until I get enough wort for my boil.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2014, 04:56:24 PM »
Sparging = rinsing.

It is really not that complicated. After you drain the mash you are adding back hot water to rinse the sugars left behind off the grain and then draining that liquid out and combining it with the liquid from the mash. Your pour in the water, stir and drain.

I have never tried the no-sparge technique myself but there are lots of people doing it. It seems to require a 10-15% increase in grain to account for the lower efficiency but otherwise it is the same as any other mash process except you are adding all the water to the mash and skipping the sparge step.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2014, 05:45:57 PM »
Sparging = rinsing.

It is really not that complicated. After you drain the mash you are adding back hot water to rinse the sugars left behind off the grain and then draining that liquid out and combining it with the liquid from the mash. Your pour in the water, stir and drain.


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Offline denny

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2014, 05:49:58 PM »
Sparging = rinsing.

If you fly sparge, yes.  But if you batch sparge, sparging = draining.
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Offline tommymorris

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Sparge option
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2014, 07:03:14 PM »
The way to figure out how to do any of the sparging methods is to just go for it. The advice on the Internet makes a lot more sense after you have done it a few times. But, the beer will come out fine even if you don't get it exactly right. Just have some DME on hand in case your way low on gravity. You probably won't be though.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2014, 07:09:49 PM »
Good point. I am considering just doing a smaller batch 2-3 gallons, to dial everything in. I realize it's about the same time but don't want or need 5 gallons of boring beer.

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2014, 08:11:38 PM »
I use the bigger one if my grain bill is over about 12 pounds because 12 pounds plus 5 gallons brings it pretty close to the top.

I am assuming that you are using a rectangular-shaped cooler if that small of a volume is bringing a 13 pound mash close to top of the cooler.  The downside to a short and squat rectangular food cooler is that an inch of height is significantly more volume than an inch of height in a beverage cooler.  I've mashed 13lbs in my 5-gallon beverage cooler, and I used to mash up 26lbs pounds in my old 10-gallon beverage cooler.   A pound of grain displaces 10 fluid ounces; hence, 13lbs of grain displaces just over 1 gallon.   


S. cerevisiae

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2014, 08:37:00 PM »
If you fly sparge, yes.  But if you batch sparge, sparging = draining.

Which is why the term "batch sparging" is a misnomer.    Batch sparging is for lack of a better description multiple-infusion lautering. 

Draining a mash/lauter tun = lautering

There is only one type of sparging; namely, continuous sparging.  Sparging is technically sprinkling the mash bed with water.  The term is derived from the Latin word spargere, which means to spread out, scatter, or sprinkle.

Twenty years ago, the process that most home brewers refer to as "sparging" was called "lautering" because there was only one universally accepted way to rinse sugars from a mash bed; namely, the method that has come to be known as continuous or "fly" sparging.   Lautering is a more accurate term for the step in the process because what we are doing is separating the sweet wort from the mash. 
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 03:49:10 AM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Sparge option
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2014, 01:05:10 AM »
I use the bigger one if my grain bill is over about 12 pounds because 12 pounds plus 5 gallons brings it pretty close to the top.

I am assuming that you are using a rectangular-shaped cooler if that small of a volume is bringing a 13 pound mash close to top of the cooler.  The downside to a short and squat rectangular food cooler is that an inch of height is significantly more volume than an inch of height in a beverage cooler.  I've mashed 13lbs in my 5-gallon beverage cooler, and I used to mash up 26lbs pounds in my old 10-gallon beverage cooler.   A pound of grain displaces 10 fluid ounces; hence, 13lbs of grain displaces just over 1 gallon.
No coolers at all, never used one. I have three stainless kettles all with ball valves and thermometers. 14 gallon BK. 14 gallon and 8 gallon MT/HLT. Which ever one is being used as a MT gets the domed false bottom. Everything is moved by pump. So if I have a 12 pound grain bill or less I use the 8 gallon as my MT. 4.5 gallons of mash water is 1.5 qts per lb. When 12 pounds of grain is added I still have room. When I runoff and add sparge water (enough for a 90 min boil) there is maybe an inch or so of feeboard. So if I have more than 12 lbs of grain I use the 14 gallon pot as my MT and the 8 as the HLT.

Our grain must be different because I mill into a 5 gallon bucket and 12 lbs fills it to just above the 3 gallon mark, or there about.