Membership questions? Log in issues? Email info@brewersassociation.org

Author Topic: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!  (Read 9579 times)

Ancient Abbey

  • Guest
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2016, 07:45:40 am »
Hot break is by definition the coagulated protein that forms in the boil. Decoction involves boiling so yes you can get hot break in a decoction. Not in a single infusion mash. You might get some denatured protein at 66C, but it isn't called hot break.

That's not completely true.  Hot break are all proteins that denature and losing their quaternary or tertiary structures that had sufficient hydrophilic properties that made it soluble.  It's a general term for losing solubility due to loss of conformity as heat is applied.  Cold break is a general term for the precipitation of proteins as solubility is lost as temperatures go down.  Are you really suggesting that proteins only denature at 212F?  Why is it then that glucanase denatures at lower temps than protease which denatures at lower temps than amylase?

I've seen this in nearly every batch of beer I've made, and I don't batch sparge.  I recirculate my mash with a pump during steps and mashout. If I'm trying for maximum fermentability and don't mashout, then this layer does not form. At ~165F you start to see a light layer forming.  At ~170F, you see a more pronounced layer, especially if you mashout longer than 10-15 minutes.  From personal experience, I can tell you if you look away for a second and the mash hits 175-180F, then you will get a much thicker layer.  You will see the same layer form when you do decoctions.  You will also see this layer form if you apply to much heat as you are step mashing.  I had the flame turned up too high once and hit ~5F per minute rise and this layer of break material formed during saccharification. 

According to Palmer in a recent podcast on BrewStrong, flour grist is 100% gelatinized and in solution about 160-162F, so the flour argument has no legs, sorry.  Besides, if it were flour, it should form on the top of a fly sparge grain bed during vorlauf as well. 


Ancient Abbey

  • Guest
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2016, 07:56:21 am »
As for pH - you'd need some data to support your theory. Whichever method you use, there's a risk of oversparging and raising pH too high, so it's not so much the method that matters as the way an individual brewer does it.

In the original post, I did look for data by asking if he recorded the pH of each batch sparge...

Regardless, the nature of how buffers work don't change based on brewing method.  If you gradually add a liquid of different pH, the buffers will "buffer" the pH change until they are exhausted, at which time the pH begins to rise.  Fly sparging allows buffers to do their job.  If you dump all of the liquid out of your mash before sparging, then you have eliminated the buffer pool.  Once you add the water back, you only have residual buffers from interstitial spaces and absorbed into the husks (maybe some adsorption too) to mitigate the pH change from the new sparge water (also why a lot of people sparge with RO).  There is no chance for the buffers in the first mash to resist the change in pH, as they are now in the boil kettle. 

Ancient Abbey

  • Guest
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2016, 08:00:59 am »
Or even why to - I'm a big fan of skipping it altogether. It's penny pinching.

Agreed, if below 1.050-1.055 my mash tun is barely half full, so I just no-sparge. I also no-sparge on 3 gal batches regardless of gravity.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27316
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2016, 09:57:26 am »
Why do people argue about which way to rinse grain?

In all of the hundreds (thousands?) of beers that I've judged, never once have I said something like "that one tastes like it's fly sparged".

And with all due respect to Marshall's (and his team's) work, please keep in mind that these are only single trials.  That's why Marshal encourages to try these for themselves.  It's also the reason Drew and I enlist lots of people to do the same experiment  When it comes to "citizen science", the more the better.  If you want to get involved, go to www.experimenalbrew.com and sign up to be an IGOR.  We'll even provide some of the ingredients for experimenting.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline charles1968

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 536
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2016, 10:36:00 am »
Hot break are all proteins that denature and losing their quaternary or tertiary structures that had sufficient hydrophilic properties that made it soluble.

You're using the term hot break as though it's synonymous with denatured protein, but that's not correct. When you boil an egg the protein is completely denatured, but nobody calls it hot break. Hot break is a brewing term for the protein that coagulates in the first 10-20 minutes of the boil.

I've seen this in nearly every batch of beer I've made, and I don't batch sparge...  You will also see this layer form if you apply to much heat as you are step mashing.  I had the flame turned up too high once and hit ~5F per minute rise and this layer of break material formed during saccharification. 

Some of it might well be denatured protein, you might be right about that.

According to Palmer in a recent podcast on BrewStrong, flour grist is 100% gelatinized and in solution about 160-162F, so the flour argument has no legs, sorry.

Flour isn't 100% soluble though. There's more in it than just starch.

Offline charles1968

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 536
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2016, 10:40:26 am »
Regardless, the nature of how buffers work don't change based on brewing method.  If you gradually add a liquid of different pH, the buffers will "buffer" the pH change until they are exhausted, at which time the pH begins to rise.  Fly sparging allows buffers to do their job.  If you dump all of the liquid out of your mash before sparging, then you have eliminated the buffer pool.  Once you add the water back, you only have residual buffers from interstitial spaces and absorbed into the husks (maybe some adsorption too) to mitigate the pH change from the new sparge water (also why a lot of people sparge with RO).  There is no chance for the buffers in the first mash to resist the change in pH, as they are now in the boil kettle.

Whether you're fly sparging or batch sparging, you're diluting the wort in the mash and are going to overwhelm the buffering capacity either way. It would be interesting to know what happens to pH during batch 2 and batch 3 of a batch sparge. I reckon any buffering is lost on the 2nd batch, not so sure about the first. I batch sparge with a single batch, usually 20-25% of my total liquor. At that point there's usually 3 litres of residual wort in the mash and maybe 4 litres of mash liquor added. I doubt pH rises significantly. Other people might see pH rise further if the volumes are different.

As I said, I think a lot depends on how it's done. You can probably wreck any beer with either method or make perfect beer with either method. I don't one is better than the other.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 10:44:08 am by charles1968 »

Offline charles1968

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 536
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2016, 10:42:13 am »
Why do people argue about which way to rinse grain?

In all of the hundreds (thousands?) of beers that I've judged, never once have I said something like "that one tastes like it's fly sparged".

And with all due respect to Marshall's (and his team's) work, please keep in mind that these are only single trials.  That's why Marshal encourages to try these for themselves.  It's also the reason Drew and I enlist lots of people to do the same experiment  When it comes to "citizen science", the more the better.  If you want to get involved, go to www.experimenalbrew.com and sign up to be an IGOR.  We'll even provide some of the ingredients for experimenting.

I'll pass the message on to my local brew club in London - am sure they'd love to get involved with this.

Offline narcout

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2222
  • Los Angeles, CA
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2016, 10:42:43 am »
Once you add the water back, you only have residual buffers from interstitial spaces and absorbed into the husks (maybe some adsorption too) to mitigate the pH change from the new sparge water (also why a lot of people sparge with RO).

I've found that even when I batch sparge with distilled water, the pH will rise slightly. 

Recently, I step mashed two lagers using hot water infusions and the step caused the pH to rise from 5.37 to 5.45 on the amber and 5.37 to 5.48 on the dunkel.  On the dunkel, I also measured the pH during the sparge, and it was at 5.55.

I think those values are low enough that tannin extraction won't be an issue, but I've only had a small taste of the amber, and the dunkel is still fermenting.

I used to mitigate this by adding a small dose of 10% phosphoric acid to the sparge water - something I might start doing again. 
Sometimes you just can't get enough - JAMC

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27316
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2016, 11:15:22 am »
Whether you're fly sparging or batch sparging, you're diluting the wort in the mash and are going to overwhelm the buffering capacity either way. It would be interesting to know what happens to pH during batch 2 and batch 3 of a batch sparge. I reckon any buffering is lost on the 2nd batch, not so sure about the first. I batch sparge with a single batch, usually 20-25% of my total liquor. At that point there's usually 3 litres of residual wort in the mash and maybe 4 litres of mash liquor added. I doubt pH rises significantly. Other people might see pH rise further if the volumes are different.

As I said, I think a lot depends on how it's done. You can probably wreck any beer with either method or make perfect beer with either method. I don't one is better than the other.

Anybody who does 2 or more batch sparges is pretty much wasting their time as well as causing potential pH issues.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27316
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2016, 11:16:22 am »
Why do people argue about which way to rinse grain?

In all of the hundreds (thousands?) of beers that I've judged, never once have I said something like "that one tastes like it's fly sparged".

And with all due respect to Marshall's (and his team's) work, please keep in mind that these are only single trials.  That's why Marshal encourages to try these for themselves.  It's also the reason Drew and I enlist lots of people to do the same experiment  When it comes to "citizen science", the more the better.  If you want to get involved, go to www.experimenalbrew.com and sign up to be an IGOR.  We'll even provide some of the ingredients for experimenting.

I'll pass the message on to my local brew club in London - am sure they'd love to get involved with this.

Excellent!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Kit B

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 607
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2016, 12:09:57 pm »
Anybody who does 2 or more batch sparges is pretty much wasting their time as well as causing potential pH issues.

Are you saying a double batch sparge is a bad idea?

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2016, 12:26:45 pm »
Isn't the whole thing a straw man argument? That one method sucks because the ph drops when you drain the first runnings? Like, predicting sparge ph hasn't been invented yet? If that's the case than the only method that works in no sparge and only with grain bills that cooperate with your specific water profile. Because if we can't predict and adjust our water, then may as well claim that we can't make any water additions

Or has my ph meter been lying to me when it says that my sparge water predictions were correct?

Offline MDixon

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2345
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2016, 02:26:06 pm »
Anybody who does 2 or more batch sparges is pretty much wasting their time as well as causing potential pH issues.

Are you saying a double batch sparge is a bad idea?

It's a counting thing. Denny and I have went back and forth about it for year. To me EVERY draining is a batch so a batch sparge which drains and then recharges and drains again is TWO batches. Denny goes with the methodology that the first one is not a batch. He can correct me if I have once again misunderstood his nomenclature, the old coot!!!
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline charles1968

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 536
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2016, 02:26:39 pm »
Isn't the whole thing a straw man argument? That one method sucks because the ph drops when you drain the first runnings? Like, predicting sparge ph hasn't been invented yet? If that's the case than the only method that works in no sparge and only with grain bills that cooperate with your specific water profile. Because if we can't predict and adjust our water, then may as well claim that we can't make any water additions

Or has my ph meter been lying to me when it says that my sparge water predictions were correct?

How much does your measured pH rise during your sparges? Kai Troester's website says you're fine up to 6.0. Above that is a problem for delicate pale beers like pilsners.

Offline Kit B

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 607
Re: Mash Methods: Fly Sparge vs. Batch Sparge | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2016, 02:49:07 pm »
Anybody who does 2 or more batch sparges is pretty much wasting their time as well as causing potential pH issues.

Are you saying a double batch sparge is a bad idea?

It's a counting thing. Denny and I have went back and forth about it for year. To me EVERY draining is a batch so a batch sparge which drains and then recharges and drains again is TWO batches. Denny goes with the methodology that the first one is not a batch. He can correct me if I have once again misunderstood his nomenclature, the old coot!!!

That is exactly how I believed it to be.
Have I been defining a "double batch sparge" incorrectly?