Author Topic: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?  (Read 2769 times)

Offline JFMBearcat

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« on: May 20, 2016, 07:36:48 PM »
Hi all, got back into brewing with my old equipment, and have been hitting around 55% efficiency where I used to hit 70%. Nothing has changed, except that I'm still using the same toilet supply hose thingy that goes in my 10gal Home Depot mash tun. It's certainly seen better days, kind of coiled up like a dead snake. However it drains perfectly into my kettle each time so I didn't see the need to replace it.

My question is, can something like that lower efficiency? I couldn't imagine that's true if I'm draining the entire mash tun, but I've run out of ideas. If so I'll go grab a fresh one. Thanks.

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2380
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2016, 07:43:01 PM »
The wort inlet structure is not a factor for efficiency as long as it covers most of the bottom of the tun. You need to slow your runoff down...especially the final batch sparge.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline JFMBearcat

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2016, 07:44:45 PM »
The wort inlet structure is not a factor for efficiency as long as it covers most of the bottom of the tun. You need to slow your runoff down...especially the final batch sparge.

Thanks Martin. I use a braided hose as my false bottom, not a big round thingy like alot of people do, so it just sits there coiled up on the bottom of the cooler.

And I definitely run it with a full open valve when draining, I'll start lowering that from now on.

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2016, 08:20:34 PM »
I slow my runoff down after I noticed that it was sputtering while there was still loads of wort left in the tun. Adds a few minutes to the day, but meh

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2016, 08:34:06 PM »
I slow my runoff down after I noticed that it was sputtering while there was still loads of wort left in the tun. Adds a few minutes to the day, but meh


Same here.
Jon H.

Offline dls5492

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 291
    • View Profile
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2016, 11:49:28 PM »
I slow my runoff down after I noticed that it was sputtering while there was still loads of wort left in the tun. Adds a few minutes to the day, but meh


Same here.
+1
David S.
Cedar Falls, IA
Club: Cedar River Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts (CRAZE)

And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Cor. 3:17

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19440
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2016, 03:41:54 PM »
The wort inlet structure is not a factor for efficiency as long as it covers most of the bottom of the tun. You need to slow your runoff down...especially the final batch sparge.

I'm sorry Martin, but that's not the case.  The wort inlet neither needs to cover the bottom of the tun, nor does he need to slow down his runoff.  Neither will have any effect.
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

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19440
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2016, 03:43:07 PM »
The wort inlet structure is not a factor for efficiency as long as it covers most of the bottom of the tun. You need to slow your runoff down...especially the final batch sparge.

Thanks Martin. I use a braided hose as my false bottom, not a big round thingy like alot of people do, so it just sits there coiled up on the bottom of the cooler.

And I definitely run it with a full open valve when draining, I'll start lowering that from now on.

First, your braid is a lot longer than it needs to be, although I doubt that's affecting your performance.  And slowing your runoff will have no effect except to take up more of your time.
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 Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2016, 03:57:31 PM »
I disagree Denny on runoff speed. If the valve is allowing wort through faster than it can get through the bed, compaction could occur causing an even longer brew day. I don't runoff at a trickle, maybe 3/4 open.

I imagine it could be the amount of "doughy" malts I've been using lately where wheat and rye could be 30-40% of the grist. Could also be how fine I crush my grain.

I've been wanting to give malt conditioning a try, maybe a few minutes spent there while heating strike water will save a few minutes later.

Offline BrewBama

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1486
    • View Profile
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2016, 04:07:06 PM »
I tried malt conditioning and found it caused more build up on my mill rollers. I began running dry malt again and found I had no more build up.

FWIW. I batch sparge and run off with the valve at about 1/2 open. Seems to work fine for me. But then again, I enjoy the process of brewing and am not in a hurry to end my brew day. The journey is as enjoyable as the destination.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 04:13:22 PM by BrewBama »
Huntsville AL

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19440
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2016, 04:09:50 PM »
I disagree Denny on runoff speed. If the valve is allowing wort through faster than it can get through the bed, compaction could occur causing an even longer brew day. I don't runoff at a trickle, maybe 3/4 open.

I imagine it could be the amount of "doughy" malts I've been using lately where wheat and rye could be 30-40% of the grist. Could also be how fine I crush my grain.

I've been wanting to give malt conditioning a try, maybe a few minutes spent there while heating strike water will save a few minutes later.

I'm basing my statement on both theory and experience.  I have gone as much as 60% rye and not experienced a stuck runoff.  I crush as fine as my mill will allow.  I run off as fast as I can, collecting 7.5-8 gal. of wort in less than 15 min.  Of course, this will depend on your own system, but theoretically you should be able to run off at full speed.

As to the OP, I'd look at crush as the most likely cause.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 04:18:36 PM by denny »
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 adaul456

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2016, 05:03:55 PM »
I, too, run off pretty quickly when batch sparging, but have learned to give the mash some time to rest after the second infusion (sparge, whatever you want to call it).  If I'm patient, I'll give it maybe 10-15 min. before recirculating and running it off.  For me, at least, taking the time to do that has led to significantly better efficiency.

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2380
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2016, 06:04:54 PM »
Denny, that is not my experience. Slowing the runoff, especially in the later stage of sparging and runoff, do make a substantial difference in my system efficiency. I sort of batch sparge, but its actually a hybrid of continuous and batch. 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline Saccharomyces

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 95
    • View Profile
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2016, 06:06:22 PM »
Lautering rate should not affect extraction rate when batch sparging, as the solution should have reached equilibrium in the tun.  Unlike continuous sparging where the goal is to efficiently displace sugar molecules with water molecules, batch sparging works via diffusion.  Water molecules from lower solute concentration areas are drawn to higher solute concentration areas until equilibrium is reached.  If one is achieving a higher extraction rate via a slower lautering rate when batch sparging, then one started to lauter before equilibrium was reach, which, in turn, points to insufficient mixing.  I guess that one needs to stir the mash like it owes one money when batch sparging.  :) 

If one is achieving a low extraction rate regardless of lauter rate, then crush or insufficient rest time is the culprit. While the starch that is in solution converts rather quickly, the less modified starch that is still bound to the ends of the barleycorn takes longer to undergo hydrolysis. This phenomenon can be view by performing an iodine test after 15 to 20 minutes of rest time.  There will be little to no reaction at the interface between the wort and the iodine.  However, the particles that manage to make it into one's sample will turn bluish-black due the presence of starch.  Given enough time, these particles will test negative or at least test violet-red (dextrins). If there is a big difference in extraction rate between a 45-minute rest and a 90-minute rest, then crush is the culprit. The iodine test is still a valuable diagnostic tool, but one has to use real tincture of iodine, not the decolorized stuff.


« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 06:08:28 PM by Saccharomyces »

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19440
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Is batch sparge efficiency affected by your false bottom?
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2016, 06:50:32 PM »
Denny, that is not my experience. Slowing the runoff, especially in the later stage of sparging and runoff, do make a substantial difference in my system efficiency. I sort of batch sparge, but its actually a hybrid of continuous and batch.

That may be due to your hybrid method.  I can tell you that I have tested runoff speed on my straight ahead batch sparging system more times than I can recall and have never found a difference.
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