Author Topic: No sparge mashing  (Read 1497 times)

Offline pkrone

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No sparge mashing
« on: November 12, 2016, 04:34:27 PM »
I've tried the no sparge mash technique for the last couple of brews in conjunction with incorporating some LoDo methods and my efficiency is suffering for it.   It's gone from the 80% to the high 60's.  I use a RIMS setup.   Same crush as when I do fly sparging.       If that's just the way it is, it's no big deal- I'll just adjust my recipes because I like the wort that's being produced.   But I'm still curious about the significant drop in extraction efficiency.

Any thoughts?
I like beer.  I like to make beer.   I don't like to argue about beer or making beer.

Big Monk

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No sparge mashing
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2016, 04:40:46 PM »
No-Sparge mash efficiency can be very high given the right parameters.

Recirculating the mash helps with conversion. Little to no mash loss, i.e. Normal absorption but low dead space, helps improve lauter efficiency.

If you are reasonably sure you can achieve 100% conversion efficiency then limiting dead space losses will boost your mash efficiency quite a bit being that mash efficiency is the product of conversion and lauter efficiency.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2016, 04:47:27 PM by Big Monk »

Offline narcout

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2016, 04:59:15 PM »
There's a certain amount of wort that is absorbed into the grains and lost. 

When you don't sparge, that wort is at a higher gravity than when you do so your efficiency will go down, other things being equal.

Personally, my no sparge efficiency is in the mid to low 70's while my batch sparge efficiency is in the low 80's

Offline charles1968

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2016, 07:18:32 PM »
Efficiency loss is related to how strong the final beer is. Strong beers require more grain, which means a greater loss of wort to grain absorption. I'd consider sparging for beers over, say, 6% abv.

There are a couple of tricks you can use to improve efficiency. Mashing for longer, eg overnight, does help and can compensate for a coarse crush. If you have a cooler box mash tun, tip it towards end of collecting wort to avoid loss of wort to dead space.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 09:40:50 PM »
I wouldn't be too concerned with lower efficiency when performing a no-sparge. I typically get close to 66-70% with average gravity beers, and over 1.060, my efficiency starts to drop off pretty quickly. A few extra bucks worth of grain is not a big deal to me though when performing this process. I do feel it gives me a richer wort profile.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 09:46:41 PM »
I wouldn't be too concerned with lower efficiency when performing a no-sparge. I typically get close to 66-70% with average gravity beers, and over 1.060, my efficiency starts to drop off pretty quickly. A few extra bucks worth of grain is not a big deal to me though when performing this process. I do feel it gives me a richer wort profile.


Yep, agreed. In the big scheme, a couple extra bucks on some malt is pretty negligible.
Jon H.

Big Monk

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2016, 12:03:22 AM »
With 100% conversion and low deadspace loss, you can get 85-90% in the 11-13 °P range.

It's just a matter of adjusting your variables and system. A couple extra bucks in grain won't kill you but you can definitely get very high efficiency depending on the circumstances.

High gravity is of course going to tank you as some have said. You can't really control absorption.

Offline curtdogg

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2016, 01:30:34 AM »
With 100% conversion and low deadspace loss, you can get 85-90% in the 11-13 °P range.

It's just a matter of adjusting your variables and system. A couple extra bucks in grain won't kill you but you can definitely get very high efficiency depending on the circumstances.

High gravity is of course going to tank you as some have said. You can't really control absorption.
With that said how about conditioning the grain first?
Slightly moistening the grain to get less absorb tin during mash.
Does it equal out?
I've read it improves efficiency.

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Big Monk

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2016, 02:12:21 AM »
With 100% conversion and low deadspace loss, you can get 85-90% in the 11-13 °P range.

It's just a matter of adjusting your variables and system. A couple extra bucks in grain won't kill you but you can definitely get very high efficiency depending on the circumstances.

High gravity is of course going to tank you as some have said. You can't really control absorption.
With that said how about conditioning the grain first?
Slightly moistening the grain to get less absorb tin during mash.
Does it equal out?
I've read it improves efficiency.

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I'm not sure the husk absorbs enough to offset absorption. Conditioning improves efficiency because it lets you crush with a tighter gap without shreddding the husk.

Offline curtdogg

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2016, 02:21:42 AM »
I read a little more about it and the article said wet milling is used in low o2 brewing.

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Offline curtdogg

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2016, 02:22:26 AM »
I read a little more about it and the article said wet milling is used in low o2 brewing.

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http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Malt_Conditioning

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Offline Stevie

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No sparge mashing
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2016, 02:23:42 AM »
The amount of moisture added when conditioning is very low. What it does is allows for a more intact husk. Even without mashing fine, it allows for a more efficient lauter. Mashing fine increases efficiency as the internal starches are more available.

Wet milling is a totally different beast where the malt is mixed with the brewing liquor while milling. This is done professionally to keep dust down and to prevent dough balls.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 02:30:10 AM by Stevie »

Big Monk

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2016, 02:38:58 AM »
The amount of moisture added when conditioning is very low. What it does is allows for a more intact husk. Even without mashing fine, it allows for a more efficient lauter. Mashing fine increases efficiency as the internal starches are more available.

Wet milling is a totally different beast where the malt is mixed with the brewing liquor while milling. This is done professionally to keep dust down and to prevent dough balls.

Even steep conditioning prior to wet milling doesn't add a considerable amount of liquid to the husk.

Offline curtdogg

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2016, 02:55:16 AM »
Understood guys.
Even conditioning in this case could help his efficiency for no sparge mashing.



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Offline Stevie

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Re: No sparge mashing
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2016, 03:10:27 AM »
Understood guys.
Even conditioning in this case could help his efficiency for no sparge mashing.



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Sure. A better lauter will yield better efficiency. I've been conditioning for the last dozen batches. Love it. Might loosen my crush a bit as I have been getting high 80's on medium gravity brews.