Author Topic: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?  (Read 4187 times)

Offline phillamb168

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Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« on: August 30, 2010, 02:19:13 AM »
Hi all,

I finally got my pump, tank, HLT, etc in the mail the other day (THANKS to candirect.de and maltbazaren.dk - hopefully one day France will have a decent LHBSS, but I doubt it). I've been reviewing all the steps in my head while I build out the plumbing, and have a question - is it necessary to sparge when you're using a HERMS system? it seems to me that any sort of recirc will be constantly pumping the wort through the grainbed, although I was thinking it might be possible for the wort to be 'saturated' at a point, necessitating the sparge. Or maybe the cold medicine is playing with me brain. Any help would be very much appreciated!

-pl
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Offline chezteth

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Re: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 06:08:02 AM »
I would say it would still be necessary to sparge.  HERMS will allow you to adjust the temp of the mash by recirculating.  Sparging will rinse as much of the wort out of the grain as possible/necessary to achieve your preboil gravity and volume.

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Offline malzig

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Re: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 07:30:30 AM »
I suppose it depends on the efficiency you demand and the OG of the beers you like to make.

For a standard 12 plato beer you should be able to easily achieve ~75% efficiency without sparging a HERMES system, thanks to the typically high conversion efficiency brewers seem to achieve on HERMES system.

Offline VinS

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Re: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 07:40:56 AM »
Not necessary because you are recirculating . Have about 1 inch of liquid covering your mash have a constant flow, not fast or you could end up with a stuck mash . Your conversion might happen faster than normal. Good luck.       Edit YES sparge .I think I had some of your cold meds. 
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 08:31:20 AM by vinsthb »
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 07:53:03 AM »
Unless you are going to do a very thin mash (2.5 qts/lb) you WILL have to sparge to hit your pre boil gravity.  Herms doesn't change tthe process, just your ability to maintain a constant, uniform mash temp without stirring.  The recirculation simplifies the batch sparging process by automating the vorlauf, eliminating it if you are going to fly sparge.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 08:05:10 AM »
Ah, interesting, so I shouldn't be stirring this at all while it's recirculating?
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 08:35:24 AM »
Short answer - No, not after you stir the crap out of it to mash in.

Well, at this point I usually add the disclaimer. "This is what I do.  It works for me.  Your process may vary".
I have a 10 gallon RIMS system, so I am heating the mash liquid directly, but the theory is the same.  When you fly sparge you don't really recirculate, you just use the pump to redirect the runoff to the kettle (slowly).  When I batch sparge, I drain the mash tun into the kettle, which compacts the grain bed a little, add my first sparge volume, usually 4.5-5.5 gallons, give it a stir, put it back on recirculate for 10 minutes till the wort clears, drain again, add my second rinse (again 4.5-5.5 gallons), no stir here, recirc for another 10 minutes,  drain to collect 15 gallons pre boil.  I usually get 82% efficiency and the gravity of the final runnings is never less that 1.015 at 168F so no worries with tannins.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 08:39:37 AM by dak0415 »
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Offline dcrawlins

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Re: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 11:25:38 AM »
Yes you still need to sparge with a RIMS or Herms setup.  A RIMS or Herms system allows you to maintain the mash temp through slow recirculation of the wort and eliminates the need to vorlauf.  You still need to flush the sugars from the grain bed by what ever method you choose.  Otherwise your efficiency will suffer.

Offline Mikey

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Re: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 01:21:08 PM »
Think of it as the rinse cycle in your washer, but instead of rinsing off soap you're rinsing off sugar.