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Author Topic: ‘No Sparge’ technique  (Read 1038 times)

Offline BrewBama

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‘No Sparge’ technique
« on: February 17, 2023, 11:14:55 am »
I have a question mainly for BIAB and All-in-One brew system users (or others) using the ‘No Sparge’ method: Do you (A) use 100% of the brewhaus liquor to mash, lift the basket/bag, and start your boil? —OR— Do you (B) use a certain volume of strike liquor based on a certain grist:liquor ratio, mash, add the remaining liquor to reach full volume, then pull the basket/bag? —OR— Do you (C) use something not mentioned?

IOW, mash A would be a much thinner full volume mash while mash B would be a more ‘conventional’ mash then thinned out in conjunction with a vorlauf step.

Secondarily: Given that No Sparge will be used, are there Pros/Cons to either?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2023, 11:36:24 am by BrewBama »

Offline denny

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2023, 11:19:12 am »
I use both A and B, depending on what I feel like and the amount of grain. There seems to be no detectable difference in the beer either way.
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Offline Megary

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2023, 11:54:29 am »
For BIAB in a standard pot...

I always "A" because it's easier.  I also found that a thinner mash gives me better conversion.  YMMV.

The only way I would ever "B" is if I had a small pot and couldn't full-volume mash.

Offline Cliffs

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2023, 11:57:59 am »
option A. Simple, easy and gets the job done.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2023, 12:31:47 pm »
Well if you are limiting to no sparge, I recirc the full volume, but any more I use a BIAB, remove the bag after the initial mash and batch sparge into a bucket without any recirc during the mash and like my results best over other methods I have used.  The only extra cleanup is the bag and the bucket…  there truly is no wrong way here.  No sparge just requires me to adjust to a little lower efficiency.

With large batches I go with a 20 gallon InfuSSion mash tun and 18 gallon boil Kettle, so clean up is two dedicated vessels.  I have settled into a 2 qts/pound or less (1.5 often enough) initial strike water ratio and it helps my efficiencies.
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Offline narcout

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2023, 12:42:11 pm »
I use Option A.  Mash thickness is usually around 2.4 to 2.7 quarts per pound. 
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Online Richard

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2023, 01:46:47 pm »
I use option A most of the time because of its simplicity. Sometimes I will reserve 1/2 gallon of water to use for sparging the bag after it has been lifted out of the kettle. That gives me a few more percentage points of efficiency. If I am short on recovered volume I will sparge the grains in the (removed from the kettle) bag with a bit of tap water until I get what I want. That doesn't happen very often.
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Offline BrewBama

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‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2023, 02:14:16 pm »
And now, the Paul Harvey:

I have been brewing lower ABV beers my last few batches because I like to drink beer but don’t need all the carbs. All the pee without all the buzz so to speak. Bitters, Milds, ….Session stuff. (Jennifer Talley has a great book on the subject)

This means that I use less grain in the mash. If I were to mash a full strength APA for example, for my system mashing with the full liquor volume would result in ~2.75 qt/lb. I have been brewing full volume mash no sparge about a year now with no problem. Some of the most enjoyable relaxing brewdays and best beers I’ve ever brewed. However, since I am using far less grain lately, the full volume would result in ~4 qt/lb. I am not sure if that is a problem or not.

I don’t *think* I have experienced any detrimental effects yet but I am only a few batches in to this type of Session brewing. A Mild turned out really well. A Bitter I brewed kinda not so great. I believe in part that was due to recipe but could also be due partly to technique. I have a Scottish 70/- that is conditioning that seems to be pretty good (so far). I am fermenting a revamped Bitter recipe now.

Anyway, I am considering withholding some strike liquor and add it after the main 60 min mash is complete, vorlauf ~30 min with the now full volume while increasing to mash out temp, then lauter.  IDK.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2023, 02:23:34 pm by BrewBama »

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2023, 02:42:53 pm »
I love to make small beers - I have had a Lichtbier Helles medal a few times and it goes pretty fast here at the house once friends discover it.  I find it easier to make the batch by batch sparging (as you might have guessed), but if forced to no sparge, I would make the batch with around a 2.5 qts/lb ratio and simply add water to the boil to get it to the desired lower ABV....but I bet others will say to just make it with the higher ratio and not worry about it.

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Offline denny

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2023, 02:43:37 pm »
as long as you correct pH for the larger water amount, I don't see a problem. 
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline BrewBama

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2023, 05:14:00 pm »
Thx guys. Food for thought.

Offline erockrph

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2023, 06:52:50 am »
And now, the Paul Harvey:

I have been brewing lower ABV beers my last few batches because I like to drink beer but don’t need all the carbs. All the pee without all the buzz so to speak. Bitters, Milds, ….Session stuff. (Jennifer Talley has a great book on the subject)

This means that I use less grain in the mash. If I were to mash a full strength APA for example, for my system mashing with the full liquor volume would result in ~2.75 qt/lb. I have been brewing full volume mash no sparge about a year now with no problem. Some of the most enjoyable relaxing brewdays and best beers I’ve ever brewed. However, since I am using far less grain lately, the full volume would result in ~4 qt/lb. I am not sure if that is a problem or not.

I don’t *think* I have experienced any detrimental effects yet but I am only a few batches in to this type of Session brewing. A Mild turned out really well. A Bitter I brewed kinda not so great. I believe in part that was due to recipe but could also be due partly to technique. I have a Scottish 70/- that is conditioning that seems to be pretty good (so far). I am fermenting a revamped Bitter recipe now.

Anyway, I am considering withholding some strike liquor and add it after the main 60 min mash is complete, vorlauf ~30 min with the now full volume while increasing to mash out temp, then lauter.  IDK.

I've been no-sparge brewing for 10+ years, and the only thing I've noticed is that as I approached 3.5-4 qt/lb for session beers is that they would often need an extra 15-20 minutes to convert fully. I suspect this is due to more dilute enzyme concentration in the mash. I was using a lot of Crisp Floor-Malted MO at the time, so you may have less issues with a different base malt with a higher diastatic power.

I brewed a few batches where I limited my mash thickness to 3 qt/lb and added the rest of the brewing liquor after the mash. I didn't notice a flavor or mouthfeel difference, so I stopped doing it and just make sure I'm mashing for long enough on those brews.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2023, 08:07:51 am »
Thank you. First hand experience with exactly what I am doing.

Offline Kevin

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2023, 01:56:51 pm »
I use option A with my Anvil Foundry 10.5 unless my grain bill is a bit too large to comfortably fit it all. Then I will use less water for the mash and sparge with a gallon or two after. I really don't pay much attention to ratio's in that case... just whatever it takes for the mash so it fits the vessel.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: ‘No Sparge’ technique
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2023, 07:03:22 am »
Forgot to mention, I know a guy who loves English Milds and he intentionally mashes around 158F.  I have just mashed a Licht Pilsner at 157 to see how the body turns out.  Brewers Friend has it turning out around 3.6% based on my simple grain bill - 7 lbs Best Pils, .5 lb Weyermann Light Munich, and .25 lb Weyermann Acidulated malt.  I have been messing with a lot of variables and am hoping this one hits the sweet spot.  If not, I will try some flaked barley substitution for some base malt.

Cheers to the small guys!
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