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Author Topic: Questioning my Sparging Technique  (Read 2621 times)

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2023, 12:19:58 pm »
It sounds like most of what the OP is doing, should result in a good outcome. The one thing they didn't mention, was the time taken from the beginning to end of sparging. Slower is better. I'd say at least a half hour and preferably, an hour. That time goes out the window, if you're performing a batch sparge. I'd love to use batch sparging, but it brings a lot of air into the grist and that invites more oxidation of the wort and malt.  I use continuous sparging to keep the grist submerged until the very end.

One thing that is a benefit of batch sparging is that you won't extract tannins and silicates because your wort gravity never gets too low.  That's something that as a continuous sparger, I have to be very vigilant about.  I find that I need to limit my final runnings to about 5 brix in order to reduce tannin and silicate impact. 
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Offline coolman26

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2023, 10:44:12 am »
I agree with Martin. I use a 3 tier setup with 120qt cooler and an 15g HLT. I found that with my system it came down to what I used as my filter and speed of my sparge. My manifold stopped any channeling issues and I sparge for about 45min. Crush, MT setup, and speed for me. Also designing equipment profiles and recipes where my MT drains completely.  Just ideas that I found worked for me.
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Offline MNWayne

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2023, 10:59:20 am »
Occam's razor... just add more grains.
Far better to dare mighty things....

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2023, 05:05:09 am »
I batch sparge, typically, and feel that the period from the end of mash (90 minutes for my lagers usually) then going to boil as quickly as possible presents an acceptable slight period of exposure to oxygen.  I don’t de-oxygenate the grist or the boil kettle, so I accept that element of exposure of the grist and wort to the air, as well. 

However, I am fastidious from pressure fermentation to final kegging, purging a keg full of sanitizer out of the receiving keg using fermentation-produced CO2, pressurizing the keg under a spunding valve and transferring the finished beer under CO2 (receiving keg using spunding valve set at slightly below pressure fermenter’s pressure), storing cold and drinking as fresh as possible once maturation of lagering is reached. YMMV, of course.
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Offline EwingBrewing

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2023, 07:21:00 am »
KellerBrauer you asked for some additional information on the recipe and measurement technique.
Not sure if the following adds some clues to help trouble shoot my issue.

I use a hydrometer and a test jar to take gravity readings.
My initial gravity reading was taken after I pitched the yeast.
I am fly sparging using a simple, plastic "fighter jet fly sparge" as seen here    https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/fighter-jet-fly-sparge

Recipe:

12 lb 2-Row Xtra Pale Malt - Viking Malt Mash (80.0%) - 1.9 SRM
1 lb Munich I (Weyermann) Mash (6.7%) - 7.1 SRM
1 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L Mash (6.7%) - 40.0 SRM
8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt Mash (3.3%) - 500.0 SRM
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (Bairds) Mash (3.3%) - 500.0 SRM
Add 18.75 qt of water at 163.7 F
152.0 F
60 min
Fly sparge with 15.53 qt water at 168.0 F
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) Boil 60 min (40.1 IBUs)
2.00 oz Cascade Boil 15 min (15.6 IBUs)
Whirlfloc Tablet Boil 5.0 min
Estimated Post Boil Vol: 5.98 gal and Est Post Boil Gravity: 1.074 SG

Offline jeffy

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2023, 11:22:31 am »
KellerBrauer you asked for some additional information on the recipe and measurement technique.
Not sure if the following adds some clues to help trouble shoot my issue.

I use a hydrometer and a test jar to take gravity readings.
My initial gravity reading was taken after I pitched the yeast.
I am fly sparging using a simple, plastic "fighter jet fly sparge" as seen here    https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/fighter-jet-fly-sparge

Recipe:

12 lb 2-Row Xtra Pale Malt - Viking Malt Mash (80.0%) - 1.9 SRM
1 lb Munich I (Weyermann) Mash (6.7%) - 7.1 SRM
1 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L Mash (6.7%) - 40.0 SRM
8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt Mash (3.3%) - 500.0 SRM
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (Bairds) Mash (3.3%) - 500.0 SRM
Add 18.75 qt of water at 163.7 F
152.0 F
60 min
Fly sparge with 15.53 qt water at 168.0 F
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) Boil 60 min (40.1 IBUs)
2.00 oz Cascade Boil 15 min (15.6 IBUs)
Whirlfloc Tablet Boil 5.0 min
Estimated Post Boil Vol: 5.98 gal and Est Post Boil Gravity: 1.074 SG
The device you linked to may be nice for cold wort into the fermenter, but I would avoid using it to sparge.  Too much O2.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline denny

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2023, 11:49:03 am »
KellerBrauer you asked for some additional information on the recipe and measurement technique.
Not sure if the following adds some clues to help trouble shoot my issue.

I use a hydrometer and a test jar to take gravity readings.
My initial gravity reading was taken after I pitched the yeast.
I am fly sparging using a simple, plastic "fighter jet fly sparge" as seen here    https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/fighter-jet-fly-sparge

Recipe:

12 lb 2-Row Xtra Pale Malt - Viking Malt Mash (80.0%) - 1.9 SRM
1 lb Munich I (Weyermann) Mash (6.7%) - 7.1 SRM
1 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L Mash (6.7%) - 40.0 SRM
8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt Mash (3.3%) - 500.0 SRM
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (Bairds) Mash (3.3%) - 500.0 SRM
Add 18.75 qt of water at 163.7 F
152.0 F
60 min
Fly sparge with 15.53 qt water at 168.0 F
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) Boil 60 min (40.1 IBUs)
2.00 oz Cascade Boil 15 min (15.6 IBUs)
Whirlfloc Tablet Boil 5.0 min
Estimated Post Boil Vol: 5.98 gal and Est Post Boil Gravity: 1.074 SG
The device you linked to may be nice for cold wort into the fermenter, but I would avoid using it to sparge.  Too much O2.

Besides being unnecessary
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline EwingBrewing

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2023, 02:00:38 pm »
Aha!
Maybe I should revisit the sparge apparatus.
Thanks for the idea!

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2023, 06:28:23 am »
KellerBrauer you asked for some additional information on the recipe and measurement technique.
Not sure if the following adds some clues to help trouble shoot my issue.

I use a hydrometer and a test jar to take gravity readings.
My initial gravity reading was taken after I pitched the yeast.
I am fly sparging using a simple, plastic "fighter jet fly sparge" as seen here    https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/fighter-jet-fly-sparge

Recipe:

12 lb 2-Row Xtra Pale Malt - Viking Malt Mash (80.0%) - 1.9 SRM
1 lb Munich I (Weyermann) Mash (6.7%) - 7.1 SRM
1 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L Mash (6.7%) - 40.0 SRM
8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt Mash (3.3%) - 500.0 SRM
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (Bairds) Mash (3.3%) - 500.0 SRM
Add 18.75 qt of water at 163.7 F
152.0 F
60 min
Fly sparge with 15.53 qt water at 168.0 F
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) Boil 60 min (40.1 IBUs)
2.00 oz Cascade Boil 15 min (15.6 IBUs)
Whirlfloc Tablet Boil 5.0 min
Estimated Post Boil Vol: 5.98 gal and Est Post Boil Gravity: 1.074 SG

I see nothing wrong with this recipe as 15lb of grain should yield 1.074 @ 168° in a 60 minute mash.  The additional sparging device may not be necessary, as Denny mentioned, but I don’t believe it would cause a 70 point deficit in your gravity.  Also, another contributor mentioned the time/speed of the sparge.  I timed my sparge yesterday and it was about 75 minutes for about 8.5 lbs. grain and I hit all my targets, volume and temp.  So, if the sparge is 90 minutes, or so, you should be good.

I see four possibilities.  1) pH is off, 2) the grain isn’t milled properly, 3) there is an issue with your thermometers and 4) the hydrometer is off.

How often do you calibrate your pH meter?  The calibration buffers you use should be within their expiration dates.  If not, replace them and recalibrate. I suggest also calibrating your meter using the 4 and 7 pH buffers for better accuracy.

Milling the grain —  if you mill your own, you may consider having it milled at your supplier instead — just as a test.  If you buy it pre-milled from the same supplier, perhaps you would consider buying a mill and milling your grain yourself.

You can easily check the accuracy of your thermometer(s) my checking the temperature of boiling water.  Likewise, your hydrometer should have calibration information printed on the paper insert.  You might consider checking it for accuracy.

It’s clear you’re having an issue if you miss the targets by 70+/- points.  That can be very troubling indeed. I hope this information helps.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2023, 06:30:37 am by KellerBrauer »
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2023, 08:35:40 am »
I don’t think he was 70 points off.
 “Target Initial SG 1.074. My Initial SG 1.05“
My opinion on poor efficiency is to look at grain crush first.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2023, 07:28:00 am »
I don’t think he was 70 points off.
 “Target Initial SG 1.074. My Initial SG 1.05“
My opinion on poor efficiency is to look at grain crush first.

Looking back, you’re absolutely correct.  Still, 25 points is substantial.  Thanks for the correction!
Joliet, IL

All good things come to those who show patients and perseverance while maintaining a positive and progressive attitude. 😉

Offline chinaski

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2023, 06:05:25 pm »
I wouldn't consider even a 20 gravity point differential "off" unless my expectation was based on a track record with my system and it's (hopefully) consistent efficiency.  I'm not sure the OP knows their typical system efficiency at this point.  No point in changing a bunch of stuff to hunt down a different efficiency yet- it's more important to know what your typical efficiency is.

Offline denny

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2023, 12:15:14 pm »
I wouldn't consider even a 20 gravity point differential "off" unless my expectation was based on a track record with my system and it's (hopefully) consistent efficiency.  I'm not sure the OP knows their typical system efficiency at this point.  No point in changing a bunch of stuff to hunt down a different efficiency yet- it's more important to know what your typical efficiency is.

Good advice

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

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Offline EwingBrewing

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2023, 05:39:15 pm »
Bottled the subject porter today that I missed the original SG on.
I think I discovered part of my issue.
The final volume was 6 gallons...not 5!
Rather than changing a bunch of things, I think I will make a 5 gallon mark my primary fermenter.
Sorry for the false alarm!
 

Offline chinaski

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Re: Questioning my Sparging Technique
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2023, 05:48:04 pm »
No need to apologize!  You are learning.  Sounds like, all things being equal, you could sparge with less water and end up with a higher starting gravity and a 5-gallon finishing volume.  Take good notes during brew day on volumes and gravities and you'll get it figured out.  I'm sure the beer will be fine.  Enjoy!