Author Topic: "double" sparge in a batch sparge  (Read 2821 times)

Offline redzim

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"double" sparge in a batch sparge
« on: October 20, 2010, 12:57:48 PM »
I've got questions.  I usually make 10 gal batches, with maybe 22-24lbs of grain. This fits nicely in my 80qt Coleman Extreme. I usually mash at 1.75 - 2.0qts/lbs, which lets me collect about 8gals first runnings, then I sparge with about 8gal and collect the 16gal I need to boil down to 11gal (I have a huge steam kettle with large surface area that loses a lot to evaporation.) 

Sometimes I do 15 gal batches with 30-35lbs grain, in this case I mash at about 1.5qts/lbs so it fits in the cooler, and then I can still get pretty good efficiency even though first and second runnings are not totally equal. I collect about 23gals and boil it down to 16gals of post-boil volume.

Now I want to do a 20 gal batch which will use about 45lbs of grain. It will not fit in my mash tun unless I start mashing thicker, like 1.3qts/lbs, and then I will have to add a lot of sparge water (maybe 16+ gals) to get my 26gals of pre-boil volume. 

So the questions are:

1)   Will my efficiency or process suffer somehow with mashing at 1.3qts/lbs, as opposed to the thinner 1.75-2.00qts/lbs that I’m used to, and that my recipes work for?

2)   If not, can I go ahead and mash with the highest ratio that still lets me fit the mash in the mash tun, and then split my batch sparging into 2 parts? Should these parts be equal volumes? Does it matter?

3)   Or should I just add as much sparge water as I can when starting the second runoff, and then just keep topping it off until I’ve added what I need?

Thanks in advance for any advice. I know I could avoid all this with a bigger mash tun but I don’t plan to do 20 gals batches that often.

Offline denny

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2010, 01:11:38 PM »
1)   Will my efficiency or process suffer somehow with mashing at 1.3qts/lbs, as opposed to the thinner 1.75-2.00qts/lbs that I’m used to, and that my recipes work for?

It's pretty unlikely that the ratio will effect efficiency, but the larger batch size might.


2)   If not, can I go ahead and mash with the highest ratio that still lets me fit the mash in the mash tun, and then split my batch sparging into 2 parts? Should these parts be equal volumes? Does it matter?

2 equal batches would be best, but it's not a huge deal.  Mash with as much as fits.

3)   Or should I just add as much sparge water as I can when starting the second runoff, and then just keep topping it off until I’ve added what I need?

That would probably work just as well.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2010, 01:16:05 PM »
3)   Or should I just add as much sparge water as I can when starting the second runoff, and then just keep topping it off until I’ve added what I need?

That would probably work just as well.
Isn't that pretty much fly sparging Denny? :)
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Offline denny

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 01:23:37 PM »
3)   Or should I just add as much sparge water as I can when starting the second runoff, and then just keep topping it off until I’ve added what I need?

That would probably work just as well.
Isn't that pretty much fly sparging Denny? :)

Pretty close...it's a hybrid method I've heard referred to as "Super Fly".  It's also the way Mike Dixon sparges.  Like the OP said, the real solution is to get a bigger cooler.  I've got a 152 qt. that I break out for extra large or high gravity batches.  65 lb. of grain at 1.5 qt./lb. and it's only 2/3 full.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 01:26:49 PM »
Pretty close...it's a hybrid method I've heard referred to as "Super Fly".  It's also the way Mike Dixon sparges.  Like the OP said, the real solution is to get a bigger cooler.  I've got a 152 qt. that I break out for extra large or high gravity batches.  65 lb. of grain at 1.5 qt./lb. and it's only 2/3 full.
:o

That is one big cooler.  So what do you make with 65 lbs of grain?  10 gallons of something big, or just more of a regular strength beer?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 01:34:02 PM »
Usually a 10 gal. batch of Old Stoner BW, and then about 12 gal. of a second runnings beer.  Here's a pic of my 2 brewing partners stiring 68 lb. of grain with a lacrosse stick!

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Offline bluesman

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 01:38:45 PM »
I was debating doing a "superfly" on my IPA last weekend to get an extra gallon but opted out at the last minute.

Has anyone ever tried doing a second small sparge with RT water?
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Offline tubercle

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 03:51:03 PM »
Dang, Tubercle has been doing superfly for years and didn't know what to call it. Basically I suck at calculating water volumes. 

I've been calling it "I don't have enough water, add more.  ;D
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Offline Podo

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 05:37:55 PM »
Denny, that is one cool picture.  "improvise"
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Offline abraxas

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 07:02:25 PM »
I'm down with improvise but a Lacrosse stick?  Seems like the leather would leach all sorts of things into a beer I wouldn't want there.

Offline ryang

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2010, 08:10:42 PM »
I'm down with improvise but a Lacrosse stick?  Seems like the leather would leach all sorts of things into a beer I wouldn't want there.

that doesn't appear to be leather.

I wouldn't put my lacrosse stick in my mash though... too stinky from being in my gear bag.  :-X

Offline dzlater

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2010, 04:12:55 AM »
So if I were to do the "hybrid" method would it be better to run off slow like a fly sparge or
full bore like a batch sparge?

Offline redzim

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2010, 04:47:28 AM »
So if I were to do the "hybrid" method would it be better to run off slow like a fly sparge or
full bore like a batch sparge?

Good question. I was thinking I would go full-bore since it is more of a batch sparge situation. 

Thanks for the other suggestions & answers, Denny.  I think I'll just give it a try, and see.... after all with RDWHAHB, what can go wrong? I might not hit my gravities right on the money for this batch, but it'll still be beer, and I can always tweak it for the next batch.


Offline MDixon

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2010, 05:50:02 AM »
I batch my first runnings and then fly the rest. I've also done a "no sparge" and we didn't have room for it all in the tun so we added more mash as the volume decreased. Kinda weird to sparge with mash, but it worked well. I get very high efficiency (not that it matters) using the batch/fly methodology. One key is to be sure you don't compact the grainbed before starting to add the sparge water. If you run too long and do compact, just stir it up and vorlauf again and then add sparge water before it compacts again.
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Offline denny

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Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2010, 07:46:34 AM »
I'm down with improvise but a Lacrosse stick?  Seems like the leather would leach all sorts of things into a beer I wouldn't want there.

that doesn't appear to be leather.

I wouldn't put my lacrosse stick in my mash though... too stinky from being in my gear bag.  :-X

We had no choice but the lacrosse stick.  It was the first time we'd used that cooler and didn't even stop to think that a spoon wouldn't make it.  Fortunately, Matt has his lacrosse stick in his truck. While the stick was never the same again, it had no deleterious effects on the beer.
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