Author Topic: Very rapid "conversion"  (Read 952 times)

Offline kerneldustjacket

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Very rapid "conversion"
« on: November 29, 2010, 06:14:37 PM »
So...after 17 years as a "fly sparger," I decided to try my hand at "the batch side."
The decision arrived at partly from things I've read here (thanks a lot, Denny) and from observing another local brewer's success at using no-sparge brewing...he's done well at competitions and his beer is very tasty.

For receipe formulation, I followed something I saw in a Denny post: don't worry about a "scale-up factor," just lower your expected efficiency. I read that 70% is a reasonable number, so I plugged that into my "homegrown" software and came up with a grain bill. (I was making an American brown ale BTW)

I was shooting for 15 gallons of pre-boil volume that would boil down to 13.5 gallons of 1.055...30 pounds of grain was called for.
I mashed in a 150 quart cooler (sorry, not blue) that has just under 15 linear feet of 3/4" slotted copper manifold... the mash bed was 4 inches thick. The mash temp was 152F, held for 60 minutes. Thickness was around 2 qts/lb.
I added enough water at mash out to ensure 15 gallons run-off into the kettle.

Here's where I was blown away: the run-off lasted just under 15 minutes...that's just over 1 gallon per minute. WOW...for speed, that beats any fly-sparge I've done...even one at 5 gallons.  And the run-off was very clear.
Next, at the end of my boil, I measured my gravity and was slightly over my target (1.056), and came in at 71% efficiency...not bad for a no-sparge beer I guess, and close to my expected target.

And the stuff left in the mash tun? Well, I might as well go parti-gyle. I added 1 pound of 60L crystal and 4 ounces of caramel wheat, then added 8 gallons of 155 F water, and ran that off into another kettle, boiled it down for a while, then ran it into the first kettle...where there was 3-4 ounces of late addition hops from the brown ale that became the bittering hops for the "small" beer. I got 5 gallons of 1.030.

So far, I'm very happy with the results...and am very likely converted to no-sparge/batch sparge brewing...or am I parti-gyle brewing? Seems very practical so far...and easy...and pragmatic.  ;D

...A lot like my <$10.00 mash paddle...



RIP Fly-sparge Kernel Dustjacket  :'(
John Wilson
Savannah Brewers League
Savannah, GA

Offline oscarvan

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 07:15:39 PM »
Pragmatic is good. Being at the beginning of the road I am reading these posts with much interest. There seems to be a lot of KISS going on in this business. I am in favor.....
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 06:36:20 AM »
Pragmatic is good. Being at the beginning of the road I am reading these posts with much interest. There seems to be a lot of KISS going on in this business. I am in favor.....

oscarvan, one of the joy's of homebrewing is that you can keep it as simple as possible...or ramp it up to a complex, scientific, high-end gadget-oriented endeavor...and still make enjoyable, drinkable homebrew.

The driving factor should be this: whatever brings you enjoyment in homebrewing, is what you should focus on.

One item for me: It would not be as fun for me if I did not share the drinking of homebrew with my brewing friends...if I brewed for my own consumption, it just wouldn't be the same.
John Wilson
Savannah Brewers League
Savannah, GA

Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 06:52:20 AM »
John,
I like the <$10. mash paddle!
Where did you get it?
"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers

Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 07:27:03 AM »
John,
I like the <$10. mash paddle!
Where did you get it?

I was in a local restaurant equipment supply shop looking for deals on large pots, when I saw the restaurant sized potato mashers...and couldn't resist when I saw the price. It has turned out to be an awesome mash mixer!

Here's a link for an 18" one for $4.99 each; or they have a 24" for $6.49

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/18-square-face-potato-masher/407PMSQ18.html

John Wilson
Savannah Brewers League
Savannah, GA

Offline maxieboy

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 09:17:17 PM »
Pragmatic is good. Being at the beginning of the road I am reading these posts with much interest. There seems to be a lot of KISS going on in this business. I am in favor.....

It's been said many times: Brewing isn't rocket science, unless you want it to be!
A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes." Gene Hill

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Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 08:36:20 AM »
John,
Thanks for the link!
When I saw the commercial potatoe masher in the picture, I thought "that would be perfect for breaking up the dough balls"!
"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 09:00:25 AM »
Based on the title I was actually expecting a discussion about mash conversion. While reading your post I was wondering when you'll be getting to that point ;). Maybe I should have paid attention to the quotes around conversion.

I'm glad it worked for you. We have come a long way in the acceptance of batch sparging.

70% efficiency into the kettle is not all that impossible with no-sparge as long as you have close to or complete conversion in the mash. The thin mash helped with the latter.

Kai

Offline denny

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2010, 09:27:23 AM »
Actually, I don't believe you need to lower your efficiency expectations for batch sparging.  I average 83-85%.  Just like fly sparging, you need to make at what you'll get when you start, then let experience determine what the real number is.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2010, 10:37:34 AM »
Kai...sorry about the confusion with my title...I was trying to be clever with a little word play...I sould have opened my post with "Conversion to no-sparge, that is!"


70% efficiency into the kettle is not all that impossible with no-sparge as long as you have close to or complete conversion in the mash. The thin mash helped with the latter.
Kai
Oh...now there's some useful information...I was mainly just following what I gathered about the method and employing it...good to know for future efforts.   :)

Actually, I don't believe you need to lower your efficiency expectations for batch sparging.  I average 83-85%.  Just like fly sparging, you need to make at what you'll get when you start, then let experience determine what the real number is.
Denny...I'm hoping with experience and any further tid-bits learned here that I can get back into the low 80's; my fly-sparging normally ran around 83% efficiency...but if I don't get there I'm plenty happy with low 70s for the main batch plus a small beer from the remainder. (when I calculated the points from the main batch and the 'small beer,' I found I had around 83% efficiency...so I got out of the grain as much as I ever did)

Also, I have a few questions regarding lautering: is the speed of the lauter dependant on grain bed depth and/or the foot-print of your manifold/screen? I'm just wondering if the fact that I had a wide shallow grain bed aided run-off speed.
Is there a preferred run-off speed, or is it just however fast you can run it without getting a stuck sparge? I often use rice hulls to ensure a good filter.

Thanks in advance.
John Wilson
Savannah Brewers League
Savannah, GA

Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2010, 10:40:48 AM »
John,
Thanks for the link!
When I saw the commercial potatoe masher in the picture, I thought "that would be perfect for breaking up the dough balls"!

So far, that's been my experience with using it...
And wow, what a chea...er...a..."inexpensive" mash paddle.
John Wilson
Savannah Brewers League
Savannah, GA

Offline denny

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Re: Very rapid "conversion"
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2010, 11:10:16 AM »
Also, I have a few questions regarding lautering: is the speed of the lauter dependant on grain bed depth and/or the foot-print of your manifold/screen? I'm just wondering if the fact that I had a wide shallow grain bed aided run-off speed.
Is there a preferred run-off speed, or is it just however fast you can run it without getting a stuck sparge? I often use rice hulls to ensure a good filter.

Thanks in advance.


Runoff speed is pretty much dependent on your system.  I've never used rice hulls nor had the need for them.  And you're correct...you can runoff as fast as you can go without getting stuck.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe