Batch sparge advice

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by jjsh, Mar 2, 2018.

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  1. Mar 2, 2018 #1

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    Coming from BIAB (well, one use of my mash tun for a mini mash, but my sparge was a disaster and I got an efficiency of 48%!), I can't quite get my head around water volumes and temps for batch sparging. Lets say I'm brewing a beer, aiming for 19L in the FV. I put all the figures into brewers friend, and it says I need to start the boil with 28.5L of wort, and will need 32 litres of water in total. So far so good.

    I'm going to go with a 3L/Kg Mash, and I want to mash at 67, so the calculators for my grain bill, etc, say I do this with 9L of water at 73.6.

    Now this is where I get a little confused. After recirculating, then running off, I have to batch sparge.

    Am I right in that I continue to do multiple batch sparges, all of around 9L, until I have my required boil volume of 28.5? That would be about 3 I guess, allowing for losses?

    If so, what temperature do I make the sparge water ~ do I try and keep the grain at 67 for each sparge, or raise it a bit, or what? If I am trying to keep the grain at 67, say, can I use the same strike water calculator, but change the grain temp to whatever it is in the mash tun after draining (rather than ambient temp used for the first calculation)?

    All help gratefully received!
     
  2. Mar 2, 2018 #2

    svenito

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    I normally batch sparge with a single sparge with the volume of water I need to make the boil volume. I get the volumes from brewersfriend

    I heat the water so that the temp hits about 75-78C when added to the mash. I stir and leave for 15mins and then lauter.

    That's just how I've done it having watched videos and read various articles. John palmer does batch sparging like that. But I'm missing something as my efficiency isn't great either.
     
  3. Mar 2, 2018 #3

    Ajhutch

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    I batch sparge with one batch in the mid-70s degrees.

    Just looking at your example, is the grain bill 3kg, presumably it’s a very low gravity beer? 28.5L looks a very large boil volume for a 19L batch size unless either you have a massive boil off rate or it’s a long boil. I lose about 2L per hour to boil off and a couple of litres to trub and dead space, so I’d be boiling 24ish most times.

    EDIT
    My last batch was a 5kg grain bill.

    15L to mash
    6 litres to get to mash out temperature
    9 litres as a batch sparge


    25 litres boil volume, 20 litres into the FV. So losses were approximately 5 litres to the grains and 5 litres to boil off and trub / dead space.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  4. Mar 2, 2018 #4

    Ciaran12s

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    I've done 2 batch sparges now. First one was 80% effeciency and second was 78%. That was after a few fly sparge runs at 50-65% roughly.

    I do it in three stages. Strike water first obviously and say that leaves 26l remaining, I'll split that in two and do two more batches of 13l each. I have overshot by 7 and 5 litres so still need to adjust my total water volumes to get my fv volume.

    So next time, aiming for 25l in the fv I'll use 35 litres total.
    15 strike water
    12 sparge
    12 sparge

    The strike water is as per brewers friend. The second run is 80c out of the boiler and the third is about 78c out of the boiler. Give a good stir and allow to settle. Lauter and run off until flow stops. Repeat until all three batches are run off. It's worked well for me so far.

    I found this http://beersmith.com/batch-sparging/ quite useful for the first attempt.
     
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  5. Mar 2, 2018 #5

    ACBEV

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    I do a very old fashioned double mash and don't sparge at all. My converion is very good and consistant. You just need to know what your losses are with your equipement.

    For a 5kg brew my losses are...
    5L for grain - 1L per kilo of grain
    2L mash tun dead space
    5.5L Boil off for 60 minutes - 0.091L boil off per minute (0.091 x 60)
    12.5L Total loss

    I aim for 22L in the FV, so 22 + 12.5 = 34.5L total water.

    1st mash (1 hour) @ 2.5L/kg = 12.5L for 5kg (strike temp)
    1st mash top-up and stir after 1 hour = 7L (total water - 1st mash - 2nd mash = top-up) (2c above mash temp)
    2nd mash (1 hour) = 15L (2c above mash temp)

    Wort collected for boiling = 27.5L

    Simples...
     
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  6. Mar 2, 2018 #6

    jjsh

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    Thanks for all the replies; really helpful! I think I need to do some measuring of my equipment as has been suggested, as my figures look a bit off. It is a low gravity beer (a mild) and its a 90 min boil. Does anyone here use a 30L Burco Cygnet and can give me a useful starting point for estimating boil off? I will of course measure it properly after my first run. In the meantime, I need to actually measure the dead space in my mash tun.
     
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  7. Mar 3, 2018 #7

    svenito

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    I will give this technique a try at some point soon. Sounds good. So there's no 75C mashout?
     
  8. Mar 3, 2018 #8

    ACBEV

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    No. I don't bother with a mashout.
     
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  9. Mar 3, 2018 #9

    IainM

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    Like Ciaran, I find that batch sparges have higher efficiency, 80%+ for up to a 6%-ish beer. The rule-of-thumb I use is to draw off half the wort in the first runnings and the second half from a batch sparge. The batch sparge is the mash out, so I use water of about 80C.

    As a hypothetical example:
    If I want 20L in the fv and have boil off of 3L and losses of 2L, then I need 25L wort. I find grain absorption to be around 0.8L/kg, so a 5kg grain bill will absorb 4L. Thus, I would dough in with (25/2)+4=16.5L, then sparge with (25/2)=12.5L at 80C.

    I find the key to high efficiencies for BIAB is to use finely crushed grain and to squeeze the hell out of the grain after the first runnings and after the sparge.
     
  10. Mar 3, 2018 #10

    ACBEV

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    I would do a test boil with plain water... 25L for 60 minutes. This would give you a starting point for wort boil off, would be closer than guessing. If you were left with 20L after 60 minutes, boil off would be 0.083L per minute, so 90 minutes would be 7.5L. Measure again when boiling wort!

    This also gives you a chance to test the boiler before brew day. My boiler overheats and cuts out if on a flat surface, so I've mounted mine on two wooden blocks, so hot air can escape from underneath, this prevents overheating.

    Another good tip... Get a small 5 0r 6 inch fan and point it at the wort before it starts to boil, this will prevent boil over. You can turn the fan off when the boil settles a bit.
     
  11. Mar 3, 2018 #11

    Clint

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    My first few ag brews were sparged with a single volume which gave me consistent efficiency of around 68%. After forum help and rereading my brew books I split the sparge into approx 2 x 10 litres and my efficiency rose to 75%.
     
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  12. Mar 13, 2018 #12

    svenito

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    Just finished a brewday and tried this method. Managed to only get 63% efficiency though. I was aiming for 22liters to FV and mashed in at 65C with 19liters, first sparge 10l with 80C, second 10l with 78C. Each time did 4 700ml vorlauf and added them back into the mash.

    Now my mash's pH was around 5.6, which was a little higher than I expected, but not by much. I stirred well during all the water additions and let the mashtun drain slowly but steadily.

    The only other thing that caught me out was misjudging the boil off rate. I had it set to 6l per hour in brewersfriend, but it was more like 3l. So I guess that probably caused the low efficiency?

    Any further advice on how I could improve my efficiency?

    My grain is bought crushed from the Malt Miller.
     
  13. Mar 13, 2018 #13

    Ciaran12s

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    Did you end up with 25L in your fv? How did you calculate your effeciency? Did you account for the extra 3 litres when calculating effeciency?

    My second attempt at batch sparging left about 5 litres over. I aimed for 25 and finished off at 28 but there was about four left boiler so I could have squeezed 30 out of it. Effeciency for 25 was in the 70's iirc but accounting for the fact I got 28 gave me 79%
     
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  14. Mar 13, 2018 #14

    svenito

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    I adjusted the fv volume now as it is 24 instead of 22. Giving me 68%. Much happier with that.

    Ok, that's a good improvement on previous brews.

    Thanks
     
  15. Mar 13, 2018 #15

    Ciaran12s

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    I only one brew done last month which was my second attempt at batch sparging. They were around 6 weeks apart which wasn't ideal. I've got two weeks off tomorrow and plan to do two brewdays back to back in that time. Depending on other plans I might try and squeeze in a third. I'm hoping that 2 or 3 close together brews will get everything ironed out and I can get all my volumes correct. When my volumes are incorrect I never adjust hop additions/timings/weights. That's gonna throw my recipe off and give considerable inconsistencies so I really do want to get all this nailed down and ironed out. Here's hoping! Im quite happy with the end product regardless!:gulp:
     
  16. Mar 13, 2018 #16

    Fil

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    The simple way to hit volume targets with batch sparging ;)
    by not measuring any volumes till your drawing your first batch of liquor from the tun
    1) make a dipstick (there is a brewers term ulling stick??) for your kettle. OR
    2) calibrate volume markings in a FV

    3) fill up your hlt/kettle and heat upto strike temp (circa71c for a 67.6C mash)
    4) Mash in with enough liquor to provide a good mash consistency and Mash.

    Sparging
    5) sparge temp upto 85c (denaturing temp) fwiw i generally sparge @ 78c for ales..
    6) for batch sparge #1 top up the tun to the rim, Stir/mix in and let stand/settle for 20-30 mins
    7) 1st time to measure a volume.. Draw off the 1st batch runings, into the calibrated FV or the kettle with an ulling/dipstick.. jugging back the first draw till its bit free.
    And when the tun is drained note the volume.

    Now for the complex calculations..

    you know your target preboil volume (final volume + boil off) lets say for example its 29l with a 5gallon 23l final volume target and 6l expected boil off.

    so lets call the volume you need for batch #2 X, and the volume you drew off from batch sparge #1 Y

    so: X = PreBoilTarget (29l) - Y

    so if you drew off 17l from batch sparge #1 batch sparge 2 volume should be 29-17 = 12l so measure out 12l for the 2nd batch sparge and your done with volume calculations..
     
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