to sparge or not ! Appreciate a bit of advice fellas ....

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Marky B

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Just started on a very pleasurable retirement hobby of all grain brewing - sure beats the 9 to 5 rat race and could do with a bit of advice from the more experienced who hang out here ! I have a robobrew rig which does all the various steps of mash, sparge, boil etc. So instead of doing a mash with approx 2/3 of the water and then sparge with the other 1/3 why can't you just mash in with the total amount of pre boil water and eliminate the sparge step ? Appreciate and feedback !
 

Hanglow

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You certainly can, have a search for no-sparge brewing. You might not get as good efficiency as you would with sparging, but grain is very cheap and you might well prefer to save the time by not sparging.
 

Marky B

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You certainly can, have a search for no-sparge brewing. You might not get as good efficiency as you would with sparging, but grain is very cheap and you might well prefer to save the time by not sparging.
thanks for the advice !
 

MmmBeer

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Hi Marky, welcome to the forum. You can skip the sparge step if you want to and still make good beer, you will just get slightly less extract (sugars etc.) from the grains. Homebrewing practices mirror commercial practices, where every cost saving is vital for the bottom line. So try it, add 5 or 10% extra grain and see how it affects the OG of the wort.
 

foxy

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Just started on a very pleasurable retirement hobby of all grain brewing - sure beats the 9 to 5 rat race and could do with a bit of advice from the more experienced who hang out here ! I have a robobrew rig which does all the various steps of mash, sparge, boil etc. So instead of doing a mash with approx 2/3 of the water and then sparge with the other 1/3 why can't you just mash in with the total amount of pre boil water and eliminate the sparge step ? Appreciate and feedback !
You cannot just mash in to the preboil liquor, you are going to have a loss to grain ratio, this you are going to take into account. Not only can you brew beer using the no sparge methodit can be argued you will be brewing a superior beer. As mentioned above the downside is you'r efficiency will suffer but at little cost this can me reclaimed by the addition of extra grain. Dial in around 60 to 65 % efficiency on which ever program you are using and you will not be far off. Good luck with your retirement and your hobby.
 

Marky B

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Hi Marky, welcome to the forum. You can skip the sparge step if you want to and still make good beer, you will just get slightly less extract (sugars etc.) from the grains. Homebrewing practices mirror commercial practices, where every cost saving is vital for the bottom line. So try it, add 5 or 10% extra grain and see how it affects the OG of the wort.
marvellous thanks for the advice !
 

Marky B

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You cannot just mash in to the preboil liquor, you are going to have a loss to grain ratio, this you are going to take into account. Not only can you brew beer using the no sparge methodit can be argued you will be brewing a superior beer. As mentioned above the downside is you'r efficiency will suffer but at little cost this can me reclaimed by the addition of extra grain. Dial in around 60 to 65 % efficiency on which ever program you are using and you will not be far off. Good luck with your retirement and your hobby.
Very helpful thank you !
 

BeerCat

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I recently experimented with full volume mashing and found i get the same efficiency. Just mash for longer, as its more diluted it takes longer for the enzymes to work. Generally i mash for at least 90 minutes sometimes more and do a mashout if you can. Reliably gives me an extra 4 points.
 

Charles Stanley-Grey

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This may be a stupid question..... but what's the difference between a mash out and a too hot mash temp?

I hear lots of talk of strict control of mash temps to prevent extraction of non fermentabke sugars, but mashing out seems to involve the very temperature spike your trying to avoid?

Also one things I will pitch in, I sparge not because I want to particularly, but because I cannot fit my target volume and my grain in at the same time in my mash kettle, so it's sparge or make less beer.
 

Marky B

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You certainly can, have a search for no-sparge brewing. You might not get as good efficiency as you would with sparging, but grain is very cheap and you might well prefer to save the time by not sparging.
Brill thanks a lot !
 

Marky B

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You certainly can, have a search for no-sparge brewing. You might not get as good efficiency as you would with sparging, but grain is very cheap and you might well prefer to save the time by not sparging.
Thanks very much
 

Marky B

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Hi Marky, welcome to the forum. You can skip the sparge step if you want to and still make good beer, you will just get slightly less extract (sugars etc.) from the grains. Homebrewing practices mirror commercial practices, where every cost saving is vital for the bottom line. So try it, add 5 or 10% extra grain and see how it affects the OG of the wort.
great stuff thanks !
 

the baron

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Some good advice on here, I would just like to add that as Foxy said drop the efficiency down to 60 t0 65% but my main advice is watch your PH on full volume as I did have problems with astringency so I started using just over 60% RO water and this did cure it. After that I started using 15litres of tap water to mash plus 4litres of bottled water and then sparge with 12 to 14 litres depending on what I wanted to the FV and this cured the astringency issue too. It all depends on your tap water.
 

Hazelwood Brewery

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This may be a stupid question..... but what's the difference between a mash out and a too hot mash temp?

I hear lots of talk of strict control of mash temps to prevent extraction of non fermentabke sugars, but mashing out seems to involve the very temperature spike your trying to avoid?

Also one things I will pitch in, I sparge not because I want to particularly, but because I cannot fit my target volume and my grain in at the same time in my mash kettle, so it's sparge or make less beer.
As you said yourself too hot a mash temperature and you’ll end up with a higher proportion of non fermentable sugars, take that temperature higher and you’ll deactivate the enzymes that extract sugars from the grain...

For mashing your temperature range is 60-70C or 140-160F. The lower range will give you a more crisp and less malty beer and pretty much all the sugar will be fermentable. The upper range will give you more malt and more body but more of the sugar will not be fermentable.

At the end of the mash comes the mash-out if you choose to do it. At this point your mash is complete so although raising the temperature will deactive the enzymes you don’t really care. The advantage is that the higher temperature lowers the viscosity of the wort making it easier to flush out all the sugars from the grain and improving efficiency. The temperature of 170F is important because any higher and you risk releasing tannins in the grain husks - this will make your beer bitter.

If you do a mash out I think people tend to hold the temperature at 170F for maybe 10 minutes.

I don’t mash out often but then I don’t tend to worry about efficiency either. I’ve worked it out a few times - it’s good enough and it’s pretty consistent which is probably more important.
 

MmmBeer

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Foxy...why could it be a superior beer?
Oversparging can cause tannins to be leached out from the grain husks, which can lead to astrigency and haze. It is recommended to stop sparging when the OG of the spargings drops to 1.008, but who actually measures this?

Not sure if this is what Foxy was implying, but there is some logic to it.
 

Ghillie

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If you don't sparge, you essentially leave carbohydrates in the grain bed. Sparging rinses those residual carbohydrates out.

Mash viscosity is a big thing too, too thick (or thin in the case of a full volume mash) will negatively impact BH efficiency. BH efficiency on HB scales is really a non-issue, given that it's primarily a financial economy exercise. Providing you can keep it consistent, you're laughing.
 

Hanglow

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It's mainly too high pH that is more the problem, that can lead to astringency. Think of decoctions, plenty of great beers are made with decoctions which is where a portion of the mash is boiled. You want to ensure that the sparge/mashout water is the same pH as the mash - or really just that it doesn't have too much residual alkalinity.

One of the big benefits we have as homebrewers over commercial breweries is we don't really need to worry about efficiency too much. Paying £7 for grain for 40 pints is not really much different than paying £5 and taking longer
 

Marky B

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You certainly can, have a search for no-sparge brewing. You might not get as good efficiency as you would with sparging, but grain is very cheap and you might well prefer to save the time by not sparging.
Thanks muchly for the advice
 
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