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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * March 02, 2004 * How much effeciency do you lose with batch sparging? < Previous Next >

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Chad Dickinson (207.206.223.94)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 09:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I recently did a scottish ale with 28 pounds of grain (including specialty grains). It called for 22 pounds of US 2 row for a 10 gallon batch, and I used 23 pounds, and basically stayed right on schedule for the specialty grains... Target gravity was to be 1.067, and I came up with 1.064, which wasn't too far off.... I batch sparge, and this time didn't let my second and third batches sit in the mash for the recommended 5 mins... maybe this is why I came up short? Also, can someone post the formula for figuring efficiency again? Thanks!

Chad
 

Brandon Dachel (216.177.117.110)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 10:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I lost very little efficiency by switching to batch sparging. My guess however is that the small size of my mash tun is the reason for this - I end up having to add typically 2 charges of water (sometimes 3) instead of just a single charge.

If you begin to get into the 3 charge range you're starting to creep back into the time it takes to do a fly sparge.
 

davidw (199.239.30.126)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 10:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mine actually increased. I could never do much better than 75-76% the first dozen times I fly-sparged. Since switching to batch sparging I get 78-80% consistantly. Granted, the first couple batches I batch sparged were in the low 70's until I started stirring frequently and resting 10 to 15 minutes prior to recirculating and running off.
 

Chad Dickinson (207.206.223.75)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So, it looks like I just need to let it rest a little longer this next time then...I only let it rest about 3-4 mins this last time. And just to make sure I'm doing it right... I just drain my mashtun after the mash, then add 170 deg water for my first "batch", and for every batch after, right?
 

davidw (199.239.30.126)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 11:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sacc. rest, stir, recirculate until clear, drain the tun. Then add your first charge of sparge water, stir, rest, recirc, drain, etc.
 

Chad Dickinson (207.206.223.75)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 11:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

thanks all
 

Jake Virnig (130.76.32.20)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 11:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How much total volume do you guys doing 2 and 3 sparges collect? I think if I tried this I'd need to do at least a 90 minute boil to boil off all the extra water I'd collect assuming around a 1.2 water to grain ratio each time.


Jake
 

Jim Filiault (12.111.160.74)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 12:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jake: Batch sparging actually gives you the ability to pretty accurately predict how much volume you collect. If I want 7 gallons of pre-boil volume, I will collect 3.5 gallons on each of two sparges. The thing to do is after the mash but before the first run off, add back to the mash tun as much water as needed, taking into account grain absorbtion, to get you to 3.5 on the first sparge. Stir the extra water in, let it rest 10- minutes, then drain it. I'll add 3.5 gallons for the next sparge (the grain is already saturated and won't absorb more water), let it rest, then sparge. Now I have exactly 7 gallons of wort. Works like a charm.

Denny can tell you better how to do it and I'd suggest you consult http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 12:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

FWIW, I've been experimenting with rest times for the batch sparge. I've used various increments from 2 min. to 15 min., and haven't found any difference between them.
 

Jim O'Conner (64.70.24.110)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 09:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

davidw, any ideas why allowing a longer rest would produce a higher efficiency?

Also, to no one in particular, don't multiple charges increase the risk of tannin extraction? Are you keeping tabs on the pH when doing multiple sparges?
 

Vance Barnes (69.15.38.210)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 03:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The only way a longer rest could increase effenciency is that it gives the sugars more time to disolve in the liquid. All the conversion should already be done. Maybe you need to stir more? That's usually a hard thing to overcome when swithing from fly to batch. I recirc for 15 minutes and stir multiple times when batch sparging. Didn't notice any difference in effenciency between batch and fly.
 

davidw (199.239.30.126)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 03:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Batch sparging takes advantage of different concentration gradients. After the initial run off you add your first charge of sparge liquor. At that point the grist has a high concentration of sugar while the sparge water has no sugar dissolved in it. The rest time allows the sugar to be 'pulled' out of the grist and into solution. Obviously it is going to take time for the concentration of sugar in the liquor to reach equilibrium with the concentration of sugar dissolved in the grain. It isn't an instantaneous event.

That said, the first couple times I batch sparged I ran off the extract after the sacc. rest, added my first charge of sparge liquor, stirred, recirculated, and ran off again, no rest employed. The three or four batches I did like this only achieved 70-74% efficiency if I recall. Since employing the rest I now get efficiencies on the high end of the 70% range, often 80-82% for OG's in the 1.060's. The rest also gives me a few minutes to get the first runnings on the burner and start to bring it up to a boil.

I also believe a thorough stirring of the mash is advantageous to good extraction when batch sparging. Think of adding a tablespoon of sugar to a cup of hot water. If you just let it sit there it would take considerable time to dissolve. Give it a good stir and it dissolves quickly.

These are just one brewers observations. YMMV.
 

davidw (199.239.30.126)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 03:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Vance did a good job of stating in a concise manner what took me several paragraphs. This is not a surprise, just ask my friends!

I agree that stirring is a good thing. I remember the first time I showed a fly-sparging friend how I mashed. He flipped out, "YOU'RE DISTURBING THE GRAIN BED!" "Hell yes!" was my reply. I love getting the mash rake out and working the grist. It's also nice now that I've switched from my 10 gallon round cooler to a 17.5 gallon rectangular one, more open area to stir the mash thoroughly.
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 04:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As far as I can tell from my recent tests, the rest time before sparge runoff seems to make no difference. Bob Regent, who's done a lot of experiemetation with batch sparging, does no rest at all and says his efficiency doesn't suffer. I've gone with a rest as short as 2 minutes with no change in efficiency. But as everybody has said, stirring is a key factor.

Yes, multiple charge start running the risk of raising pH and extracting tannins. It doesn't happen as easily as with fly sparging, but if you're doing more than one or 2 sparge additions, it would be wise to check pH. Also, if you regularly do more than 2 sparge additions, you should think about getting a larger mash tun so you can get more liqour in the grist in a single addition.
 

Brew Labs (150.159.224.8)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 04:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Sacc. rest, stir, recirculate until clear, drain the tun."

don't you need to let it rest again after you stir after the sacc rest?

or did you mean...dough in, stir, rest, recirc.....etc?
 

davidw (199.239.30.126)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 04:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Over the course of a 60 minute mash I'll stir 3 or 4 times. I then stir one last time prior to beginning the recirculation at the end of the sacc. rest.

The concentration of sugars in the liquid part of the mash would have been established during the sacc. rest itself, so a rest wouldn't be necessary after the final stirring and prior to recirculating and initial run off.
 

Brew Labs (150.159.224.8)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 04:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

gotcha
 

Jake Virnig (130.76.32.144)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 05:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jim-
Cool thanks, I'm going to be doing my third AG batch here soon, and I want to make sure I'm doing this right, get as much of the good stuff out of the grain as I can.

The procedure I've been doing so far has been to do the Sac rest at a ratio of about 1.2 or so. I then add enough boiling water to get to 170 and let that sit for 5 min before recirc and draining. I then add whatever amount of water I need to get to 7 gallons at 170 degrees, stir it up, let it sit a few minutes and drain that into the boil kettle.

It seemed like some folks were doing this last step twice, and either I wouldn't be using much sparge water each time, or I would be colecting a lot more than 7 gallons.

Jake
 

Michael (69.132.111.174)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 05:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Interesting, I batch sparge....however, my efficiency has gone from 75% to ~60% on my last two batches. To the point where I have had to add DME to reach target OG.

As far as batch sparging, I usually have excess capacity in my MLT, so I recirculate after sacc. rest, drain initial runnings, add sparge water @ ~165f (single charge), stir, recirculate, drain to volume in kettle.

The only variable I can tell that has changed the last two batches is that I picked up and used some Briess 2-row for the batches with low efficiency (I typically use a lot of Weyerman's). All single infusion batches and using the batch sparge technique above. Anyone else had an issue with Briess and low extractions? Maybe my sparge temp. is too high?


TIA.
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 05:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Reportedly, last year's barley crop is giving a very low yield of extract. IIRC, Briess seemed to be getting hit worse than others. If your low efficiency corresponds to switching to Briess malt, this might explain it. I'm not seeing it with Great Western or continental malts.
 

Brew Labs (150.159.224.8)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 07:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

micheal

i haven't done an all grain yet, but from what i've read, it looks like your sparge temp is too low. i thought i read "mash out with boiling water and sparge with boiling water"
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 08:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

BL, you don't _necessarily_ want to use boiling water. You want to use whatever temp gets you to about 168F. For me, it can be anywhere from 180 to boiling, depdning on the amount of grist and temp I'm starting at.
 

tranquil_liza (68.40.214.13)
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 01:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

it takes me 8 hours to brew 5 gallons of beer. contained in that 8 hours is the extra 15 minutes it takes me to fly sparge rather than batch sparge.
 

Eric Lord (209.234.86.3)
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 01:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

8 hrs to brew? That's crazy talk! It takes me less than five to brew 10 gal, you must be doing something wrong.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 02:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've never thought that a quick brew session time was the primary goal of homebrewing. If you ask me, "it takes as long as it takes." That said, there are certainly ways to multi-task and speed up the process, but I don't believe they improve the beer and to my thinking they get in the way of RDWHAHB. To each his own, however.

It's interesting that when I brewed for a living I concluded that pro brewers and homebrewers spend approximately the same amount of time on a batch of beer. It's just that the pros have a lot more beer to show for their efforts.
 

Michael (69.132.111.174)
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 02:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Denny. I have some alternate 2-row tommorrow, so we will see,if indeed, it is the low yield of the Briess I picked up.

Yeah, Brew, usually between 165-170....I also mashout around the same for most batches, so my wort s/be in that range when it hits the kettle.
 

Chris Smedley (67.85.185.48)
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 03:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would say that you don't neccesarily lose ANY efficiency batch sparging. My last batch sparge weighed-in right at 78% eff and it was only my second time batch sparging.
 

robert rulmyr (63.156.128.26)
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 12:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's extra work to calculate efficiency, so I don't do it. I have gotten pretty good at hitting the OG I want after 8 ten gallon batches however.

WacoBob
 

Brandon Dachel (216.177.117.110)
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 01:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> from 2 min. to 15 min., and haven't found any
> difference between them.

The only difference I've found is sometimes it takes longer than 2 minutes for the grain bed to settle, depending on the grist.

> it takes me 8 hours to brew 5 gallons of beer.
8 Hours?? I got tow 5 gallon batches done last weekend in that amount of time! I can get a double decoction done in 6. What takes so long?
Are you mashing for 2 hours, boiling for two hours?

> contained in that 8 hours is the extra 15
> minutes it takes me to fly sparge rather than
> batch sparge.

Well, then by all means continue to fly sparge. I did for years. I tried batch sparging once for no particular reason and haven't fly sparged since. No more screwing around with runoff rates and water levels. I had pretty much gotten a handle on tannin extraction so it's simple a convienience thing.
 

Denny Conn (64.28.51.159)
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 06:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

TL, if you like fly sparging, stick with it. I like the ease of batch sparging, combined with lesser equipment requirements. Add in not having to worry about sparge gravity and pH along with some time savings, and I'll never do anything else. I'm curious, though, if you've tried batch sparging. If so, why did you find fly sparging better? If not, why? :)
 

tranquil_liza (68.40.214.13)
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 04:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

denny: no, i've never batch sparged. no reason.
 

Randy McCord (216.174.177.190)
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 05:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I still do the ol' fly sparge method too TL. It probably does take more time, but I enjoy it. I've sparged both ways, but I stuck to fly sparging because it seems to work better for me. I find both methods simple and I've never had trouble with tannin extraction or ph. I don't even check ph and I've never made a beer I didn't like. To me, mashing and sparging are the easiest steps in brewing beer. I don't mind spending 8 hours in the garage drinking and making my beer. Yes, it takes me about 8 hours too, but I don't prepair much ahead of time and I'm just plain SLOW!
 

Michael (69.132.111.174)
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 03:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>>If your low efficiency corresponds to switching to Briess malt, this might explain it.>>>

Well, brewed up 14 up gallons of an APA yesterday ....hit all my numbers perfectly (my normal 75% efficiency). The only difference being that I was using my normal 2-row (Cargill). Looks like there might have been an issue with the particular lot of Briess I had used.
 

Eric Lord (209.234.86.3)
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 07:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have fly sparged for several years now, but have tried batch sparging a couple of times. Why is ph levels and tannins an issue? As long as you don't raise the temp of the grain bed above 170deg, shouldn't you be ok? And why would more than two charges make a difference?
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 12:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The more sparge charges you add, the more you're diluting the buffering power of the grain, just like in fly sparging.

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