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Maintain the Rage!
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Well, did my 2nd AG on Saturday, an APA style with Centennial and Cascade hops and Marris Otter as the main malt. Things ran more smoothly than my first effort (which wasn't too bad!) and I was within 250mls of my target into the fermenter :) and 2 points of my target gravity :) so I'm very happy.

I am still struggling with the 'recirculation' stage in terms of getting my wort really clear. Never having sat in on an experienced AGer's brew day I'm still a little unsure as to exactly how clear is clear enough, but I am worried I'm not quite there. Following advice from this forum after my first attempt I was more gentle with the ball valve, only opening it a little at a time and running it slowly. It was better than my first attempt but I did still get some very small particulant matter into the final boil, even after recirculating about 7 or 8 times, approx 700mls each time. Palmer says it should be cloudy (which it was) but to avoid grain particles. I got rid of most but not all the really tiny bits. Ended up skimming with a fine strainer.

What is everybody elses experience of this? I'm using a copper manifold with hacksaw slots (slots facing bottom of tun) and batch sparging. Am I worrying too much here? There wasn't heaps of grainy bits, but still some. Any tips?

Thanks in advance,

Hi gough,
you wrote palmer says it should be cloudy, that should read it should 'not' be cloudy. He writes it will be hazy but not cloudy.
I often still end up with a few grain particles but the wort is always quite clear.
I wouldn't worry top much if you get a few grain particles if the wort is quite clear.
So aim to get it as clear as you can and don't worry if there is a few bigger grainy bits floating around, just as long as you don't get tiny bits clouding the whole wort.
anyway it sounds like your brews are going pretty well.

Cheers Jayse
Thanks for that Jayse. Guess I misunderstood Palmer. I would describe my runnings as 'hazy' rather than 'cloudy' after recirculation so that makes me feel a bit better. I guess I'll know if things have gone bad when I start drinking my first effort in a few weeks time.

Thanks for the feedback - any other views also welcome,

Sounds good Shawn, when i was doing partials i used the same slotted copper pipe manifold and found that after about 2 litres of very slow runnings the wort went from cloudy to fairly clear/clean to hazzy not cloudy, but it sounds like u have cracked it. Now i have got all the AG set up i use a 32mm DIA. piece of S/S braided hose, that goes the length of my 55 litre esky.
I was just wondering what you and the other bloke use to heat your mash/sparge water?
'I was just wondering what you and the other bloke use to heat your mash/sparge water?'


I have a fairly low tech brewery, but it has been working OK so far. I use my old 20 litre pot that I've used for partials/extract brews to heat my sparge water. I'm brewing 22 litre batches which is well within the capacity of my setup until I get more confident/ambitious, and the ol' 20 litre pot has been great so far. On Sat. I heated 15 litres of strike water, then around 7 litres of mashout water, and then just on 16 litres for my sparge. Ended up with just on the 22 litres I was after so was happy. My old boil pot was able to cope with these quantities just fine. I'm doing my full boils in a converted keg I got from my local - just asked the publican and he was happy to donate it.

I might try the ss braid manifold later on, but I think I'll persevere for the moment. So far so good :)

How have your AG's been going?

SJW - when at Snow's partial mash day, he stated that he wraps his grain bag around the manifold. Sounds like a good idea to me.
I am just about ready to do the Oatmeal stout, all i need to do is to a test boil to clean everything out and fine about 4 hours with no kids around to give it a crack. I guess i will use my old 19 litre pot to heat water, i just dont like the idea of walking around and lifting all that water into the esky when i would be heaps better just to have it simering away just above the mash tun ready to dump in. But i will work on the fully automated set up later. I dont think i will do a mash out though, as it will be easier to heat all the sparge water together to the one temp.
Also with beersmith it works out your sparge water based on the final volume required so you should not have to add any top up water. I asked this question before about sparge water amounts but is there a point where you should stop adding sparge water to make up the boil vol? it was sugested that at about 1010 is a good place to stop but i think this would be hard to work out as the wort temp would be about 75 deg C. Just to prove the point i did a test brew on Beersmith with a final volume set at 50 litres and a max boil cap. at 50 litres and it said to sparge with about 51 litres of water. Now i am sure that after sparging with that much water it would almost be crystal clear. Interesting

I'm using beersmith and I'm not using any top up water. It is an excellent program and has been spot on so far. Any errors have been of my making, not its. My experience would suggest you can be generous on the water side - you'll probably need more, not less, especially the first time. Or maybe that was just me :rolleyes: On my first attempt I ended up with less in my fermenter than I was expecting, so I adjusted my gear specs in the software (esp. boiloff) and it was much better this time.

I just did the mashout to ease the burden on the sparge water pot and to bring the water quantities up as suggested in Steve Nicholls article on batch sparging from the grain and grape website. Basically using a combination of Nicholls' and Palmer's batch sparging techiniques - they both are pretty straightforward and have worked well for me so far. I'm draining twice - once with original water + mash out and once with remaining sparge water. Brewsmith predicted 1.051 OG and I hit 1.049. This works out at 70% efficiency according to beersmith which is nothing to brag about, but hey, this was only my 2nd go...

I batch sparge and open the tap as wide as it will go. I recirculate between 2-4 litres before running it into the brewpot.

My take on batch sparging (using SS braid) is at:

brewiki: batch sparge
For what it's worth, I don't recirculate at all. I rinse out a fine mesh hop bag in Star San, let it air dry, and then tie the bag to the end of my transfer tubing. Run the wort from the mash tun to the kettle. Never get any grain into the wort and beer taste great. :chug:
G'day Brewbuddy,

Sounds like a good solution. Do you have any troubles with hot side aeration when running the hot wort through the bag? If not then it might be worth a try.


No, I just lay it in the bottom of the kettle and start the flow, real smooth and no air bubbles. Nice clean wort to start the boil.
For the next brew, I'll try wrapping a grain bag around the mash tun's false bottom. Leon at ESB in Ranwick demonstrated this on a demo day. The first runnings were clear and he saw no need to recirculate.
I like that idea too, would lessen the possibility of a stuck sparge. I might give that a try. :)
I reckon hot hsa is a myth my firstmash brew i thought would have heaps of hsa by the way i brewed and it was the best beer i brewed and won a silver medal at a comp
Well HSA can't be much of a problem pre-boil as the boiling will knock most of the oxygen out of the wort.
jgriffin said:
Well HSA can't be much of a problem pre-boil as the boiling will knock most of the oxygen out of the wort.
Hi John

From memory, this is not quite right. Once the oxidation has occured in the mash, the oxygen is bound and will not be released by boiling. Even the action of boiling can introduce small (trivial for home brewers) oxygen into the wort.

doubt any oxidation occurs in the short rest time of a HB mash

Jovial Monk

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