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Braumeister Sparging Tip

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SJW

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My first 3 brews on the BM I have slowly crept up to 85% efficiency, but yesterday I made a near fatal mistake. It was a bit of a test to see how efficient or how useful sparging is with the BM. Mainly because I listened to a Basic Brewing podcast on full volume mash's.
Anyway I mashed in with 26 litres and after the mash I lifted the malt pipe and basically dumped 9 litres of 78 deg sparge water in the top of the malt pipe. Usually I would do this part very slow. Anyway on checking my preboil gravity it was way down. So much so that the last of the runnings were 1.045 and the gravity of the wort was only 1.035.
So it should go without saying "sparge slow" even with the BM.
To save my brew I just recirculated a few litres of wort through the mash and added a bit of dex.

Steve
 

Batz

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My first 3 brews on the BM I have slowly crept up to 85% efficiency, but yesterday I made a near fatal mistake. It was a bit of a test to see how efficient or how useful sparging is with the BM. Mainly because I listened to a Basic Brewing podcast on full volume mash's.
Anyway I mashed in with 26 litres and after the mash I lifted the malt pipe and basically dumped 9 litres of 78 deg sparge water in the top of the malt pipe. Usually I would do this part very slow. Anyway on checking my preboil gravity it was way down. So much so that the last of the runnings were 1.045 and the gravity of the wort was only 1.035.
So it should go without saying "sparge slow" even with the BM.
To save my brew I just recirculated a few litres of wort through the mash and added a bit of dex.

Steve

Nine litres sounds a lot Steve, I sparge with three litres with my 50lt BM.
 

doon

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I mash in with 23 litres and sparge with up to 9 litres
 

Murdoch

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I have sparged up to 16L in the 50L
After sparging I let the malt tube drain in a cut off 60L fermenter to catch another 1-1.5L
This measured 1026 so I`m thinking theres room to sparge a bit more ?
I do salt treat & lower the PH of my sparge water
 

SJW

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And I guess u guys sparge slow? and do u use anything special to pour the water in? like a water can maybe?

Steve
 

doon

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I just lift up malt pipe and leave both filters on top then put two litres in at a time and wait for that to go through the top filter then add another two.
 

Malted

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So much so that the last of the runnings were 1.045 and the gravity of the wort was only 1.035.
And this is what it is all about, not wasting sugars. I have sparged into a bucket with a couple of litres at a time, checking the gravity each time and it is amazing how much sparge water can go through and still bring sugars out. I think the lowest I got down to was 1.020.

Isn't conventional wisdom for conventional brewing that you should keep sparging until you get near 1.010 gravity because tannins will be extracted then onwards (or something like that). It would be dependednt upon grist and mash schedules as these variables (and others) would affect the amount of sugars remaining in the mash. YRMV so maybe that is why they look at (or quote) the gravity of the runnings instead of the volume?

Nine litres sounds a lot Steve, I sparge with three litres with my 50lt BM.
Really? You must do a lot of high gravity brews? Or do you boil with the lid partly on?

With a 50L BM: If you account just for grain absorbtion you would want around >10L sparge and if you want to bottle/keg 50L you need to also account for evaporation during the boil, cooling loss, kettle trub loss, fermenter break/yeast/hops loss. It is not unusual for me to sparge with 20L. Probaly 6L or so would be sparged into a bucket and added near the end of the boil on a need be basis (tip from MHB).

So I can sparge with up to 40% (20L) of the total volume with my 50L BM. 8L of sparge in a 20L BM is 40%, so 9L sounds reasonable to me.

Even if you don't want the sparge in the brew, don't waste the sugars, sparge into a bucket because you can use that ~1.045 OG (OG of runnings would depend on many variables) stuff in another boil with it watered down for starters or even treat it as a partigyle?
 

SJW

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It would be good to make a bottom pklate with an orifice plate or similar so you can do a real slow sparge.
 

Batz

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And this is what it is all about, not wasting sugars. I have sparged into a bucket with a couple of litres at a time, checking the gravity each time and it is amazing how much sparge water can go through and still bring sugars out. I think the lowest I got down to was 1.020.

Isn't conventional wisdom for conventional brewing that you should keep sparging until you get near 1.010 gravity because tannins will be extracted then onwards (or something like that). It would be dependednt upon grist and mash schedules as these variables (and others) would affect the amount of sugars remaining in the mash. YRMV so maybe that is why they look at (or quote) the gravity of the runnings instead of the volume?


Really? You must do a lot of high gravity brews? Or do you boil with the lid partly on?

With a 50L BM: If you account just for grain absorbtion you would want around >10L sparge and if you want to bottle/keg 50L you need to also account for evaporation during the boil, cooling loss, kettle trub loss, fermenter break/yeast/hops loss. It is not unusual for me to sparge with 20L. Probaly 6L or so would be sparged into a bucket and added near the end of the boil on a need be basis (tip from MHB).

So I can sparge with up to 40% (20L) of the total volume with my 50L BM. 8L of sparge in a 20L BM is 40%, so 9L sounds reasonable to me.

Even if you don't want the sparge in the brew, don't waste the sugars, sparge into a bucket because you can use that ~1.045 OG (OG of runnings would depend on many variables) stuff in another boil with it watered down for starters or even treat it as a partigyle?

Boil with the lid partly on? I don't think so.
I believe most off the sugars are removed from the grain after the mash is finished and only a flush with a few litres is required to rinse the remaining sugars from the grain. I don't like to over sparge if it's not required, and yes I do top up the water during the boil. Not the way for everyone perhaps, but I get good efficiently and hit all my targets.
 

ged

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Don't forget the other tip to remove the top filter plates and adjust the grain bed to cover over the "hole" in the centre of the grain bed where the middle bar sits. If you don't do this the water just takes the path of least resistance. Once done, put both filter plates back on and pour spare water on top. Nice slow sparge. Since doing this I've hit into the 80s for efficiency.
 

SJW

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Don't forget the other tip to remove the top filter plates and adjust the grain bed to cover over the "hole" in the centre of the grain bed where the middle bar sits. If you don't do this the water just takes the path of least resistance. Once done, put both filter plates back on and pour spare water on top. Nice slow sparge. Since doing this I've hit into the 80s for efficiency.
And thats what I did not do ged. Even though the centre pole still sticks into the mash, yes it would and did just channel straight through.
All this said its very easy to hit 80% eff with these things, and thats more than I ever got with the 3v.
Another thought, as there is a lot of flavour in the husks of the darker malts, I wonder if we would getting less malty, or at least a different flavour, beers as the efficiency goes up as we are using less grain?

Steve
 

MHB

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For normal beer (1.045-1.055) I sparge with 1 L/Kg of grain, just lift the malt pipe up on to the support and pour the 10 L of preheated sparge water into the top.
The central spindle is still well up into the grain bed, there is no need to muck about with the grain bed.
When the Braumeister is getting close to boiling I lift the malt pipe out and rest it on the lid which is sitting on a bucket. If you are careful you can arrange things so both of the vents in the Braumeister lid are over the bucket and the malt pipe has one of the vents under it and one outside. Any sweet water can run into the bucket through the vent and the open vent stops any pressure building up.
Been brewing this way on my Braumeister for 6 years now consistently hitting 80+% efficiency, its easy and stops people doing dumb shit like putting the lid on when Im not looking.
About 10 minutes from the end of boil just toss the liquor in the bucket into the boil, its had the best part of an hour to an hour and a half to drain so you are getting most of what there is to get.
 

Mearesy

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I do exactly as MHB describes. Last brew I hit 87% efficiency :beerbang:
 

SJW

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yep, thats what I have been doing too Mark, thats how I found out the last of the runnings from the mash were still 1.045. I should not of dumped 9 litres straight onto the mash when sparging.
 

MHB

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This is where it gets entertaining, when dealing with full volume mashing (or near to it) you can get into a loop if youre not careful, within certain limitations (all within the Braumeisters capacity) it goes something like this: -
The concentration of sugars in the malt at the end of a mash cycle is going to be nearly the same as the concentration in the mash liquor.
The higher the mash in ratio the lower the concentration of sugars left in the expended malt the lower the gravity of any sparge.
The lower the mash in ratio the higher the concentration of sugars left in the expended malt the higher the gravity of any sparge.
If you take water out of the mash in and divert it to sparging where is the net gain, are we just talking about robbing Peter to pay Paul as the old saw goes? Naturally the higher the concentration of extract still in the grain the harder it is to get out, the slower you need to sparge to my mind the less reason to own a Braumeister in the first place.
If you muck about with the numbers I think you will find you get the same answer or pretty dam close to it. What we need to look at is the net yield and the amount of extra frigging about we need to do to get any improvement in yield, frankly I wont be doing much because no matter what you do at best you might get 5% more extract so the difference between an 80% and 85% yield from 10 Kg of malt is 400g of extract or a Kg of malt or call it $1.50-$2 worth couldnt be arsed.
Mark

Sorry - Half of the last if you brew on a 20L Braumeister (tend to think in 50L terms)
M
 

SJW

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This is where it gets entertaining, when dealing with full volume mashing (or near to it) you can get into a loop if youre not careful, within certain limitations (all within the Braumeisters capacity) it goes something like this: -
The concentration of sugars in the malt at the end of a mash cycle is going to be nearly the same as the concentration in the mash liquor.
The higher the mash in ratio the lower the concentration of sugars left in the expended malt the lower the gravity of any sparge.
The lower the mash in ratio the higher the concentration of sugars left in the expended malt the higher the gravity of any sparge.
If you take water out of the mash in and divert it to sparging where is the net gain, are we just talking about robbing Peter to pay Paul as the old saw goes? Naturally the higher the concentration of extract still in the grain the harder it is to get out, the slower you need to sparge to my mind the less reason to own a Braumeister in the first place.
If you muck about with the numbers I think you will find you get the same answer or pretty dam close to it. What we need to look at is the net yield and the amount of extra frigging about we need to do to get any improvement in yield, frankly I wont be doing much because no matter what you do at best you might get 5% more extract so the difference between an 80% and 85% yield from 10 Kg of malt is 400g of extract or a Kg of malt or call it $1.50-$2 worth couldnt be arsed.
Mark

Sorry - Half of the last if you brew on a 20L Braumeister (tend to think in 50L terms)
M
Another consideration is with a high water to grain ratio maybe a longer mash is required as the enzymes are more spread out in the water. Thats leads to other potential problems, with Pilsner style and lighter beers, is the possible extraction of tannins by mashing longer. I guess we are playing with semantics now but it all needs to be considered within reason, I guess.

Steve
 

seamad

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Although i dont have a braumeister just my converted crown blackdog brewmaster, it works the same. For most brews @ 1050 FG I start with just under 32 l strike water and sparge with 2 l of water to get 22 l in the fermenter. Getting between 80-85% effeciency with no dicking around. Would agree with mark about having a higher water grain water ratio to start with and because of the circulation wouldnt think ther woukd be any adverse effects on enzyme availability. The only beer i spatged with more water was over106, and that was mainly for getting a starter. I would assume batz probably starting with more water than those sparging with large amounts .
I must also note that with my superior design ( haha :) ) i dont have a central pole to worry about, just hoist pipe and pour sparge water slowly onto the top filter.
Cheers
Sean
 

SJW

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Although i dont have a braumeister just my converted crown blackdog brewmaster, it works the same. For most brews @ 1050 FG I start with just under 32 l strike water and sparge with 2 l of water to get 22 l in the fermenter. Getting between 80-85% effeciency with no dicking around. Would agree with mark about having a higher water grain water ratio to start with and because of the circulation wouldnt think ther woukd be any adverse effects on enzyme availability. The only beer i spatged with more water was over106, and that was mainly for getting a starter. I would assume batz probably starting with more water than those sparging with large amounts .
I must also note that with my superior design ( haha :) ) i dont have a central pole to worry about, just hoist pipe and pour sparge water slowly onto the top filter.
Cheers
Sean
Thanks for the feedback Sean, the problem with the 20 litre BM is we are limited to about 27 litres of mash water before the water level is close to the top of the malt pipe. This is the theory I am working on now anyway. ie, mash with max water and sparge with a minimum.

Steve
 

seamad

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Steve,
Does the 20 l model mean 20 l into the fermenter or finished product?

If 20 into fermenter then not much under what i' m doing i guess by the time boil loss etc taken into account.

On home brew scale differences in effiency are more to do with hairy chest thumping ego feeding than anything meaningful unless you are getting 60% ..

The whole reason for brewmeisters and copies like mine is to make brewing simpler and more consistent/ repeatable. In truth the reason i sparge with 2 l is i find it easy to get sparge temp correct by filling a two l jug with kettle boiled water to point x and topping with tap water and pH adjustment.
Cheers
Sean
 

SJW

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Sean, I think the Germans are just being very conservative when they say 20 litres. I set Beersmith up to end up with 25 litres in the kettle (BM), with 3 litres left in the BM. I get the rest in the fermenter. Could do a bigger volume I guess but I only need 19.5 into the keg.
So with 5.5kgs of grain in the malt pipe i could squeeze 28 litres of mash water in but I like to work with 26 litres, and sparge with about 9.5, this gives me pre boil volume of 30.5. After the boil I am left with about 25 litres.
But to answer your question I have marks on my centre post up to 35 litres with a bit extra.
 

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