Quantcast

Sparging

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

vlbaby

Beer Budda
Joined
21/9/04
Messages
560
Reaction score
0
g'day guys,

I have done about 6 AG brews now and I am constantly trying to improve my process in order to produce the best beer possible. But there is one thing that I am unable to sort out from the info I have read here and on the net, and that is when do I stop sparging?

So far I have read numerous thoerys as to how this should be done.

Some say that sparging should be stopped when the SG hits a certain number. That number could be 1.008, 1.010, 1.012, 1.025 depending on the brewer. This idea sounds fair, but in practice is very awkward thing to perform.

Other brewers' methods is based on pH levels, ie stop when pH is above 6 or 6.5 or i don't know? That then requires me to buy a pH meter for sure in order to contantly monitor the pH levels whilst sparging.

And the last method I have read about is stop at certain volume, based on your grain size and efficiency. But at this point i really dont know what the correct volume is.

All these people cannot be right! There must be a right and a wrong way to do this.

At the risk of confusing myself further, I would like to from you guys what the correct way should be, or if i'm dreaming and there is no "correct" way for anything in brewing.

Totally confused. :huh: :blink:

Vlbaby.
 

Linz

Well-Known Member
Joined
11/12/02
Messages
2,609
Reaction score
5
Not the "correct" way but I always shot for volume and work out efficiency and it "seems" to work for me

Just as confused too
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
Joined
12/9/03
Messages
1,490
Reaction score
1
Yep I agree with Linz, I sparge until I have my preboil volume (27L). The only time I pay attention to the SG of the runnings is for low OG beers (< 1.042 or so) where you could end up running a lot of sparge water through the grain bed for no benefit and risk extracting tannins. I've not messed about with the pro's & con's of these but sparging to my target volume has worked fine to date.
 

onescooter

Well-Known Member
Joined
10/11/04
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
vlbaby,
Being about the same position as you having only done 6 AG's I too am confused about the fly sparging technique. I have watched experienced guys use this method and just taste the runnings to find out if they should stop. But me being inexperienced, I don't know exactly when that is.
I have know tried batch sparging ( http://www.grainandgrape.com.au/articles_o...ch_sparge01.htm ).
I find this so far to be a fairly easy method of doing sparging. I don't konw if I'm doing it 100% correctly but by the sounds of it there is no definate way of sparging anyway.
If you're interested give it a go and see what you think. My beers are no worse off for doing it.
 

vlbaby

Beer Budda
Joined
21/9/04
Messages
560
Reaction score
0
Yep I agree with Linz, I sparge until I have my preboil volume (27L).
How did you decide on that particular volume JasonY ?

If you are doing say a 23L batch, would you determine this preboil volume based on your evap rates? Because I figure that if you have high evap rates, and you compensate for this by sparging more, then you have compromised your wort quality just because you have a thirsty boiler.

vlbaby.
 

Batz

Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav
Joined
8/8/03
Messages
12,728
Reaction score
1,415
I too batch sparge till I get my required volume

I beleive a lot of newer brewers go wrong in thier boil time , get stuck with " shall I boil 60 min or 90 min ?

Here's what to do the first couple of times.Make yourself a dip stick ( mash paddle handle works well)
You know your finish boil volume , boil for your 60 mins. then start checking your volume while the boil is happening , when you reach your volume stop the boil.

You will find your % will be very close or spot on.

I know this will be difficult will late hop addition brews ( start by doing an Alt) , but once you have done it once or twice you will have it down to pat.

Even if using Beersmith or Promash this is a good check.

Batz
 

Sean

Well-Known Member
Joined
8/10/04
Messages
441
Reaction score
2
I stop when either:
The copper is full (or as close to full as one can afford to be - 28 litres)
or
The runnings get close to 1010.
whichever comes first.

In practice it's the former except with very weak beers, but buying a refractometer has made checking the latter much easier. Before then I'd rely quite heavily on watching the change in colour and taste.
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
Joined
12/9/03
Messages
1,490
Reaction score
1
vlbaby said:
How did you decide on that particular volume JasonY ?
It all comes down to your system and experience. In my case I aim to have 23L sitting in the boiler at the end of my boil (so when formulating the recipe in promash my batch size is 23L). Now in general I lose 3L in the break and hops at the bottom of the kettle and what is left in the CFC. So I end up with 20L in the fermenter which is perfect for filling a keg :)

As Batz said pay attention to a couple of brews in terms of pre and post boil volumes and you should be able to work out your evaporatoin rate from there. I personally work of a rate of X L/hr I find this is more consistent than using %/hr. In my case I work on 3.8L per hour, so with my average 75min boil a volume between 27 to 28L usually works out spot on.

hope that helps.
 

Trev

Well-Known Member
Joined
11/12/02
Messages
383
Reaction score
1
Maybe one of the first things to do whilst you're still trying to get a handle on all this mash/sparge/all-grain busines is to just assume a low efficiency.

If you add say 10% more grain that your calcs tell you, you're still only a dollar or two more expensive. Set your efficiency at say 60%, work out the sparge etc and just go for it. If you leave a fair bit of fermentables in the mash so what!

Once you get a handle on your real efficiency you can start being more aggresive in the amount of grain needed.

Keep an eye on the SG of the runoff, just don't let it get too low, maybe 1016 or so and see how you go.

I guess the important thing to keep in mind is that even if you sparge just a bit too much, you're still going to end up with a half decent beer. Err on the side of caution to begin with and adjust your technique based upon your results.

Oh yes - and try batch sparging, it may be less efficient but it's easier to get under control.

Trev
 

Latest posts

Top