Multiple sparges?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Hoptonium, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. Hoptonium

    Hoptonium New Member

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    Greetings Brewers,

    I brewed a partial mash IPA this weekend and I have a question on batch sparging. I use a picnic cooler Mash Tun and do a strike and a single sparge. For this brew I took samples of the first and second runnings to measure the gravity of each - just to see myself how much I am getting in that single sparge. Here's the recipe:
    5 kg Weyermann Pale Ale
    0.5 kg Stamag Melanoidin
    0.2 kg Crisp Malting Maris Otter
    0.25 Light DME

    20 g Magnum for 60 min
    20 g Mandarina Bavaria for 30 min
    10 g Saaz for 3 min
    30 g Lemondrop for 7 days

    I struck with 18.6L at 67C for 45 minutes, then sparged with 12.5 L at 67C for 10 min.
    For the first runnings I recovered ~12.5 L and the gravity measured 1.066 (temp. corrected = 1.068).
    For the second runnings I recovered ~10 L and the gravity measured 1.026 (temp corrected = 1.028).

    I think I have convinced myself that a second sparge would not yield much. Anybody have a different view?

    Thanks and Cheers!
     
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  2. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I agree with your assessment. But, the main reason I rarely go to a second sparge is that I've already hit my target volume & gravity with just the runnings from the mash and single sparge. My gravity numbers are similar to yours. If I remember correctly (a rare occurrence) the last time I did a second sparge, the gravity was in the low to mid-teens.
     
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  3. Hoptonium

    Hoptonium New Member

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    Thanks BarbarianBrewer - I'm glad to know I haven't been literally throwing away gravity points by not doing a second sparge.

    Cheers!
     
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  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You are, just not enough to worry about (or risk astringency from over-sparging).
     
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  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Almost enough to do a real light beer though.
    I've only done this once on a barley wine.
    Second running came in 1.022 ish.
    Was a good crushable beer and I used the yeast from this to Finnish the barleywine.
     
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  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Just curious about a 12.5l sparge and only a 10l recovery. You should get the same sparge volume back as you added unless you stop on purpose because you made your target volume. The grain is already saturated so there should be no loss.
     
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  7. Hoptonium

    Hoptonium New Member

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    #7 Hoptonium, Feb 24, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
    I was also expecting the second running volume to be closer to the sparge volume - though I must admit, this is the first time I actually tried to measure it! Perhaps it is because I tilt my mash tun near the end of the first running to try and extract as much of the goodies as possible. Leaving it to drain for a few minutes possibly allows part of the grain bed to become unsaturated...? Not really sure. Oh, and I do not stop the drain once I reach target volume.

    Follow-on message to the members: If you batch sparge, in your experience is your second running volume equal to the sparge volume?
     
  8. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I found this in my collection of Brewing Notes file.

    From <http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/inde...g_Efficiency#conversion_and_lauter_efficiency>

    Mash Thickness
    In the limit of attenuation experiments it was shown that a 5 l/kg (2.4 qt/lb) mash showed much better conversion efficiency than a 2.5 l/kg (1.2 qt/lb) mash. This is also supported by anecdotal experience from home brewers who found that thin mashes generally lead to better overall efficiency.

    Strike/Sparge water volumes
    Based on these findings, the run-off sizes for batch sparges should be kept about equal, but only little is lost if they are not perfectly equal.

    Number of sparges
    Going from a no-sparge (1 run-off) to a single batch sparge (2 run-offs) gains about 8% lauter efficiency, while going from a single batch sparge to a double batch sparge (3 run-offs) gains only about 2-3%.

    Why big beers are less efficient
    The more grain is used the more wort will be held back by the grain (Vgrain_absorption) and the lower the efficiency will be. This is one of the reasons why big beers, which generally use more grain per given volume of water, have a lower batch sparge lauter efficiency than smaller beers.​
     
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  9. Hoptonium

    Hoptonium New Member

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    Thanks BarbarianBrewer, I was attempting to follow "rule #2" and make the runnings equal - if I hadn't lost any in the second running then both runnings would have been 12.5 L. My mash thickness at strike was 3.1 L/kg and I was just about maxed relative to the capacity of my mash tun so that's about the highest mash thickness I can get to with a 6 kg grain bill, of course, I could go with a lower OG target.

    Maybe the problem is in the way I am measuring the runnings volume. I have "calibrated" my kettle (25 L wide mouth stockpot) using a kitchen measuring cup (2.5 L capacity) with water from the tap. Marking my kettle with black sharpie on the outside at 2.5 L intervals. VERY low tech and just estimating by eye the level of the liquid. The stockpot is 30 cm in diameter which makes 1 L about 1.4 cm in height - so just guessing that my by eye technique for measuring the level of the liquid is ± 1 L. So maybe my runnings volumes were not so far apart.

    Anyway, I'll make a more careful measurement of runnings volume next batch - I think I'll use a scale and do it by weight. That should be much more accurate, especially since I am measuring the gravity.

    Cheers Brewers!
     
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  10. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    My mash thickness is the same as yours. I can go thinner, I just never have. Maybe that will be a future experiment. For the first and second running volumes, they don't need to match exactly. It's a pretty wide target. Mine usually differ by a 1/2 gal. They could probably differ by a gallon and still not affect efficiency too much.

    I use my 30L Speidel, marked at 1/2 gallon intervals, to measure my water. It helps to be able to see the volume mark and the water level at the same time. Something you could do would be to use a piece of cpvc pipe or electrical conduit with measurements etched on it for your measuring. But, weighing it is an interesting approach too.
     
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  11. hundel

    hundel Member

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    I appreciate someone else publishing numbers on this. There are very old reviews-es from England where a “big beer” was made from the first runnings and a little beer from the second runnings. And the third runnnigs, well maybe not so great for making beer anymore.
     

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