Sparging / Lautering question

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by beer1965, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    Thanks! Your comment about acidifying your sparge water led me down that rabbit hole online.. lots to think about.
     
  2. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Not speaking about the clarity of finished product, but clarity earlier in the process. There are much more important things in the brewing process to concentrate on than how clear the wort coming out of the MLT is. Clarity in the final product can be very important, depending on the style.

    As for sparging, at the homebrewing level, it's mostly a matter of preference. Quality beers can be produced using both batch sparging and fly sparging, as well as no sparge methods including BIAB.
     
  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    That's the thing about good practices, once they learned and applied, they really don't take anymore time. When I first got into all-grain I was very intimidated by the entire process. I eventually got used to it and now it's not a big deal. So it goes with all other good practices, the hard part is trying to determine which ones are necessary and which ones don't matter.

    There are many different brewers who use this website, some are more casual and others are quite hardcore. Regrettably, I'm a hard core, anal retentive brewer who hates to give any advice that doesn't reflect that attitude. I need to remind myself, it's only beer. But then again... it's beer!
     
  4. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I think this topic is one of the best I've seen for presenting a new brewer with different options and things to focus on. I think I agree with every single post! While I'd love to be the hardcore anal-retentive brewer like HighVoltageMan, I more like Bob. I'm not anal about wort clarity; at least not now. For instance, I batch sparge and, since I don't have a pump, vourloufing is a manual process. So I vourlouf until I get reasonably clear wort. To continue until I got crystal clear wort would not be enjoyable to me. So I don't do it.
    My advice would be to focus on making good beer now. Great beer will follow later on.

    The one thing where you do want to be looking down the road is equipment. Don't lock yourself into what you can brew because of equipment. A 10 gallon cooler mash tun is fine for a 5 gallon batch of normal strength beer but, might not be if you want to brew a 10 gallon batch or a high gravity beer.
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    No apology necessary...it was more of a clarification on my part. It's just the way I developed and as my process became more consistent and my sparge more "traditional" the clarity of my wort was greatly enhanced. As I mentioned, I've just been stubborn about changing because I like the results and don't want to jinx it. :)
    All that being said, I've got some double-brew days coming up and I'll be looking for ways to cut the time. Traditional fly sparge is one of the most time-consuming things in my process. I'll be looking hard at how to make that more time-efficient. ;)
    Same can be said of any project or pursuit. That last 10 percent is what separates the hard-core hobbyist from the obsessively questing brew-nerd. It's a thin line and slippery slope, so one must proceed at one's own risk. :D :D
    From what I've seen over the years I think most novices are intrigued by the potential complexity rather than put off by it.
     
  6. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Well stated. The inherent problem with forums is that we really can’t see the OP brewers skill level, nor their tolerance for complexity, rather we each have to interpret from their post and respond accordingly.

    I like the “Beginners Brewing Forum” section, but wonder if it would be better served if it were broken down into more sections. For example, Beginners Brewing Forum>Extract, All Grain, All in one systems, or BIAB. And then maybe the same for and “Intermediate Brewing Forum”, as well as an “Advanced Brewing Forum”, and maybe even a “Pro Brewing Forum”. I know it’s a lot of headings and subheadings, but at least it’s a start.
     
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  7. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I almost never look at the header to see which forum an email link leads me to and suspect that I'm among the majority in that. Knowing how subjective it is, I tend to judge the knowledge level of the OP by the content of the post rather than context. Thinking it would be a lot easier for me to change my habits than for BF to change the format.
     
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  8. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    Well said and I agree. I've learned a lot in a short time from the replies to this and many other posts on this site. It's why i signed up for membership on this site earlier today. Thanks for your feedback.
     
  9. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    From a beginners pint of view I'd say keep it simple. Too many forum headings would just be overkill. A good search function and skipping past a post that isn't for me is simple. I think that's enough. And as Bob said, you can probably tell a fair bit about the person your 'chatting with' by the nature of their post and replies. And if I don't get something posted, then it's on me to go research what i don't get and try to up my understanding without asking too many questions that a simple google search could answer. And if it's more complicated or not clear, then fair enough to ask more. But that's just MHO. Learning a lot here.. thank you.
     
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  10. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Just to further confuse matters, some of the highly experienced brewers I know have either specialised in certain aspects of brewing or styles or have often become otherwise inflexible in thinking .
    Do we find the same pattern in business, academia or trades as well or is that just me?
     
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  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yes and no. The more you know about anything, the less you are certain of. Some stop learning, that's when things become dogma. A true specialist actually knows a lot about a subject and can tell you the pros and cons of actions without the dogmatic approach. It's fairly universal but brewing with its lack of absolutes is particularly susceptible.
     
  12. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    The difference an experienced brewer and a novice is the experienced brewer made a lot more mistakes.

    When it come to brewing, you can never know everything, you should never stop learning, never assume that a technique or your knowledge can't be improved upon. When it's no longer fun or challenging, it's time to quit.
     
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  13. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Knock on wood, I’ve never had a dumper due to technique or approach, but I have had a couple brews that I really didn’t care for and the one that comes to mind is a coffee stout that the recipe called for way too much coffee beans. The one thing that experience helps with is knowing where you have “wiggle” room should you come across a problem/challenge. I would say that I have learned from every brewday as we were constantly trying a different style, but now I’m more focused on repeatability for the half dozen brews that have become our staple brews that flow from our taps. Not that we won’t experiment along the way, but I like the brews we’ve narrowed down to.
     
  14. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Well put , think Dunning-Kruger and suspect i'm still dropping into the valley of despair ! .
    Time to do some more learning i think ....
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I did my best not to mention DK...
     
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  16. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Just looked Dunning-Kruger up. Interesting. Definitely covers a few really intelligent people I've worked with that have driven me crazy with their ability to ignore evidence that doesn't fit their world view (or is that a different bias).
     
  17. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I had to look it up too. When I did I and thought about age. Children know nothing; Teenagers and young adults know everything; Adults realize they are just average; Seniors realize that's OK. Pretty much applies to everybody! So far it applies to my life and my brewing!
     
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  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Excellent summation, sir!
     
  19. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    The idea that fly sparging was the only way to brew kept me from even taking up the hobby for a long time.
     
  20. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Depends, DK is based around ignorance providing confidence of knowledge. Ignoring evidence is more bias related, confirmation bias type but I'd have to look it up to be sure.
     

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