to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Make grain beers with the absolute minimum of equipment. Discuss here.
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KevH
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to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by KevH » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:33 pm

I'm looking to step up from tweaking kits, to biab. Just wondering whether anyone who biabs makes any effort to sparge or not, and if so, how/what method do you use?

Thanks in advance,

Kev.
BIAB, working through Greg Hughes (GH) recipes to begin with.

Planning: Patersbier (extract version), Russian Imperial Stout. Turbo cider, IPA, Limoncello.
Fermenting: nothing.
Conditioning: GH American ipa (6.3%), GH Summer ale (3.8%), GH Oktoberfest (6.8%), Japanese Lager AG (4.9%)
Drinking: nowt.
Drunk: GH Czech Pilsner (6.4%); GH Winter Warmer (4.9%); GH Christmas Ale (5.25%), Coopers Wheat beer kit (4.7%)

Fil
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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by Fil » Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:15 am

a dunk sparge in a spare brewbucket is pretty easy, you only have the mass of the grain bag to deal with ;) plan ahead for that .. i didnt biab #1 and ended up stood on the kitchen worktop oik-ing out what started as over 10kg of grain and liquor till some drained back in with my neck bent uncomfortably under the not as clean as i thought kitchen ceiling (yet-another job still undone..)
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

McMullan
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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by McMullan » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:48 am

With a full-volume mash, sparging/rinsing is probably going to dilute the first wort. Follow Fil's advise and measure the gravity and volume rinsed from the bag. Then consider if it is worth adding it to the wort.

Manngold
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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by Manngold » Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:12 am

I don't. But in the past I have drained off five or so litre from my pot whilst the bag is still in and then have poured this over the bag whilst it drains.

aamcle
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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by aamcle » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:10 pm

efficiency 60+% full volume
efficiency 75+% with a dunk sparge.

The key to the sparge is being well organised with the right bucket in the right place or forget the sparge and buy a bit more grain.


ATB aamcle

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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by aamcle » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:10 pm

efficiency 60+% full volume
efficiency 75+% with a dunk sparge.

The key to the sparge is being well organised with the right bucket in the right place or forget the sparge and buy a bit more grain.


ATB aamcle

McMullan
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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by McMullan » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:25 pm

Is that with a mash out, aamcle?

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Kev888
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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by Kev888 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:40 pm

Grain bags are so free draining that they don't retain as much precious wort as conventional mash tuns, if you allow the grains to hang and drain after extraction. So full-volume BIAB mashing isn't as inefficient as it may seem, and many people don't bother to sparge. IIRC this is considered the original, true form of BIAB.

You can sparge if wished, and it may be more worthwhile with higher gravity brews. But this is only about increasing quantity of wort extracted, not quality - sparge badly and you will get poorer quality beer. Bags just aren't set up for high quality fly sparging, but dunking the bag can be roughly equivalent to batch sparging in a conventional mash tun, so IMO is a reasonable compromise if you need to improve efficiency.
Kev

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Redimpz
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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by Redimpz » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:23 pm

I mash in an old cool box, it holds about 15l. I batch sparge by lifting the bag into a spare fermenter and adding another 15l of hot water. leave it to sit for about 10 mins then lift and squeeze. I reckon that I manage to rinse out any remaining sugar and potential flavour with this method. This gives me about 28l before boiling, I usually end up with about 25l at the end which then gives me approx 23l into the fermenter.

KevH
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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by KevH » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:56 am

Many thanks for the replies Gents; i appreciate the advice.
Kev.
BIAB, working through Greg Hughes (GH) recipes to begin with.

Planning: Patersbier (extract version), Russian Imperial Stout. Turbo cider, IPA, Limoncello.
Fermenting: nothing.
Conditioning: GH American ipa (6.3%), GH Summer ale (3.8%), GH Oktoberfest (6.8%), Japanese Lager AG (4.9%)
Drinking: nowt.
Drunk: GH Czech Pilsner (6.4%); GH Winter Warmer (4.9%); GH Christmas Ale (5.25%), Coopers Wheat beer kit (4.7%)

aamcle
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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by aamcle » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:24 am

Sorry for the late reply, I have not found "mashing out" makes more than 1 or 2 % difference so I often don't bother or I just forget, The effect of a quick dunk dwarfs the effect of mash out.


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Kev888
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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by Kev888 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:28 am

I haven't actually tried mashing out with true BIAB, but certainly in false-bottom mash tuns/grain-pipes it hasn't usually made any noticeable difference. With high gravity 'no-sparge' mashes it can perhaps help slightly and/or with awkward grain (like oats or wheat), but with properly sparged mashes then virtually no gain, and even in 'full-volume' mashes there seems very little benefit. It probably doesn't hurt if you have an automated system, but I wouldn't normally do one in a manual system - both the effort and danger of overcooking it seem near pointless.
Kev

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Re: to sparge, or not to sparge, that is the question.....

Post by chefgage » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:35 am

I dont sparge when i do biab. I am doing small batches of 10l so when i lift the bag out i sit it on top of one of them cooling racks for cakes which sits on top of my mash tun/boiler. I leave this for about 20 minutes to drain. My efficiency using this method is only 53% though so this is reflected in the grain bill.

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