Sparging from the Tap

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Sparging from the Tap

Post by Stringybob » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:18 pm

After a 7 year break from brewing (and having sold all my kit) I have started looking at getting back into it and the Grainfather looks ideal. I want to keep it as uncluttered and simple as possible. With this in mind I have noticed a mention from someone that they cold sparge, which is not something I was aware of. I could in fact go one better than this as my water is heated from a "Combi" boiler. So presumably I could mash as per the recipe and then sparge direct from the hot water tap until I collect the required amount of wort that the recipe requires?
Other than taking a bit longer to get to the boil, is there any reason why I should not do this?

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Re: Sparging from the Tap

Post by jaroporter » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:28 pm

welcome to jim's :)

the only thing i can think you'd struggle with in that case is water treatment of the sparge water (dechlorinification, acidification).
if i sparge i just use cold water, but i do treat it in a bucket first
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Re: Sparging from the Tap

Post by Stringybob » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:53 pm

Thanks for the reply - good to be back :D (cant find my old log in details so I have had to re-register as a new member!)

I was thinking that by doing this it would save me having to get a dedicated HLT, but after posting this I noticed what some other people do - i.e. at the outset fill the FV with hot water from the Grainfather and by the time the mash is finished, it should be at around the right temperature for sparging.

Right, now to tell the wife .... :|

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Re: Sparging from the Tap

Post by DethApostle » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:56 pm

My last brew (and my 2nd with a Grainfather) I sparged with water from the tap via a Combi Boiler into a bucket. I topped up with a boiled kettle full and ended up with an overall temp of about 75C.
No noticeable issue with doing it this way, though I do agree with the point raised about water treatment if you went straight from tap to Grainfather!

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Re: Sparging from the Tap

Post by spanspoon » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:01 am

i bought a cheapo tea urn from ebay. it holds 22 litres and i can set the temp with the pre-installed thermostat. cost £50, it has a sight glass and i added a tap.
works a treat!

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Re: Sparging from the Tap

Post by orlando » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:02 pm

There are a number of reasons why I don't think this is a good idea. First you should check that there isn't an in-line water softener, particularly one that uses sodium, that could ruin your brew. If you live in a high alkaline water area, making a water softener likely to protect your boiler, then you are going to be sparging with water that is going to extract harsh tannins and silicates from your grain. You will raise the pH of your mash and undo any good you may have done if you had adjusted that to begin with. If you can get the water up to the high 70's then that will help to extract further sugars but if not you are likely to compromise your efficiency. No big deal the last one, just use more grain, but why do it when you don't have to, and run all the other risks and problems just to save a bit of time or a little extra kit? If you really want to make the best beer you can and not just something beer like this is not the way to go.
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Re: Sparging from the Tap

Post by Fil » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:38 am

If you have an old FV you can retire and are at all diy inclined? then spend less than a tenner on a budget kettle for its element and a water butt tap so you can make a brewday bucket HLT in an afternoon.

while the recirculating mash in the G/f and similar may disolve mash sugars as they form requiering the sparge only to rinse out the last of the sugar containing liquor still contained in the grain, water direct from the tap either hot or cold will still contain chlorine and chloromides and be tricky to judge in volume if hosed directly.

if you do consider either hot or cold sparge try outs i would suggest it would be expedient to pre-measure the volume and at least treat with sodium metabisulphite or campden tab or fraction of ;)
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