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10

I am a batch sparger and I love it. To address your specific questions. You do not need to stir up the grain prior to vorlauf. Just start drawing liquid out the bottom until it seems to run pretty clear. (And clear means just the large chucks). After that run all the liquid out of the tun. I add more water and stir it up. The stirring is vital at this ...


6

Two most prevalent issues for poor efficiency when batch sparging are 1) grain crush and 2) void volume in the tun. 1) Take a real close look at your crush. Crush it twice if necessary. If you are getting your grain pre crushed through a mail order, I'd invest in a mill and start doing it at home. My LHBS has a mill that is fixed to a certain gap. ...


6

A chipped aluminum pot will function, but if I just bought it and haven't used it yet I would definitely return it and demand that Amazon pay the shipping. In the mean time, look into Sam's Club if you know someone with a membership, I got a 24 quart for $30 there.


4

Clarity of wort has no bearing on the clarity of the finished beer. Beer clarity is much more dependent on things like proper pH and mash conversion an d a large amount of flour should have no effect. My crush is very fine with a large amount of flour and my efficiency ranges from 80-85%. Based on that, it's difficult to believe your wort loss is solely ...


3

A good crush should keep the grain husks intact, since they will then filter out the flour and provide an efficient lauter. I also crush reasonably finely, which does produce some flour, but as long as the husks are intact you're good. I have a 3 roller mill - the sales pitch was that it doesn't pulverize the husks as much as a 2 roller. I've not used a 2 ...


3

My previous brewing attempt was my first switch to all-grain brewing, so I was right in your shoes. It turned out great, and was a lot of fun. I made my cooler out of supplies from Home Depot using this video: How to make a Mash Tun from a cooler Then I watched this video: Easy All Grain Brewing - Batch Sparge Method Then I compiled these instructions for ...


3

Yes there is a risk - with each successive sparge you increase the risk of extracting tannins, causing the beer to taste "puckering"/astringent (think sucking on a teabag.) Before doing extra sparges, should also be sure that the low extraction is because of your lautering efficiency and not because of mash efficiency, so do an iodine test for complete ...


2

A chipped aluminum pot will function the same as a non-chipped aluminum pot. Be sure to keep it as clean as possible. Since you are boiling whatever touches the chip, it really won't matter a whole lot. Return it if you are super worried about it. Better yet, get a stainless steel pot.


2

I often do what you're describing when I make a barleywine. As long as the added grains don't need to convert (and in your example they don't) you really don't need to wait at all. At least I don't, and it works fine for me.


2

@Hopwise addressed the issue of efficiency and mash thickness. But the amount of sparge water will affect your efficiency as well. The more water you sparge with, the more sugar you'll extract from the mash. The grist will absorb a constant amount of water (around 0.13 gallons per pound of grist). When you add your sparge water and stir, all the sugars are ...


2

Mash thickness has a small impact on your beer, but not really enough to stress about. I aim for a constant thickness, regardless of beer style. Some brewers give their stronger beers to have a thicker mash, while their low-gravity beers have a thinner mash. The logic behind that latter approach is that thinner mashes encourage a more fermentable beer. My ...


2

The beer will probably be drier, since I imagine your final mash temperature was in the range of 140-145°F - lower mash temps produce drier beer since there is a greater portion of fermentables. You may also lose body, since the temperature is not optimal for alpha amylase, which produces body enhancing dextrins, and is also close to the protein rest, so ...


1

For vorlauf and xferring water, I use a 2 qt. plastic pitcher which you can see below. I also use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup for pulling gravity and pH samples.


1

I don't think grain absorption varies according to mineral content, so that's not the cause of the problem. For the top up runnings, I would have done that as a 2nd batch sparge - add the extra 1.5 gallons, stir vigorously and leave for 30 mins. Simply running the liquor over the grains won't pick up much sugars unless you let it trickle slowly out over a ...


1

With such a small mash compared to the final volume I'd shoot for enough sparging to just get your sugars out. In this case I'd shoot at a 4 gallon total. So at the end of the mash I'd add in 0.75 gallons of boiling water to raise the mash to mash out. (Not necessary, but it does help a little but with lowering viscosity IMO). Recirc a little to clear the ...


1

You say you want to get to as close as a full mash\sparge as possible, but scaled down so that you are prepared for a full mash. In practice, this means using an amount of water proportinal to contribution to the OG contributed by the mash. For example, if you were to get half of your OG from extract, and half from the mash, then you'd aim for 3.5 gallons of ...


1

Great answer from brewchez. The other thing to consider (after the 2 he mentioned) is your water. If the pH is way off it can affect conversion. But crush is always the first place to look. One other thing to consider is the source of the recipes. Maybe they're written for higher efficiency than your system gets. You should always adjust any recipe to ...


1

While equalizing the 2 runoffs does increase your efficiency slightly, if they're within even a gal. of each other it's close enough. Also, as you learn, you can use the empirical method. Mash with whatever liquor/grist ratio you like. After you drain the mash, measure how much you have in your kettle. Subtract that from the amount you want to boil. The ...



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