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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 ...


5

Get the right crush This is the single most important thing to prevent a stuck sparge. Read the HomebrewTalk's wiki page on evaluating the crush. An ideal milling breaks the internal bits of grain into a coarse powder while leaving the bulk of the husks intact. It is the husks that do the most to set up a good filter. full size Use a good manifold ...


5

I've done all of the following in extract + grains brewing with 1 - 4 lbs of grain and I can honestly say I've never noticed a difference in the final product: Remove grain bag from brew kettle, place in bowl, pour hot water over it, press it with spoon, add liquid back to kettle. Remove grain bag from kettle, hold above kettle while spraying with hose. ...


5

One of the quickest solution I have used in a pinch is to blow air back up my exit tube from the mash tun. This tends to dislodge some of the spent grains collected in or on the sparge manifold (regardless of the type you are using). Then a quick stir and recirculate and often I am back in business. The next step after blow back is to thin the mash a bit ...


4

In short: Yes, no problem, go for it, relax, don't worry. Like many all-grain brewers, I used a cooler for a mash tun making it difficult to raise the temperature to mash out. I still made good beers. So why would you want to do a mash out? This step achieves two things. First, it halts enzyme activity. If you are really, really good at mashing you ...


4

Dozens of home brewers I have seen start heating before sparge is complete. No home brewers I have seen (out of dozens) attain a boil before sparge is complete. Could get higher caramelization (could be good or bad) because your early runnings are going to be higher in sugar, and you've got a big flame under them. Can save some time in your brew day. Can ...


4

It's totally fine. The ideal situation would be to have it come to a boil just as you stop sparging and close the valves. I'd experiment with collecting say a gallon and a half first, then fire up the kettle. Next time adjust the "kick-off" volume and start the fire then adjusting to get to a boil just as the sparge ends. The concern with boiling to ...


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

I just let it boil down for about 1 - 2 hours before I began my hop additions. [...] but what is the normal method for correcting an under-shot pre-boil gravity? Boiling for 1.5-2 hours is quite common. It sounds like the advice you got from Beersmith was correct. Your pre-boil volume is usually about 1.2-1.5 times your expected volume into the ...


3

Just treat it like any other mash tun. Before you pull that thing out of the kettle start drawing off wort through the valve at the base (at least it looks like a valve in the picture). Collect it in a pitcher that you can easily pour from. Then slowly pour in back in at the top of the cylinder. Do this repeatedly until you think the wort looks clear ...


3

I manually fly sparge. It consumes my attention, but shows that you do not need a sparge arm. My second-next equipment project will be a sparge arm (after a whirlpool chiller). Does a sparge arm improve lautering? Yes. If there were a quicker method that offered similar results the pro brewing community would have found it. How fancy? Not very. My plan ...


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

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 ...


2

Fly sparging is not necessarily more efficient than batch sparging. Grain bed channeling is not an issue in batch sparging. Crush is always the first place to look in efficiency issues. My mantra is "Crush til you're scared!". I average 85% efficiency. I never do a protein rest. I never do more than a single batch sparge. 99.9% of the time I do a ...


2

When I did partial-mash batches, I usually placed the bag of grain in a mesh strainer above my brew pot and poured my sparge water over the bag. It helps to find a strainer wide enough so that it's handles rest on the rim of your pot, otherwise you'll need a brave friend to hold it while you pour your sparge water.


2

Mashout is useful at the homebrew level if your wort is going to be sitting in the kettle for a long time prior to boiling and you want to lock in the mash profile. The other thing Mashout can help with is boosting poor efficiency a little bit as the warmer temp improves the viscosity of the wort a bit. Aside from those two areas, I don't routinely mashout ...


2

I brew a sweet potato beer and I assume 1qt/lb of sweet potato. I also adjust the thickness by eye after that. The water to grist/veg ratio isn't really all that critical. Nor is it all that different if you have to adjust the water a little up pr down by 10-15%. The key is to have enough water in there that it doesn't become a gooped up mess. The mash ...


2

There's definitely a thermal shock issue, and you shouldn't place a hydrometer into any hot liquid … but I don't think that's what you're getting at. I, too, imagine the hydrometer temperature correction factors will break down after some point, but I can't respond to where that point is; I'd not go past 90°F. Before I got a refractometer, I would have a ...


2

Phosphoric acid itself is consumable, but to make it food safe, processing and packaging have to be done in a food safe manner. I use lactic acid 88% to acidify my mash and sparge water. Your LHBS probably carries this. Only a few milliliters are required, so a small plastic syringe or pipette is great for getting an appropriate dose. As well as using acid ...


2

I agree with brewchez's comment about fixing the process, and that should be done to avoid recurrence of the problem. For me, I will go back to batch sparging. However, before dumping 10 gallons of tea-beer, I wanted to find out if I could remove some of the astringency. And it seems you can. I used gelatin to clear the beer in one of the kegs, and left the ...


1

It might be their mill, or it might be that your system isn't capable of dealing with properly milled grain. What kind of efficiency were you getting from the other shop that milled your grain? If it was good, then I'd say the mill at the new shop may be set too fine. If you were getting low efficiency before, you might want to consider changing your ...


1

To really verify their crush, you'd need some kind of sizing screen. For a quick check, though, I'd just dump a cup of milled grain into a sandwich bag and shake it a bit. You should be able to see how much flour or really fine particles are in there. If you've got a lot of small stuff, then their mill is too tightly gapped. Doesn't sound like they're ...


1

The sugars left behind in a batch sparging scenario are generally the same as in a fly sparge set up. The only difference is that in batch sparging there is no water left in the tun. In fly sparging the tun is filled with water. But the net effect on efficiency is the same. If you were to go and fill the batch sparged tun up again, as if to do a third ...


1

Ideally, your flow rate into your mash tun would be at or less than your flow rate through the mash and out into your kettle. In this case, liquid shouldn't be collecting in your mash tun, and when you hit 1.010 SG in your kettle you can simply stop adding sparge water. The slight "in flight" load still making it's way through the mash at that point ...


1

The issue with the hydrometer is the weights inside of it. The weights will heat at a different rate than the glass and result in pressure against the glass. I lost my first hydrometer by rinsing it with water that was too cold. The suddenly cold glass shrank just enough to press against the warmer weight inside and the glass cracked. Even if I were 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 ...


1

Remember that to denature enzymes, you need to hold that 170+ temp for 20 min. or more. Few homwebrewers do that. While it was once thought that hotter sparge water reduced the viscosity of the wort leading to easier runoff and increased efficiency, that has been pretty well disproven by the work of Kai Troester (www.braukaiser.com). What does happen ...


1

It's not necessary, no. But for me it's easier. I ordered the rotation sparge arm (got it for an incredible price...), and since the ammount of sparge water, etc, is dialed in perfectly after so many brews, I start the siphon when I know it's time, and walk away, and come back to a kettle with exactly what I should have, and so far I have had very little, if ...


1

One thing I have noticed with some of the recipe kits is that they don't always separate the adjuncts from the grain. Running flaked maize, wheat or oats through a mill is a guaranteed stuck sparge. Make sure that the more non-grain ingredients in the recipe the more attention you pay to volume, mash thickness, sparge temperature and flow rates. I think its ...


1

I've had a few stuck sparges and have used a blow back method and manipulating the malt fines bed. The important thing to remember is that you can recirculate heavily clouded runoff if the sparge is stuck moderately early. Just collect the first 30 to 45 seconds worth of runoff in a small stock pot, mix with clean sparge water, and send it back through the ...



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