Author Topic: Sparging and Temp  (Read 6987 times)

BrewMe

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Sparging and Temp
« on: December 06, 2006, 11:11:53 PM »
I'm a newbie at AG (4 batches) and I have what is probably a simple question.

I'm brewing with a B3-500.  After mashing I do a mash out at 168 degrees, and during vorlauf I notice my mash temperature drops, so I apply heat during the vorlauf to keep the temp at 168 BUT once I start sparging with 168 degree water I notice the mash again drops. 

Q: Is it normal to have the mash temp drop up to 10+ degrees during sparging?

Just so it's said, I'm sure my sparge water was 168.  I believe my mash was held at 168 during the vorlauf but there is always the possibility it dropped even though I was applying heat.

Also, beersmith calculated my efficiency over 80+%, so I'm not really worried about it but I thought if there was a way to correct this I could get my efficiency even higher.

Thanks in advance...

Marc

Offline Andrewqld

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Re: Sparging and Temp
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2006, 11:40:48 PM »
Hi Marc,

It is not uncommon for your temps to drop during sparging.
On my system (batch sparging) I usually mash out with 190 degree liquor to bring my mash temp up to 168 degrees, drain the tun and then add the rest of my liquor at 190 degrees and that seems to settle the mash back at 168F and drain again.

A mashout out with 168 degree water is not going to get your mash temp up to 168f from your mash temp of 153F.

I think what you are seeing is your mash out temp is not high enough to begin with.

Hope that makes sense :-\

Cheers
Andrew
« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 03:12:26 AM by Andrewqld »

BrewMe

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Re: Sparging and Temp
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 03:53:26 AM »
Hi Andrew, thanks for the fast reply!

I should point out that I do not add hot liquor when I mash out as my MLT is heatable and I have a pump attached to the MLT.  So to mash out I apply heat (ignite the burner) to the MLT and circulate the pump while raising the temp to 168.

Question (part 2): should I be adding liquid during mash out?  In my readings I have not found anything that stated this but hey...I have not read every thing out there (yet).

Overall it sounds like a temp drop is normal.  Being a AG newbie I didn't know if this was something to be concerned about or not, and my first 2 AG's were not a success so I'm trying to learn from my mistakes  :). My 3rd and 4th batches have been a success, and I think the first 2 failed due to getting used to the equipment and process but like many others I'm trying to refine my technique  :).

Thank you again,

Marc

Shakey_Dog

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Re: Sparging and Temp
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 03:58:19 AM »
I batch sparge with 190 also.

I cannot think of a beer that I made where I needed to add water during the mash.  I have not read that anywhere either.

Don

Offline Andrewqld

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Re: Sparging and Temp
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 04:20:10 AM »
I batch sparge with 190 also.

I cannot think of a beer that I made where I needed to add water during the mash.  I have not read that anywhere either.

Don

I don't raise the temp of my mash at mashout by applying direct heat, I do a simple infusion of hotter water to get the mash up to mashout temp and that is my first batch sparge.

sorry if my first post was confusing.

Cheers
Andrew

Offline bonjour

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Re: Sparging and Temp
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2006, 09:45:58 AM »
Marc,

you have an all metal MLT, mine is an Igloo cooler and that much temp drop is something I don't see.

First of all there are many ways to brew beer and you need to find what works for you.

Some thoughts:
Mash temps comtrol the fermentability of the wort and therefore have a large impack on the body of the finished beer.  By the mash temps dropping you will be favoring the development of a more fermentable wort and a beer with a drier finish.  The question is are you getting the results that you want for the beers that you are brewing.  You have said nothing about the issues that you had with your "failures" so for now only you can answer.

To minimize the temp drop you can try several things.  First insulate your MLT, keep it covered or you will loose a lot of heat that way.  Make sure you insulate the lid too.  Second, you have the capability of circulating the wort during the mash and gently, i said gently add heat to maintain temps.

As an AG brewer, and a brewer of really big beers, I work with my mash a lot to get the fermentability and the subsequent FG that I want.  I am, because of my system, restricted to infusions and decoctions (and the occasional ice addition) to manage my temps.

Fred


BrewMe

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Re: Sparging and Temp
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2006, 03:15:53 PM »
Hi Fred, sorry for leaving out details. I guess I'm not sure what is relevant.

As for my first 2 failed AG's, I concluded the first one was due to not being used to the equipment and basically I had a lot of difficulty managing temperatures AND in combination I figured out in my 2nd AG that my water pH was way off in turn making my mash pH off and sparge pH off.  Basically, both batches OG were about 1.040 where they should have been around 1.056...so I had light beer.

My first successful AG (batch 3) is going into the keg this weekend, and batch 4 is a lager so I won't know if its what I want for another 4 weeks or more, so I can't answer your question.  I do know that beersmith calculates my efficiency at over 80% so from that regard I'm pretty pleased.

It sounds like temp dropping is not that big of an issue, although it could have an impact. I'll have to see if I can create some kind of insulation for the MLT that is safe to use in conjunction with my burner.  Wouldn't be any fun to set the garage on fire.  I don't find my temp drops during mash but it does drop during vorlauf and sparge, so the only place I can insulate is around MLT and once sparge has begun I'm not going to heat the MLT so it would be safe to insulate.

Thank you once again,

Marc