"Final runnings" gravity

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"Final runnings" gravity

Unread postby Nesto » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:48 am

So I have 7 brews under my belt with my BM20 and I'm curious about the gravity of the final runnings. I have sparged mostly with 2.5 liters, used a 5 liter sparge once. Haven't tried without sparging yet, but eventually will to compare efficiency.

With the generally accepted wisdom not to sparge past a final runnings gravity of about 1.010, I'm curious whether that can be extended to the BM process. Let me describe my process and when/where I take my "final runnings" reading...

After mash out temp step is done, I raise the malt pipe. Let it drain for about 10 mins. Sparge with 2.5 liters. Let it drain for another 5 mins. Remove malt pipe and put into a bucket. About 20 minutes later I will take a gravity reading from the bucket. Usually a fairly small about of wort will be in the bucket - maybe 200-400ml. I don't even bother to add this into the boil - it's such a small amount and I've dialed in the grain absorption and boil volume already ;)

My gravity readings from the bucket have been in the range of 1.020-1.030. A little higher a couple of times.

My questions:
1. It seems like the "last runnings" I collect in the bucket aren't really equivalent to the last runnings of a traditional mash tun after sparging. Is this the case? In my previous setup (a friend's 3 vessel, MoreBeer system), we'd get pretty close to 1.010. And not as good mash efficiency as the BM - 65%-70% vs 75%-80%.
2. If the statement from #1 is true, is there a way to actually measure the gravity of the final runnings? Would it be more valid to get a sample immediately after I sparge? Has anyone done this?
3. Do you think it even matters? I haven't noticed any astringency issues in my beers. Have I been lucky? Is final runnings gravity less of an issue vs temperature of the sparge water? (I keep sparge water at 76C.)
Last edited by Nesto on Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: "Final runnings" gravity

Unread postby dinnerstick » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:23 am

great questions! i've been wondering the same for a while, these fall into the "things i'll do someday" category which means that after a couple years i know i'll never do them... maybe you've spurred me on to actually take a few refractometer readings during a sparge.
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RE: "Final runnings" gravity

Unread postby niels » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:47 pm

I always use a fixed amount of sparging water to get to my final volume. I sparge some extra in a bucket and freeze the wort for starters.

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RE: "Final runnings" gravity

Unread postby fy0d0r » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:50 am

Niels,

What is the gravity of the wort you're getting from this "extra sparging" ?
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RE: "Final runnings" gravity

Unread postby Dicko » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:35 am

I have never bothered to check to gravity of my sparge from the BM however I have checked the PH and it generally isn't a lot of difference from the PH of my mash.
It has definitely never been close to PH 6 which is apparently the cut off point for astringency.

Sparging a BM would not be like a fly sparge on a 3v system, the volume of sparge water would never be high enough in my opinion to cause the gravity to drop to 1.010.
If you taste the malt after the mash and sparge you should taste the sugar that is left in the grain. I know mine generally tastes slightly sweet.

If you put your malt pipe in a suitable sized pot and then tip your sparge water onto the top of the grain and let it soak through slowly then it is pretty close to batch sparging rather than fly sparging.
You can do this by leaving the rubber seal on the bottom of the malt pipe and the seal that it creates lets the wort run slowly out of the malt pipe while being contained in the outer pot.

:cheers:
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RE: "Final runnings" gravity

Unread postby niels » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:06 am

fy0d0r wrote:What is the gravity of the wort you're getting from this "extra sparging" ?

I only measured it once: for a 1.084 wort the final runnings where in the 1.03x region. (I can't recall the exact measurement).

Those runnings are put in a container in the freezer. When I have "enough" I will simple mix them all, add some DME to up the gravity (to about 1.040) and boil then with a bit of leftover hops and a bit of yeast nutrients. Then I fill up some glass pots (the ones used for canned vegetables and jam) and let them cool upside down. These starter wort stores almost indefinitely.

This way you always have starter wort ready!

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Re: RE:

Unread postby pmac » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:06 am

Dicko wrote:If you put your malt pipe in a suitable sized pot and then tip your sparge water onto the top of the grain and let it soak through slowly then it is pretty close to batch sparging rather than fly sparging. You can do this by leaving the rubber seal on the bottom of the malt pipe and the seal that it creates lets the wort run slowly out of the malt pipe while being contained in the outer pot.

:cheers:


I pinched the idea from a you tube vid which involves putting the malt pipe on the upside down lid of the BM that sits top of a bucket which allows the wort to run through the steam holes.

I then rinse the grain bed a litre at a time slowly and stir every now and then. Generally I sparge with about 6 or so litres depending on batch size.

Works a treat. I don't measure the gravity either and always get within point or 2 (give or take) of my desired SG.
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Re: RE:

Unread postby Dicko » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:58 am

pmac wrote:
Dicko wrote:If you put your malt pipe in a suitable sized pot and then tip your sparge water onto the top of the grain and let it soak through slowly then it is pretty close to batch sparging rather than fly sparging. You can do this by leaving the rubber seal on the bottom of the malt pipe and the seal that it creates lets the wort run slowly out of the malt pipe while being contained in the outer pot.

:cheers:


I pinched the idea from a you tube vid which involves putting the malt pipe on the upside down lid of the BM that sits top of a bucket which allows the wort to run through the steam holes.

I then rinse the grain bed a litre at a time slowly and stir every now and then. Generally I sparge with about 6 or so litres depending on batch size.

Works a treat. I don't measure the gravity either and always get within point or 2 (give or take) of my desired SG.


When I put my malt pipe in the pot I actually fill the malt pipe slowly with sparge water and it actually soaks the grain rather than running straight through.
My figures tell me that for an 80 minute boil I generally sparge somewhere between 7 and 8 litres and this sparge slowly leaks from under the malt pipe and when it has all but finished I lift the malt pipe onto the "u" shaped frame and let it drain fully into the pot and then tip the lot into the kettle.
I used to stir my grain but I don't bother anymore as I found there is no gain doing it in my system.

I might add the only reason that I do it this way is because I had a suitable pot, or the bucket and lid would have been fine.
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Re:

Unread postby fy0d0r » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:31 am

Niels,

I usually freeze the few last liters of the boiled wort for Krausening and future starters, this seems a bit longer on the brew day (as it takes a while to filter out the trub/hops), but saves time on the bottling/next starter days as I just boil the wort for Krausening and boil + dilute to 10P for starters.

I put the pipe on the baking tray after sparge and add the drained wort (about a liter-two in total) to the boil so every drop is utilized :D
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Re:

Unread postby luk-cha » Wed May 07, 2014 1:01 pm

For me i stop once i've hit my boil volume or a specific gravity of 1.012 (3Plato) with my runoff.
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