Sparging with the Braumeister

How to get most out of brewing with your Braumeister? Help others and share your tips/best practices.

Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:04 pm

Hi,

Two questions regarding "sparge" with the BM :
- to those who "sparge", do you usually measure and follow-up the pH and/or gravity of the "sparge water" coming out from the malt pipe?
- If so, how do you do get the "sparge Water" under the malt pipe?
> Do you remove the malt pipe from the BM to a bucket? Or,
> Do you leave the malt pipe suspended in the BM and get the "sparge Water" underneath?

Note: I've splitted this from the 'No sparging ...' topic. /Niels
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby piet_v » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:08 pm

Adjust ph sparge water beforehand to 5.2 - 5.6, thrn just sparge and don't measure, will be ok.
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:23 pm

Adjust ph sparge water beforehand to 5.2 - 5.6, thrn just sparge and don't measure, will be ok.


Thanks Piet,
But, what about gravity? When exactly do you know that the "sparge water" coming out the malt pipe is just H2O without sugar? Some "experts" suggest to stop sparging when the gravity of the "sparge water" comes down to aprox. 1.016. Is just because at this level of gravity, the pH of the sparge water comes up (If the water was not previously treated)?
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby cpa4ny » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:23 am

Luis Coentrao wrote:Hi,

Two questions regarding "sparge" with the BM :
- to those who "sparge", do you usually measure and follow-up the pH and/or gravity of the "sparge water" coming out from the malt pipe?
- If so, how do you do get the "sparge Water" under the malt pipe?
> Do you remove the malt pipe from the BM to a bucket? Or,
> Do you leave the malt pipe suspended in the BM and get the "sparge Water" underneath?

Note: I've splitted this from the 'No sparging ...' topic. /Niels


+1 to Piet's comment on the sparge liquor pH. I usually just leave the malt pipe hanging over the main urn while I sparge (one less container to wash).

Don't forget to heat up the sparge water to mash-out temps (~77C) - not boiling water, otherwise it will extract tannins from the grains.

You typically stop sparging when you hit any of the below:

a.) pH of the runnings goes above 5.8 (@ room temps)

OR

b.) Gravity of the runnings drops below 1.010

OR

c.) If you don't hit a.) or b.) but you reached your calculated pre-boil volume :cheers:

:beer:
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby piet_v » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:54 am

Luis Coentrao wrote:But, what about gravity? When exactly do you know that the "sparge water" coming out the malt pipe is just H2O without sugar?

You could check with a refractormeter (only needs a drop of wort).
But I don't bother, I typically sparge with 7 Liters to obtain 25 L pre-boil volume, and have mashing utilization of +/-75 %. There is certainly sugar left in there .
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:15 pm

Adjust ph sparge water beforehand to 5.2 - 5.6, thrn just sparge and don't measure, will be ok.


Hi Piet,
Thanks for the post.

I have a further question regarding water pH:
Do you treat the mash-water and sparge-water separately or together (as total-water)?

My point of view (previous to this discussion):
- If we treat total-water (mash + sparge) as one, the aim is to balance water profile in order to achieve a mash pH of 5.2-5.6. Therefore, the total-water pH would not be 5.2-5.6 but higher. As a consequence, the sparge-water would have a pH similar to the mash-water.
- During sparge, the aim is to avoid a pH>5.8 in the wort coming out the malt pipe. In this figure, we could simply use the same water profile we have used for mashing. However, we need to monitor the pH of the wort coming from the malt pipe.
- Therefore, If we aim to achieve a sparge-water pH 5.2-5.6 in orde to avoid tannins extraction and pH monitoring during sparge, the only way I see is to treat separately mash-water and sparge-water, am I right?
- To achieve a sparge-water pH 5.2-5.6 we need to used lactic acid or something similar right?
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby cpa4ny » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:24 am

Luis Coentrao wrote:
Adjust ph sparge water beforehand to 5.2 - 5.6, thrn just sparge and don't measure, will be ok.


Hi Piet,
Thanks for the post.

I have a further question regarding water pH:
Do you treat the mash-water and sparge-water separately or together (as total-water)?

My point of view (previous to this discussion):
- If we treat total-water (mash + sparge) as one, the aim is to balance water profile in order to achieve a mash pH of 5.2-5.6. Therefore, the total-water pH would not be 5.2-5.6 but higher. As a consequence, the sparge-water would have a pH similar to the mash-water.
- During sparge, the aim is to avoid a pH>5.8 in the wort coming out the malt pipe. In this figure, we could simply use the same water profile we have used for mashing. However, we need to monitor the pH of the wort coming from the malt pipe.
- Therefore, If we aim to achieve a sparge-water pH 5.2-5.6 in orde to avoid tannins extraction and pH monitoring during sparge, the only way I see is to treat separately mash-water and sparge-water, am I right?
- To achieve a sparge-water pH 5.2-5.6 we need to used lactic acid or something similar right?


Lactic acid has a taste component to it; I personally use 10% phosphoric acid: http://morebeer.com/products/phosphoric ... ution.html

That 4 oz bottle will last for a loooong time.
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:09 pm

Lactic acid has a taste component to it; I personally use 10% phosphoric acid:


Hi Cpa4ny,

I suppose you treat the mas-water and sparge-water separately.
How much phohoric acid do you use? What software do you have for water profile? I use EZ water.

I usually treat the mash-water and sparge-water altogether, in the beggining of the Brewday (I'm a BIABer anxiously waiting for the BM20).
I was thinking, If we add the sparge-water at the end of the mash (during mashout), we probably may take advantages of the BM system: the grain is "sparged" (due to the recirculation pump), we avoid the after-mash "sparge step" and also avoid 2 diferente treatments of the water! Do you agree?
The only creepy thing I preview is, the malt pipe being submersed and the need to use gloves to lift it (already discussões in this forum)!
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby cpa4ny » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:25 am

Luis Coentrao wrote:
Hi Cpa4ny,

I suppose you treat the mas-water and sparge-water separately.
How much phohoric acid do you use? What software do you have for water profile? I use EZ water.

I usually treat the mash-water and sparge-water altogether, in the beggining of the Brewday (I'm a BIABer anxiously waiting for the BM20).
I was thinking, If we add the sparge-water at the end of the mash (during mashout), we probably may take advantages of the BM system: the grain is "sparged" (due to the recirculation pump), we avoid the after-mash "sparge step" and also avoid 2 diferente treatments of the water! Do you agree?
The only creepy thing I preview is, the malt pipe being submersed and the need to use gloves to lift it (already discussões in this forum)!


Hi Luis,

I started off with EZ Water but I moved on to Bru'n Water, as it considers more water parameters.

I use acid amount per the calculator, but I make sure I take actual pH measurements as well.

I do treat mash liquor and sparge liquor differently. For one - there is no benefit of adding brewing salts to the sparge liquor; one would only needs to heat it and acidify it to the recommended range.

Mash liquor on the other hand needs to have correct pH and (at least) proper calcium level and correct residual alkalinity.

As someone previously pointed out - it's actually not "sparging" but more of "rinsing" the grains; sugar gets stuck inside the grist even though BM constantly recirculates through it. Hence my preference to rinse it out to bump up the mash efficiency.

Speaking of gloves, I need to pick up a pair as well ( http://morebeer.com/products/brewing-gloves.html )- tired of burning my fingers :cheers:
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby piet_v » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:58 pm

I do salt (minerals) adjustments on the total of the water.
After that the sparge water is drawn off & gets lactic acid.
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:01 pm

Thank you guys :cheers:
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby bruulog » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:19 pm

Luis Coentrao wrote:Hi,

Two questions regarding "sparge" with the BM :
- to those who "sparge", do you usually measure and follow-up the pH and/or gravity of the "sparge water" coming out from the malt pipe?


No and Yes.
Luis Coentrao wrote:- If so, how do you do get the "sparge Water" under the malt pipe?
> Do you remove the malt pipe from the BM to a bucket? Or,

No
Luis Coentrao wrote: > Do you leave the malt pipe suspended in the BM and get the "sparge Water" underneath?

Note: I've splitted this from the 'No sparging ...' topic. /Niels

yes

Sparging is the way to go. Why waste grains if you can get 80% efficiency.
Get your self a refractometer form e-bay. Not that expensive and save you loads of time and wort. I use spoon to catch few drops and this is all you need.
I make my own copper/ss chillers (immersion) - 20l & 50l and counterflow (cfc)
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby doctorthirsty » Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:23 pm

cpa4ny wrote:As someone previously pointed out - it's actually not "sparging" but more of "rinsing" the grains; sugar gets stuck inside the grist even though BM constantly recirculates through it. Hence my preference to rinse it out to bump up the mash efficiency.


I have largely avoided sparging up until now because its such a pain to have additional water heated and ready at the right temperature. It kind of defeats the whole point of having a BM if you also have to have another temperature controlled liquor tank.

So I was wondering, why can't we sparge with cold water ? With the BM we have already continuously sparged, and as you say we are just trying to rinse residual sugar out of the mash. I stand to be corrected but I don't think the cooler temperatures are going to produce unwanted flavours (like boiling water would with tannins). Yes it will obviously cool down the wort but I'd rather heat it up again in the BM than have another boil kettle on the go. Hotter water will dissolve more sugars but we are not close to reaching the limits of what the water can dissolve.

I have tried this once but I was not brave enough to sparge with more than 2 litres, but it didn't seem to create any problems.

Would be very interested to hear your thoughts.
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby bruulog » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:35 pm

doctorthirsty wrote:
cpa4ny wrote:As someone previously pointed out - it's actually not "sparging" but more of "rinsing" the grains; sugar gets stuck inside the grist even though BM constantly recirculates through it. Hence my preference to rinse it out to bump up the mash efficiency.


I have largely avoided sparging up until now because its such a pain to have additional water heated and ready at the right temperature. It kind of defeats the whole point of having a BM if you also have to have another temperature controlled liquor tank.

So I was wondering, why can't we sparge with cold water ? --snip---


It's all about efficiency :) Cold water will not rinse sugars out so it's going to dilute the wort.
EDIT: You can fly sparge with only 5 l of water, if you like. Not that hard to use a small electric stove or submersible heaters to get the correct temperature for so small amount of water.
Last edited by bruulog on Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sparging with the Braumeister

Unread postby doctorthirsty » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:34 pm

I (respectfully) think you may not be differentiating enough between a BM sparge and traditional sparging. The BM has already done the sparging for us, we are simply rinsing the grains - and this can be done just as well with cold water surely.

My cold "BM sparge" rinsed out plenty of sugars; clearly some comparison measurements are required, so I will try both on different batches and measure the resultant gravity. Even if there is a small difference, I would still sacrifice that for the sake of convenience.
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