All Grain – Batch Sparging

Day -9.5: Prep

Calculations

Here is where we want to understand how much water we will need and at what temperatures the water should be added in the mash at.  Mashing can be done many different ways.  The following assumes Strike, Mashout, and one sparge.  The calculations are not shown of how to get the mashing information needed.  There are tools online or I’ve built my own excel tool and have recently updated this page to remove the data steps since the excel tool captures the same information.

Day -9.5 to -2: Yeast Starter

Ensure that the proper amount of yeast is used during the brew day.  Read the full process on this page.

Day -1: Prep

Since time is always limited, especially with a little one, I like to get a few things ready for the brew day early. You can certainly do everything from this step on the brew day. I haven’t figured how to do water quality control yet, so for now I buy my water. I’ll look into this more in the future to help reduce costs.

  1. Clean stainless steel pot
  2. Calculate water modifications (below)
  3. Get the water needed from the calculations
  4. 10lb bag of ice to circulate through the wort chiller.
  5. Check Propane.
  6. Check to make sure you have all the ingredients.
    1. sanitizer, grains, hops, and other additives

Calculate Water Modifications

So I use brewers friend and not the spreadsheet.  It what works for me

The following link allows me to use 2 different waters (source A is Lone Tree, source B is RO water).

1) Start by knowing what water profile you want, what your brew looks like (grist and water amounts)

Next in BF

2) Go to the bottom fill in the grist info

3) Fill in the Water Volumes

4) Adjust Source A water for your water

5) Fill in the Water Target info

6) Go back to Water Volumes and adjust the Source B amount until the over water info (in the Source Water or any section that has that field at the bottom) is at or below what you want.

  • I do this so that you only have to buy as much RO water as needed
  • If you want pure RO water just crank this to 100%

7)  Go down to salt additions and start adding the what you want bit by bit

  • Click update calculations with each change to see where you are at
  • I tend to adjust Mg, SO, CA, Na in that order
  • Once you are happy with your water go to the next step

8)  In Acid Additions info, change the acid to whatever you use. With the Specify acid option clicked it will auto calculate the amount and show it in text next to Target Mash pH row

 

9) I tend not to adjust sparge water, it works the same as the Acid additions if you choose to do this

10) Update the title and description, click Save As New Record.

11)  Copy the link and this seems to stay around forever (I usually do a screen capture of the water addition and write down the acid amounts just in case.

Day 0: Brew Day

During the brew day use Brew Day Measurements section to record the data.  The flow of the data should match the process below and be in time order of the brew day.

Mashing

  1. Start heating strike and mashout water
    1. Add 1/4 tablet of Campden per 5G of water
  2. Start heating water in the kettle (~2-3G) to be used to heat up the MLT
  3. close MLT drain valve
  4. When heating water reaches ~180, place it into MLT.
    1. This allows the MLT to heat up so that the energy in the strike water primarily goes to the grain.
  5. Let MLT sit until strike water reaches desired temp or about 10mins which ever is longer
  6. When strike water reaches the desired temperature, drain pre-heat water.  Save this for cleaning later on.
  7. If using Irish Moss, start hydrating  with  3/4 cup of the discarded heating water to 1 tsp of Irish Moss

Mash/Dough in

Dough in is a simply a fancy way of stirring in the grain with the water.  For a thicker mash, or a mash composed of more than 25% of wheat or oats, a mashout may be needed to help prevent a Set Mash/Stuck Sparge

  1. Add strike water
  2. Add grain, slowly
    1. Stir to break up dough balls (doughing) as the form while pouring in
  3. Stir every ~5-10 min and mash for 60 minutes
    1. Take a temperature sample to ensure temp is stable near desired mash temp (DO NOT GO OVER 168 degF)

     

  4. While mashing
    1. Start heating sparge water
      1. Add 1/4 tablet of Campden per 5G of water
    2. Keep heating the mashout water
    3. Start sanitizing equipment for later on
    4. Take the yeast starter out of the fridge
    5. (Optional) After 20 mins, do a PH test  to verify PH is in the right range
      1. Keep the measured pH of our mash in the 5.2-5.5 range with a preference towards the lower end (5.2).
    6. (Optional) After 60 min, Do an iodine test to and verify if the starch conversion is complete.
      1. This should pass after 20mins, but I’m going to mash for 60 anyways.  With a negative result there should not be any problems with starch haze or biological instability from excess starch.
      2. Place 4 drops of iodine on a white plate.  Then place ~2mL of wort and mix.
      3. If conversion is done the liquid should turn reddish.  If it isn’t done the iodine will turn black.

Mash out

A lot of debate on whether this is needed or not as it is known what it does, but many claim that they don’t do it and have no major side affects to account for in their beer.  I’ve stopped doing it so that I have more water for the sparge.

  1. Add the mashout water and stir to get the grain bed at 168-170 degF.
    1. Do not go over 170 degF otherwise bad tannins will get into the wort
  2. Wait 12 minutes for the viscosity to thin out and for the enzyme reactions to stop

Vorloaf

Just a fancy way of saying slowly pour out the wort unit it clears up, add it back to the top and then pour it all out quickly.

  1. Partially open drain valve to slowly pour some wort (first runnings) out into a pitcher /bucket until it clears up
    1. Going fast will likely result in a stuck drain
  2. Once it is clears, begin the transfer to the kettle
  3. Open the valve completely open to drain as fast as possible
  4. While draining, gently pour first runnings on top of grain bed
  5. If hop schedule calls for FWH, add the hops now.
  6. Close valve when done
  7. Measure the wort volume and temperature in the kettle.
  8. Begin boiling the collected wort in the kettle.

Sparging

Sparging is the process of running warm water through the grain bed to extract more sugars (i.e. increase efficiency).

  1. Place the sparge water into the grain
  2. Stir well
  3. Wait 10 mins
  4. Measure the pH.  The pH of the sparge runoff should be below pH 6.
  5. Vorloaf again
  6. Take a sample from the kettle and measure gravity to calculate the for conversion efficiency
    1. If using a hydrometer make sure to cool the sample to near 60F

Post Sparging

From here the remainder of the steps are the same as extract brewing with a few noted exceptions below.  For the remainder of the process skip to the “Adding Malt” section on the Specialty Grain Brewing page.

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