2nd Batch Sparge and more observations and questions

OK so today I brewed a Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat Stout and I have some questions.

I skipped the .25 oz of Willamette Hops but added a full pound of the Lactose. (not sure why NB packed a full pound when recipe calls for 1/2 lb?)

I sparged twice because after the 2nd running I was short on my volume but after my 2nd sparge I hit 8 gallons pre-boil with a gravity of 1.040

After 60 minutes I had 7 gallons at 1.057 (holy sheite that’s supposed to be the OG at 5 gallons!!!)

So I boil another 30 minutes and get it down to well over 6 gallons at 1.062 OG into the fementor.

According to BeerSmith2 my efficiency is over 86% Is that possible?

My sparge temp on the 2nd run was 170° for 10 minutes (2.75 Gal) and the 3rd run (2.5 gal) was the same temp but I immediately vorlouff and drained it.

I put well over 6 gallons into the fermentor at 1.062 OG when it should have been 5 gallons at 1.057. Was that 2nd sparge a mistake? I’m still learning even after 2 years and 30 or more brews…but I’m thinking I did good today?

Sounds like you nailed it! The second batch sparge is why you hit such high efficiency. I get around 85-90% efficiency when doing 11 gallon batches at moderate gravities, because I have to do a second sparge to get the volume.

Yep, seems like you did pretty good. Just out of curiosity, what was your efficiency like on prior batches?

In my experience, collecting more wort overall will increase efficiency whether it’s with a second sparge or one bigger one.

Of course, using the full pound of lactose will also increase your OG compared to the recipe calculations.

That also brings to mind a pet peeve of mine…the reality is that the OG predictions on kit recipes are not especially relevant as they’re calculated for an efficiency that may be completely at odds with the brewer’s system. My recollection is that the NB recipes assume a pretty high brewhouse efficiency, but this Tallgrass recipe seems more conservative at first glance.

Anyway, I’m sure it will be great–higher ABV and more beer than you expected, sounds like a good deal to me!

I normally did BIAB so my efficiency was usually about 70% I was able to increase that to 75% by sparging. I’m going to continue with batch sparging and if I can constantly get this kind of efficiency I see no reason to go back to BIAB. I do believe they (NB Recipe) assumes 72%. I may actually have to bottle a few beers this time if I can’t get it all in a keg

Ah yeah, if you keg it will add some headache. Maybe the biggest PITA is getting carbonation right. If it were me, I’d probably overcarb it a bit just to be sure, since overcarbonation can be easily fixed pretty easily. Have fun!

The extra half pound of lactose added about 21-22 GU to your batch. That’s about 4-4.5 gravity points for 5 gallons. You’d need to do the math; however, if you didn’t account for the extra add this may explain why your efficiency calculates higher than expected.

One other point: since the lactose is not fermentable, your FG will be 4-5 points higher thus more body and sweeter taste than the target.

good luck