Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Does batch sparge water pH affect efficiency?

Just like the subject says, does the pH of the water used for batch sparging affect the brewhouse efficiency?

Water pH isn’t important, only mash pH.

I dont think sparge PH will affect your efficeincy much at all, if any.

If anything high sparge PH may give you issues with chill haze, but I dint think it will cause much of a problem at all,

It can since it does need a pH in the correct range to extract the remaining sugars, but if you’re having efficiency issues, I would look elsewhere. Your batch water pH would have to be pretty messed up to affect your efficiency more than a couple %.

How messed up is “pretty messed up”? Bicarbonates of ~100ppm, pH of ~7.3?

pH shouldn’t affect extraction of the remaining sugars. Conversion has already happened and you’re just getting them into solution and draining them out. if your pH is WAY off, it could affect flavor, but not efficiency of the sparge.

Sparging is only a quick rinsing step. There shouldn’t be a whole lot of conversion or pH causes and effects going on in there. Temperature and volume is what matters. As I always say, if you want to maximize efficiency, then you want to drain every last drop of wort out of there, especially in the first runnings. The sparge is also important, but not as much as the first runnings. Reason being that you’re going to get like 2/3 of your sugars out of the first runnings. The sparge is just weakly sugared rinse water. If you really want to maximize efficiency, you can sparge twice, and then the 2nd sparge water is very very weakly sugared. But I only consider doing that for beers where I want the OG to exceed like 1.085 or 1.090.

Dave, does this mean that leaving the sparge water in for a while is not neccessary? I’ve been putting my first sparge water in, stirring, letting it sit for 10 minutes, vorlauf, drain. Then I repeat the process if I don’t have enough boil volume.

Paul

Dave, does this mean that leaving the sparge water in for a while is not neccessary? I’ve been putting my first sparge water in, stirring, letting it sit for 10 minutes, vorlauf, drain. Then I repeat the process if I don’t have enough boil volume.

Paul[/quote]

Absolutely nothing to be gained by letting it sit in terms of efficiency. I stir the water in and immediately vorlauf and run off. There’s also little to nothing to be gained by doing multiple sparge additions. As long as you can fit all the sparge water into your mash tun at one time, it’s easier to do it that way.

I don’t let my sparge water soak for 10 minutes or anything like that. Just add and begin running off immediately.

I respectfully disagree with Denny on multiple sparges. When it comes to the high gravity beers, you are better situated to maintaining a good efficiency if you sparge twice, then plan to boil a little longer than normal. Denny might be right, but there’s really too many variables to try too hard to argue one way or the other, IMHO.

Dave and Denny, thanks. I think part of my multiple sparges are due to my lack of experience in AG, not calculating the correct of sparge water. I’ve been going back and forth between “fly” and “batch”, trying to see which I prefer. But I will heed your advice as far as not letting the sparge water sit there and soak.

Paul

Dave, I agree with your example. The only time I do more than one sparge addition are with very high OG beers where I can’t fit all the sparge water in the tun at once. For me, that’s beers over maybe 1.085 OG. For “normal” beers, though, I stand by my original statement.

Dave, I agree with your example. The only time I do more than one sparge addition are with very high OG beers where I can’t fit all the sparge water in the tun at once. For me, that’s beers over maybe 1.085 OG. For “normal” beers, though, I stand by my original statement.[/quote]
Yes, I was going to say the same thing as Dave, but then realize that you’re actually sparging more and getting more sugars out of the grains.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com