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Does This Sound Reasonable?

Hello Everyone,

As I continue to slowly wrap my brain around the basics of batch sparging, I have arrived at the following process for brewing up my second AG batch, an ESB from “Brewing Classic Styles”:

Size: 5 gal.
OG: 1.047
Grains: 10.75 lb
Mash: 151 degrees for 60 min. @ 1.25 qt./lb.
Pre-boil: 6.5 gal.

Strike: 3.36 gal. @ approx. 164 (depending on grain temp.)
Mash Addition: 1.23 gal. @ 151 (at end of mash, before draining)
First Runnings: 3.25 gal.
Mash Out / Sparge: 3.25 gal. @ 185 (let rest 10 min. before draining)
Second Runnings: 3.25 gal.

I am hoping that some of you might give me your thoughts on this process.

Also, I’ve read that many people combine the mash out & sparge at 185 degrees – is this a generally accepted temperature to get the mash to 168, or should this number be calculated on a per recipe basis? My rookie brain worries that if the grain bed is at approx. 150 degrees after the initial mash is drained, adding 3.25 gallons of 185 degree water would elevate the grain temp. above 170. In addition to thoughts on the overall process, I’d also appreciate any clarification on this second point.

Thanks in advance for your consideration!

Make the “mash addition” boiling instead of 151F, use 170F water to sparge instead of 185F, and don’t wait 10 minutes with the sparge, just mix well and start draining slowly enough to set the grain filter, then open full.

I’ve brought all my mashout water to a boil. Added what was needed for the 1st sparge and never noticed an appreciable rise in the temp.

After draining, add the rest of the water that has been off the heat. Usually still above 175. Temp of the mash still doesn’t rise much.

I agree with Shadetree, except that the sparge water should not be 170 F or 185 F – it will need to be at least 190 F and somewhere up to boiling to get towards mashout temperature of 168 F. I calculate mine on a recipe-specific basis but I still NEVER reach 168 F so I don’t know why I don’t just use boiling water every time. You can’t leach out any tannins using boiling water either because the mash almost instantaneously cools it down below 168 F.

The OP’s batch-sparging, so no need to do a mashout :wink:

Thanks to all of you who replied!

If a mash out is not necessary when batch sparging, is there an appreciable benefit to conducting one anyway, or is it not worth the trouble? Also, how long should an ESB condition after fermentation ends before it is ready to drink?

No benefit to a mashout unless you aren’t going to start the boil right away and don’t want the enzymes to keep munching away, changing the attenuation profile. For conditioning, it depends on the beer, but a couple weeks cold is usually about right.

[quote=“Dan S”]Thanks to all of you who replied!

If a mash out is not necessary when batch sparging, is there an appreciable benefit to conducting one anyway, or is it not worth the trouble? Also, how long should an ESB condition after fermentation ends before it is ready to drink?[/quote]

No benefit to a mashout and no benefit to waiting after adding the sparge water. Take a look at www.dennybrew.com for my recommended procedure.

I agree that mashout is not required if you bring to a boil right away. I was merely pointing out the fact that there’s no need to fear in adding very hot water, even boiling water, when batch sparging, because you probably ain’t even going to get to 168 F even if you want to.

And you;re absolutely correct.

Again, thank you all for your insights.

I will now move boldly forward without worrying too much about reaching 168 at the end of the mash when batch sparging. I found it really helpful to read about the reasoning behind the “do’s and dont’s” that are often posted as principles but (at least in my case) are not always clearly understood.

Then again, I suppose that is one of the beauties of home brewing: it’s a hobby that can be enjoyed on many different levels technical proficiency.

Aye…the AHA slogan used to be “It’s not rocket science unless you want it to be”.

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