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High Efficiency and High Volume

Hey everyone,

So I brewed up a batch of NB’s AG Sierra Madre APA yesterday and was a bit shocked by my results. This was the first time I was able to accurately determine my boil volume my using mash paddle marked with 1 gallon intervals. I mashed with 1.5 qt./lb of water for a 11.25 recipe (I added .5 lbs of acidulated malt), so about 17 quarts for mash or about 4.25 gallons. Batch sparged with about 5.5 gallons in one shot. So I ended up with more than 9 gallons of wort to be boiled at about 1.040/41 so my efficiency was super high (Low 90’s if I’m measuring correctly??). SG was at 1.051. So my question is instead of using the typical .5 gls/lb. of grain to sparge can I just sparge to make up the rest of the volume needed for a 5.5 gallon batch (so for my system about 6.5/7 gallons with boil off)?

Any input would be greatly appreciated…

Many people who batch-sparge mash with enough water to yield half the kettle volume (knowing that eight lbs of grain holds roughly one gallon of wort) and then add the second half of the kettle volume as the sparge. This maximizes efficiency if you’re doing one sparge, but moving a little water to either the mash or the sparge only drops efficiency by a small amount. Of course, you can sparge with more water and end up with more wort in the kettle, which will boost efficiency at the cost of more fuel for the longer boil.

Alright that sounds about right. Could I also boil off excess volume in the beginning and then once I get to my desired starting volume then start adding the hops for a 60 min boil?? I’m assuming this change my OG and hop utilization though??

Yes, you can boil off to the desired OG, then add hops. Boiling longer than 60 minutes doesn’t add very many IBUs, but boiling in weaker wort can have a larger impact. For me, time is more important than efficiency though, so I wouldn’t deliberately increase my sparge volume to gain a few points with a longer boil.

Alright that sounds good. I’ll probably try to dial down the pre-boil volume then to a more reasonable amount.

[quote=“TFrankMac”]So my question is instead of using the typical .5 gls/lb. of grain to sparge can I just sparge to make up the rest of the volume needed for a 5.5 gallon batch (so for my system about 6.5/7 gallons with boil off)?

Any input would be greatly appreciated…[/quote]

You can certainly do that, and it’s what I recommend (and do myself!). Where did you get the “.5 gls/lb. of grain to sparge” figure?

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“TFrankMac”]So my question is instead of using the typical .5 gls/lb. of grain to sparge can I just sparge to make up the rest of the volume needed for a 5.5 gallon batch (so for my system about 6.5/7 gallons with boil off)?

Any input would be greatly appreciated…[/quote]

You can certainly do that, and it’s what I recommend (and do myself!). Where did you get the “.5 gls/lb. of grain to sparge” figure?[/quote]

Perfect! Thanks Denny! I got the figure from here: http://www.northernbrewer.com/documenta … arging.pdf

“WHILE THE MASH IS RESTING, COLLECT SPARGE WATER.
You will need 1/2 gallon of sparge water per pound of dry grist in
the recipe. Heat the sparge water to 175° F.”

Thanks dfor the info. FWIW, my process is to mash with enough water to get about half my boil volume from it. For my average batch, that’s about 1.6 qt./lb. Then I sparge with enough to get my total boil volume.

Sounds good. Is there any reason why NB would state the half gallon/lb for sparging?

[quote=“TFrankMac”]Sounds good. Is there any reason why NB would state the half gallon/lb for sparging?[/quote]I’d guess that they’re assuming fly-sparging and a thicker mash.

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