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High Gravity Batch Sparge

Hi guys,
I’ve been brewing all-grain doing batch sparges for a few years now. I almost always hit my estimated OG and have good efficiency. But, I don’t have a lot of experience doing high gravity batches. I just attempted to brew a big stout. My total grain bill was about 18# for a 5 gallon batch. My estimated OG was 1.098. However, after collecting my first 7 gallons to boil, I still had quite a bit of sugar left. My first runnings came to an OG of about 1.080 and I did a second runnings batch (collected 3 gallons) that came to 1.050. So clearly there was a decent amount of sugar. My question is: how can I get more of that sugar to collect in my first runnings so I can boil one batch and reach my anticipated OG. Is this more difficult with batch sparging for any reason? Or are there any tricks? I’d like to be able to keep mashing this way but also be able to brew big beers while collecting more of the sugars and not letting them go to waste. Thanks. Hope that made sense.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Mike

Batch-sparging efficiency drops with big beers because the grain is holding more wort (sugar) in proportion to the boiling volume. You can either sparge more (and boil longer) or add more grain to counter this (and then you can do a nice small beer from the second runnings).

Thanks. That’s what I suspected. And, ultimately that’s what I ended up doing. I enjoy batch sparging and don’t have the equipment or time to do fly, so I’ll just keep this in mind and adjust as needed.

Mike

You can also add a second sparge (third runnings) using less water for the mash and first runnings so you still end up with the same pre-boil volume. That will pull some additional sugars from the grains, though it will still leave a lot.

That has been my experience with batch sparging with a rectangular cooler and fly sparging on a Sabco system.

You just can’t get all the sugar out of the grain on a high gravity brew unless you collect way more water than normal and boil for a long time.

Partygyle is the way to go.

That’s also true of fly sparging.

As far as efficiency goes, your biggest issue is that you only had about 60% conversion efficiency for the first runnings, and 70% for the second runnings. With 18 lb of grist and 4 gal of strike water, the first runnings should have been more like 1.120.

Make sure you’re crushing adequately, that the mash pH and temperature are in range, and that you’re mashing long enough to get full conversion.

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?ti ... Efficiency

Thanks for the responses. I do like the idea of gathering more wort and boiling longer. Maybe next time. I just transferred and it tastes great! So, I’m not worried. I did partigyle, and that beer tastes good, as well. FYI, here is the grain bill I used:

14 # American 2-Row
2 # Cherry Smoked Malt
1 # Chocolate Malt
½ # Roasted Barley
½ # Crystal 120
½ # Flaked Oats

Happy brewing!

Mike

Parti gyle makes great beer but for me it makes irreproducible beers. If you want to collect more and boil more you might want to use normal (fly) sparging. For me its way easier than batch sparging and all you need is a bucket with a spigot.

[quote=“fimbrew”]Parti gyle makes great beer but for me it makes irreproducible beers. If you want to collect more and boil more you might want to use normal (fly) sparging. For me its way easier than batch sparging and all you need is a bucket with a spigot.[/quote]If you take gravity readings of the sparges and do the math, reproducing partigyles is fairly easy as long as your process is consistent. But I’d like to know how you fly-sparge with only a bucket and spigot!

I have made some great beers with parti gyle but have never been able to make them exactly the same.

You put hot water in the bucket and turn on the spigot.

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