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I Tried Skipping The Mashout For A Day

I’ve been brewing for roughly 10 years now. The instructions I learned from included a mashout, so I’ve always performed one. I know many people believe the benefits of a mashout aren’t worth the trouble, but I’ve never had a good reason to stop…until now. On Saturday, I had planned my first double brew session - 2 batches more or less back to back. In order to save some time, I decided I might as well try cutting out the mashout.

Well, that plan backfired. I ended up with two stuck sparges that wasted a lot more time than if I had just performed mashouts in the first place. I hadn’t experienced a stuck sparge before, and I hope never to do so again. I’m going back to performing a mashout every time.

On Saturday, I also thought long and hard about skipping my mashout…ultimately, I couldn’t convince myself to skip it.

Mashout is largely a function for fly spargers. Reportedly it’s not essential for batch spargers. I fly, what about you guys?

I’m a batch sparger. I suppose I should have mentioned that in my initial post.

Fly sparger here. I’ve tried batch, and no sparge, and just can’t convince myself to convert (pun intended). :sunglasses:

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On that note: I have known fly spargers that skip mashout, and simply run their sparge water as hot as they can (180ish) without any noticeable affects other than efficiency. They were probably around 70-75%, and I"m dialed in to 81% with my current process.

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My last days of fly sparging, I had stuck mashes! I didn’t like them either. But that was doing a 10 gallon in the round water cooler… stuck stuck stuck… yuck! BIAB is just a dream for me… If you look at a video that shows Martin B. talking, he said its Bull…poop to mashing with hot water and getting tannins and astringency! I guess I never tried that high of mash out… but I will rinse my basket with, sometimes, quite hot water! No ill effects that I could tell. Sneezles61

When the mash out water is less than a pH of 6.0 tannin extraction is probably unlikely with any grain bill.

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@brick1083 you got a stuck mash with a batch sparge? That’s quiet odd isn’t it?

Guess you’ll have to keep doing those mashouts! :scream:

I am new to all grain brewing, why would skipping a mash-out cause a stuck sparge? I have done 2 batch sparges and one painfully long fly sparge so far. I don’t think I did a mash out on the batch sparges but I do let the mash sit for 10-15 min before slowly draining.

I fly sparge and have my own method that’s kind of fly and batch. Recirculate the wort before run off, never mash out, never have a stuck mash. 25 gallon SS MLT with false bottom. It’s all about your system.

It has to do with the water level… During a fly sparge, first is to vorlauf (recirculate) the mash. That will help in clarity, so thats when you see it running clear. Now you can start your sparge… That is rinsing the grains… I would keep the level of rinse water (hot liquor) just below the surface… Don’t allow the grain bed to run faster than the hot liquor coming into the mash-tun… If you do run too much out of the grain bed, it collapses and a stuck sparge can/will occur. Also depended on that, is the hight of the grain bed… Too high, too much pressure stuck grain bed… Now, switch to BIAB… Sneezles61

There are 2 reasons for mashout when fly sparging:

  1. sets the level of fermentability. Conversion continues during the lengthy fly sparge. By rain sing the temp of the grain bed to 1680°-170° you denature the enzymes. pH is important here as your getting close to your tannin extraction point.

  2. the mashout temps reportedly loosen the grain bed to make runoff easier. It is also reported that the increased temps allow more sugars to be dissolved/sparged.

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I’m not sure I get it. What continues to convert during sparge?

When I started AG I used to test with iodine to ensure conversion was “complete” (no starches left) do the enzymes continue to convert the sugar into other sugars or is the iodine thing incorrect?

I have never fly sparged. Up until a few days ago, I didn’t have any equipment capable of doing so, and even with the new equipment I still don’t think I will do it. I don’t know why… maybe the extra water in the mash tun creating a more difficult cleanup, or trying to time the water in vs. water out… I just don’t want to do it. That being said, even with batch sparging I still mash out, but I also have heard it may not even be necessary

If someone told me that fly sparging was better than batch, I would probably go for it. But everyone seems to differ in opinion. Some say they think fly is better, most say it doesn’t make a difference (at least in home brewing).

Once you’ve hashed out a process that works for you and provides consistent results, I’d say stick with it. That’s the nice thing about homebrewing: It may cost you a couple pounds of grain here an there, but if the results are enjoyable, then so be it.

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@jmck a longer sparge without a mashout allows more time for the enzymes to work to break down starches. You’ll have complete conversion but if you don’t denature the beta enzymes they’ll continue to break down the higher chain sugars to more simple sugars.

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Thanks Loopie, that makes sense.

Lets also use pH as a factor… longer sparge alone with a higher pH will extract Protiens and you don’t want chill hazing in your brew, right? Now, I didn’t read into what goes on in the mash, until lately. Now that I BIAB, well, my process has changed. Sneezles61

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