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Mashout/Sparge Experiment

So, I decided to try something new (for me, anyways).

Instead of running off my first runnings from the mash and then batch sparging, I mashed out with all my sparge water. It ended up hitting about the 9 gallon mark in my tun. The temp was 168.

I then just ran it all into the brew kettle.

The one thing I noticed, is my OG was much lower than I had expected.

Normally, when I brew this one, my OG is around 1.041/42. This OG was 1.030.

It’s fermenting now, and looks really clear. I used US-05.

I guess I now have a light beer.

So, I think I’ll go back to the regluar mash & batch sparge method.

When you mash, all the water in the tun is at the same sugar concentration. When you sparge out the water present, some gets left behind stuck in the grains. By adding a sparge water addition, you mix that sugar water that was tied up with the grains with your fresh water, so the water in the tun again all has the same sugar concentration, as the sugar that was stuck there has now mixed with the new water. That water then gets drained, pulling more sugar with it.

If you add the sparge water before draining as you did, you are diluting the total sugars, but the concentration is still higher than it would be if you had drained first. Thus, more sugar gets left in the tun.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]When you mash, all the water in the tun is at the same sugar concentration. When you sparge out the water present, some gets left behind stuck in the grains. By adding a sparge water addition, you mix that sugar water that was tied up with the grains with your fresh water, so the water in the tun again all has the same sugar concentration, as the sugar that was stuck there has now mixed with the new water. That water then gets drained, pulling more sugar with it.

If you add the sparge water before draining as you did, you are diluting the total sugars, but the concentration is still higher than it would be if you had drained first. Thus, more sugar gets left in the tun.[/quote]

Yeah, that’s what I figured. Lesson learned. I experimented and found out. No regrets. I’m always trying new things. Hopefully, someone else will learn from what I did here and won’t do it.

[quote=“paultuttle”]So, I decided to try something new (for me, anyways).

Instead of running off my first runnings from the mash and then batch sparging, I mashed out with all my sparge water. It ended up hitting about the 9 gallon mark in my tun. The temp was 168.

I then just ran it all into the brew kettle.

The one thing I noticed, is my OG was much lower than I had expected.

Normally, when I brew this one, my OG is around 1.041/42. This OG was 1.030.

It’s fermenting now, and looks really clear. I used US-05.

I guess I now have a light beer.

So, I think I’ll go back to the regluar mash & batch sparge method.[/quote]

I’m not surprised. You essentially did a no sparge mash. That always results in lower efficiency for me.

Here’s the Ale, right before bottling this morning.

I do quite a bit of no-sparge and don’t see that big of a hit on efficiency, especially for small beers.

For an expected 1.042 beer letes say you used 8lb of malt and usually see 75% efficiency. That’d put 5gal at 1.043, close enough. You probably mash with 2qt/lb or 16qt=4gal, and you get 3 gal first runnings. You then sparge with 3gal to get 6gal of wort.

Now if you do no-sparge, you’d have 36x8lb=288 pts in the tun and 7gal of water, for an expected gravity of 1.041. Not nearly the hit you saw.

I’m guessing threes another factor going on here. Maybe you mis-weighed the malt or your OG reading was off for some reason.

Yeah, you’re probably right. The flavor was good, so I’m happy. Can’t wait to try it carbed.

At what temperature did you take the OG reading? Did you calibrate to 60 degrees?

May seem obvious but just checking…

[quote=“dannyboy58”]At what temperature did you take the OG reading? Did you calibrate to 60 degrees?

May seem obvious but just checking…[/quote]

I took the reading at 75 degrees. My hydrometer is calibrated at 60 degrees.

I BIAB and over the last 6 months or so have been playing around with full volume mashes vs a normal mash and batch sparge. I’ve noticed a 10% downswing in efficiency when doing a full volume mash w/no sparge. With smaller beers (10lbs of grain and under), this drop isn’t as noticeable. I may loose 5% efficiency on average. For bigger beers there’s a major drop… maybe 10-15%.

I’ve since started milling my own grain with a pretty tight setting (since I BIAB, a finer crush isn’t a problem) and doing a batch sparge has me back into the 80% efficiency range. I’ve hit as high as 85%. If I mash that same amount of grain using full volume mash, no sparge, I’m closer to 75%.

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