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No sparge with a thin mash

Just wanted to report the success that I’ve been having brewing no sparge with a thin mash of 2qts/lb. I’ve done this for my last 3 batches and have gotten 69-71% efficiency each time. It really cuts a chunk of time out of the brew day and I’m pleased with the malt character I’m getting as well. The other thing I love about the thin mash is how easy it is to stir. I get much more even temperature readings instead of something a little different everywhere. Thought others might be interested.

I’ve been tempted to do that, but since my batch sparge only adds maybe 10 min. over doing a no sparge I decided to go with what I know.

I pretty much no-sparge everything and really like the results - typical efficiency is in the 65-75% range, depending on the OG (more grain holds more wort).

I don’t even consider 2 qt/lb to be a thin mash. On an average-gravity beer with a single batch sparge I’ll be at ~1.8 qt/lb. I definitely agree that it’s much easier to work with a mash in that range than when it gets down closer to the old 1.2 qt/lb “rule”.

One thing that I like about sparging is that it lets me do a mashout, which should - at least in theory - give a little better consistency in terms of the fermentability of the wort.

Denny - My run off time is not as quick as yours - not sure why since I’m using a cooler/braid similar to what I’ve seen in your set up. It takes me at least 15 min to run off each time and I only have one kettle so I had to heat my batch sparge water and then transfer it to a bucket or runoff into a bucket while I maintained the hot sparge water. Also if I used the thin mash and sparged with the extra couple gallons I think my efficiency would be up over 80 which is higher than I’m shooting for…

Re: mash out - What I did today was heat the excess water to a boil in the kettle so that as I run off the enzymes are denatured there instead of in the mash tun.

I can’t say enough about the temperature consistency thing b/c I always felt like there was a bit of “juju” involved in estimating an average temperature of the mash with a thicker mash.

Sounds like you have solidly pragmatic reasons to do no sparge! Glad to hear it works so well for you.

what batch size are you doing? I have yet to do a no sparge but it is on my list.
2qts /lb doesnt seem like enough on a standard gravity ale around 1.045-1.050 for a 5g batch

I’m doing 6 gallon batches. I mash with however much water 2qt/lb is and then just add the remainder to the kettle as straight water. Today I did a porter with 15lbs of grain, 7.5 gal of mash water, and another 2 gallons added directly to the kettle. I have done this with some smaller beers and it worked well there too. I got the idea when I make a RIS last year and mashed with all my water and got 68% efficiency. Since it’s winter here, the extra thermal mass from a thin mash helps to slow the temperature drop somewhat.

[quote=“JLap”]I’m doing 6 gallon batches. I mash with however much water 2qt/lb is and then just add the remainder to the kettle as straight water.[/quote]You’ll get a little better efficiency if you add as much of the extra water as possible to the mash before pulling the grain.

You adding ALL the mash water at the start of the mash or adding the remainder of 2qt/lbn att he end?

[quote=“grainbelt”]You adding ALL the mash water at the start of the mash or adding the remainder of 2qt/lbn att he end?[/quote]I mash thin and reserve enough water to add at the end of the mash to boost the temp to ~160-165F for a short rest before draining the wort.

i’m going to try this method soon. gonna brew up my yearly RIS before going to sunderland for the summer

I am just looking at makingthe jump to AG soon. This sounds like a simpler than most approach. so is there anywhere where a step by step has been assempled for such newbies as myself?

I wouldn’t really say it’s simpler. You’re just dumping all the water into the mash at once, instead of adding it in 2-3 batches.

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