The principles remain the same no matter your choice of brewing equipment.
What is Sparging ? sparge (spärj)tr.v. sparged, sparg·ing, sparg·es 1. To spray or sprinkle. Also called Lautering This is the step we do after Mashing our grains We Sparge to Wash the converted sugars out of the mashed grain
History of sparging The term is thought to come from the practice of ancient priests who used green asparagus tips ("Der Spargel" in German) to sprinkle holy water.
What is Needed to do Sparging ? Vessel to hold grains and water Converted Mashed Grains Hot water source Sparging Arm or Spray Bar* Filter to keep grains and sweet sugared Wort separate *not all methods
What is Needed to do Sparging ? Vessel to hold grains and water – Called a Lauter Tun Almost ALL Homebrewers use a single Mash / Lauter Tun
Preparing for the Sparge Mash out Big Breweries do a Mash out raising the Mash bed temperature to 170 deg This step stops all of the enzyme action (preserving your fermentable sugar profile) and makes the grainbed and wort more fluid. With the size of Homebrewer Mashes and also with 1.5 – 2 Qts per Lb mash that we use, Mash out is NOT needed Sparge Water Needs to be at a temperature above enzyme activity- Typically 168-174 deg f Above 170 deg f husk tannins become more soluble Sparge Volume Calculation is important now
Water Volumes Calcs http://brew365.com/ mash_sparge_water_calculator.php
Mash Tun Designs (fly sparge) Equal Flow Rate Lines= Pressure Depth in Inches
Mash Tun Designs (fly sparge) Equal Flow rate Lines= Pressure Acts like single pipeEqual SpacingSpacing scavenging corners
Mash Tun Designs (fly sparge) 3 Spacing good flow2 Spacing Best flow
Mash Tun Designs Taller and narrow Bed compaction Vs Wide and squat Not enough bed to filter correctly No less than 8 of bed depth being optimum for homebrewers
Types of Sparging English Sparge Fly Sparge also called Continuous Sparge Batch Sparge Hybrid Sparging
Types of Sparging Most obvious – No Sparge We just take the first runnings, and use NO additional water. Calculations of grain absorption are important here as this will affect your boil volume. 1.3 Gallons – Mash in 10 Lbs Malt – 1.3 Gallons will be absorbed Any bottom design will work English Sparge No Sparge is a Variation on English Sparge Methods, Where two mashes are Typically done with same grains Second is lower gravity The two worts are either blended together or two beers are made If two beers then also called Parti-Gyle Mashing or Sparging
Types of Sparging No Sparge Pros Very quick Design of Lauter Tun not important No fuss with PH or gravity Cons Very inefficient, use of large amounts of grain
Types of Sparging Most common – Fly or continuous Sparge This is used by most commercial breweries due to the size of the mash and ease of work effort - Here we take a calculated amount of water and continuously add it to the top of the mash bed and balance the input hot sparge water to output of sweet wort to keep a volume above the bed at all times. Grain bed is NEVER exposed to air Water is sprayed gently onto the surface to reduce any channeling Design of Mash Tun plays a role in how well this works False Bottom or Manifold are needed PH plays important part, as you add more water PH will rise … Gravity Readings below 1.019 (some say 1.010) will extract tannins
Types of Sparging Most common – Fly or continuous Sparge Water with no sugar concentration percolates down through the sugared mash and dissolves the sugars getting slowly more sugar in concentration. TIME….. 10 gallon batch should take around 45-90 minutes. Claims of best quality wort from this method by Pro brewers
Types of Sparging Fly or continuous Sparge Pros Efficient extraction of the fermentable (and non- fermentable) sugars. Cost effective based on reducing the inputs (grain) into the process. (important for a commercial brewer, not important for a home brewer). Cons Complex procedure and must be monitored to get balance between input and output runnings Requires specially designed equipment PH rises and tannins can be extracted if gravity falls below 1.019 (some say 1.010) and PH exceeds 6 Takes long time
Types of Sparging Batch Sparging – most controversial American Homebrewers adoption, Denny Conn made it famous but was Not the first to use it. Total pre boil volume required in kettle is divided into 2 (or 3) equal batches Add some Sparge water to the Mash tun to make up ½ pre boil volume needed less grain adsorption ie the first Volume will be higher than second. Pre Boil volume /2 = Batch 1 Volume = [Mash volume - grain adsorbtion] + X sparge water Batch 2 Volume = Y Sparge water = Pre Boil Volume / 2 The Mash is drained completely each time. ie you add some sparge water BEFORE draining the first time, then recirculate till clear….. Sparge water is filled up, recirculate for 5-10 minutes and lauter again If you cannot recirculate, then stir and let stand for 15 minutes All bottom systems will work, but the braid is most popular as the simplest.
Types of Sparging Batch Sparging PH does not seem to be as important in Batch Sparging For the best efficiency, the runoff volumes from your mash and batch sparge should be equal. Thus it is sometimes necessary to infuse your mash with extra water before the first runoff. Size of the grist (crush) and thus absorption ratio play a very important part in efficiency using this method Gravity of the beer also affects efficiency, ie more grain equals lower ability to wash out sugars Adding a 3 rd batch sparge only increases eff by 2-3%, adding a 4 th adds only ~1% eff. If recirculating opening the valve completely wont be an issue as the grain bed will have set, if you dont recirculate, open the valve slowly when you drain to avoid compacting the grain bed
Types of Sparging Batch Sparging - pre boil volume
Types of Sparging Batch Sparging Pros Quick process- saving time Does not require fancy Mash /Lauter Tun Does NOT extract Tannins Makes a Maltier Beer ( George Fix et al) Cons Not practical for big beers Efficiency can suffer (but not always) Not ideal if you dont want Malty flavor Could be a factor in HSA
Hybrid Sparging (two options) A mix between Fly and Batch Sparging End Mash and then add as much Sparge water you can Run off until liquid level is top of grain bed – ie you dont expose the grain to air Then add more sparge water Run off till top of bed again Repeat multiple times until correct volume collected. A Second method recirculates between the additions, and runs off in batches Kunze* uses this in Germany and claims high eff
Types of Sparging Batch Sparging (My method) Mash in and convert Calc Total Sparge Volume Drain the Mash completely after recirculation ie. I dont use a mash out or add sparge water at first Also able to confirm how much Sparge water needed Fill Mash with ½ of Total Sparge Volume Recirculate for at least 5-8 minutes to clarify wort I used to stir the mash – no longer do as no diff in effientcy Drain Mash Repeat with second half of Sparge water
Types of Sparging Batch Sparging (My method - example) I brew 11 gallon batch Mash in with 20lbs, 1.33Qt/Lb = 6.65 gal Grain Adsorption =2.4Gal Sparge water is 9 Gal, divided into 2 equal volumes =4.5 Boil loss 1 gal/hr and system loss = 1.35 6.65 – 2.4 + [9/2 +9/2] –1.35 = 11.9 Less cooling 4% shrink = 11.4 Gallons My eff is between 85% and 92% with beers up to 62 points
Sparging issues Stuck Sparge Bad Tun design Too much grain Too thick a mash High % of : Rye Wheat Oats Tannin extraction PH and gravity issues Temperature of Sparge water
Table 22* - Picking your cooler. The conversion factor for cubic inches to gallons (U.S. liquid) is 231 cubic inches per gallon. Common Cooler Sizes (advertised size) Actual Dimensions W x L x H or D x H (inches) Actual volume based on dimensions (gallons) 20 Quart Rectangular 7 x 11 x 12 4 24 Quart Rectangular 9 x 14 x 10 5.4 34 Quart Rectangular 10 x 16 x 10 6.9 48 Quart Rectangular 11 x 18 x 12 10.3 5 Gallon Cylindrical 9.5 x 18 5.5 10 Gallon Cylindrical 12.5 x 20 10.6 Here are the summary guidelines for designing efficient manifolds and lauter tuns: Have the straight line distance to the drain be as short as possible. In other words, orient the pipes longitudinally with respect to the drain. Deeper grainbeds have more uniform rinsing, all else being equal. The closer the pipe spacing, the more uniform the flow, all else being equal. A spacing of 6 inches is the maximum in my opinion. A spacing of 2-4 inches is preferred. The spacing of the pipes from the wall of the cooler should be S/2 or slightly greater to avoid preferential flow down the smooth walls. *How to brew
Here is an example that shows how the efficiency from an actual brew day is compared to the theoretical efficiency: total water used (cold) V T = 8.0 gal pre-boil volume (hot) V b-hot = 6.6 gal grain weight m G = 8.9 lb extract efficiency calculated from the malts laboratory extract E actual = 85 % First, the hot pre-boil volume measurement needs to be corrected to a cold volume. Boiling hot Water shrinks by about 4% when cooled to room temperature: V b = V b-hot * (1 - 0.04) = 6.6 gal * 0.96 = 6.3 gal The volume of water left in the MLT (grain absorption + dead volume) is the amount of water used minus the temperature corrected pre-boil. This does not take into account that the volume of wort is slightly larger than the volume of the water contained in that volume of wort. But since this difference is not significant for these calculations, especially for lower gravity beers, it is not accounted for. V DG = V T - V b = 8.0 - 6.3 = 1.7 gal If all of that volume can be attributed to grain absorption, then the absorption factor A is A = V DG / m G = 1.7 gal / 8.9 lb = 0.19 gal/lb When equal run-off sizes were chosen, the size of each run-off is V R = V b / 2 = 3.15 gal and the lauter tun volume before each run-off is V LT = V R + V DG = 3.15 gal + 1.7 gal = 4.85 For a single batch sparge, the theoretical efficiency is E theory = (V R + (V DG * V R ) / V LT ) / V LT = ((3.15 + (1.7 * 3.15) / 4.85) / 4.85 = 88% The actual efficiency, which was 85%, is 96% of the maximum efficiency. This is pretty good and indicates that there will be little that the brewer can do to improve the crush or mash conversion. Based on that relationship, which expresses how much of the extract potential actually made it into the wort, one can calculate the expected efficiencies for no-sparge and 2-sparge batch sparging: E theory-no-sparge = V b / V T = 6.3 / 8.0 = 79 % 96% of that are 76% expected no-sparge efficiency. In reality the efficiency will be a little worse since the amount of grain has to be increased which increases the amount of water needed to get to the same pre-boil volume. For 2-sparge batch sparging the theoretical efficiency is E theory-2-sparge = V R-2-sparge (1 + V DG / V LT-2-sparge + (V DG / V LT-2-sparge ) 2 ) / V LT-2-sparge = 2.1 ( 1 + 1.7 / 3.8 + (1.7 / 3.8) 2 ) / 3.8 = 91 % 96% of that are 87% and the actual efficiency will be slightly better since less grain is necessary which reduces V DG which increases the efficiency. But this increase is not significant enough to require consideration. In the end the brewer will have to decide if a 2% increase is worth the hassle of an additional sparge.
Bibliography How To brew John Palmer Denny Conn Batch Sparging Brew 365.com Tastybrew.com Brau-Kaiser.com BrewWiki.com