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The Equipment                    

    Basic Mash & Sparge Procedure

 

    This is the 'Cooler Method' of doing the Mash and Sparge.

1) Determine the total amount of crushed Grain and Adjuncts from your recipe going into the 'Mash Tun'. The Grain should be at room temperature not refrigerated.

    Example:  English Pale Ale Recipe

8-1/2 Lb. English 2-row Pale Malt

1/2 Lb. English Mild Malt                        =     9-1/2Lb's

1/2 Lb. Light Wheat Malt

    All Grains have been crushed and are at room temperature.

2) Multiply the amount of total grain weight by 1.4 Quarts of water, for the amount of water needed in the mash.

    9.5 Lb's x 1.4 quarts water = 13.3 quarts (or 3-1/3 gallons) of water needed for the mash water.

3) Heat the Mash water to approximately 5 degrees above your mashing temperature required in the recipe. The recipe above calls for a mashing temperature of 150 degrees. Heat the Mash water to 155 degrees to compensate for the cooling of the water from the grain.

4) Pre heat the Mash/Tun with one cup of Boiling water. Close the lid and splash the hot water inside the entire surface to warm the Mash/Tun. Let it set for two to three minutes to heat the Mash Tun thermally. Always take care to make sure your false bottom is down in place before adding the water and grain.

5) Add half of the mash water into the Mash/Tun and start by slowly adding half the crushed grain into the warm mash water.  Make sure the grain is well blended as you add the remaining water and grain. Always take care to make sure your false bottom is down in place before adding the water and grain.

 6) If you find your Mash temperature is not hot enough. Simply remove from the Mash/Tun 1/3 of the water and heat the small amount just untill steam rises. Slowly blend the reheat mash water into the Mash/Tun to raise the temperature. Check the temperature while adding the reheated water being careful NOT to over heat the Mash. 

7) Cover the Mash/Tun, set the timer and walk away. The English Pale Ale Recipe requires a 60 Minute mash time.

8) After 45 minutes of mash time start heating the Sparge water.

    The Sparge water will normally equal the amount of mash water, Plus added water needed for absorption of water from the grains and water evaporated in the boil. It is always a good idea to have a bit extra sparge water, so just round up.

  A Simple formula to determine water absorption: Total LBS Grain X .20 (Grain-Absorption-Rate) = Water Absorbed. Use 0.20 as your multiplier, which states that each LBS of grain in a mash will absorb 0.2 gallons of water. This is an approximate amount. If you have more than 25 % of adjuncts that will not absorb water such as Roasted Malts, Then you will have less absorption in the mash.  

    Example: 9.5 Lb's grain X .20 = 1.9 gallons water absorbed.

3.33 gallons of Mash water Less 1.9 gallons of water absorbed by the grain = 1.4 gallons of grain water left in the Mash/Tun.

    You will need 4.6 gallons of Sparge water. Your recipe is for Five Gallons. Most Boils will evaporate approximately One Gallon of water per hour. The recipe calls for an One hour boil. If you start the boil with 6 gallons of Wort and boil for one hour you will end with the five gallons of Wort needed to ferment.

    You will have 1.4 gallons of grain water left in the Mash/Tun after the 60 minute mashing time. By knowing the finished Batch size of Five gallons. We can now figure the total amount of sparge water needed. Remember to add the One gallon of water needed for evaporation in the boil.

Batch size @ 5 gallons + 1 gallon Evaporated water from the boil = 6 gallons of Wort before the Boil.

 6 gallons  less 1.4 gallons Grain water = 4.6 gallons of Sparge water  (4.6 + 1.4= 6)

9) Heat the sparge water to approximately 3-4 degrees hotter than required. This is a temperature you will have to work with depending on your system set up. The further away from the Mash/Tun your sparge water is, the more it will lose heat. How you keep the sparge water hot during the sparging time, will also depend on the correct Sparge water temperature.

10) http://www.weekendbrewer.com/brewingformulas.htm#Test%20for%20Starch

Iodine in solution is yellow. However, if iodine comes in contact with a long, linear starch molecule such as amylose, the iodine molecule fits into spaces within starch molecule. The solution turns dark blue (or black if there's enough starch). If the starch has been partially broken down or if has a lot of branches as with large starch molecules or amylopectin, the iodine and starch molecules won't fit together as well, and the solution will turn a reddish color. If no starch, amylose, or amyopectin are left to combine with the iodine, the solution will remain yellow. 

11) After the 60-75 minute Mashing time and your Starch has converted. Next raise the temperature of the mash from the 150 Degrees to 168 degrees. To do this, Simply remove from the Mash/Tun 1/3 of the water and heat the small amount just until steam rises. Slowly blend the reheat mash water into the Mash/Tun to raise the temperature. Check the temperature while adding the reheated water being careful NOT to over heat the Mash. If the mash temp. raises to the required temperature and you have left over heated grain water. Simply Swirl this small amount to cool and add back into the Mash/Tun. Cover the Mash/Tun and let it rest for 10 minutes.

12) Remove from the Mash/Tun Outlet valve,1-2 quarts of Wort until it starts to run clear of all small particles. Pour the removed Wort back on-top of the grain in the Mash/Tun. This will compact the grain bed and create a good filter.

13) Your sparge water container should now be in place above the Mash/Tun so the sparge water can flow regulated into the Mash/Tun at a slow and even flow. As the sparge water is flowing into the Mash/Tun the outlet valve on the Mash/Tun is slightly open to allow drainage into the brew kettle.

14) Regulate your sparge water flow so that it is covering the Grain by only 1/4-1/3 of an inch. The outlet flow from the Mash/Tun should also be regulated so that the flow rate is slow enough so that the  water level in the Mash/Tun is not lowered until ALL the sparge water has been dispensed. Once the sparge water is gone then the level of the mash water will drain leaving the grain exposed.

    The Recipe calls for a one hour sparge time. If you have collected MORE  than 1-1/2 gallons of Wort into your brew kettle in 15 minutes time. Then your sparge rate is to fast. A slow sparge is ALWAYS best and if it takes a few minutes more it is not a problem.

15) Continue the sparge until the Wort draining from the Mash/Tun starts to run almost clear. You should just taste a slight bit of sweetness in the Wort coming out of the Mash/Tun. Never sparge to the point that the Wort draining form the Mash/Tun is so clear that it no longer contain any flavor or the slight taste of sweetness. Over sparging will give you an astringent after taste in your beer.

Your Now Ready To Boil