Brew Your Own Magazine – Basic Brewing Radio Collaborative Experiment #6: Mashing Methods We asked home brewers to compare

and contrast two common home brewing mashing and lautering techniques, choosing between batch sparging, fly sparging, no-sparge, and brew in a bag. Five brewers answered the challenge. These are their full results. The BBR episode (January 20, 2011) can be found in the archives at Your name: Location: Style of beer: Mashing techniques compared: Yeast strain: Jeff Karpinski Parker, CO SMaSH (Maris Otter & Chinook) No sparge & fly sparge US-05 Recipe: MO / Chinook SMaSH 2.5G, 68 IBU, 8 SRM 5lb Maris Otter .5oz 11.5AA Chinook @ 30min .5oz 11.5AA Chinook @ 15min .5oz 11.5AA Chinook @ whirlpool (15min) US-05 10 days @ 58, 4 days @ 68. Water Ca:84, Cl:41, SO4:91, CaCO3:89 No sparge:

Describe in detail your process, including time spent lautering, weight of grain bill, water to grain ratio, etc.


5 gal @ 1. 15 minute recirculation of full pre-boil volume until 170 reached. 60 minute boil. http://byo..053 No sparge: 2. 1.051 Fly sparge: 3 gal @ 1.5qt/lb Vorlauf followed by 60 minute runoff with 170 sparge water. continuous recirculation ability.015 Fly sparge: Describe your mashing equipment. 60 minute boil. My Countertop Brutus 20 .45 minute mash @ 154.5 gal @ 1.064 No sparge: All samples chilled to 60.5qt/lb..basicbrewing. Fly sparge: 60 minute mash @ 154. No sparge: 3 gal @ 1.061 Fly sparge: 2 . 1.Round 5gal MLT with stainless circular braid. What was the pre-boil specific gravity and volume of each batch? What was the original gravity and post boil volume of each batch? What was the final gravity of each batch? www.

No sparge had an 82% efficiency into the kettle. In conjunction with the higher OG. this meant the fly sparge beer was about Same amount of krausen. http://www. Fly sparge wort looked slightly clearer 3 .jpg Wife poured me a triangle No detectable difference. bitterness.basicbrewing. Consistency of bubble size was same.5% higher Fermentation was identical. Fly Conclusions. and aroma between the batches: Fly sparge head was SLIGHYLY longer lasting. will this sparge had 87%. same lag. even though the fly sparge is about differences.jpg Both are very clear when warm and both exhibit slight chill haze when On the other hand. Also. No color differences at all throughout About what I expected. Finished beers look identical. Describe any differences in clarity: http://www.1.5% higher ABV.013 Interesting that the fly sparge wort was slightly more fermentable. My MLT having a stainless braid instead of a false bottom change how you brew?: likely limited the fly sparge's potential in this Hard as I tried. I could not find any Compare the flavor. same time reaching FG. http://www.jpg Color differences (if any): What differences (if any) in the foam did you see? http://www. however. the CB20's ability to recirculate the full pre-boil volume through the MLT www.

resulting in a starting mash temp of 157 degrees. I can't honestly say they're a great combo. I stirred grains about every 10-12 minutes. 4. etc. Your name: Location: Style of beer: Mashing techniques compared: Yeast strain: Hank Rowe Tucson. I love using SMaSH beers for experiments. Slightly concerned about lack of temp control.5 wheat. Upon the end of the mash period. www. but until this SMaSH. the temp had dropped to 148 degrees. For an hour shorter brewday. stopping Describe in detail your process.minimizes the inherent inefficiency of no sparge.5 2-row. Something's clashing on my tongue from the bottled samples.I had 5 gallons of water at 180 degrees. I'm very pleased with my system and processes. Az Belgian Blonde Fly-Sparging & Brew-In-A-Bag White Labs Belgian Golden Ale WLP570 w/ starter 12. 1 vienna & .com 4 . It's more reminiscent of an ESB off the tap. I drew off the wort to the boiling kettle.75lb grain bill (6. By the end of the 1-hour mash. and I always use Maris Otter for its pronounced malt character.basicbrewing. water to grain ratio. I'm also a big fan of Chinook hops. probably due to the relatively low carbonation level I normally run my kegerator at. Overall. and set up the sparge .5gals @ 170. weight of grain bill. which gravity fed at a rate to result in a slow rotation of the sparge arms. I combined and kegged the balance of the two beers where it does taste better. I'd never tried them with MO. monitoring the draining liquid to the boiling kettle. I'm getting what I truly consider to be the same beer. including time spent lautering. As for the beer itself.75 carapils) Fly Sparging: I struck with 4.

I was able to closely monitor the temp over the 1 hour mash time. At the end of one hour. During the mash process. I added 2 gals of boiling water to the kettle.4oz Hallertau at flame out. 1oz Hallertau @ 30min. A coil chiller was added at 10 minutes (to sterilize).25 gals to steep the initial grain bed. The one-hour boil was applied equally to each batch.048 ~6gals Describe your mashing equipment.basicbrewing. I stirred the grains about every 8-10 minutes or so.5 gals BIAB: 1. which when the grain bag was added resulted in a temp of 154 degrees. I wanted to make sure I hit my target volume directly from the removal of the grain bag. After approximately 10 minutes! .043 ~6. What was the pre-boil specific gravity and volume of each www. I placed it in a strainer over a smaller brew pot to drip into. the water drained was added to the brew kettle. with additions of . and wort chilled in ~30 mins to 70 degrees pitching temp before transfer to fermenters. Once lifting out the grain bag. As I was mashing directly in my boiling pot. and follow up with an additional 2 gallons of boiling water to bump the mash temp to 170 degrees for the last 10 minutes. I began with 5. which I left at for 10 minutes before pulling out the bag. with fabricated closed-cell foam insulator for sideas and top. Brew in a Bag: 24"x24" Nylon Straining Bag Fly-Sparge: 1. This brought my mash temp to 165.25gals with a strike temp of 165 degrees. with temp ranges kept between 152 and 154 degrees. For the BIAB.when I reached my desired yield (resulting in approximately 4 gallons sparging over 45 minutes). and 1oz Saaz + .6oz Hallertau @ 45min. *see note in conclusion. I used a variety of sources and determined to start with 5 . Mini-Brew 15gal Mash Tun w/false bottom.

010 each The color of each was a sandy yellow/brown.055 ~5gals 1. One of my samplers noted that because the citrus taste didn't come on quite as strong.basicbrewing. Poured in the glass. Light and fizzy one the 6 .though when viewed through the light they appeared equal in color and clarity (a golden-sandy color ~3 SRM). It was noted that the Fly-Sparge brew poured ever so slightly darker in shade .batch? What was the original gravity and post boil volume of each batch? What was the final gravity of each batch? Color differences (if any): (gravity adjusted for temp) Fly-Sparge: 1. Somewhat sweet. the following was noted: What differences (if any) in the foam did you see? Describe any differences in clarity: BIAB: A citrus bouquet. though much more noticeable presence of particulates in the BIAB. with equal rate noted (initial bubbling ~6 hours. Among me and my samplers. the BIAB had ever-so-slightly more carbonation (understanble with gravity difference). taste. Cannot speak to this as one container was a bucket-style fermenter . This also came through in the Compare the flavor. with a hint of orange. with equivalent rate of aggressive bubblers noted the next morning (12 hours).5 gals BIAB: 1. In the bottle (pre-refrigeration).though it should be noticed that fermentation for each began at similar times. Fermentation rates remained similar. with equivalent (slight) deposit at the bottom of the bottle (nothing that would distinguish one from the other). bitterness. both appeared to have similar clarity.less of the citrus aroma and orange. and aroma between the batches: Fly-Sparge: A slightly more blended taste .048 ~5. down to a trickle 2 days later Cannot commenton difference in fermenter. that this beer would be more "drinkable" www.

I do not see BIAB as a viable option for larger batches (though I would definitely use for smaller experimental batches). as otherwise. Christopher Owen Louisville.I learned a great deal with this experiment. my desire is for larger capacity (I generally brew 10 gal batches). I would definitely recommend BIAB to anyone who is considering trying to step into AG for the ease. etc. For me personally. weight of grain 7 . the end results came through very similar. water to grain ratio. as it would have given me a better gauge of how much water to use for the BIAB.basicbrewing. including time spent lautering. For one. the process seemed like it would be more cumbersome due to the simple fact of the grain mass. Conclusions. Your name: Location: Style of beer: Mashing techniques compared: Yeast strain: Describe in detail your process. as well as the cost efficiency. For going beyond that (as I am looking towards). KY American Pale Ale continuous vs batch WLP001 Grain bill: 8 lbs 2-row 1 lb carapils Mash @ 4 gallons to 9 lbs Mash temp: 152 Mash duration: 90 min www. Also. will this change how you brew?: Being new to All Grain. While I did read of some who do use BIAB for 10 gal batches. I should have done the Fly-Sparge first. I do believe that the significant factor in any difference in the tastes of these two were due to the difference in water/grain ratio.

5 oz cascade@ 60 min 0.25 gallons Fly OG: 1.Boil 75 minutes 1 oz cascade @ FWH 0.basicbrewing.5 oz dry hop .7 days 39 IBU ~5.5 gallons (75% efficiency with correction for thermal expansion) Fly PBG:1.058 @4. Batch PBG: 1.046 @ 5. ball valve and hose braid.25 gallons Batch FG: 1. using a weldless fitting.9% ABV Describe your mashing equipment.5 gallons (81% efficiency with correction for thermal expansion) Batch OG: 1.062 @4. What was the pre-boil specific gravity and volume of each batch? 8 gallon stainless steel kettle.5 oz cascade@ 15 min 1 oz cascade@ 5 min 8 .014 (76% attenuation) What was the original gravity and post boil volume of each batch? What was the final gravity of each batch? www.050 @5.

the fly batch was slightly clearer and lighter. astringent sensation (the slightest bit) on the finish compared to and aroma between the the fly sparge. Your name: Location: Style of beer: Mashing techniques Andreas Schermaier Export.Fly FG: 1. This may be consistent with the slightly darker color of the batches: batch sparge beer. reflecting light more Color differences (if any): brightly and are easier to decipher in the fly sparge beer than the batch sparge beer. The batch sparge beer has a Compare the flavor. the bottom inscriptions in my glass are more obvious. I will continue to fly sparge as it is more efficient for me. Also. clarity: no real difference is detectable. resulting in more sugar in the wort. This may simply be brewhouse error. After fermentation. There is also a slight haze in both beers from the dry hopping. Initially. I will definitely fly sparge for extra-pale pilsners. It also eliminates the risk of getting extra tannins in the Conclusions. will this wort (though some write that batch sparging reduces the risk of extra change how you brew?: tannins). Beers are equal in hop aroma and flavor. But. slightly dry. helles and the like. I imagine with dark beers I wouldn't notice a difference. What differences (if any) in the About 1-2 mm higher head in the fly sparge beer than the batch sparge. possibly as more suspended grist got through from having Describe any differences in to repeat the vorlauf process in the batch sparge beer. as it may be getting more tannins. You may need a meter to know exactly how much.016 (74% attenuation) The batch sparge beer is slightly darker in color than the fly sparge 9 . I am curious if the extra color comes from more tannins being extracted and getting into the wort. bitterness.basicbrewing. foam did you see? Neither remained very long. PA Best Bitter No Sparge vs. as it is subtle. Fly Sparge www.

95 oz Kent Goldings [1 min] .2 Buffer added to it then it was split up . water to grain ratio. After rest then direct heat was added to bring to mash out temperature of 168 F. including time spent lautering. 1/4 tsp Super Moss [10 mins] 1/2 tsp Wyeast Nutrient [10 mins] .com 10 .5 oz Bramling Cross [60 mins] Describe in detail your process.65 oz Gypsum [60 mins] 1.2 Buffer (added to 8 gals) .45 oz Fuggles [1 min] . etc. Water was brought up to temperature and then milled grain added. then lautering began.compared: Yeast strain: WLP041 Pacific Ale Yeast Grain Bill (10 lbs total) 9 lbs Maris Otter 1 lbs Uk Crystal (10L) 8 gallons filtered tap water 21 grams Five Star 5. www. In the case for no sparge all 8 gallons was used. weight of grain bill. Direct heat was applied to keep the mash at temperature.5 oz Bramling Cross [1 min] All 8 gallons of water had 21 grams of 5. but in the fly sparge method 4 gallons went to the mash tun and the other 4 gallons was used later for the sparge.basicbrewing.

6 quarts per lbs of grain * 70 mins rest @ 150 F * 70 mins to complete runoff/sparge Mash Tun * 10 gal Blichman Boilermaker * False bottom Describe your mashing equipment. www. then bottled with 68 grams priming sugar. so it drained slower) Fly Sparge * 1. while the mash rested the sparge water was brought up to 170 F and then transferred to a 5 gallon cooler.2 quarts per lbs of grain * 70 mins rest @ 150 F * 25 mins to drain mash tun (when I drained faster the run off got too cloudy. Carboy was shaken and yeast was pitched. In primary for three weeks. Runoff was collected and brought to 11 . Fermented at 64-68 F.In the fly sparge method.basicbrewing. No Sparge * 3. wort was run through a plate chiller and into a carboy. After 60 mins of boiling.

basicbrewing.5 gallons No Sparge * 11.25 brix (1.048) * 6. bitterness.75 brix (1.046) * 5.5 gallons Fly Sparge * 14 brix (1. Aroma The No Sparge beer (NS) had a little bit more of a pronounced hop aroma while the Fly Sparge (FS) I got some hop aroma too but with a little bit more Color differences (if any): What differences (if any) in the foam did you see? Describe any differences in clarity: Compare the flavor.5 gallons No Sparge * 5.057) * 5.What was the pre-boil specific gravity and volume of each batch? * Auto Sparge Arm for Fly Sparging No Sparge * 9 brix (1. Both beers cleared equally the 12 .5 brix (1.5 gallons Fly Sparge * 12 brix (1.036) * 6. and aroma between the batches: www. No difference in foam.011) The No Sparge batch looked ever so slightly darker.008) What was the original gravity and post boil volume of each batch? What was the final gravity of each batch? Fly Sparge * 7.

etc. 8. 2 lbs wheat malt.of the sweetness of the carmel malt coming through. I will try to fly sparge more often even though it takes a lot longer to do. IL Hoppy Alt beer batch and fly sparging Wyeast 2565 Kolsch Trying a decoction mash for the first time. I would like to get better at fly sparging and maybe I can eliminate that sharp taste. will this change how you brew?: Your name: Location: Style of beer: Mashing techniques compared: Yeast strain: Describe in detail your process. Mashed in and achieved a 128°F initial temperature. 0. water to grain ratio. I will change a bit how I will brew in the future. I followed that recipe (though I think it may be a bit hoppy for the style).basicbrewing. including time spent lautering.5 lb decoction which was heated to 150°F then rested there for 15 min before 13 .5 lbs total grain mashed into 4 gal (~2 qts/lb) water. Pulled a 19. weight of grain bill. Dan Kerkman Lake Villa.5 lbs 20L Crystal. I would also like to have a more reliable efficiently to create recipes from. sort of astringent. Bitterness The NS beer I perceive to be more bitter than the FS beer. Used the same recipe for both batches: 4 lbs 2-row. Also. Found this online BYO article on the process with an included recipe for an Alt beer. Unfortunately the FS I get a bit more of a sharp taste. 2 lbs Munich malt. Flavor NS has pleasant taste from hops and a little bit of sweetness. www.

5 gal) then either batch or fly sparge (done on successive brew days).040.052 respectively). Vorloff until reasonably clear (~0.basicbrewing.011. Batch sparged recipe was 6 gal with SG of 1.010. The decoction was returned to the mash tun to produce a 150°F sacrification temperature. Calculated the efficiency of the two methods (initial gravity points/potential gravity points from beersmith. After 15 min pull a 19 lb decoction which was boiled for 20 min before returning to the mash tun for a 10 min 168° mash out. Fly sparged recipe was 6 gal with SG of 1. Volume and OG was essentially the same for each batch post boil (5 gal. Batch sparged recipe a had final gravity of 1. 52/61.9=84% False bottom mash tun/boil kettle made from an used stainless steel half barrel. Fly sparged recipe had a final gravity of 14 . Efficiency was the same since there was the same amount of grain (therefore the same potential gravity) in each batch and each batch had the same post boil OG.boiling for 20 min. The amount of time spent sparging was similar regardless of the method (though I didn't measure this precisely). 1. Since the decoction was too small the mash temperature didn't reach sacrification temperature when the small decoction Describe your mashing equipment. What was the pre-boil specific gravity and volume of each batch? What was the original gravity and post boil volume of each batch? What was the final gravity of each batch? Color differences (if any): What differences (if any) in the foam did you see? but I mistakenly pulled a smaller than desired first decoction for this batch and cooked it almost dry (added some more mash liquid). No difference in color Better foam on the batch sparged recipe.041.

will this sparging more often (I've only used fly sparging until now). Smooth mouth feel Compare the flavor. with an initial hint of sweetness that is quickly overcome by the beer's and aroma between the hoppiness. I'll definitely try change how you brew?: decoction mashing again! www.was added back and I had to do another decoction.basicbrewing. Both batches had aroma that hinted of a Belgian Ale. batches: The fly sparged recipe was slightly drier than the batch sparged 15 . bitterness. Describe any differences in clarity: Clarity was the same for both batches. Also. I found the two beers to be essentially the same and will likely try batch Conclusions.

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