Temperature in the Lautering Tun?

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Temperature in the Lautering Tun?

Postby mountainbrewer » Sun Jul 13, 2003 2:03 pm

I have a question regarding the sparge water temperature and where to measure it. In the past, I have monitord the sparge water temp. in liquor tank. Last time I brewed I checked the temperature in the lautering tun above the bed of grain and it was considerably cooler(15-20 deg.)than the liquor tank after sprinkling out of the sparge arm.
Should I boost my liquor tank water to hit the targeted temperature in the lautering tun?
Thanks,
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HLT temp and recirculation

Postby bredmakr » Mon Jul 14, 2003 6:32 am

I typically mash at 148-154F for 60 minutes. I bring my hot liquor up to 170-175F then start recirculation for clarity. This also allows time to bring up the mash temp to somewhere between 165-170F because I initially runoff 1-1.5 gallons of wort, add 1-1.5 gallons from the HLT, then continue recirculating for clarity. I then start the sparge at a rate to yeild 12.5 gallons in 90 minutes. The slow sparge insures that no channels develop within the grain bed and provides the retention time to evenly raise the temp of the mash.

In your case you want to find the hot liquor temp that allows you to reach 165-170F within the mash tun during the sparge to insure that you are achieving a high mash efficiency. Raising the temp within the mash tun during the sparge reduces the viscosity of the wort and thereby increases the "strippability" of the sweet wort from the grain surface area.

Factors impacting your sparge efficiency include the heat retention properties of the mash tun, the HLT, and the grain. The ambient air temperature from the sparge head to the top of the grain bed, the mash temp, adn the rate of recirculation/sparge are also factors to be considered.

Without knowing about the type of system you are using I'm afraid I can not be very specific about methods for raising the mash temp during the sparge. See if you can't figure out what your current mash efficiency is with the 'final beer analysis' tool. If it is somewhere around 75-80% don't worry about it.

Hope this helps.

Mike
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Simple Man, Simple Methods

Postby mountainbrewer » Mon Jul 14, 2003 6:28 pm

Hey Mike-Good info there, thanks.
Having recently commited myself to all grain, I still use some simple tools. For example, I use the Zapap type lauter tun so your observation about heat loss from the plastic buckets would be correct. The HLT is just a stainless pot, no insulation there either. Everything I do is either by gravity of ladeling back in to the tun. Add in the fact that I live at about 7500 ft elevation and much of the year is cool to cold and there you go.... Certainly not the case recently though. Been so hot and so dry the trees are whistling for the dogs... ;~)
I'll try boosting my HLT temp just to get my sparging closer to target. I've never actually figured my mash efficiencies yet but with the help of the book "Designing Great Beers" am starting to get better at hitting the target OG.
I know just enough to be dangerous?
Thanks for your reply, I will try some of the temps and run-off rates you use and see how it goes.
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ZAPAP time proven system

Postby bredmakr » Tue Jul 15, 2003 4:05 am

Your 'simple' system is very effective and is the same way that I started all grain brewing.

A few system specific ideas -

1) heat the liquor to 180F to account for heat loss during the sparge and do not take it off the heat until after you recirculate and set up your grain bed. This will save heat loss from the HLT while waiting for the sparge and reduce the gradient of any temperature changes within the mash tun that develop during the mash.

2) depending on the head space within your mash tun you could add 1 to 2 gallons of hot liquor to the mash tun prior to recirculation to assist in stabilizing the temperature gradient within the mash tun and bringing the bulk temp up a bit prior to sparge. And/or you could drain off 1/2 to 1 gallon (be sure to maintain at least an inch of wort above the grain bed) of the wort and heat it up to 180 and reintroduce to the mash tun during the recirculation. This ofcourse takes more time and one more pot to clean. I'd recommend going with the hot liquor addition during recirculation and use the time saved to enjoy a tastey beverage from your own brewery.

Mike
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I'll Try It

Postby mountainbrewer » Tue Jul 15, 2003 4:05 pm

I'll go with the hot liquour addition as you reccomend.
Next brew session is in two weeks. Thanks for the suggestions.
Next big deal for me is the purchase of a temperature controller for the fermenting fridge I recently got. Until now, my fermenting has been at the mercy of whatever room of the house I felt was best. I'm looking at a digital one that Williams Brewing has in their catalog. It is capable of running a heater pad too in the colder month's.
This is gonna be cool...
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