Mash thickness/Sparge free mash ?'s

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Mash thickness/Sparge free mash ?'s

Postby jayhawk » Thu Aug 22, 2002 6:01 pm

Two questions:
1) I have recently read a few recipe guides that refer to "mash thickness", what does this term refer to?

2)What is the theory behind a sparge free mash? Is this where you simply fill the mash vessel with enough water that sparging is not necessary? (I will be aquiring a 50L food grade plastic barrel for a mash tun, which I imagine would be more than ample capacity to complete a sparge free mash for a 5 gal batch.)
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No Sparge

Postby andytv » Fri Aug 23, 2002 10:17 am

I would guess that mash thickness applies to the viscosity of the wort.

Yes, to do a no-sparge batch you use enough water so sparging is not required. I'm not sure how much is enough though. I'd try to err on the "not enough side", then sparge a little to top it off. If for any reason I do a 5 gallon batch again, I'm going to give it a try, so let me know how you make out.

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Ratio

Postby Freon12 » Fri Aug 23, 2002 3:30 pm

After I answer this question, everything I know about brewing has been posted on this forum including all secret brewing tricks, I'm done, I know no more.
Mash thickness is the ratio of water(liquor) to grain in quarts per pound. This effects the enzymes ability to withstand higher mash tempretures. If the mash is "thickererer" like 1.15qts per pound, it would give the enzymes a place to "hide" from high mash tempretures.(effects of which has been posted by Mesa at least once).
The standard (if there is one) is about 1.25qts per pound. A "thinnererer" mash would be selected for perhaps a decoction mash schedule or your no sparge method. Some claim a slightly thinner mash may be easy to stir and have little negitive effect. I always use a thinner mash at about 1.55qts+ per pound for a dryer wheat beer and 1.25 for a malty german lager for example.(sorry about the imperial units).
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no-sparge mash revisited

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Sep 04, 2002 5:17 am

I know this thread is going on a couple of weeks old, but I just saw it in the archive and thought I'd chime in on the no-sparge mash.

(I just started posting here a few days ago, btw, but have been using the site for a year or so. There's a good group of enthusiastic brewers here and I think it's a great place to share ideas!)

My understanding of "no sparge" mashing is a little different than just adding enough water so that sparging is not needed. That would certainly make the mash way too thin to get good conversion efficiency.

The idea is actually to just up your grain bill by 25% or so, and then to use the "thinnerer" (I like that term) side of the mash thickness range(1.33 qt./lb) and don't bother with second runnings. Since you get basically 2/3 of your sugars in the first runnings, the idea is to spend a couple extra bucks for a few pounds more grain, and save a 90 minutes of so at the expense of some efficiency. if you need more volume in your kettle, just add appropriately treated brewing water to complete your boil volume.

This is done a lot for high grav beers where collecting all teh second runnings would give you a huge volume and require hours to biol down. Proponents of "no-sparge" say that the idealized pH of the first runnings shouldn't be thrown off with the more alkaline second runnings, etc. Kirin's Ichiban is a commercial example that touts the virtues of brewing only with first runnings.

For the last year or so, I have used exclusively "batch sparge" and have had no loss of efficiency compared to normal sparging. To collect 16 gallons of wort, I start with 7 gallons of water in the mash tun, mash out with 4 gallons and collect 8 gallons of first runnings. Then I add 8 more gallons to the tun, mix and rest, Vorhloff (sp?) and collect second runnings. No need to worry about keeping the grain bed covered with water etc., and I like the control I get.

Cheers,
Jim
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No sparge cont'd

Postby jayhawk » Wed Sep 04, 2002 9:47 pm

I am an all grain newbie, bear with me.
How long is your rest before beginning the second runnings? Can you elaborate on the "greater control you get" with your method? Do you ever need to acidify the water for your second runnings? Do you need to increase your grain bill with this method?
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