Beer Quotes & Wisdom

Anyone can drink beer,

but it takes intelligence to enjoy beer.

--Stephen Beaumont

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mashing and Sparging Techniques

At our upcoming December club meeting we will be discussing mashing and sparging techniques and how they might affect yield or brewhouse efficiency. As part of this discussion for the all grain brewers please come prepared to report on the following for your brewhouse:

1.) For a "normal" gravity beer (let's say less than 1.070 or so) what is your typical efficiency? See my earlier post for information on how to calculate this.

2.) What mashing method do you use? Single infusion, multi-step, decoction, more than one method, none of these (describe)?

3.) What method do you use for mashout? Add heat, add hot water, recirculate wort through a heat exchanger, other (describe), don't do a mash out?

4.) What is your sparge method? Batch (how many rinses, do you stir?), fly, other(describe)?

5.) How deep is your typical grain bed during sparge? 5", 10", 20", etc.?

6.) Do you acid treat your sparge water or moitor runoff ph?

7.) What sparge water temperature do you use?

8.) How do you decide when to stop sparging? Run out of sparge water, collected enough wort, Runoff gravity, Runoff ph, other (describe)?

9.) How long does a typical 5 gal sparge take in your brewhouse? 10 gal?



  1. Excellent questions. I'm going to have to pay a bit more attention to what is actually taking place when I brew to be ready for the meeting.

  2. Another intersting thing for someone to figure out is the cost savings with increased efficiency. If I am brewing 12 gallons of beer and improve my efficiency by 10% how much am I saving in grain costs?

  3. Well I've heard some of the members say that they only achieve about 60% efficiency. This would mean that about 30# of grain would be required to obtain 12 gallons at 1.060. So improving to 70% would save about 3#. Improving to 80% would save 6#.

  4. A nice write up on sparge techniques can be found at complete with pictures of his set up


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