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HOMEBREW Digest #5177

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 · 15 Apr 2024

HOMEBREW Digest #5177		             Mon 23 April 2007 

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Isopropyl Alcohol ("William C. Tobler")
English commercial sparging practice (Signalbox Brewery)
RE: Whirly-gigs and sparging (Bill Tobler)
Re: Sparge Questions (-s)
re: trub free wort. ("steve.alexander")
Siebel Advanced Homebrewing course filling up ("Lemcke Keith")
Beer Hiku ("Stevens, Jonathan C")
RE: Trub Free Wort ("Joe Aistrup")

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Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2007 22:03:55 -0500
From: "William C. Tobler" <wtobler at>
Subject: Isopropyl Alcohol

I was in Walmart the other day getting stuff, and a new bottle of
Isopropyl Alcohol was on the list. And right next to the 70 percent
was a bottle of 91 percent. Wow, I say. look at that. Bigger is
better, right? Well, a fellow brew buddy didn't think so, but
couldn't remember why. I use it for a instant sanitizer of small
stuff. I've been using the 70 percent. What's the deal?

Bill Tobler
Lake Jackson, TX
(1129.2, 219.9) Apparent Rennerian
Brewing Great Beer in South Texas


Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 07:22:48 +0100
From: Signalbox Brewery <signalbox.brewery at>
Subject: English commercial sparging practice

Fred asks if it is true that some/many commercial English breweries
use fixed rather than rotating sprinklers for sparging.

I don't recall visiting a brewery without a sparge arm; my experience
is generally of the smaller ones (5-20 barrels), what we call a micro
here, but includes the Coors and Marstons ones in Burton as well.

So maybe some don't, but not many. The English were late adopters
of sparging compared to the Scots, but that was in the nineteenth

David Edge, Derby


Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 04:51:04 -0500
From: Bill Tobler <brewbetter1 at>
Subject: RE: Whirly-gigs and sparging

Lee asked some questions about sparge water and his Whirly-gig sparge

Hi Lee. You left out a lot in your post on what you were trying to
do. I'll have to guess, but you were making a 10 gallon batch of
Hefewiezen with 15 pounds of grain and 4 gallons of sparge water,
using a whirly-gig sparge type gadget. (I have one somewhere in a
box, somewhere) My very first suggestion is to get Promash brewing
software if you use a PC. I use a Mac, so I bought Virtual PC so I
could run Promash. The program will help you in figuring out grain,
water and hop amounts to hit the style and targets you want. Here
is the link for the FREE evaluation version.

There are other programs that work good also, but I've been using
Promash for so long I guess I'm stuck with it. You got about 75%
efficiency, so you did good on that end, you just didn't have enough
grain. You needed about 19.5 lbs of grain to get to a 1052 beer for
10 gallons, with 75% efficiency. The style you were brewing,
Category 15A, Weizen/Weissbier has an OG between 1.044 and 1.052. I
always shoot for the high end. On the sparge water, a good rule of
thumb is if you are making a 5 gallon batch, your sparge amount will
be about 5 gallons, and if you are making a 10 gallon batch, the
sparge water will be about 10 gallons. Those are not exact numbers,
but in the ballpark, if you are using a normal water/grist ratio like
1.25. The more water you put in the mash, the less sparge water you

On to your sparge arm. If it is the little brass one that has little
silicone corks in the ends, it is the same one I have. The corks
MUST be in of course, and all the little holes need to be clear of
grain and gunk. And you need enough flow to make the thing work. It
should spin freely when you hold it and spin it with your finger.
Mine worked really good for the year or so I used it, but I have
moved on to bigger and better. If you are having trouble with it,
take it off and just sparge on top of a plate of some kind, either
ceramic or aluminum. You will find that you really don't need it.

(I have an all electric HERMS in my brewery with more stuff than I
can count.) You should be able to brew a batch of all grain in 6
hours easy. We have a guy in our club who does it in about 3.5
hours, but me thinks he cuts a few corners.

A few things that will save you some time.

Have all your equipment ready to go the night before.
I like to grind my grain the night before too. (you may buy it that
way, I don't know)
Have all the water you need ready.
Go over your ingredient list and make sure you have everything.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions at all. I'd be more
than glad to help. I had plenty when I started out.

Bill Tobler
Lake Jackson, TX
(1129.2, 219.9) Apparent Rennerian
Brewing Great Beer in South Texas


Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 06:02:39 -0400
From: -s <-s at>
Subject: Re: Sparge Questions

Bob Tower adds some excellent points ...
> ... So for your 10 gallon batch of hefeweizen, you could
> have figured to have had 10 gallons of sparge water heated and ready
> to use. It's always better to have more sparge water ready than to
> run out
I agree - as you always lose some to evaporation, and better safe than
sorry rules.
Still this is alot of water. M&BS (pp328) [UK ale] uses a total of
8.1hl of water per
100kg of grist, divided as 5.35hl as sparge and therefore 2.75hl/100kg
as mash-in water.
In US HB units this means that for every pound of grist they mash-in
with 1.32 qt of
water and sparge with 2.56 quarts. Total water is therfore 3.88
qt/lb. They sparge
till the runnings hit 1.005 SG; too low for HB IMO.

IMO this amount of water on the less efficient HB scale can lead to
oversparging and
I'd suggest that you shoot for 3qt - 3.5qt/lb of total water. It will
reduce your sparge
efficiency to use less water, but it saves time and generally improves
the beer flavor.
Malt and water are cheap - time and a good beer are not.

As far as the mix of mash vs sparge water ... Traditional ale mashes
were thick
with only 1.25 to 1.5 qt/lb of grist. Kunze suggest that for German
dark beer
mashes may use slightly thinner water:grist ratio [[3-3.5hl/100kg =
German pale colored beers (pils and weizens) though use much thinner
mashes as
this preserve the light color and can use as much as 4-5hl/100kg
[[1.9-2.4 qt/lb]].
The very thin mashes may use only 70% as much sparge as mash water. The idea
of using less than 1.25qt/lb at saccharification temps is generally a
mistake IMO.

And finally - I am primarily considering a common 12P wort wrt to the
total water
ratios. If you are making a 17P bock wort you will certainly use less
total water/lb.
You might use more total water to make a 9P mild, but in that case I'd
suggest the
water goes directly from the sparge water kettle to the boiler to avoid
So I think ~3.5qt/lb of total water should be the highest amount ever
used on the



Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 06:47:26 -0400
From: "steve.alexander" <steve-alexander at>
Subject: re: trub free wort.

Fred Johnson asks about creating trub free wort when using a CFC to
recirculate the boiled wort. I do this too, and I agree that this
doesn't create
particularly trub-free work. At best when recirc'ing with a pump through
the whole-hops it's significantly clearer than if I don't. BTW I don't
have any
confidence that an HB scale whirlpool works well either. We can't get the
wort velocities used in a commercial whirlpool.

I don't see Jay Spies type of "very clear" result by using a slotted
manifold, so
perhaps his bazooka is superior. OTOH Jay suspects that 140F/60C is where
most of the break drops but my experience & reading is that the colder
you go
the more break you get. If you take clear fresh wort from ~75F to 35F in a
freezer overnight you'll see an amazing accumulation of break. The
stuff keeps
forming over a significant amount of time, so I doubt that the amount left
behind in any boiler recirc of under an hour represents the vast
majority of cold
break. Also - I would be scared of any fresh wort that was actually
"very clear".
I gauge cooling wort clarity by viewing through a 1/2 inch ID plastic
hose, and
with only 1/2 inch to traverse it can seem very clear. OTOH by the time
it's in a
carboy and I am looking through 13-15 inches of wort - it never seems "very
clear". We need to qualify such terms; a good pils is very clear, wort
come close.

If you really need spectacularly trub free wort then chill it to below
temps and let it sit there for a few hours before racking. Clearer -
but still
not clear in a carboy.

Instead - there were some papers in the ~1970s and 1980s of German and
Austrian breweries that purposely left the break in for few days and claimed
to produce a superior beer. The more detailed studies revealed that the
performance is improved when they are left in contact with some trub, but
the trub was likely to cause haze eventually if not removed.

One compromise that has been discussed on this forum is to pitch into trubby
wort and then rack off trub and dead yeast after 24-36 hours. This seems
almost ideal. The yeast have access to the lipids and metal-ion cofactors
in trub early when they need it most. The trub is largely removed long
the yeast mass ceases to grow - so they will remove any residual
lipids. At
24-36 hours the yeast will consume any O2 introduced in minutes. On the\
HB scale we often pitch yeast not at it's prime and so removing yeast cells
not in suspension should be a good way to avoid potential autolysis flavors.
Also the resulting yeast cake is radically cleaner if you rack.



Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 12:02:34 -0400
From: "Lemcke Keith" <klemcke at>
Subject: Siebel Advanced Homebrewing course filling up

I just wanted to let HBD'ers know that our Advanced Homebrewing Course
(July 23-27) in Durango, CO is filling up fast for both class space
(only 8 seats left) & accommodations , so if you have been considering
registration you should sign up soon. After we reach the capacity for
registrations we will start a waiting list in case of cancellation.

By the way, if you are considering having your "significant other" come
along to enjoy Durango while you are in class, they can attend the
evening events (brewpub & brewery tours, sometimes with food included)
for a very nominal charge. Durango has an amazing amount of activities
for your partner to enjoy while you are in class learning to be a better

If you want more details on the course the web site is at, and please
reply to me at klemcke at if you have any questions.

Keith Lemcke
Siebel Institute of Technology


Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 09:35:00 -0400
From: "Stevens, Jonathan C" <Jonathan.Stevens at>
Subject: Beer Hiku


funny as sh!t

one beer

at a time.


Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 13:18:50 -0500
From: "Joe Aistrup" <joe_aistrup at>
Subject: RE: Trub Free Wort

Fred asks about how to get trub free wort.

My solution is a three step process. First, I use my own version of the
hop-stopper. It really does work with any type of hop, pellet or leaf.
Second, I drain the cooled wort (exiting the CFC) into a plastic bucket (I
have a ten gallon system, so I actually have two plastic buckets). Third,
after letting cooled wort set in the covered plastic bucket and allowing
the cold break settle to the bottom of the buckets, I drain the buckets
(using the spigot at the bottom) into my conical fermentor. In this last
step, I let the wort drain from a height, which also aerates the wort.

Draining the wort out the spigot works very well. The wort remaining in the
bottom of the bucket is the cold break. I have to admit, my system is
strictly gravity. I know that you boys with pumps like use them (have pump,
will push wort), so you may not want to pursue this solution. But, it does
work and it is simple.

Joe Aistrup
Little Apple Brew Crew
Manhattan, KS, which is just South of nowhere and east of someplace.
Because we are off the map. we have no Rennerian Coordinates.

End of HOMEBREW Digest #5177, 04/23/07

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