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heating sweet wort in boil kettle during sparge, good/bad?

 
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kyle



Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 14



PostLink    Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:26 pm    Post subject: heating sweet wort in boil kettle during sparge, good/bad? Reply with quote


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Hi everyone, first post here. Currently pricing out / constructing my electric brewery and this site and these forums are an amazing resource.

I'm doing a 120v ~5gal (10g kettles) build and I've got a handy spreadsheet to calculate heating/boiling times. I originally planned on doing 2x2000v ULD elements in the boil kettle (~30 min from 140 to boiling vs ~50) but then I had an idea. What if I just used 1 element in the boil kettle, and reduced time to boil by getting a head start( set kettle to sub boil temp) during the fly sparge once enough sweet wort was in the kettle. This saves me $100-150 easily (budget very important) and keeps me from having to use 2 separate branch circuits in my house. I just don't know enough about beer science to know if there is something bad about this that I'm missing

Is there a brewing reason to keep finished sweet wort at falling post-mash temperatures during a 60-90 min sparge? Or is it okay to get a head start on boiling by heating it? Without consideration to the affect on the wort, I'd start heating with ~30-40 minutes left in the sparge. The bulk of the wort will begin heating to 190 (or even 200) which would let me bring it very quickly to a boil 8-15 min! with my single 2000W element.

I can't think of a reason this is bad (if you start at the right time it isn't held at a temp for very long if held at all, the only difference is that the sweet wort doesn't rest at a lower temp during the entire sparge), I'm actually surprised that this isn't common practice?

I am looking forward to being a part of this community. thanks for any feedback!
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Ben58



Joined: 14 Aug 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Hamilton, Ontario


PostLink    Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do this all the time. Set my boil kettle to 96C and it doesn't take long after the sparge is complete to be boiling.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10738
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup. No problems at all. It's a fairly common practice. I take a bunch of measurements before I turn on the boil element (see by BREW DAY STEP BY STEP article for complete details) so I usually don't do this (and I'm not in a hurry), but there's no reason why you can't.

Kal

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Mr Walleye



Joined: 23 Dec 2013
Posts: 73
Location: Ossining, NY


PostLink    Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another vote in favor here.

If I've made the brew before, I've got the wort sitting up around 200F by the time the kettle is at boil volume.

I'm like Kal though on new brews, taking and recording a bunch of measurements in case the batch turns out stellar.
I want to be able to replicate it.
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kyle



Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 14



PostLink    Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback guys!
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mcl



Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Posts: 156



PostLink    Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do this and set my temp controller to the same temp every time (165 for me). This allows me to take my starting boil volume at the same temp every time. This allowed me (through multiple brewdays) to calculate my equipment losses correct (shrinkage).
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