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Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:16 am
by jayka
Hi Just wanted to get everyone's thoughts on Sparging vs On Grain fermenting.
Currently I have been sparging as I feel it would be easier to get more out of the mash and easier to remove the grain pre-ferment.
But please if there is a better way let me know.

When I mash I start with 50lt in my tun and mash in 20kg of grain. When I lift the BIB out I would be luck to have 30lt of liquid left in the pot. I probably get another 10lt out after letting it drain and the rest is made up from the sparge water pushing out the rest of the liquid. at the end I usually have about 60lt at 10% (give or take, I have rounded off my numbers)

So if you ferment on the grain how do you extract all that liquid at the end? (I don't want to distill on the grain because I don't have a good boiler for that and will burn it for sure!)

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:25 am
by Deplorable
The preferred method here seems to be a mop wringer to squeeze the remaining wash from the grain. Simply scoop the spent grain into a strainer bag like youre BIB, and sqeeze the liquid from it.

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:29 am
by Tummydoc
Without a Ban Marie boiler, distilling on the grain requires a thumper for the grain. Sparge and lautering is difficult because for maximal extraction we grind finer than a beer grind. You're left with fermenting on grain. Then decant/rack off as much liquid as you can, then put the grain in your BIAB bag and squeeze. Can be by hand, in a mop bucket, or a fruit press depending on a availability. Personally I'd start looking for a big thumper..

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:47 am
by jayka
So does fermenting OG produce a higher yield or is it done just because its too hard to sparge corn?

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:55 am
by Windy City
Being that you are not boiling the mash the enzymes keep working to break down starches into sugars.
It is also easier to separate via squeezing (whatever method you choose) after it has fermented out.

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:07 pm
by jayka
So are you saying its worth the effort? I want to clarify only because sparging seems so much easier. I press my own apples for making cider and all the pressing can be a pain in the ass! of course in this instance I dont mind doing it as the effort is worth the outcome. Is pressing the grain going to be worth the extra effort?

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:01 pm
by Deplorable
jayka wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:07 pm
So are you saying its worth the effort? I want to clarify only because sparging seems so much easier. I press my own apples for making cider and all the pressing can be a pain in the ass! of course in this instance I dont mind doing it as the effort is worth the outcome. Is pressing the grain going to be worth the extra effort?
I think only you can determine that based on your own determination of the value of your time. It may not be worth the half hour or so to scoop it all in to the bag and press the bag in your cider press for a gallon or three of extra wash in the still.
Another option is to rack the wash off the grain bed, and create a sugar head wash extracting some flavor off the spent grain bed.

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:05 pm
by jonnys_spirit
I ferment on grain and squeeze after the ferment is complete or as it nears completion. At least until I get the thumper plumbing finished. Takes me about an hour to squeeze a 32 gallon brute worth (about 25lbs) - 90min for twice that. Mashing is pretty easy following the large batch protocol whether it involves corn or barley. All wheat makes a really great single malt. I prefer fermenting on grain just due to the fact that about a week on grain extracts more flavor in my mind.

Cheers!
-j

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:06 pm
by shadylane
Depending on the mash bill, fermenting on the grain may be the only option.
posting with JS

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:10 pm
by jayka
Good point. I hadn't considered the flavour factor.

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:15 pm
by seabass
If it's single malt, sparge. Basically, I prefer to sparge if it's at all possible. With bourbon and rye, it's pretty much impossible or the chances of a stuck sparge are too high to even bother.

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:47 pm
by Hambone
I squeeze except for all barley or similar. Corn heavy mash is a nightmare to sparge, even with rice hulls.

One thing I do sometimes is take off the grain cap when fermentation is nearing the end. Easier than scooping and squeezing after it drops....

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:18 pm
by jayka
Is rye hard to sparge? I was going to do a 50/50 rye/barley mash next as I work my way up to corn

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:34 pm
by Hambone
Sticky but I expect ok with half barley.

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:45 pm
by seabass
Probably ok. Might want to consider doing a protein rest or adding beta glucinase

Re: Sparging vs on grain ferment

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:02 pm
by ravi
Hi,
Recently i run my very first bourbon striping run and planing to make more two batches of same thing and after collectively will do spirit run. The first one I fermented with grains because I fell this way I can get maximum flavour and sourness in the next batch. The way I did Just explain you: very fine grinnded corn i cooked for 1.5 hours and cool down and add malted barley and rye in the same pot and kept it over night. In the morning temp is perfect to add yeast,dump the grain in fermented and pitch the yeast. fermentation is wild! after two week fermentation done then i filter out the ferment with big brew bag by just put all ferment in it and hung it for 3-4 hours over the boiler. All set! If you go this way, one thing is very sure you have to do hard work to move and filter the grains. If you can find some easy way to filter your grain then all well otherwise little tough time.

Note: grain soak so much liquid so try to get as much as liquid out of it..ITS MUCH LIQUID!!!

Cheers
Ravi