From the HBD Archive
Subject: Sparge water temperature
Date: 1992-03-17 14:31:10 GMT

Jack S. offers advice that boiling sparge water is more effective than
the traditional 170 degree water. Though I haven't experimented
personally with this, my understanding is that for decoction mash
brewers like Jack (I think? correct me if I'm wrong) that probably won't
cause any problems because the mash has been boiled already, and starch
clumps will mostly have been broken up. For infusion brewers, however,
it seems to me that there might be increased risk of rinsing unconverted
starches into the wort. I've done many mashes of both types, and a
consistent trend is that the decoction worts are clearer, and the mash
in the lauter much thicker (there's a lot of broken-down proteins; a
sort of proto-hot break).

Another issue is the effect on polyphenol extraction. Jack: Do you
test the pH of the last runnings out of your lauter tun? Do you taste
it? My general rule is that I quit sparging when the runoff starts
tasting like tea. That seems to be about the time the pH goes above
about 5.6.

Mike McNally
Digital Equipment Corporation
Western Software Lab

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