From the HBD Archive
From: Brian Capouch <brianc@zeta.saintjoe.EDU>
Subject: Low-head sparging
Date: 1989-11-22 03:57:59 GMT

Have any of you hop-heads out there heard of such a term? I was at a
homebrewers meeting recently, complaining about the astringent, tannic taste
that all my mashed beers seemed to have, and a fellow there recommended I try
rigging up my lauter tun to reduce the weight of the water in the siphon. Let
me try to describe (hold on tight):

I rigged up a hose from the spigot at the bottom of my outer bucket (I sparge
with the small-holey-bucket inside the plain bigger one approach). The hose
runs about 3/4 of the way up the side of the bucket, where I installed a tee
fitting. Off the tee, I put a very short length of hose extending up to the
top of the bucket, sort of like a water standpipe. The other side (the "tee"
side) I then use for my output. Thus the tee drains off *just below* the level
of sparge water in the tun; the idea is supposed to be that you don't have the
weight of the whole bucket of water on the grist. I don't know if the physics
supports it, but I have now brewed two batches with this method, and they both
taste much better than any of the ones I did before. I'm also getting a lot
better extraction efficiency, and the sparge is going a lot quicker. But maybe
it's all in my head :-)

Anyway, does anybody out there know what I'm talking about? Could it make a
difference?

BTW, I am now using the yeast-handling methods espoused in the current issue of
Zymurgy, and boy, what a difference in the activity level of my fermentations.
Hope the brews are as exciting to drink as the carboys have been to watch.

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