I’m brewing the second half of my Austin Homebrew Hefeweizen kit. To save time I’m trying out no-sparge brewing. This just means that I’m putting all of the water into the mash tun during the mash, and I’ll slowly drain off the wort all at once instead of continually adding water to the tun during lautering. I’m hoping that this will work out well, since a large part of the time spent on the last two batches was sitting over the tun dribbling water into the mash and trying to avoid disturbing the grain bed.
The link above has a lot of technical details about the different gravities of the wort at different times, but I don’t really understand what it is all about yet. For the moment I don’t understand what the purpose is in adding the water slowly to the tun, but I guess I’ll find out if this doesn’t work.
The mash temp dropped to 144 degrees F by the end of the mash. Hopefully this didn’t hurt anything. Next time I’ll probably add the second half of the water later in the mash. This time I added the second half of the water as soon as I was finished heating it. The first infusion was 170 degrees, and the second was 155 degrees. It may be better to wait and add hotter water later on in the mash.
The post-boil gravity ended up at 1.040, which is 10 points under the target given in the recipe. I ended up with 2.5 gallons of beer so my liquid volume was pretty much spot on. I’m not sure if doing the no-sparge method cost me anything in terms of mash efficiency. I’ll have to take a look at my numbers for the previous brews.