To sparge or not to sparge with a Braumeister, that is the question

That’s a big question, indeed, and it’s actually very debated
So debated that, in the end, it comes down to a personal preference

There’s actually a bit of confusion about what “sparging” with the Braumeister means, as a Braumeister has actually already sparged when you lift the pipe, the pump and wort circulation already did what sparging does in traditional homebrewing, so what we call “sparging with a Braumeister” is actually just rinsing the grain

But why wouldn’t you?
You have to add some water before the boil anyway, so take that opportunity to run some of it through the mash and you can only recover some more sugars to ferment

Here is how to proceed:

  • When you lift the pipe, leave the disc, and sparge about 3L on it (that’s about up to the top of its cylinder handle)

    You don’t need to warm the sparge water up, as cold water won’t cause any off-flavors, but if you want to reach a boil faster, you can sparge with hot water at 170°F/77°C

    The simplest way is to sparge with a hot shower (~150°F/65°C), which allows to skip heating water and still keep the wort warm
    Don’t overdo it, though, as you may extract tannins from the husks

    Braumeister sparge

  • Let the pipe drain for a couple of minutes and then move it on top of a bucket with its stand, you can recover another 1/2L of wort this way that you will add when the boil starts
  • Braumeister malt pipe

  • Add water up to the 24L mark (25L if you plan to boil for 90′) and bring to a boil

To save time, start the Braumeister program to reach for a boil as soon as you lift the pipe (= 3 clicks), as it takes about 15 minutes to reach a boil anyway

Also, you can reach a boil faster by plunging a portable electric water heater

Can you brew more than 20L?


As long as the grain bill does not exceed the pipe capacity (~ 6.8kg), you can brew 25L, or even 30L, in a 20L Braumeister
Your best bet to scale up a recipe is to use the Scale recipe feature in BeerSmith
If the grain bill exceeds 6.8kg, just scale it down a little bit to stay below 6.8kg or you can do a double mash with the same wort, which will double the gravity

For the amount of mash water, instead of the usual 23L, you can go ahead and use 28L

For the pre-boil volume, a good start is 28L, which will give you about 24L in the fermenter that you can top up to 26L, so that you will bottle 25L

If you want to save time and energy, you can do a partial boil and add water to the fermenter (top up water), but a full boil is always a better call

Finally, before you scale a recipe up, make sure your fermenter can hold it, as most buckets are made for 8 Gal (30L) and keep in mind that you must keep about 20% of head space