(Read this with a German accent in your head)
I never paid too much attention to the sparging process, until I tried a no-sparge mash… A bit of research and further reading revealed that ideally a sparge should end at 5-6 Brix, some competition brewers mentioned they stop at 7 Brix even…
Just did this, and indeed, the wort already tastes much better, rounder.
Note that I had to stop sparging early and quite a bit of sparge water was still in the tun, so I had top up the kettle with fresh water. Normally this would have diluted it below the aimed original gravity, but the kettle gravity was already at 14 Brix (the investment in a pH meter paid off). Thus considering that the aim is a 12 Brix OG, topping up actually brought it down to a more civilised reading. Next time I will do the sparge in 2 batches, to be more economical on the prepared water (I always let it stand for a day to de-chlorinate naturally).
It’s a Bavarian Hefeweizen (20% Pilsner, 20% Munich, 60% Wheat), so the end-result should be out soon… Watch this space!