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Old 04-22-2013, 12:46 AM   #1
lpdjshaw
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Default Another fly sparging question

So, I just did my first fly sparge after batch sparging for a few years but I have a question that arrose toward the end of the process. I mashed for an hour, mashed out then started my sparge process, no problems. Once I had pumped over all of my calculated sparge water (plus an added gallon or so) I still had about 3 gal to go in my BK to reach my pre boil volume. I stopped pumping sparge water from my HLT and continued transferring wort at the same rate to my BK until I reached my correct volume. There was about 2 gal left in my MLT once I was done. I hit my calculated gravity spot on.
So my question is: are you supposed to continue transferring sparge water to keep an inch or two of water on top of the grain bed until you get your correct per boil volume or do you stop like I did and just drain the last few gallons from your MLT into the BK?

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:32 AM   #2
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It's fine to stop. I calculate my sparge down to the quart, including the deadspace in the tun and the amount held in the grain, drain to the last drop and call it good!

Most commercial breweries I have brewed for will shut the sparge off at a certain predetermined kettle volume and let the top run dry as well.

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:49 AM   #3
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I stop. In my kettle the rivets for the handle are the perfect pre boil amount. Over time and many batches I can tell how much in my MLT it takes to hit the pre boil amount. I do use brewers friend to calculate the amount of water needed, some times I need a little more or less though.

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Old 04-23-2013, 11:57 AM   #4
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I just had this question today, so I'm very interested in more discussion on this topic.

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Old 04-23-2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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I think it's normal to run out of sparge water before your runoff is finished.

My sparge water always kicks before I hit my preboil volume in the kettle. I continue running off, and the water level drops below the top of the grain bed, but even after I hit my target volume in the BK there is still a good bit left in my mash tun.

Haven't yet had a problem with a stuck sparge.

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Old 04-23-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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I keep the grain bed submerged the till I reach the pre boil level in my kettle.

On thing I did learn recently after many years of fly sparging, It is a good idea to give the top 1/8-1/4 of the grain bed a light stir every 15 min or so during the sparge. it helps to keep the pH at the top of the grain bed from getting too high and start extracting tanins from the mash. You don't want to go too deep an disturb the grain bed, just the top of the grain bed. If you look at a commercial mash tun, some will have a mechanical rake that does this during laurtering.

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Old 04-23-2013, 09:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared View Post
... If you look at a commercial mash tun, some will have a mechanical rake that does this during laurtering.

You actually aren't going to see those things moving between mash in and grain out, to do so would seriously disturb the grain bed. The only time it might happen is if you had a seriously stuck mash
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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wailing, you are correct about the rakes. for some reason I was thinking had seen a set up where the rakes just cut in to the surface, but Im miss remembering as usual.

The part about stirring comes from the tip section of Bichmann' s auto sparge manual.

http://www.blichmannengineering.com/...0Manual-V2.pdf

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