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Old 12-11-2012, 03:30 AM   #1
jknapp12105
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Default Difference Sparging methods

Can someone explain the difference between batch Sparging and continuous Sparging??

What do y'all prefer?

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Old 12-11-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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I'll do this briefly, as all you have to do is google your very question. Here you go:

Batch Sparge: Usually 2 steps, sometimes 3. Strike water (mash volume) steeps with grist for 60-90 minutes then is fully drained from the tun. Sparge volume is then added, stirred, allowed to settle for a couple minutes, then fully drained. There's nothing "continuous" about this, it's two chunky steps. Also, most batch spargers are using insulated coolers as their mash tuns.

Continuous or Fly Sparge: After mashing, the wort is allowed to flow out of the bottom of the tun at nearly the same rate your sparge water enters the top, thereby creating a squeegee effect in regards to extracting fermentables. This method can take a little longer than batch sparge, though it often results in higher efficiency numbers. You also have to be careful not to over-sparge, as this can result in a tannic beer.

There's also no-sparge, which is when you put the whole volume of brewing water in with your grist and run it all off in one fell swoop. I usually batch sparge, though on sub-1.050 OG beers, I prefer no-sparge.

I hope that helps!

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brulosopher
I'll do this briefly, as all you have to do is google your very question. Here you go:

Batch Sparge: Usually 2 steps, sometimes 3. Strike water (mash volume) steeps with grist for 60-90 minutes then is fully drained from the tun. Sparge volume is then added, stirred, allowed to settle for a couple minutes, then fully drained. There's nothing "continuous" about this, it's two chunky steps. Also, most batch spargers are using insulated coolers as their mash tuns.

Continuous or Fly Sparge: After mashing, the wort is allowed to flow out of the bottom of the tun at nearly the same rate your sparge water enters the top, thereby creating a squeegee effect in regards to extracting fermentables. This method can take a little longer than batch sparge, though it often results in higher efficiency numbers. You also have to be careful not to over-sparge, as this can result in a tannic beer.

There's also no-sparge, which is when you put the whole volume of brewing water in with your grist and run it all off in one fell swoop. I usually batch sparge, though on sub-1.050 OG beers, I prefer no-sparge.

I hope that helps!
I like your idea of no sparse. It is a lot simpler. How long do you let the grains steep?

So say you have a 6.5 gallon boil, you pour 6.5 gallons of water into your mash tun, steep grains for 60 minutes then drain all that liquid into the pot?

Before you pour grains into pot, do you mix it all up one last time before you drain?
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jknapp12105

I like your idea of no sparse. It is a lot simpler. How long do you let the grains steep?

So say you have a 6.5 gallon boil, you pour 6.5 gallons of water into your mash tun, steep grains for 60 minutes then drain all that liquid into the pot?

Before you pour grains into pot, do you mix it all up one last time before you drain?
I mash (steep) for 60-90 minutes.

It's a little more complicated than that just adding your expected boil volume to the mash tun. One thing you have to account for is grain absorption- about 1.25 qts per pound of grain... or some people like this equation: (lbs of grain) x 0.20 = absorption loss in gallons. So for 15 lbs of grain, expect to lose 3 gallons of water to absorption.

Another factor is loss to mash tun deadspace; I've found a good estimate on this to be about 1 quart (.25 gallons), at least for rectangular converted cooler MLTs.

Finally, you should account for any boil kettle losses (evaporation, hop absorption, trub loss)... this is usually another 1.5 gallons or so.

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:35 AM   #5
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I have only ever batched sparged. Not difficult, and gives me time to get some of the first runnings near boiling before the rest of the wort gets added. I think it helps boil faster, but I'm sure science can prove me wrong.

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:37 AM   #6
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I have only ever batched sparged. Not difficult, and gives me time to get some of the first runnings near boiling before the rest of the wort gets added. I think it helps boil faster, but I'm sure science can prove me wrong.
Nah, you're right. Plus it can help with some (minor) melanoidin development.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:42 AM   #7
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Nah, you're right. Plus it can help with some (minor) melanoidin development.
I have done both methods and both times I start my boil.kettkr heating before I'm finished sparging. I have taken to fly sparging lately because I have picked up quite a few points of efficiency. Either way whether batch or fly, I start my flame on my boil kettle as soon as I have about a gallon in the boil kettle.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:11 PM   #8
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Either way whether batch or fly, I start my flame on my boil kettle as soon as I have about a gallon in the boil kettle.
I think this is pretty common, regardless of method. As for efficiency, I consistently land between 72-76% with batch sparge, which is right where I want to be (I actually design for 70% and usually get a bit better). One thing I prefer about BS over FS is that I run much smaller risk of tannin extraction, and it is a little better on time. When I've FS'd, my efficiency has been 5-8% better, which makes very little difference to me.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:43 PM   #9
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A couple things I often do that may be tough to do if you batch sparge. Not a huge deal but something to consider maybe.

Decoction mash out. I almost always snag some mash and bring it to a boil then put it back in the tun to mash out. I like doing decoctions, what can I say.

Late dark grain additions. Within the past few batches I've started adding my dark/roasted grains to the top of my mash just before I start my fly sparge and only lightly stirring them into the top few inches of the mash. I've found this helps smooth out that bitter/astringent flavor you can get with dark grains. It also helps to keep the ph up throughout the sparging process.

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Old 12-13-2012, 12:03 AM   #10
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I have top mashed and decoction mashed with a batch sparge. The mash and the lauter are really two completely seperate processes.

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