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Old 10-04-2009, 05:03 PM   #1
sambogi76
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Default Looking for sparging techniques

I am going AG soon and I am looking for some suggestions for techniques. I will be mashing in a cooler with a slotted lautering manifold in the bottom. does these slots do better facing up or down? And I see alot of people that after the mash, will drain all the wort then will pour the sparge water into the grain bed stir wait 10 min drain (1X or 2X). Is this more efficient than slowly draining (keeping a small amount of liquid on top of grain bed) while spinkling sparge water with a sparge arm or something of the sorts? Which is more efficent?

Thanks so much for your help! I dont know what i would do without this forum you guys have helped me so much...Thanks!

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Old 10-04-2009, 05:12 PM   #2
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You want your manifold slots facing down.

There is a fair amount of debate on the sparging methods. The first one you describe is batch sparging, which I use. I get about 68% efficiency- others here get well over 70%. If you go this route, definitely do two rounds of sparging with 170 degree water. Beersmith is an excellent program for determining how much sparge water is needed.

The second method you describe is called fly sparging. I've never done this, but many claim it yields a higher efficiency. The trick to this one is to make sure you're putting sparge water into the tun at the same rate that you're draining it.

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Old 10-04-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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I double batch sparge as well, and find it to be plenty efficient. The crush of your grain is going to have more bearing on your efficiency than your method of sparging. Ideally when you sparge, you should try to get the grain bed to around 168*, but no higher than 170*. For me, it takes 190* sparge water on my first sparge, then 170*ish on the second sparge. It will vary from brewhouse to brewhouse, so it will take a few brews before you nail it down on yours.

Also, I believe that the general consensus around here is that a False Bottom is ideal for Fly Sparging, because a Manifold will create channeling in the grain bed.

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Old 10-05-2009, 01:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeehillbrewer View Post
Also, I believe that the general consensus around here is that a False Bottom is ideal for Fly Sparging, because a Manifold will create channeling in the grain bed.
I don't find this to be the case at all. I use a slotted manifold and fly sparge, and I routinely get 85%+ efficiency, which tells me it's not channeling. As long as you keep the water level an inch or so above the grains, it shouldnt channel.
I'm sure a false bottom works quite well also.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:53 AM   #5
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The raging debate between which is better, fly sparging or batch sparging, is largely dead.

Neither produces better tasting beer. Neither is necessarily more efficient than the other. Most of the pros and cons you hear like this have been proven moot or false.

Instead, it comes down to personal preference. Learn about the TECHNIQUE and equipment involved in each, and try to determine what you like best.

Most start with batch sparging because it is less technical and requires less equipment. Some move on to fly sparging for the 'set-and-forget' simplicity. It is just whatever works for you.

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Old 10-05-2009, 07:08 PM   #6
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I batch sparge and would recommend it to start with, simply due to the fact that it is simple to comprehend and easy to do. Fly sparging is no more difficult to comprehend, but requires a bit more fiddling to set up. Once it's set up, though, it can be easier to do than batch sparging.

My batch sparging is basically splitting the sparge water volume in two, and rinsing once with each half. No worry about sparging too fast or slow. Just heat to proper temp and pour it in and mix it up. Drain after a few minutes each time.

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Old 10-05-2009, 10:56 PM   #7
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In theory, fly sparging can be slightly more efficient than batch sparging, but it requires that your equipment is ideal for fly sparging. If you don't have exactly the right equipment, then fly sparging can be much less efficient than batch sparging.
If I were starting out now, I would begin with batch sparging, but I got used to fly and find it much easier (and about 5% more efficient). If I had more experience with batch sparging, this efficiency difference would probably decrease.
Palmer gives some great information on manifold design for fly sparging in http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-1.html

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Old 10-06-2009, 02:42 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input! I hope to brew my first AG batch within a month. I should have everything setup by then. I guess I will try batch sparging first to see what kind of efficiencies i can get, and go from there.

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Old 10-06-2009, 02:46 AM   #9
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There's not much of a jump from batch to fly sparging in terms of equipment...but you'll pick up about 8-10 efficiency points.

It's a sticky.

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