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Old 05-21-2012, 12:10 AM   #31
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To me, what makes a process "no sparge" is the fact that your total derived preboil wort is derived from a single homogeneous runoff (I know BIAB wort isn't run off but the definition still holds).

A fly sparge has the lauter process where wort runs off at high concentration and slowly gets lower and lower.

A batch sparge has discrete runoffs with concentrations that start high and get lower and lower with each addition of sparge water and runoff. This counts if you run off twice or three times or more.

I don't care how many vessels you use, if you use a voile bag, etc.... if the wort is all the same gravity when it comes out of the tun, or when you remove the grain bag, it's a no sparge process.

The only benefit to holding a mash at a reduced liquid volume is so that you can protect against pH swings by keeping a reasonable buffer in less than optimal water chemistry.
I understand now. It's making me question my typical practice now that I have 3 vessels. I had been draining the mash tun to a separate vessel, then putting all my sparge water into the mash tun, then recirculating for about 20 minutes, then draining and boiling.

I might get better efficiency if I split the sparge water into to two batch sparges. Stirred and let each one sit for 15-20 minutes, etc.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:17 AM   #32
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I might get better efficiency if I split the sparge water into to two batch sparges. Stirred and let each one sit for 15-20 minutes, etc.
Better efficiency, yes.

But better beer? You'll have to see for yourself.

If your recipes are calculated for the efficiency you now get, and you're making good beer, is it worth readjusting the recipe to save a couple of bucks in grain. But most important, will it make better beer?
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:18 AM   #33
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@ Dgonza9: Yeah, Bobby has a great write-up on his personal blog on his take. Good reading. See the links below his signature.

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Old 05-21-2012, 01:23 AM   #34
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Thanks sd, that clarifies for me. I just ordered a pump and I already have a temp. Controlled electric mlt and I use propane for boiling so I think I'm gonna put them together to build this.

My plan is to put the elec mlt on top and add my water to it then set my pid to dough in temp then at the end of the mash add "sparge" water to bk and set temp on mlt to 170 then recir until I reach the temp. Least that's my idea anyway, I hope that works and its correct

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Old 05-21-2012, 03:32 AM   #35
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I'm in the process of going from a traditional 3-vessel system to a 2-vessel system.

The "what to call it" question has me stumped but I would have to say that in my opinion it is "no sparge".

I'm starting with my full volume of water and recirculating through a RIMS tube to maintain mash temp. If the liquid never leaves the loop and is just recirculating, I don't see how it's a "true sparge". In a fly sparge or batch sparge, the sparge water is added to the mash and then drained either slowly (fly) or all at once (batch). With a 2-vessel system, it never drains until the final transfer to the kettle.

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Old 05-21-2012, 04:30 AM   #36
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Better efficiency, yes.

But better beer? You'll have to see for yourself.

If your recipes are calculated for the efficiency you now get, and you're making good beer, is it worth readjusting the recipe to save a couple of bucks in grain. But most important, will it make better beer?
Good point, there. I get low 72% or so with recirculating sparge. I'm going to do some experimenting now that I have three vessels. I've always made good beer no sparge, so you are absolutely right. The efficiency does bother me a bit, though.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:47 AM   #37
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I don't think the definition of the word sparge says that it has to be a totally separate process like everyone is arguing

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