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Old 03-06-2008, 02:03 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij Kabouter
I use a gravity system currently (I have bought my pump though ) and in the past I just trickle water onto the grain bed with a hose. All a sparge arm does is distribute the water on top of the grain but since you should have a 1-2 inch water layer over your grains it really doesn't make a difference. I have a ball valve on my MLT and set that to an appropriate flow rate. Then while sparging I just adjust my sparge water flow rate to maintain between 1-2 inches of water above the grain.

I really only fly sparge because it seems so much simpler to me. I am sure batch sparging is easy as all of you say, but fly just makes more sense to me.

If you do not have a HLT you can heat your sparge water in your BK and collect runnings in a third vessel.

All that said, I am sure batch sparging works better form some people and I know it works just as well.

Cheers to the great debate
What kind of separation media do you use, braid, manifold, false bottom? What kind of efficiency are you getting?
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:03 PM   #22
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I agree with bobby. It isn't worth fly sparging if you don't have a FB in you mash tun and a HLT.

I still think sparge arms are a luxury more than a necessity.

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Old 03-06-2008, 02:17 PM   #23
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Let's just remember that the OP didn't ask which method was better. It was, for a first AG attempt, which one would you recommend using? Without knowing exactly what equipment is available, it's easier to assume that batch would be appropriate. If the OP has a false bottom in the MLT and a separate HLT, I think it's a toss up and you might as well take your pick.

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Old 03-06-2008, 07:19 PM   #24
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I have an MLT with a braid, but I'm also considering modifying the MLT further (for no other reason than to play around with my equipment). However, I do not have a separate HLT, but the next time I come across a used keg you can bet I'll have one. But by then, my batch sparging method might be so consistent that I see no need to change that portion of my brewing.

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Old 03-06-2008, 07:23 PM   #25
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I love fly sparing and will never go back to batch sparging. To me its no big deal to do and it's fun and give you something to tinker with.

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Old 03-06-2008, 07:46 PM   #26
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Hey, for a first timer, no one mentioned no sparge? If you have a 10 gallon mash tun and want to keep it simple, that's got to be the way to go. After your mash, calc how much water you need for a single runoff and add that. I did that for the first few AG batches I did. I (and my back) finally go tired of lifting a 10 gallon MT full to the brim of grain and water up high enough to gravity feed into the brewpot.

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Old 03-06-2008, 07:57 PM   #27
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OP inhifistereo, I would go with batch sparging given your setup. If you want to try fly sparging later when you have the setup, go for it.

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Old 03-06-2008, 08:33 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebisch01
10 gallon container, batch
5 gallon, fly (you can do a sort-of-batch but only with really small grain bills)
Are you implying you can't batch sparge in a 5gal MLT?
I have a 5gal cooler for my MLT with a braid. I don't have an HLT, instead heat my sparge water on my stove and boil outside with a turkey fryer.
I batch sparge because it is simple and the least time consuming for my setup.
I drain the MLT,
add half my sparge water and mix,
because my turkey fryer is a little small for my boil I bring the first runnings to a boil and wait for hot break before draining the MLT again.
add the other half of my sparge water and mix again.
add the second drainings to my boil kettle and bring to boil again. This time the hot break is a little less and easier to control.
Finally drain the MLT the last time and add it to the kettle.
Now my kettle is nearly full and I have to be careful as I bring it to a boil again. Because the wort was already near boiling it doesn't take long and because I have already had a hot break on the first 2 sparges the final break is much less and I usually have no problem preventing a boil over.
I use my fermentation bucket to drain my MLT into so I can easily carry it to the kettle.

Sounds somewhat complicated but no step requires careful timing or adjustment so there is little chance of error or variation from batch to batch. Because of my setup I have to run in and out of the house a few times but that could be solved with more equipment including a stand of sorts.

If I had a stand and HLT then fly sparging would probably be easier as there are fewer steps. However a manual fly sparging does not sound easy to me, it would have to be a sparge arm. Even then I see many more places for an error to occur with fly sparging. Channeling, sparging too fast, allowing the mash to run dry or overflow. Not something I wanted to deal with when starting out.

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