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Old 06-01-2010, 08:48 PM   #1
wjjohnson
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Default Batch OR Fly? Whats a sparger to do??

Hello all, just have to ask. Ive been a All-Grain brewer for a few years now and I have always batched sparged on all my brews. I was reading on the Stone Brewing website about how they make their Vertical Epic Ale. The Head Brewer "Mitch" had said that you shouldnt batch sparge because you could introduce oxygen to the mash and that "could" affect your brew....
Here is my question, doesnt boiling the wort take out any oxygen and thats why we need to add oxygen back in the wort before yeast is added? So what am I to do? Switch to Fly Sparging or stay with Batch Sparging? Does this theroy hold water? Please enlighten me.

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Old 06-01-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
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Hello all, just have to ask. Ive been a All-Grain brewer for a few years now and I have always batched sparged on all my brews. ..."could" affect your brew....
You tell us. Has it? If it ain't broke don't fix it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:55 PM   #3
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Did he explain why oxygen is bad for your mash?

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Old 06-01-2010, 09:00 PM   #4
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Here is a qute from Mitch...."A note here about batch sparging, which is the technique of drawing the wort off until you pull the grain bed dry, then adding sparge water until you are over the level of the grain bed, and repeating the process until you are at kettle full. Yes, you will increase your extract recovery using this method, and it is easier than trying to maintain a liquid level over the grain bed while filling your kettle. But you are also oxidizing your grain bed by exposing it to air, which can reduce the freshness of your final beer. Also, when you pull until the grain bed is dry, you compact the bed, and adding more sparge water on top can cause stuck run-offs, though that problem is rare. I still don’t recommend batch sparging. "

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Old 06-01-2010, 09:11 PM   #5
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Wouldn't this assume that a fly sparge method is done under closed conditions? He says you "expose the grain bed to air" but if I switch to fly from batch using my same cooler I would still have my grain bed exposed to air.

Am I missing something about setups for fly sparging where they are closed or something?

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Old 06-01-2010, 09:23 PM   #6
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Sounds like another Hot Side Aeration debate... I think it's been shown that HSA isn't something to worry about on a homebrewing scale. I wouldn't worry about it.

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Old 06-01-2010, 09:25 PM   #7
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Also, when you pull until the grain bed is dry, you compact the bed, and adding more sparge water on top can cause stuck run-offs, though that problem is rare.
This sentence shows that he doesn't understand the batch sparging process that we do as homebrewers.

Do we really need to revisit the HSA discussion again? Most people are of the opinion that it's not an issue in a homebrew environment. If these are his arguments, he doesn't have much of a platform.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
Wouldn't this assume that a fly sparge method is done under closed conditions? He says you "expose the grain bed to air" but if I switch to fly from batch using my same cooler I would still have my grain bed exposed to air.

Am I missing something about setups for fly sparging where they are closed or something?
Fly sparging keeps adding water at the same rate as runoff. This keeps the liquid level above the top of the grainbed.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:33 PM   #9
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Fly sparging keeps adding water at the same rate as runoff. This keeps the liquid level above the top of the grainbed.
Doh!! I knew that!!

For some reason I didn't consider the level of water a protection against the air.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:24 PM   #10
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Did I open a hole new can of worms with the HSA? What is HSA in a nutshell?

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