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Old 08-31-2009, 07:59 PM   #1
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Default Batch Sparge technique

Ok, I was looking through Palmer's How to Brew - By John Palmer and noticed that palmer suggests using a coffee can lid to pour his sparge water onto, so as to not disturb the grain bed.

When I sparged last yesterday, I simply poured the water right into the cooler and stirred it up. Then I waited a couple of minutes, and drained it out.

Is there a good reason not to disturb the grain bed?

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:07 PM   #2
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Ok, I was looking through Palmer's How to Brew - By John Palmer and noticed that palmer suggests using a coffee can lid to pour his sparge water onto, so as to not disturb the grain bed.

When I sparged last yesterday, I simply poured the water right into the cooler and stirred it up. Then I waited a couple of minutes, and drained it out.

Is there a good reason not to disturb the grain bed?
With batch sparging, I would think you would want to disturb the bed. I mean, maybe pour the vourlaf back on the coffee lid?


YOu sure hes not talking about fly sparging?
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:35 PM   #3
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I don't have the book in front of me, but I remember a lot of what Palmer wrote in the book was a bit confusing, and I could've sworn someone said that he was mixing up the batch/fly sparging techniques (due to sloppy editing of the book was the way I understood it, because I found contradicting things in my copy of it).

The reason for the coffee can lid is not for starting up each batch of the sparge, but for the vorlauf phase. You want to vorlauf a couple of quarts (I usually only have to do 2 or 3 per batch) and not disturb the grain bed, because you are vorlaufing to cycle through the grained up runnings and let the bed settle out.

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:51 PM   #4
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Even for the vorlauf, it's not necessary. Just pour carefully.

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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Not disturbing the grain bed is an issue with fly sparging. For batch sparging I just pour back in, including vorlauf, and don't have a problem. I pour gently, not splashing all over, but I'm not so worried about disturbing the top of the grain bed.

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:59 PM   #6
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Not disturbing the grain bed is an issue with fly sparging. For batch sparging I just pour back in, including vorlauf, and don't have a problem. I pour gently, not splashing all over, but I'm not so worried about disturbing the top of the grain bed.
Yeah, I tried the coffee can lid dealy a couple times starting out...then forgot about it and just dumped the sparge water in...and I still ended up making beer...so I forgot about the coffee can lid thing.

In fact cleaning house yesterday, I cam upon a couple of those coffee can metal lid pieces and tossed them out.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:14 PM   #7
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Yup, it's classic Palmer where he's talking about batch sparging for a second and then switches to fly sparging "stuff" without telling you. Disturb the sh!t out of the grain bed when batch sparging, please.

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Old 08-31-2009, 11:49 PM   #8
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Yup, it's classic Palmer where he's talking about batch sparging for a second and then switches to fly sparging "stuff" without telling you. Disturb the sh!t out of the grain bed when batch sparging, please.
Yeah isn't that the point of the BATCH? Dumping a lot of water in at once to flush the grain clean of sugar?

I mean I alsways give it about 10 minutes or so after doing that, to let stuff settle and hopefully have all those little packets of grain that maybe didn't fully convert, to have a second chance, and then I re-vorloff before draining it again....

I can understand using the tin lid if I were attempting to fly sparge without some sort of manifold of sparge arm to protect the bed, and help distribute the water evenly.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
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Yup, it's classic Palmer where he's talking about batch sparging for a second and then switches to fly sparging "stuff" without telling you. Disturb the sh!t out of the grain bed when batch sparging, please.
Absolutely correct when adding sparge water, but you still want to be gentle when returning the vorlauf portion.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:52 PM   #10
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I was using a tupperware lid for a couple of AG batches and one time as I was getting ready to sparge, I thought real hard about it ans said, "This doesn't make sense!" And it'a PITA to mess with. Why does it matter?

So I started just pouring the water in and stirring up the grain a bit. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then crack the spigot.

Also, is there a reason to mash out with batch sparging? I mean, I usually start the boil with the first runnings, just to get a head start on that step, while sparging. Then add the first and second sparge to the boil kettle. As I understand, the mash out is to stop the enzyme activity, but the wort is probably going to get above 180 pretty quickly anyway, right? I can see it if you were fly sparging, cause it takes longer.

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