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Old 03-20-2006, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default Batch sparging questions

I'm thinking I may be able to assemble a bargain AG system soon. It looks to me like batch sparging makes for a little simpler setup than fly sparging--less need to hold the sparge water at a certain temperature for a long period of time and less need to worry about the pH of the sparge water.

So the basic procedure is to sparge w/ about half the anticipated sparge water, recirculate, run off the entire tun, then repeat w/ the other half of the sparge water, correct?

Other than perhaps a bit less efficiency, are there other significant disadvantages to bacth sparging? Grain is pretty cheap, so I'm thinking a little less efficiency is not a big problem if it keeps things simpler (and cheaper).

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Old 03-20-2006, 05:25 PM   #2
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I haven't run into anything I'd call a major disadvantage. I've been getting efficiency in the 70-75% range pretty consistently as well.

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Old 03-20-2006, 05:28 PM   #3
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I batch sparge exactly as you describe and haven't run across any real problems. I like it because I don't have to lift the hot water to a tank above the mash tun nor it any monitoring required. I give each batch about 10 minutes and stir gently. I use pH 5.2 in the sparge water as well as the mash water and don't have problems with efficiency or tannins.

Another thing I like, is because I'm draining the first run completely, I can start heating the wort immediately.

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Old 03-21-2006, 08:04 PM   #4
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I sparged with a watering can rose, but found it a bit awkward and time consuming. I think I am going to try the batch sparging method next time (seems like a lot less hassle).

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Old 03-21-2006, 09:10 PM   #5
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I like it because it's fast. My time is worth a lot more than a few efficiency points and the pound of grain it takes to make up for them (to me, anyways).

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Old 03-21-2006, 09:36 PM   #6
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There are no disadvantages. You can acheive the same efficiencies, but obviously it will take some time to figure out how to do that with your system.

My first time I got an eff of 67%, after that I haven't dropped below 78%, and one time I had 81%.

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Old 03-21-2006, 10:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
I like it because it's fast. My time is worth a lot more than a few efficiency points and the pound of grain it takes to make up for them (to me, anyways).
Yes--this is one of my concerns about the AG process is the increased brewing time.

Is it really true that you empty the lauter tun quickly in batch sparging? (Rather than restricting the flow, as in fly sparging.) That seems like a big selling point to me.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
Is it really true that you empty the lauter tun quickly in batch sparging? (Rather than restricting the flow, as in fly sparging.) That seems like a big selling point to me.
Yep, you just let it rip. There's no advantage to draining slowly because you're not trying to create a 'sugar gradient' through the wort, you stir the sugars into a uniform solution and just run it off. I run off a few quarts slowly (so as not to swiftly compact the grainbed) which I recirculate, and then slowly open the valve wide open. Usually drains in less than 5 minutes by which time I have the next batch of water ready to go.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
Yep, you just let it rip. There's no advantage to draining slowly because you're not trying to create a 'sugar gradient' through the wort, you stir the sugars into a uniform solution and just run it off. I run off a few quarts slowly (so as not to swiftly compact the grainbed) which I recirculate, and then slowly open the valve wide open. Usually drains in less than 5 minutes by which time I have the next batch of water ready to go.
That rocks.

I actually had formed a plan for fashioning a hot liquor tank from a cooler I already own and some cheap CPVC for a valve and sparge arm, etc. I would only have cost a couple bucks, literally. But the time is the big thing. I'm definitely going to try batch sparging. (I'm making a MLT from a 34 quart cooler with a CPVC manifold. I just need to decide whether to do it fancy by drilling the cooler or easy by just using siphon action.)
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
... by which time I have the next batch of water ready to go.
I heat all the sparge water (make it hotter than necessary and lower it's temp later if necessary) beforehand and keep it in a big cooler. Come sparging time I ladle the water into the MLT for each batch.

BeeGee, I'll try to let it rip next time. Thanks for the tip.

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