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Old 11-15-2007, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Batch vs Fly Sparge help

Can someone point me to a thread that explains the pros and cons of batch sparging vs fly sparging? I have looked, but can not find. If it doesn't exist could someone give me some info? Thanks

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Old 11-16-2007, 12:24 AM   #2
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You can look in the wiki but this is a highly debated topic.

I'll give you what I believe are the pros/cons.

Fly pro:
Given perfect equipment/technique it yields the highest possible efficiency (mid 90% plus).
Fly con:
Equipment/technique is a little touchy and can actually lower effeciency due to channeling.
Have to ensure sparge inflow/outflow are close to identical.
Takes a bit longer (if you're going for max efficiency)
Requires gravity/pumping and 3 distinct vessels.

Batch pro:
Harder to screw up.
Takes less time per efficiency points (can get high 80's, low 90's% in 20 minutes of sparging)
Can come quite close to fly efficiency
No need for 3-tier gravity or pumps.

Batch con: Not the highest efficiency possible (but darn close).
Faster

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Old 11-16-2007, 12:56 AM   #3
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Not always true as in my case. I built my mashtun based on Palmers book. Batched sparge twice and my efficiency sucked 50-60%. Switched over to fly sparge and efficiency went up to 85%. Like I said this is on my system your miles may vary. I like to do the fly, as it gives me time to prep other things in my brew day. Pros for me, better efficiency, Con more time involved.

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Old 11-16-2007, 01:01 AM   #4
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Would the soluton then maybe be ( because I am asking these same Q's ) be to batch sparge first, see how it goes, it is also cheaper and quicker to do. THEN go to fly sparge, if the Eff, is not up to par?

I am always looking to save a buck.

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Old 11-16-2007, 02:09 AM   #5
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I'd always recommend batch sparging because that's what I do and it's worked out really well for me. Of course I have no reason to try fly because i'm not going to benefit from 3% more efficiency. I wish I could troubleshoot people who get 50% with batch sparging.

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Old 11-16-2007, 02:28 AM   #6
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I guess I don't understand how you could only get 50% to 60% batch sparging and jump to 85% fly sparging, as we all know strange things happen.
Both processes simply rinse sugars from the grain, batch sparging is easier uses less equipment and is faster. Fly sparging uses more equipment and if done properly takes longer, you may see higher efficiency with fly sparging but there is no guarantee, some claim fly sparging produces better wort again there is no proof of this.

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Old 11-16-2007, 01:18 PM   #7
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I fly and always have. But I would suggest trying batch first as it is faster and uses less equipment. If you decide you want to try fly sparging, you can just pick up the equipment you need and give it a shot. The important thing is that you are comfortable with your process and that you can get consistent results.

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Old 11-16-2007, 03:55 PM   #8
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Joe;

Despite what your LHBS said your process sounds correct for batch sparging. You want about equal volumes in the first and second sparge. This requires adding some hot water to your mash. You want to vorlauf (return initial cloudy runnings to the lauter tun). Draining the bed dry is fine in batch sparging - anethema in fly as you get channeling. My one recommendation would be to increase the temperature of the water you add to more like 190-195F, this will bring your mash temp up to about 168-170 which will help stop further enzymatic reactions and decrease the viscosity of your wort. The second sparge would then be 3.25g at 168-170.

Assuming your final volume was 5.5g I calculate your efficiency at 67% which is not great but not shabby for a first attempt. I couldn't get much better then that until I bought my own mill. You will also find that the higher the gravity beer you are brewing the lower your efficiency gets unless you are willing to increase your boil volume - this is because increasingly concentrated sugars are still left behind after the second sparge. With your refractometer I would recommend checking your pre-boil gravity and if it is low add DME to hit your target gravity until you dial a recipe in.

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Old 11-16-2007, 04:10 PM   #9
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Yeah, you calculated your efficiency incorrectly apparently. I too agree that the simplest thing you can do is use sparge water near 185-190F as mentioned above. I know, I know, it's breaking the theoretical tannin extraction limit of 170. However, it equalizes with the 150F grain temp very quickly somewhere in the mid 160's if you stir it relatively quickly. You could easily jump 10% in efficiency doing this. Just for your own sanity, give it a try and measure the equalized temp after those hot sparge infusions just to see that you are in the safe temp zone.

Are you using software to calculate efficiency or doing the math long hand? BTP says that with 10lbs malt and 5.5g final volume at 1.042 was actually 63.7% brewhouse.

edit... holy sheeet man, $2 for a pound of two row? I think I pay 70 cents.

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Old 11-16-2007, 04:49 PM   #10
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Get beersmith or wait until BTP is updated to include the inventory feature.

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