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Old 05-30-2008, 04:29 AM   #1
ndhowlett
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Default Fly sparge with rectangular cooler

Does anyone have a link to plans or directions on building a proper fly sparging system with a rectangular cooler? I'm very satisfied with my steel braid mash tun, but would like to switch to fly sparging.

Thanks!!

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Old 05-30-2008, 05:16 AM   #2
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The only problem with rectangular coolers as mash tuns and fly sparging is to get the water to drain evenly in the tun. Water takes the least path of resistance when fly sparging and so if your water is traveling to the drain at one end then the sugars are not being rinsed evenly. This is why a round cooler and a false bottom are better for fly sparging. The next best thing you can do is to have a slotted manifold in your rectangular cooler and keep the sparge water above the grains during the sparge so it filters evenly over all the grains.

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Old 05-30-2008, 03:40 PM   #3
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heres an easy one dude.
http://www.homebrew.com/articles/article09130301.shtml

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Old 05-30-2008, 04:02 PM   #4
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Grainbed depth is a consideration here. If you use something like a 48qt or larger and make low-mid gravity wort for 5 gallon batches, that bed is going to be too thin for good efficiency.

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Old 05-30-2008, 04:08 PM   #5
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I use a 48QT rectangular system and I routinely make <4% ABV beers so they will definitely work well. I get 89% efficiency when I fly sparge. Now I do larger batch sizes than your US 5 gallon batches (25L batches to account for kettle and trub loss). My fly sparge manifold is way overdone but the manifold I built works amazingly well for both batch and fly sparging.

My manifold (it has rows of drilled holes on the bottom).


The fly sparge manifold on top, it drips water over the entire surface of the grain bed.


And the whole system at work.

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Old 05-30-2008, 04:26 PM   #6
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Nice piece of gear there. I can see why it would work in your case but anything less than that arrangement would suffer due to channeling IMHO. Maybe not. If I were going to fly, I'd def go with a 10 gal cylidrical with false bottom (or keggle).

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Old 05-30-2008, 04:43 PM   #7
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I agree, if I were purchasing or building new I wouldn't use the rectangular. In my case I had the 2 coolers already and those round coolers cost a fortune up here.

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Old 05-30-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul View Post
I agree, if I were purchasing or building new I wouldn't use the rectangular. In my case I had the 2 coolers already and those round coolers cost a fortune up here.
For me I could never see a need to go with a round cooler. They are just to small. If I'm going to spend 5+ hours I may as well make more then 5 gallons.

I think the rectanglar coolers would work just fine unless you are using a ss braid for the filter. that would be to far from some of the grains (I feel) and would cause problems. But if you have a manifold it would be no different then a round one. Also why not make a false bottom for the rectangular cooler?
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:08 PM   #9
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I have the Ice-cube cooler and built my manifold around John palmer’s book and I get 85% efficiency when I fly sparge. I like sparging with the cooler lid closed on my design and I don’t see any reason to use a round cooler.

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Old 05-30-2008, 05:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSR402 View Post
...Also why not make a false bottom for the rectangular cooler?
That's a good question, I wonder what it would cost for a stainless steel mesh of some sort to make it. I wonder also how to seal it to the sides and corners, that would be a bit of a trick.

I like my manifold setup and it works extremely well (the numbers don't lie) but a false bottom would be much nicer I think.

And for the record I have no intention of switching, I like my mash tun.
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