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Old 09-02-2008, 04:49 PM   #11
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Wow..

I wish I had the same amount of replies when I have problems with my brews

I have to say you all pretty much answered my question... with another question

My intent with this thread was to poke around if someone had a link to some site explaining the matter scientifically (with a hint of chemistry + fluid mechanics I guess). I really didn't have any hypothesis for or against either method in any respect.

I realize now I may have over-simplified the problem. In fact, as bobby_m stated, there is more to sparging than efficiency and I don't think a side-by-side experiment will ever settle the question. It would take, I think, lab equipment and controlled experiments.

As I said, being new to AG, I wanted to know if I was missing something by going steady with batch sparging. Since the process has yielded good results so far, I will work on perfecting my batch sparge technique. In the future although, I might try fly sparging, just to play around.

Thanks a lot for the answers, but foremost for the peacefulness of the exchange.

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Old 09-02-2008, 05:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ph0ngwh0ng View Post
As I said, being new to AG, I wanted to know if I was missing something by going steady with batch sparging. Since the process has yielded good results so far, I will work on perfecting my batch sparge technique. In the future although, I might try fly sparging, just to play around.
Depends on how much you like to tweak. If you are a tweaker, keep working on changing your process but try to limit yourself to one variable per brew so you know where the effects are coming from. Other folks are happy to stick with something that works once they stumble on it. That's the nice thing about this hobby. You can tweak your process as much or as little as you like and still make good beer.

There is a nice analysis of batch sparging Kaiser posted recently.

Batch Sparging Analysis - German Brewing Techniques

With batch sparging you are essentially diluting the residual sugars with every infusion and then drawing off the solution. With fly sparging you are rinsing the sugars gradually, and gravity slowly draws the denser fluid (wort) down to the manifold making the design of the lauter tun much more important.
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Old 04-24-2010, 04:34 AM   #13
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I'm new to AG and been doing as much research as I can... Can you direct me to a link where you explain your batch sparging process? 90% would probably take some practice to attain but is impressive - Thanks

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Old 04-24-2010, 02:34 PM   #14
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I've hit 90% numerous times batch sparging. It's always with smaller beers or 90 minute boils. It's the watter to grain ratio.

When I fly sparged my process was down to 80% consistently with crush from on line vendors. Courser crush is generally preferred for fly sparging. When I started batch sparging I also got a bigger MLT and a barley crusher. I now get 85% consistently on regular size beers. My newer MLT designs are not conducive to fly sparging so nothing is scientific really. I did batch sparge a small beer with my old false bottom MLT at got 87%, but with the finer crushed grain.

My personal experience is batch sparging is better, at least for me. The big advantages are some time savings and the ease of making a much larger MLT.

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Old 04-24-2010, 02:49 PM   #15
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You asked for science. Here's some, and a darned good bit of information about advantages/disadvantages of fly/batch/no sparge techniques.

http://www.franklinbrew.org/brewinfo/nbsparge.html

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Old 04-24-2010, 07:35 PM   #16
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I'm new to AG and been doing as much research as I can... Can you direct me to a link where you explain your batch sparging process? 90% would probably take some practice to attain but is impressive - Thanks
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:39 PM   #17
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You asked for science. Here's some, and a darned good bit of information about advantages/disadvantages of fly/batch/no sparge techniques.

http://www.franklinbrew.org/brewinfo/nbsparge.html
That's Ken Schwartz's paper. I learned a lot from him when I began batch sparging, but I also learned that some of hos theories don't hold in the real world. For instance, I fully understand and appreciate the math behind equal runoff volumes, but I've found through experience that if your volumes are within about a gal. of each other, that's close enough. Ken also has you scaling up your grain amount for batch sparging. When I was feeding him my data to help him develop his spreadsheets, I found that I was always overshooting my OG. Once I stopped scaling up the grain and just started adjusting my recipes to my system's efficiency, I got much better results.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:07 PM   #18
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It seems to me that most fly spargers get about 85% plus efficiency when they design their tuns correctly and take their time sparging.
I keep seeing it mentioned that correctly designed tuns will help in the efficiency. And two times by you in this thread alone Bobby (sorry, don't mean to call you out, but you mentioned it ). What would you consider a correctly designed tun for fly sparging?

To not load the question I will say that I used to use my five gallon round cooler, but have switched to a 48 quart rectangular cooler. I made a copper manifold that pretty much covers all the real estate at the bottom (I'll get a picture up someday) and get excellent efficiency (above 90%). I've sparged quick, I've sparged slow. I've matched runoff with the sparge water, I've sparged it almost dry at times and have had it too wet. From all I've read this is not an ideal setup for fly sparging, and I upped my grain bill in my first few brews using this paradigm. Well needless to say I had to adjust my grain bill down to make sure I stopped overshooting my OG. I've used this system for years now and it is consistent.

Now, I am planning on doing a few batch sparges soon so I can see if it is something that I would like to do. As I don't want to say something bad about a method if I've never attempted it. And I don't want to discuss something that I know nothing about.

Maybe I've just been lucky over the years with my method, but I've brewed a lot, and have had no complaints (although if I have an off beer I tend not to serve it to others) yet. So maybe there is too much science put into this hobby at times. Maybe we should all switch it up at times to see what's on the other side of the fence and see if it's something we can implement in our brewdays. I hope I get the same efficiency with batch sparging, as it sounds a bit easier and quicker than the 'typical' fly sparge. But if it only saves me 20 minutes I don't think I will be dropping my ingrained ways.
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:20 PM   #19
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In batch sparging a fine crush is key to getting good efficiency, since you don't get complete diffusion with a coarse crush. If you don't have a mill, have your LHBS run the grain through the mill twice. In fly sparging you don't want to overcrush the grain or you risk a stuck sparge, and will end up effectively batch sparging in slow motion.
Crush is key with batch sparging... Denny... what was your saying?

"Crush til yer scared."


That about right?
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:49 PM   #20
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Sacch, I thought you were no-sparge brewing? Or is that just an additional method you employ at times? I think this discussion/experiment should include no-sparge, or constant wort recirculation, as it is a viable process as well. In fact, it has been argued that this process produces higher quality wort than both batch and fly-sparging, albeit at the expense of efficiency.

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