Home Brew Forums

Home Brew Forums (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum.php)
-   All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/)
-   -   Hybrid Fly Sparge Technique (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/hybrid-fly-sparge-technique-75454/)

BierMuncher 08-07-2008 08:19 PM

Hybrid Fly Sparge Technique
 
1 Attachment(s)
When I converted to this simple fly sparge method I picked up 8 points in efficiency. No extra equipment needed…just a change in the method for adding / draining wort from the mash tun. This method was discussed in a recent issue of BYO, but these are my own random notes.

In both cases…the approach to the vorlauf is the same.

Difference between batch and fly.
Batch Sparging – Uses a method of stirring and rinsing the grains several times to wash out the sugars. We drain the wort. Add more water. Stir. Drain the wort and repeat until we get our desired pre-boil volume.

Fly Sparging – Relies on a “squeegee” method of washing the sugar out of the grain bed. The grain bed may be stirred once just before sparging begins. Then the wort is drained very slowly and hot water is continually added to the top of the tun to maintain 2-3 inches of liquid over the grain bed. This hot clean water slowly pushes the sugar water down and out through the drain valve. By not stirring the grains, you are not re-suspending sugars in the grain bed and the rinse is (in theory) more complete.

Fly sparging does not require sparge arms, drip rings or other apparatus to get the desired effect. Though a hybrid approach may be somewhat less efficient than using a sparge arm…it is also much quicker. Hybrid Fly sparging is a nice compromise between the simplicity of batch sparging and the extreme efficiency of fly sparging.

Technique:

If you use a march pump to deliver your sparge water…you can adapt your system to this technique very easily.
For me…I’m a sauce pot kind of guy.
  1. Raise your sparge water to 185 degrees (we’ll save the debate for exact temps for another time).
  2. Vorlauf your first few quarts of runoff like normal. (I advise a very slow vorlauf to prevent grain bed suction and stuck sparges)
  3. When you’re ready…begin draining the wort very slowly into your kettle. (My valve is usually opened about 25%)
  4. Immediately begin ladling in hot water to the top of your mash…careful not to disturb the bed of grains below the waters surface.
  5. I usually will lay the pot into the water and then gently tip it to “fold” the water in rather than pour it.
  6. Continue to ladle in your sparge water at the same rate it is flowing out. (You are now fly sparging).
  7. If you need to pause to refill you hot liquor tank….simply close your valve until you are ready to resume.

A trick I like to employ is that once the kettle is filled up to my post boil level…I draw a sample…cool it and take a gravity reading. Then I continue to fill the kettle. This gives me a good reading about how aggressive I’m going to need to be with my preboil volume to hit my target OG.

Since you can’t be exact with how much runoff you’re going to have…once I get to my preboil level, I’ll drop the drain hose into a separate bucket to catch the excess. In theory, if my rinse has been effective, this excess should have little to no sugar value and can be discarded.

This process is a bit longer than a standard batch sparge. But it is substantially quicker than a full fly sparge.

A few notes:
  • Since your grain bed essentially resting longer with this method…you’ll want to adjust your rest times accordingly. My first few beers with this method were bigger than I anticipated…but the longer rest time meant they attenuated lower as well.
  • The slower you are in this process, the better your efficiency.
  • For round coolers, keeping your manifold or other device in the center of the grain bed will prevent water from finding the course of least resistance (the cooler wall), which will lower your efficiency.
  • Remember that the point here is that the clean hot water on top…is pushing down on the denser sugar water below and “plunging” it out the bottom.
Anyway. You don’t need to buy any equipment to give it a try. See if it helps your Brewhouse.

The sketch below is my terrible attempt to illustrate the effect of a hybrid fly sparge.

Attachment 7128

Here's my "bucket" in action:


conpewter 08-07-2008 08:33 PM

BM do you have a false bottom in your cooler/tun or is it a braid? I think I'd get too much channeling to make this effective with the braid I have, but I have not tried it yet.

The nice part of this is that it will basically eliminate losses to dead space in your tun.

BierMuncher 08-07-2008 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by conpewter (Post 790653)
BM do you have a false bottom in your cooler/tun or is it a braid? I think I'd get too much channeling to make this effective with the braid I have, but I have not tried it yet.

The nice part of this is that it will basically eliminate losses to dead space in your tun.

I use a manifold in the center. If you drain slowly enough, channeling should not be an issue. You have to think of the water as soaking its way to the bottom...not flowing.

Another thing to point out...is that the use of rice hulls helps because they keep the grain bed fluffier, less compact and therefore more "porous".

eschatz 08-07-2008 09:15 PM

how much rice hulls do you use per lb of grain?

BierMuncher 08-07-2008 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eschatz (Post 790757)
how much rice hulls do you use per lb of grain?

Not so much by weight since rice hulls weigh like nothing.

I usually will toss in one medium sauce pot full (rinsed) for every 10 pounds of grains.

eschatz 08-07-2008 09:18 PM

ok, yeah i know the size of bag that they usually sell and it weighs nothing. so thats about one "bag" by my LHBS standards. thanks.

Bobby_M 08-08-2008 12:39 AM

If it works for you, awesome. I just have one beef with it. The name.

If the method varies from fly sparging simply by the way the water is delivered, I don't know how it's just not called fly sparging. Just because more traditional fly sparging uses rotating arms to distribute the delivery of the sparge doesn't mean alternative methods make it not fit the name. Help me understand.

I'd like to call it a manual, expedited fly sparge. It has nothing to do with batch sparging.

BierMuncher 08-08-2008 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby_M (Post 791092)
If it works for you, awesome. I just have one beef with it. The name.

If the method varies from fly sparging simply by the way the water is delivered, I don't know how it's just not called fly sparging. Just because more traditional fly sparging uses rotating arms to distribute the delivery of the sparge doesn't mean alternative methods make it not fit the name. Help me understand.

I'd like to call it a manual, expedited fly sparge. It has nothing to do with batch sparging.

Whatever. I'm just following along the lines of the BYO article.

I'll call it sauce pot fly sparging if it pleases. :D

ajf 08-08-2008 01:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BierMuncher (Post 790629)
Though a hybrid approach may be somewhat less efficient than using a sparge arm…it is also much quicker. Hybrid Fly sparging is a nice compromise between the simplicity of batch sparging and the extreme efficiency of fly sparging.

Can you explain this? Unless the rate of delivery through the sparge arm is the limiting factor, I can't see how a manual delivery system would result in a faster sparge. In my case, the sparge arm is able to deliver water faster than I can drain through the false bottom. :confused:

-a.

BierMuncher 08-08-2008 02:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ajf (Post 791180)
Can you explain this? Unless the rate of delivery through the sparge arm is the limiting factor, I can't see how a manual delivery system would result in a faster sparge. In my case, the sparge arm is able to deliver water faster than I can drain through the false bottom. :confused:

-a.

I can't speak from experience, but I've heard of some fly sparge setups taking 45 minutes to an hour + to deliver sufficient sparge water to get pre-boil volumes.


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:10 PM.

Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.