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Old 01-29-2012, 03:07 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by CaseyHeartBeers View Post
So is the overall opinion that you shouldn't use this method with a straight braid in a rectangle cooler?
If you have a straight braid, batch sparge. If you want to fly sparge, use a manifold or false bottom or you're efficiency will drop.

See my previous post

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The manifold allows even rinsing of the grain bed. If you try this with a simple straight braid instead, your efficiency will drop due to classic channeling issues. A circular braid will be a bit better. A manifold design is usually quite good and a false bottom typically the best.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:13 PM   #92
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If you add to much water into the mashtun will it throw off your efficiency? I did an AG this weekend and put a substantial amount of water into the mash tun and didn't reach the OG missed by .02, I am guessing I left a lot of sugar in the mashtun because of all the liquid that was still in there.

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Old 01-31-2012, 06:09 PM   #93
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I use a IPhone App called Sparge Pal to calculate Mash Water amounts and temp.
There are online tools also

http://www.appolicious.com/tech/apps/60020-sparge-pal-david-parker

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Old 02-04-2012, 04:07 AM   #94
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Is there something "special" about the "2-3 inch above grain" rule that must be respected?-ben
I haven't started AG yet so I'm trying to understand WHY/HOW fly sparging is more efficient than batch... and after reading this thread, I'm starting to believe that the 2-3 inches IS special.

Both methods should soak the grain equally well (since the top 2 inches of a fly is basically a 2 inch batch). So why hasn't anyone achieved the same efficiency by:
  1. Introducing the ENTIRE amount of sparge water carefully (to avoid mixing the mash and the sparge), then
  2. Reducing the output flow rate for a longer sparge?
The one problem I see with the above 2 modifications is that once the sparge time is increased, the wort is mixing with the clear sparge water. So the grain is soaked in water which has already has some sugars -- reducing efficiency. Having ONLY 2-3 inches of water above the grain bed reduces this mixing. The wort is drained before more sparge water is added to the tun... and should be more concentrated

If this is the real reason for increased efficiency, then it may be worthwhile attempting to reduce or eliminating the 2 inches altogether (as in multiple batch run-offs).
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:22 AM   #95
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I haven't started AG yet so I'm trying to understand WHY/HOW fly sparging is more efficient than batch... and after reading this thread, I'm starting to believe that the 2-3 inches IS special.
In most cases the two methods are the same with respect to efficiency. The factor that creates any difference relates to the deadspace in the tun. Primarily how the wort is drained when use a pick up tube set-up, like in a round beverage cooler where the bottom of the tun is below the drain port and some sort of tube set up is used pick the wort off the bottom and out the port.

In a fly set up the mash is being constantly diluted until the final gravity is reached coming out of the tun. In batch sparging the dilution happens in one step (the addition of the sparge after the first draining). But during draining once the liquid falls below the level of the input below the dip tube suction is lost, the siphon fails on the dip tube. There is a certain amount of concentrated wort still in the tun. You add water this dilutes it out, and the run off starts again. But again once suction is lost that's it and you leave a percentage of wort behind (which is now diluted of course). This small loss does't happen with this setup in fly mode. I have tried it a handful of times to compare.

Now in the classic pictures of Denny Conn's Easy Batch sparge photos, his tun doesn't do a pick up. The outlet port of that rectangular cooler is almost right at the base of the cooler floor. That setup doesn't loose suction until there is very little wort left. I have the exact same cooler and have tried it. That is why Denny always supports the notion that the two methods yield the same efficiency.
In general that is correct, but if you don't do a fill of your tun with just water and drain it to see what's left behind you don't know know if you have that problem with pickup and siphoning.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:23 AM   #96
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In most cases the two methods are the same with respect to efficiency. The factor that creates any difference relates to the deadspace in the tun....

In batch sparging the dilution happens in one step (the addition of the sparge after the first draining). But during draining ... there is a certain amount of concentrated wort still in the tun. You add water this dilutes it ... But again ... you leave a percentage of wort behind (which is now diluted of course). This small loss does't happen with this setup in fly mode.
Sorry but If the efficiency gain is only attributable to drainage, then for a hypothetical 1040 OG beer using 8 lbs of grain, someone would have to "drain" an extra 0.8 gallons of concentrated (i.e. 1040 OG) wort to achieve a 4 point gain. For the person in this thread who gained an 8 point gain, an extra 1.6 gallons would have to be recovered.

Surely, if the two methods are equal in efficiency and the perceived gain was solely due to concentrated wort left in the tun, then all has to be done is to remove the grain and drain the remaining concentrated wort through a coffee filter. Similarly, we all might as well do BIAB where there is no deadspace at all.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:06 PM   #97
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Sorry but If the efficiency gain is only attributable to drainage....

Surely, if the two methods are equal in efficiency and the perceived gain was solely due to concentrated wort left in the tun, then all has to be done is to remove the grain and drain the remaining concentrated wort through a coffee filter. Similarly, we all might as well do BIAB where there is no deadspace at all.
Fly and batch sparging ARE nearly equal in efficiency. I think there are plenty of batch spargers out there demonstrating just that in their #'s. Efficiency gain is not attributable to drainage. Thats not what I am saying. Efficiency loss in a batch sparge set up IS entirely dependent on drainage and deadspace. If a batch sparge setup leaves too much wort in the tun post drain (and subsequent loss of the siphon) you experience a loss in efficiency. If you had no pickup tube and was drawing from half was up the cooler efficiency would suffer tremendously. This is exactly from my experiences with an igloo cube with an braid and no pickup tube compared to a rectangular cooler with the outlet very close (or in the Denny Conn cooler, which I have one of, slighly below) to the bottom of the cooler. Efficiency was gained because less wort is trapped below the deadspace.

BIAB suffers its efficiency loss due to the amount of high concentrated (first running) wort trapped in the grain after the bag is lifted out despite how long one might let it drip back into the kettle by nature of there being no sparge. Even when some people rinse the bag with some water its a very inefficient sparge/rinse. It has nothing to do with tun geometry. If you dipped it back into pure water and calculated the sugar points gain you'd see the extraction efficiency come back to close to the other two methods, but you'd have way too much water to have to boil off.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:17 AM   #98
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Efficiency gain is not attributable to drainage. Thats not what I am saying. Efficiency loss in a batch sparge set up IS entirely dependent on drainage and deadspace.
Actually, before this thread, I was struggling to find any explanation as to WHY fly MAY be more efficient then batch. However, your comments about losing syphon and flow rate make it sound like extraction (i.e. sugars going into solution) happens very quickly... and that whatever is left in the tun is free "floating" and can be easily "drained" if were not for the loss of suction / drainage. As I've already said: If that were really the case, then (instead of over-sparging) all you would need to do is to scoop out the grain and strain the wort remaining in the "deadspace" of the tun.

Anyhow, I was not trying to spark a debate between the two methods. Batch sparging has the obvious benefit of time and ease. If it makes you feel better, I will amend my initial query to "Does the water level affect the efficiency of fly-sparging?" which is similar to another question in this thread. (As most experts state, efficiency for the homebrewer is not really relevant since grain is cheap... so for me, it is only an exercise in understanding the mechanics.)

... So the theory I had proposed was that if the water level is too high, the sugars are not necessarily drained out of the tun but enter into solution. Less concentrated solution float up above the grain bed and starts a cycle where the grain is "rinsed" by concentrate rather than by fresh sparge water -- making the sugars less easy to enter into solution. (It's like the experiment of trying to dissolve more and more sugar or salt in a glass of water. Eventually, the solution becomes super-saturated and the sugar/salt no longer dissolves and merely settles to the bottom of the glass.)
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:05 AM   #99
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thanks for this detailed info . I am building my mash tun as we speak ,no more kit brewing for me I am all in now .

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Old 02-13-2012, 12:48 PM   #100
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My lesson(learned the hardway):
Respect the Mash !
Hit the right Temp
Wait for conversion
Drain the mash slow
Recirculate mash - Vorlauf

I fly sparge slowly with an eye on the boil kettle level.

Jay

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