I usually batch sparge. Today, last minute, I figured I'd try a hybrid fly sparge. During my first runnings, I gently poured sparge water over my grain bed. It took about 30 mins and was pretty easy. I use a pump from my mash tun (70 qt Coleman cooler) to my brew kettle with the valve on the "out" side of the pump barely open to keep it nice and slow. Using the same volume of water as I do when batch sparging I got only 4.75 gallons into the fermenter. I'm not terribly worried about this, particularly since my efficiency was near 80%, I'm just wondering if anyone has a similar experience OR good explanation for why this happened.
Also... anyone else think Widmer makes some pretyy f*cking great beers?! I've had 5 of theirs (so far) tonight: 2 x Drifter Pale Ales, and 1 each of their Dark Saison, Spiced IPA (no thanks), and Hefeweizen. They might be getting big, but damn, they do it right.