Originally Posted by barside laundry
I slowly drained the wort into the kettle. Everytime I do this I always ask myself, "Should I allow all the mash water (wort) drain out of the grain and THEN add sparge water or should I add the sparge water as I am draining the tun?"
If you drain the all the wort out before adding sparge water, then the grain is not supported by the wort and can become compacted. This can cause a stuck (or extremely slow) sparge. If you keep the sparge water roughly level with the grain bed, this doesn't happen. Don't ask me how I know this.
I am also puzzled by your comment that your grain floats, so you can't judge how much sparge water you have above the grain bed. My grain stays on the bottom, and the sparge water lays on the top so it's easy to see how much the water level is above the grain bed. I use a roller mill which leaves the husks pretty much intact, and a sparge arm which adds the water very gently.
From your description, I would suspect that you may be shredding your husks during the milling. (The husks are lighter than water and will float.)
Hope this helps.