Originally Posted by ALPS
Whats the best set up for fly sparging?
What is need for a decoction mash?
Where would a copper manifold work best?
the best set-up for fly sparging IMHO is to have a gravity fed system, with a HLT, then a MLT, then the boil kettle. but, you can do it without the 3-tier set up. you can just heat water in a pot, and laddle it into the cooler MLT and close the lid after each addition of sparge liquor. just more labor involved.
traditionaly a decoction was used due to the poorer grade of malts (under modified) available to brewers back in the day. it helpes convert the starches in the grain more effectivly. but, with todays grains being fully modified, most all styles of brews can be brewed doing a single infusion, or step infusion mash. some still do it today to achieve the true malty character of some German, Belgian,and even Scotish ales. it's hard to get that flavor from a single infusion mash (IMHO).
a copper manifold can work fine in the MLT. many of the members on the forum have built their own and have had great success with them.