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Old 06-29-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
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Default Question on sparging (fly vs batch)

I currently use a rotating sparge arm and I'm happy with my efficiency but I know it could definitely be better. How many folks have gone from one to the other (either way) and which do you prefer more? Just looking at batch sparging, it seems that you collect more liquid overall which means more boil time.

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Old 06-29-2012, 07:00 PM   #2
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Maybe more boil time, but certainly much less sparge time.

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Old 06-29-2012, 07:39 PM   #3
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I don't collect more liquid than I would if I was fly sparging. I collect just the amount of liquid I need to boil to my target volume after a 75-minute (usually) boil. Actually I don't recall ever hearing that the common wisdom was that you'd collect more runnings for batch sparging.

I've never fly sparged so I can't offer a comparison. But I like batch sparging because it's easier, quicker, and you don't have to worry about things like extracting tannins from the grain in the last runnings.

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Old 06-29-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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I started with fly sparging, and tried batch sparging a few times to see if I could save some time on brew day.
Batch sparging was slightly faster, but I lost about 5% in efficiency, and I found it more difficult because I wasn't used to it. With my 5g MLT, I couldn't brew a 5g batch with an OG > 1.060 with a batch sparge, whereas I could get up to 1.075 with a fly sparge.
If I didn't have a false bottom, I would batch sparge. The one thing I did that improved my efficiency considerably (with a fly sparge) was a mash out by adding some near boiling water and stirring it in really well before starting the sparge, raising the grain bed temperature up to about 165. This increased my mash/lauter efficiency from 75% to 85%

-a.

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Old 06-30-2012, 03:20 PM   #5
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Equipment will dictate your method usually. I use a bazooka screen in my mash tun and found that I get significantly better efficiency with a batch sparge due to channeling when fly sparging. A false bottom will usually achieve better efficiency with a properly done fly sparge.

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Old 06-30-2012, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf View Post
I started with fly sparging, and tried batch sparging a few times to see if I could save some time on brew day.
Batch sparging was slightly faster, but I lost about 5% in efficiency, and I found it more difficult because I wasn't used to it. With my 5g MLT, I couldn't brew a 5g batch with an OG > 1.060 with a batch sparge, whereas I could get up to 1.075 with a fly sparge.
If I didn't have a false bottom, I would batch sparge. The one thing I did that improved my efficiency considerably (with a fly sparge) was a mash out by adding some near boiling water and stirring it in really well before starting the sparge, raising the grain bed temperature up to about 165. This increased my mash/lauter efficiency from 75% to 85%

-a.
In general how much are you adding to bring it up to 165?
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:05 PM   #7
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I have a false bottom but I think I do want do give it a shot next time doing a batch sparge.

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Old 06-30-2012, 04:56 PM   #8
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I have a 10 gallon igloo with a false bottom. I started out fly sparging, but have recently started batch. For me, it has been a desire to simplify my brew day. Batch sparging really is easy and foolproof (thank you Denny Conn). I don't end up with any more wort to boil, and I can easily rectify my loss in efficiency with a finer crush or by adding more base malt. For me, it is the way to go.

I really think either fly or batch works equally well, it boils down (lol) to personal preference.

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Old 06-30-2012, 05:14 PM   #9
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I use a cpvc manifold in my 10gal cooler and batch sparge, only hit between 65-70% efficiency, sure wish I could get those numbers up.

First AG, 65%, pretty poor crush, added strike water at 169* in 2 equal batches
Second AG, 69%, crush much better for sure, added strike water at 183* in 2 equal batches
Third AG, 69%, great crush, same as second

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Old 06-30-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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I have a 5gal round mash tun with false bottom. With larger grain bills a double batch sparge will barely get me to preboil volumes. It's also difficult to stir a completely full cooler. That's a total of vorlauf 3 times. Add stirring and a 10 min rest for each sparge. I find it easier to vorlauf once and then do a continuous sparge until I get my preboil volume. It takes me the same amount of time either way. I get about 8% more efficiency with fly. My next upgrade will be to no-sparge.

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