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Old 06-30-2012, 05:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by surf71 View Post
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.
There's no reason the amount of wort you boil should be any different between the 2 methods. If it is, you're doing batch sparging wrong! I started out fly sparging, then switched to batch. I've batch sparged 425 batches now and I have no desire to do it any other way. I average 85% efficiency and make award winning beer.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:30 PM   #12
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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.
I'd say your next upgrade should be a bigger mash tun!
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:51 PM   #13
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I'd say your next upgrade should be a bigger mash tun!
Agreed. I'll need that to go no-sparge!
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:43 PM   #14
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I started out fly sparging because I thought it would be more efficient than batch sparging. The longer process and extra equipment tricked me into believing that. However, once I got my keggle and started making 10 gallon batches, lifting the fly sparge water pot above my mashtun became unfeasible. I decided to give batch sparging a go. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. My efficiency rose, surpassing my estimated Beersmith gravity by a few points, and the process was easier. Also, I'm not boiling anymore water than I did when fly sparging. I usually mash with around 5 gallons, do a 2 gallon mashout, then batch sparge with ~8 gallons.

Another reason I decided to give batch sparging a try came after talking to long time homebrewers at a local beer meeting. Almost all of the seasoned homebrewers batch sparged. Here is basically what they said, "you get about the same efficiency batch sparging and it's easier".

I'm definitely not going back. I've spilled 170 degree sparge water on myself numerous times while fly sparging. I recently purchased a pump, but it's still easier to just pump batch sparge water into my mash tun.

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Old 06-30-2012, 11:28 PM   #15
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I've batch sparged 425 batches now and I have no desire to do it any other way.
425 batches...that is impressive sir What is your typical batch size? Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:47 PM   #16
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In general how much are you adding to bring it up to 165?
I doubt you want to use my general usage for yourself, but I use about 6 qt near boiling water for a 10 lb grain bill mashed at 1 qt per lb at 150F.
You probably mash hotter, in which case you wouldn't need as much water. You probably mash thinner, in which case you will need more water, and the thermal mass of my MLT is probably different than yours in which case you would need more or less water.
I use Promash to perform the strike and mash-out calculations, but because I pre-heat the tun when doughing in, I specify the thermal mass of the tun as 0. This works well for the strike water temperature. (I heat the strike water about 10 degrees hotter than the calculator says, pour in in the MLT, wait for the temperature to drop to the calculated temperature, and stir in the grains. I always hit the correct mash temperature without any problem.
For the mash out, I tell Promash I want to raise the temperature to 168, and dial down the infusion water temperature to about 205F. Then I round off the qt required to something that I can measure easily. This always gives me something pretty close to 165.
One of these days, I may write a program to calculate everything accurately, but that's pretty low on my list of priorities.

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Old 06-30-2012, 11:54 PM   #17
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There's no reason the amount of wort you boil should be any different between the 2 methods. If it is, you're doing batch sparging wrong! I started out fly sparging, then switched to batch. I've batch sparged 425 batches now and I have no desire to do it any other way. I average 85% efficiency and make award winning beer.
Or (s)he is doing fly sparging wrong

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Old 07-01-2012, 05:38 PM   #18
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425 batches...that is impressive sir What is your typical batch size? Thanks!
98% of the time I brew 5.5 gal. batches.
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