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Old 12-11-2013, 11:35 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by sparkeee277 View Post
Just a heads up, when I went from a stainless screen like you have to a false bottom, my efficiency came up by like 10%. So if you aren't getting the level of conversion you are after you'll know why. Food for thought....
You have to specify which sparging method you use for this anecdote to be complete. I can see a false bottom increasing efficiency for a fly sparger.

"level of conversion" is more of a function of mash temp, pH, and grind quality. I understand you meant "extraction".

The thing about cold water sparging is that it CAN end up lowering your efficiency if you hadn't reached full conversion already. In theory the conversion can be sitting at 90% due to a coarse grind or a low diastatic grain bill and a hot water sparge or mashout can get you the last 10% without even planning for it.

The other thing a cold sparge definitely does is waste time (if you care about such things). Batch spargers that leverage a single kettle/burner can add so much heat to the process prior to the mash being complete. A cold sparge means you're basically starting over with 6.5 gallons at 110F and now has to go through a 100F rise to boil. I'd personally rather start at 170F.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:23 AM   #22
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[QUOTE=Bobby_M;5735281]You have to specify which sparging method you use for this anecdote to be complete. I can see a false bottom increasing efficiency for a fly sparger.

"level of conversion" is more of a function of mash temp, pH, and grind quality. I understand you meant "extraction".


I didn't think I needed to specify because the rest on my comments in this thread specifically refer to batch sparging. And yes, poor choice of words..... I should have said "efficiency".

Can you explain you're opinion on a false bottom only increasing efficiency when you fly sparge?

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Old 12-12-2013, 02:06 AM   #23
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Sure. The process of batch sparging is just about diluting the sugar in the grain and then separating the wort from the grain. Any separation mechanism that doesn't involve leaving wort behind in the tun is just as efficient as any other. The reason why false bottoms are ideal for fly sparging is that it promotes a laminar gradient of sugar in the tun as the sparge is delivered on top. That's a long winded way of saying, prevents channeling or dead zones.

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Old 12-12-2013, 02:51 AM   #24
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The same amount of water needs to be heated to boiling whether it happens before sparge or after. I see the point though that hot sparge can be heating up during the mash to save time overall. It's a trade off, time vs effort and a spare pot.

I've also been experimenting with a 20-30min mash as per some threads here discussing some breweries doing the same. The rest temperature has to be adjusted and you definitely lose a little efficiency, but in the interest of a quick brewday, I have had good success overall.

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Old 12-12-2013, 01:18 PM   #25
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Well, I guess I'll have to take your word for it, but I'm not comfortable changing my approach just yet..... I wonder why not very many people use cold water to sparge if that is the case.......
What about for wheat beers? Don't you think that would lead to a stuck sparge?
To go back to the cold vs warm sparging for a moment- think of it this way. Your washing machine (or at least mine does) has only cold water rinse cycles. That's because it's the agitation and the clean rinse water that rinses the soap off the clothes. The same is true with batch sparging.

For fly sparging, which doesn't rely on agitation, there would be a difference.

I love batch sparging, and sometimes go back and forth between fly sparging and continuous sparging. I think I might experiment with no-sparge. For me, I get 75% efficiency with my system whether I fly or batch sparge (and I always sparge with 173 degree water no matter which because I have a HERMS with an HLT) but others may find a difference. It really depends on the system.

As was mentioned, a false bottom or something like that is really needed for fly sparging, but with a batch sparge any sort of lautering device is fine.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:45 PM   #26
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Love the comments and discussion here guys, thanks for the input!

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