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Old 07-05-2007, 02:25 PM   #1
drayman86
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Default Want to try Batch Sparging, Have Only Used Fly

In the interest of efficiency, I'd like to try batch sparging. Fly has worked well in our system, however the fly can take upwards of 45 minutes. We have a 10 gallon Igloo with a SS false bottom.

Q: Does batch sparging effect efficiency? We're at 80% now.

Q: When batch sparging, how long to leave the sparge water in the tun before draining after the initial drain?

Q: I understand wheat beers can result in a stuck sparge. Does anyone batch sparge with a grain bill that's about 50% wheat? (We've done a Hefe using fly sparging without a stuck sparge.)

Thanks, as always.

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Old 07-05-2007, 02:28 PM   #2
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I've been getting 74-78% batch sparging. I leave the sparge in the mash for about 5-10 minutes after stirring well. Don't forget to Vorlauf after each infusion.

Haven't done an AG wheat yet.

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Old 07-05-2007, 02:33 PM   #3
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I Batch sparge and pull 78-82% average (I do have my off days)
Give it 60 min if only doing single step
Have done 60% wheats with no stuck sparge. Make about 5% of your grainbill rice hulls
Have fun

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Old 07-05-2007, 02:45 PM   #4
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What's all this about a stuck sparge? I keep hearing about it, but I've never had it happen (knocking on lots and lots of wood here). Does the grain bed just get so solidified and compacted that it restricts or stops the flow through the filter?

Are stuck sparges more typical with braided filters rather than false bottoms? I've only ever used false bottoms myself.

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Old 07-05-2007, 02:49 PM   #5
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If you have a good fly sparge system, I doubt that you will be able to improve your extract efficiency by batch sparging, if that's what you meant. On the other hand, if you meant you want to be more efficient with your time, then yes batch sparging can be a much quicker process. The time to lauter and batch sparge is about 10 - 12 minutes on my system.

The trick is to drain off your first runnings (just recirculate and do it fast), then add your sparge water, stir really well, let it all settle for a minute or two (no more is necessary), and then recirc and drain again. That's it.

I have done a 50% wheat mash (hefe) and had no problems whatsoever with a stuck sparge. But I use a SS braid, which is pretty robust. If you use your false bottom, it might be more prone to stuck sparges, from what I have heard from others.

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Old 07-05-2007, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
What's all this about a stuck sparge? I keep hearing about it, but I've never had it happen (knocking on lots and lots of wood here). Does the grain bed just get so solidified and compacted that it restricts or stops the flow through the filter?

Are stuck sparges more typical with braided filters rather than false bottoms? I've only ever used false bottoms myself.
I suspect stuck sparges are more of an issue for fly spargers since they are trying to slowly and evenly drain their grainbed. For us batch spargers, we are actually trying to encourage channelization instead so that the tun drains quickly, making it harder for things to 'back up' and cause a stuck sparge.

I have also heard a number of times that switching from a false bottom to a SS braid helped avoid stuck sparges, and I have never heard the opposite. But I have never had anyone explain why -- I suspect it is because it is hard to channelize with a false bottom, yet it is almost a given with a braid.
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:56 PM   #7
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I do the same as flyguy...almost. Instead of just stirring the sparge addition really well and letting it sit for a couple minutes, I stir it almost continually for 5-10 minutes, just to make sure I rinse all the sugar I can. It might take a few minutes longer, but I think I get better efficiency that way.

Another sub-question for anyone out there: when I drain my first runnings, I recirc a couple bowlfuls, but after that, I just send it through my funnel strainer to catch the particulate...anyone else do this? Or is it a bad idea?

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Old 07-05-2007, 02:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drayman86
In the interest of efficiency, I'd like to try batch sparging. Fly has worked well in our system, however the fly can take upwards of 45 minutes. We have a 10 gallon Igloo with a SS false bottom.

Q: Does batch sparging effect efficiency? We're at 80% now.
I think if you have your fly sparge really dialed in AND you're sparging to completion (going until the runnings hit 1.008 or pH hits 6), you'll do better with fly. But if you just sparge to get a certain volume in the kettle, you might see a little improvement with batch. (I have the same setup as you, and I went from 75 to 80. Then I got a mill, and it's gone up even more)

Quote:

Q: When batch sparging, how long to leave the sparge water in the tun before draining after the initial drain?
If you're topping up or infusing for a mashout after the mash in complete, 10 minutes should do it. If you're just draining whats in the mash as your first run, no need to wait at all. Stir, and let it rip.

Quote:
Q: I understand wheat beers can result in a stuck sparge. Does anyone batch sparge with a grain bill that's about 50% wheat? (We've done a Hefe using fly sparging without a stuck sparge.)
I've done 50% wheat, no rice hulls, no problems. I'm trying really hard to get a stuck sparge , just to see where the limit is...I keep cranking down the mill to get a finer and finer crush. No luck (?) yet, though.
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
Another sub-question for anyone out there: when I drain my first runnings, I recirc a couple bowlfuls, but after that, I just send it through my funnel strainer to catch the particulate...anyone else do this? Or is it a bad idea?

Exact same thing I do.
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:08 PM   #10
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I haven't batch sparged yet only fly. I just hit 80% on a 15# grain bill, happy about that. I would like to try a batch sparge to check my systems efficiency on that just in case I ever do need to shorten up brew night. Do you still have a rest before running off? And what are the strike temps of the first and second additions of liquor?

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