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Old 02-28-2006, 07:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ESPY
Janx, what do you think about cweston trying batch sparging first? Isn't that easier and simpler to set up than continuous sparge?
Hmm...I guess...do you mean because you don't necessarily need a hot liquor tank? But you do need some vessel to heat sparge water, right?

I don't know where batch sparging really saves you except maybe on a sparge arm? But for years, I used a loop of vinyl hose with holes punched in it. Cost about $.10 Not as nice as the Phil's Sparge Arm but it did OK.

I'm curious and I know I must be missing something because I've always done the regular kind of continuous sparging. How is setting up batch sparging easier?
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
Hmm...I'm pretty sure that counterflow uses less water, especially in anything above 5 gallons. The most efficient chiller water-wise is a plate chiller. I'm with you, BTW. I always try to use all my chiller water. I clean with it or fill the dogs' baby pool in the summer.
i'm glad i'm not the only one who has a kiddie pool for the dog.

i thought the counterflow ones were where you run water through a hose with a copper piping full of the beer in it. where does the water go. (i don't know the specifics of how they work nor have i ever seen one.) the amount of ice my teacher used to fill the 5 gallon bucket that the piping ran through seems about the equivalent of what goes in my sink but with much better results. ( a bag or two)
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:34 PM   #13
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1) I would think a CFC would use way less water than an immersion chiller, but as I have an immersion chiller I'm just guessing. The CFC is supposed to work faster, so it makes sense to me.

ii) In the first poster's case, I would do a "no sparge". Let things mash for an hour at 150-155 and then dump in whatever amount of sparge water is calculated to be needed (probably around 180F or so to raise the temp of the entire mash to 168-170F), and then drain the whole thing off. Done.

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Old 02-28-2006, 07:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drengel
where does the water go.
Same place as for an immersion chiller...down the drain/sewer. Actually, I do collect the first 5g of water into a kettle and use it for cleanup since it's nice and hot/warm. But generally speaking neither one of those systems uses recirculating water as the outflow is typically quite hot.
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Janx
Hmm...I guess...do you mean because you don't necessarily need a hot liquor tank? But you do need some vessel to heat sparge water, right?

How is setting up batch sparging easier?
By no means am I an expert, I'm just going off what I've read online over the past couple days. But it seems to be a little simpler both in terms of equipment and technique.

1) Don't need hot liquor tank that maintains 170° sparge temp. Yes, you need something to heat the water to temp, but for partial mash we're talking about water volume that you can heat with any regular stove pot.

2) Don't need sparge arm

3) Don't have to monitor both inflow and outflow, no concern for channeling

4) Slightly less efficient conversion than continuous, but you won't over sparge and get excess things you don't want.

So a bit more advanced than what I'm doing -- just rinsing my grain bag with water -- but not quite as involved as continuous. Hard part will be figuring the right amount of sparge water for a partial mash.
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:21 PM   #16
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Yeah you have to dispose of the heat somehow. The best thing to do is collect the water an use it for the strike water for your next batch...but that's a slippery slope

I think that given the same temperature of water, counterflow chillers use less water. There are factors. Immersion chillers are more efficient with smaller batches. And the hose diameter and length makes a big difference with counterflow.

How did the ice factor into your use of the immersion chiller?

Of course, ice takes energy to create, so it's really just a different way of moving energy/heat around. There's no free lunch. But using ice and an immersion chiller may save water in your case...I'm just not clear how you use the ice. You could probably do the same with a counterflow chiller.

But a plate chiller is definitely the most efficient...I intend to get one someday. morebeer.com has an affordable one.

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Old 02-28-2006, 08:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPY
By no means am I an expert, I'm just going off what I've read online over the past couple days. But it seems to be a little simpler both in terms of equipment and technique.
OK. I'll address these based on my experience...take it for what it's worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPY
1) Don't need hot liquor tank that maintains 170° sparge temp. Yes, you need something to heat the water to temp, but for partial mash we're talking about water volume that you can heat with any regular stove pot.
You really don't need to worry much about the 170 degree thing. I don't. I heat it up to that general area, but you can sparge with water anywhere from 150-180 and really even wider range with no ill effects. So, you could still heat it on your stove and gently ladle the water in (though a simple bucket with a hose and sparge arm would work better.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPY
2) Don't need sparge arm
Sparge arm is seriously no big deal. You can buy a fancy one for about $10 or make a perfectly workable one for under a dollar. Certainly worth it to make your beer better when it takes 5 hours to brew a batch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPY
3) Don't have to monitor both inflow and outflow, no concern for channeling
You would still want to monitor the outflow speed. Draining it very quickly will have very poor yields. Slower is better even with batch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPY
4) Slightly less efficient conversion than continuous, but you won't over sparge and get excess things you don't want.
This is one of those things that the books make you worry about, but it isn't actually a factor. You'll never really get any flavors you don't want from oversparging. You'd have to go really out of your way to do so, and in real life it just doesn't happen. You just run the sparge until it doesn't taste sweet. Then you stop it. Maybe I should write a book...the simple way to brew beer without worrying about needless details...maybe a shorter title.

I think, in general, you have been led to believe that continuous sparging is more difficult than it really is. There doesn't seem to be much difference to me other than you drain the entire mash before adding more water in batch sparging. It doesn't seem easier, really, and I think you'd actually have more trouble keeping the mash hot if you drain it all.

It seems to me that many of the issues are exactly the same in terms of producing good results. Six in one half dozen the other.

Cheers
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Slower is better even with batch.
I'm going to respectfully disagree with this. I've tried it both way without any differences noted. With a batch you essentially stir all the sugar into solution that you're going to get into solution and create a wort of equal SG throughout the entire mash. So there's no 'SG gradient' sucking sugar out of the grain in a batch sparge like there is in a fly/continuous sparge. I drain my batch sparge with my drain valve wide open, as do most other batch spargers I've spoken with.
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:47 PM   #19
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It seems to me that many of the issues are exactly the same in terms of producing good results. Six in one half dozen the other.

Cheers
I guess that's my thought too. Why spend the excess $$ if I can make a simpler setup work. I'm kinda at the point where it seems foolish to spend more $$ to create an "advanced" partial mash setup when for not much more I could just go AG.

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Old 02-28-2006, 09:10 PM   #20
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BeeGee - right on...doesn't make sense to me, because it seems that you could do a quick sparge with continuous by stirring it all up and running it through quickly. That intuitively makes sense, but experience tells me that to get the best results, you need to go slow and not agitate the grain at all. I don't know why it would be different with batch, but I don't have the experience with that method that you do.

ESPY - I see where you're coming from and totally agree. The difference between partial and AG is minimal and mostly has to do with volume. I wouldn't sink too much effort/money into a system that can only do mini-mash because it takes as long as brewing an AG, but you still have to buy extract. I'd definitely agree that money/effort should be focused on a system that will be able to do AG, and if you're only doing mini-mashing, minimizing cost is a good idea. FWIW, one can skip the mini-mash phase of their brewing career and jump straight to AG...makes more sense to me, because other than volume, it's the same thing.

Cheers

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