Originally Posted by Vigo_Carpathian
With bigger beers, I have had problems in the past with getting almost all the wort volume in the first pass, leaving only like a gallon or so more to the brew pot from the sparge. The rest of the sparge water just gets wasted. Fly sparging with only a gallon isn't enough to raise the grain temp to 168. Before doing this no sparge mehtod, on big beers, I always have to boil for over two hours just to get down to volume. Is this the norm for big beers, or there a better way of doing this?
Hmm...I'm not totally following.
In batch sparging, why are you adding more than your required preboil water such that there's water left behind that just gets wasted? Ideally you want your first and second runnings to be of roughly equivalent volume, but even being vaguely in the ballpark on that is good enough. I think I might be missing something on your numbers. I just did a single batch sparge 1.100 beer with a 20lb grain bill and I still needed 3 gallons from my second runnings.
Also, don't worry too much about hitting 168º with your mash. Some people like to do a mashout, but it's more personal preference than anything else.