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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Batch sparging with a Zapap.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:16 AM   #1
sterling214
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Default Batch sparging with a Zapap.

Has anyone ever tried to batch sparge with a Zapap set-up? If so tell me how it went, and if there are any problems I should look foreword to.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:47 AM   #2
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I found it much easier to fly sparge with the Zapap setup even though it obviously takes more time. I tended to get real close to stuck or stuck sparges when trying to batch sparge with the bucket in bucket setup.

I'll tell ya man, I wish I had moved sooner to simply spending just $60.00 total and following the tutorial in the DIY site on here and building a MLT out of the 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler. SOOO much better to do brews and relatively cheap.

I can't afford any crazy setup, but the upgrade from the Zapap to the rubbermaid MLT is awesome and at a small cost. The walk through on this forum made it so easy and it increased efficiency for me immediately
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:09 AM   #3
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Wow, what a blast from the past. I built a zapap in 1996 shortly after I bought the NCJOHB book. I used it for about 3 years. At the time, which was when homebrewing was emerging from the middle stone age, it worked quite well. Eventually, it failed from the fatigue from the multihood of holes drilled in the bottom of the bucket. From there, I graduated to a plastic Phil's False bottom for the buckets, which again worked will until I bough a 10 gallon Polarware pot with a stainless false bottom. Since then I have moved on to other methods.

A lot has changed since the Zapap was proposed I really think that you would be better served to build a Cheap n' Easy Batch sparging setup.

Tom
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
I found it much easier to fly sparge with the Zapap setup even though it obviously takes more time.
How much more time? I've always fly sparged so that's all I really know but it doesn't take very long and my efficiency seems OK (and it's consistent which is more important to me).
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:44 AM   #5
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Batch sparging a 5 gallon batch takes maybe 20 minutes from the end of the mash.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:05 PM   #6
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The length of time for batch sparging is highly dependent on how fast your runoff happens and whether or not you're ready with sparge water up to temperature when it's needed. Depending on the brew session, one or both of those factors can bite you in the A.

Back to the OP, the zappap is a decent idea for when it was thought of and it's about the cheapest fly sparging rig you can make, but it fails compared to more modern methods. You're not really going to want to mash in that thing because not only does it lose heat quickely but there's a huge space below the FB so you have to mash really thin.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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Joe Formanek does or did use a zapap and has won the Ninkasi twice.

He doesn't mash in it, of course but he does that in a similarly old school style.

http://badger.ncsa.uiuc.edu/buzz/photos/photo1.gif
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
The length of time for batch sparging is highly dependent on how fast your runoff happens and whether or not you're ready with sparge water up to temperature when it's needed. Depending on the brew session, one or both of those factors can bite you in the A.
I think that's at least one reason I haven't switched...it seems the constraint is always the sparge water and/or getting the wort up to a boil. And since my pot is back on the burner well before I'm finished sparging I guess I didn't think I'd see that much improvement.

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...but it fails compared to more modern methods.
I know this an old dead horse for many of you but I've been outta the loop for a long time. How does the zapap fail and which 'modern methods'? I don't really shoot for uber-high efficiency...in fact I used to think uber-high efficiency was bad but that was back when I was 'flying blind' and never knew any pH values. I think it was just to make sure I had a fudge factor in there and never 'over-sparged'. But fly sparging in my zapap only takes a little longer than the 20 min. remilard posted and I usually get ~77% brewhouse (which I know is pretty low compared to some), but that is using whole hops (I'd probably get better brewhouse eff. if I used pellets).

EDIT: lol...remilard my setup is even more basic: propane burners, plain jane pots/saucepans, glass carboys, zapap made from my first TrueBrew beer brewing 'kit' I bought in the mid 90s, a funnel...I only recently went 'high-tech' and got an IC.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:01 PM   #9
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What I am trying to do is move from extract to AG without buying anything, and without destroying anything that I still use. So far, I've made a IC, and burner with things I had laying around the house. I have a cooler that I can mash in, but no way to lauder with it as it has no spout and I don't want to drill holes into it. I also have 2" thick Styrofoam that I can make an insulated box with to hold my mash tun. Buckets are free at the bakery, so I figured I would give this a try.
Thanks for the input everyone. It looks like I'm going to go with a separate mash tun, and fly sparge using BierMunchers method.
Would I be safe planing for 60% efficiency using 1.25 quarts/lb mash water and 2qt/lb sparge water? I know I'm going to have to add water to fill the dead space in the zapap also.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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Sterling,
I can give you some of my limited experience and numbers using my zapap and AG brewing. I always do AG brews and I recently did 6 gallon batch of 1.054 Oatmeal Stout...even with that much grain and the gummy Oats I didn't get stuck (it was a bit slower than usual though) and I still hit 76% brewhouse efficiency. I'm almost always at ~77% brewhouse.

And I do that using about 1.25qt./pound mash water and about 1.5qt./pound of sparge water. I don't think I've ever used 2qt./pound of sparge water because my boil volume would be too big (you may want to check that...it seems like you'd have too much volume using 1.25qt/pound mash water and then 2qt./pound sparge water but I'm basing that on my setup). Just ballpark numbers: a typical (non-decoction) 5 gallon batch for me using 9.5# grain would use 12-13 qt. mash water and about 17-18 qt. sparge water. I almost always start with exactly 7.5 gallons of water and end up with 5.25 gallons in the fermenter (I use whole hops which decrease your brewhouse eff....those things soak up some wort and also displace wort...you have less wort in your boil pot than you think). And I also have to use a good bit of the sparge water to 'prefill' the zapap. But I still always get ~77% brewhouse so to me 60% seems really low.

Make sure your sparge water is >170o F...I usually shoot for ~185o F (remember...much of this is gonna go in first as the 'prefill'...after you've 'preheated' the zapap of course). And I always mash-out @ 168-170 F.
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