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Old 08-31-2009, 05:49 PM   #1
Feb 2009
Posts: 193

I'm such a n00b,

could someone confirm where the grain bed actually is? I’ve read so many posts about people fly sparging with 2-3 inches of water "ABOVE THE GRAIN BED" creating a pool of water in the MLT. I have also read somewhere that the grain bed is actually at the bottom of your cooler!!! so you should be sprinkling 170f water over a dry heap of grain in your MLT maintaining a SUB water level of 2-3 inches which we cannot see. My first 2 all-grain batches had this "POOL" of water and when you think about it sprinkling water onto a pool of water is pointless. Now it made more sense that the grain bed is actually 2-3 inches from the bottom of the mash tun so i started doing it that way

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Old 08-31-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
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Dec 2008
Hickory, North Carolina
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The grain bed is simply the grain in the MLT. It settles during the mashing process and forms a 'filter bed'.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:04 PM   #3

You need to create that "pool" at the top. By pouring the water directly on dry grains, you're ruining the compact bed that the grain has formed to filter your beer.. A grain bed is just what it's called when you grains settle at the bottom of the MLT. Pour water like you first did.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:30 PM   #4
Feb 2009
Posts: 193

Then why do we need to "Sprinkle" water? cant i just gently drain it in from the HLT???

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
Aug 2009
Charlottesville, VA
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The point of sprinkling is to get the pure water on top of the grain and let it drain downwards, carrying the sugars with it. What you don't want to do is roughly pour huge quantities of water on top of the grain bed - it will plunge the pure water down into the middle of the grain and you won't be rinsing the sugars that are still in the top of the grains. So any method you have of getting water on top of the grain bed is good.

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:01 PM   #6
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You really don't need to sprinkle. It was just one method of getting the water onto the grain without drilling down through. Blichmann and Sabco systems just have a piece of tubing sitting on top and it swirls around.

Instead of "grainbed" think of it like "bed of grain".

It's all irrelevant if you batch sparge by the way.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:24 PM   #7
May 2009
Pocono's PA, USA
Posts: 10

So from what I have read the only downside to not "Pooling" water on top would be a possibility of a stuck sparge or inefficient grain filter?

I also don't see how pooling water properly rinses the grains. Guess I need to read the Palmer book again
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:45 PM   #8
Feb 2009
Posts: 193

These doods have no pool of water above the visible bed. hmmmm ill have to experiment myself and see what has a better outcome.

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Old 09-01-2009, 07:30 PM   #9
Jul 2009
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The grainbed sits on top of the grain box spring.

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Old 09-01-2009, 07:35 PM   #10
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Dec 2007
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
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Grains at mashing temperatures will readily oxidize. Exposing them to air greatly increases the chances of harming your beer. Couple that possibility with worse sparge, more likely channeling, and all the other downsides and it makes no sense to not leave 2 inches of water on top of the grains.

I think those whirligigs are a waste of time, I use the Sabco method.

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