Why is batch sparging better/faster ? - Page 2 - Home Brew Forums

 Home Brew Forums > Why is batch sparging better/faster ?

02-28-2007, 04:06 AM   #11
Lil' Sparky
Cowboys EAC

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dammit, gabe beat me to the punch. He's using a slightly different method with a thinner mash and unequal runoffs, but the idea is the same.

02-28-2007, 05:37 AM   #12
voodoochild7
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Oct 2005
New Jersey
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky It's really simple. You're already used to calculating the total amount of water needed. Suppose you're mashing 10 lbs of grain and you mash in with 2.5 gal of strike water. Your grain will absorb 4-5 qts. If you want 7 gal in the kettle, the amount of sparge water = 7 - residual in MLT = 7 - (2.5-1.25) = 5.75 gal. You want the two runoffs to be equal (3.5 gal). So you add 2.25 to the MLT, stir, rest, vourlauf, drain 3.5 gal, and repeat with the remaining 3.5 gal. It may seem like too much math at first, but you get used to it quickly.
Okay so normally I use about 11s pound of grain. I mash with 3.25 gallons of water. So my grain will absorb roughly 4 quarts so I'll get aobut 2.25 gallons of the first runoff. So now 7 - 2.25 = 4.75 minus some grain absortion. So I run off the first 2.25 then add let's say 5 gallons stir let sit stir again and runoff the rest? Does that sound right? What temp should my sparge water be?
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02-28-2007, 06:06 AM   #13
robnog
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Nov 2006
Bloomington, IN
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I'm not going to try to defend fly over batch. I have never batch sparged so I don't have the experience to make any claims. I just want to let you know why I fly sparge.

1. I like the idea of trying to maximize efficiency. I noticed that when my sparge time went from 60min to 90min, my efficiency jumped from about 70% to 80-87%. I hope that I can keep improving (though I don't expect to get much higher than 87%). I understand that grain is cheap, but so am I.

2. I feel more involved in the whole process of brewing. In batch sparging, I would open up my valve and then go watch the game for 30 minutes and then come back and start brewing again. That would bore me. I like the process of pouring a few cups of water on top every few minutes, calculating the flow rate to make sure it takes 90 min, and checking the gravity of the runnings every so often.

3. I made a really cool manifold. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture because I don't have a digital camera (see: cheap comment in #1).

I see that several of you prefer batch sparging and that's great. For me, fly sparging works well and I don't plan on changing any time soon.

02-28-2007, 06:25 AM   #14
Gabe
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Actually Lil'Sparky, I mash out to 170 before I run off the first time like most . I then run off about 3 gal and return this to clear up my wort. I then proceed to sparge, usually about 7 gal or until I hit 1.010. I get good but not great eff (70%) but I am learning on a brand new system so things should improve.

02-28-2007, 07:54 AM   #15
brewman !
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Lets stop with the bragging about batch sparging being better and look at why it is better.

1) I don't understand how batch sparging can be faster AND get good efficiency.

As far as I understand, you add water to the grain bed, stir it up, let it settle, circulate it a bit and then drain it. Repeat 3x.

Now how can one get good efficiency when the grain is only in contact with the water for such a short time ? Put another way, why can't we drain this quickly when fly sparging ?

In my mind, something is wrong that batch sparging can be done really quickly and fly sparging can't. Or maybe we just think it can't !

2) I don't understand how batch sparging can be less work.

With fly sparging you add sparge water, circulate a bit and start draining. After that all you have to do is add sparge water and that can be automated pretty easily.

With batch sparging you stir, let it settle and circulate it every time you fill the bed. So how is that easier than just letting the sparge water trickle through the bed ? I can easily read a book or watch TV while sparging. Could I if I was batch sparging ?

3) Stuck beds.

People say you can have these fantastic drain rates when batch sparging. In the same breath they say that fly sparges are prone to stuck beds. OK, now what makes a batch sparge less prone to stuck beds or what makes one think they can drain the same bed faster with a batch sparge than a fly sparge ? A bed is a bed, right ? And both beds will need to settle the same to get the same wort clearness. So how can one drain faster than the other ? How can one bed stick and not the other ?
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02-28-2007, 08:30 AM   #16
Orfy
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I do it because.

It works
It is quick
It is simple
It requires less equipment.
It gets me around 80% effec.
It's the only way I've ever done it.

I'm not really fussed why it works or what the maths says.
I think fly sparging is a left over from old techniques maybe when malt was not as modified.
If my attitude makes my point less valid then so be it.
But if you want to know the reasons I do it and how it works for me then there you go.

If you'd like to go past what people are telling you then the easiest way to find the answers is to try both and see. I can't comment on the fly sparging because I've not done it but I have read plenty about it and peoples experiences. Hence my initial decision to go with batch sparging.
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02-28-2007, 08:37 AM   #17
voodoochild7
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Oct 2005
New Jersey
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I don't want to argue the merits of fly or batch I've done fly for a while and I"m getting sick of the wait. So if somone may be so kind as to check and see if my math/technique is correct I'll be much obliged.

From a few post up.

Quote:
 Okay so normally I use about 11s pound of grain. I mash with 3.25 gallons of water. So my grain will absorb roughly 4 quarts so I'll get aobut 2.25 gallons of the first runoff. So now 7 - 2.25 = 4.75 minus some grain absortion. So I run off the first 2.25 then add let's say 5 gallons stir let sit stir again and runoff the rest? Does that sound right? What temp should my sparge water be?
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02-28-2007, 08:44 AM   #18
Orfy
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The easiest way is to take your first running from the mash. ( I mash with a ratio ~1.33)
Say 2 gallon.
Dump in what you're cooler will take say 3.5 gallon
Take the second runnings which in theory should be 3.5 Gallon
You have 5.5 gallon so you need to put another 1.5 gallon in.
Or you can just split the batches equally.
Just make sure you're not collecting under 1006
If you are go with the lower volume or top up the kettle with water to the volume.
I sparge with 77°C water.
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02-28-2007, 11:54 AM   #19
fifelee

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by brewman ! As far as I understand, you add water to the grain bed, stir it up, let it settle, circulate it a bit and then drain it. Repeat 3x.
I am no expert, but don't you repeat just once (not 3x).
Fill, stir, settle, drain, fill, stir, settle, drain.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by brewman ! With fly sparging you add sparge water, circulate a bit and start draining. After that all you have to do is add sparge water and that can be automated pretty easily.
I think the trouble most people have with fly sparging is keeping the in and out flows equal. Automation isn't easy for a lot of people so they have to stand there and watch the sparge.

02-28-2007, 01:18 PM   #20
Lil' Sparky
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by voodoochild7 Okay so normally I use about 11s pound of grain. I mash with 3.25 gallons of water. So my grain will absorb roughly 4 quarts so I'll get aobut 2.25 gallons of the first runoff. So now 7 - 2.25 = 4.75 minus some grain absortion. So I run off the first 2.25 then add let's say 5 gallons stir let sit stir again and runoff the rest? Does that sound right? What temp should my sparge water be?
If you want equal runoffs, then you would add 1.25 before your first runoff.

FYI - A lot of people use this as a mash out step to bring the entire wort up to 168 deg. Usually that means the water added is close to boiling. There are equations to figure that part out, but I don't have it off-hand. I use BeerSmith now which does that for me.

Again, some of the confusion from the different answers is because not everyone does it with equal runoffs. What I've read suggests that will result in the best efficiency.