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Old 03-08-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
1KD1
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Jan 2012
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I am putting together a mash run for my first attempt at AG brewing. I am using a rectangle cooler. I have the parts to do either a SS braided hose or a copper manifold for draining the mash tun. I have 1" SS braid (several feet available) or 1/2" copper with all necessary fittings.

First questions is: which option is better or more efficient?

Second, if using copper manifold, I have seen them set up with slots cut in top of manifold and also with cuts in bottom of manifold. If I were to build a manifold, where would the slots be most efficient? Top or bottom of manifold?

Sorry if this has been covered but I kept finding different info in my searches.

 
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #2
JuanMoore
 
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How are you going to be sparging? If you're going to batch sparge, it doesn't really matter, so use whichever will be easiest or cheapest for you. If you plan on fly sparging, absolutely make the manifold. The slits should be on the bottom of the manifold. A lot of the pictures you saw with the slits on top are likely just to show the depth and spacing of the slits, and when in use they're likely installed the other way with the slits down.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
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I fly sparge and have tried both but for me hands down go with the manifold.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:38 PM   #4
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I just did my first batch with a braid and wasn't a fan of hitting it while stirring and it moving around on the bottom and not knowing where it was laying. Just irritated me. So I built a manifold and put slits on the bottom mainly so that grains aren't sitting right on top of the slits and draining through as much. With the slits being on the bottom I would think your grain bed would settle a bit easier and be more stable. If they were on the top I could see them getting sucked into your brewpot easier.

 
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:39 PM   #5
1KD1
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I am planning on fly sparging. I think anyway! (I'm still learning terms and processes) I was thinking of making a hole in the lid of the cooler and adding a sparge arm type set up (stationary). So I could add the sparge water without opening the cooler.

Am I on the right track?

 
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
cperry7467
 
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Yea... really it's a battle of time vs efficiency. Fly sparging is slightly more efficient than batch sparging, but takes longer. I'm impatient so I batch sparge. Seems like the majority of people I see batch sparge just to cut down on equipment cost and time.

 
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
NewDecadeBrewery
 
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I built a manifold with some left over copper pipe I had after I had been using the SS braided hose. I thought I'd be slick and drill holes into my manifold instead of cutting slits with a hacksaw. Well, one stuck sparge later and I re-installed my hose braid and haven't looked back since. Point of story though I used too large of a drill bit. I don't remember the size but if you don't go small enough with the holes the grains will fit themselves in the holes of the manifold and clog that sucker quick. I am thinking that the holes I drilled weren't much larger if at all than the width of a hacksaw blade cut. You may not be planning on drilling holes in yours though, just a word of caution based on experience.

On another note I don't see what the difference would be whether one does batch or fly sparging with braid or manifold. I guess a fly sparge is generally done at a slower rate, but don't really know why it would be preferred to fly sparge with a manifold. I've done both with my SS braid with no issues.

 
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:54 PM   #8
Taliesin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanMoore View Post
How are you going to be sparging? If you're going to batch sparge, it doesn't really matter, so use whichever will be easiest or cheapest for you. If you plan on fly sparging, absolutely make the manifold. The slits should be on the bottom of the manifold. A lot of the pictures you saw with the slits on top are likely just to show the depth and spacing of the slits, and when in use they're likely installed the other way with the slits down.
+1

I'll only add that if you PLAN to move to fly sparging, go to the effort of making the manifold. Less work down the road. If you have no interest in fly sparging, then go with the braid.

I went with the braid and loved it. I'm looking at moving to fly sparging, which makes my braid worthless.

 
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:58 PM   #9
NewDecadeBrewery
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1KD1 View Post
I am planning on fly sparging. I think anyway! (I'm still learning terms and processes) I was thinking of making a hole in the lid of the cooler and adding a sparge arm type set up (stationary). So I could add the sparge water without opening the cooler.

Am I on the right track?
I don't see why you wouldn't want to open the cooler. If you're fly sparging you want to keep a layer of water on top of the mashed grains while sparging so for me it makes sense to have a visual on that.

But hey its home brewing and we tinker/invent/experiment.

 
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:59 PM   #10
cperry7467
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewDecadeBrewery View Post
On another note I don't see what the difference would be whether one does batch or fly sparging with braid or manifold. I guess a fly sparge is generally done at a slower rate, but don't really know why it would be preferred to fly sparge with a manifold. I've done both with my SS braid with no issues.
Channeling becomes a problem using fly sparging and a braid... With batch sparging it doesn't matter because you're stirring your sparge water when you add it. But with the fly sparge the water will take the path of least resistance to the braid and create channels decreasing efficiency. A good portion of your mash won't get "washed" during the sparge. The manifold increases your drain points reducing the risk of channeling.

 
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