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Old 06-03-2012, 12:35 AM   #1
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Default Who fly sparges ? What's your technique ?

Been reading and searching about fly sparging and concerned I have been doing a correct technique. Been sparging at correct temps. When i Am done with the mash I heat my water and sparge enough water to keep it about one inch above the bed allowing about enough flow to sparge for about one hour. Doing ten gallon batches in keggles, and using a march pump for flow, how does everyone else fly ?


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Old 06-03-2012, 02:51 AM   #2
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What exactly is your concern? Is your efficiency low? Are you extracting tannins from grain (too hot or too long a sparge)? Your technique sounds fine - its what I do except that I heat my sparge water before my mash is done.


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Old 06-03-2012, 03:03 AM   #3
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I am thinking of trying fly sparging to help efficiency with my 5 gallon batches. My 10 gallon batches push 90% so I'm not really worried, but considering i can't seem to pump my mash from the tun to the kettle without going, stupidly, painfully slow, I figured I'd just fly sparge since it's at about that flow rate I can actually pump it.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:02 PM   #4
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The way I do it it gravity feed from HLT to pump, pump it to mash tun where I have a manifold on top of the cooler where it drop the water onto the grain bed. From there I gravity feed out and into my kettle.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
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I go back and forth between batch sparging and continuous sparging, depending on if I'm in a hurry and what's going on that day.

I have a HERMS so I ramp up to mash out temps and then just switch the hoses to sparge and drain the MLT. I have two pumps, so it's a single tier. I keep the same level of liquid above the grainbed that I did during the mash and just continue until I reach my boil volume. It takes me about an hour for a 10 gallon batch, more or less.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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I use only gravity. Mash in a cooler, so I heat sparge water as soon as I mash in. I heat 7 gal sparge water to 175f, wrap it in astro foil (reflectix) and put on the top shelf (dangerous if you aren't able to lift comfortably). I put my kettle on the floor, my MLT on the short table (purpose built of 2x4's) and attach the drip ring (pex + 3 brass T's).

Then I vorlauf, slow the mlt drain as slow as possible, crank open the drip ring (to get out bubbles) then slow it down as slow as possible.

Sounds complicated but all told the above process takes 2-3 minutes, not including heating. The sparge takes 45 minutes. I go and check the flow every 5 minutes at first to make sure I don't run dry or over flow, then it pretty much goes by itself. I collect 6.5 gallons for a 5 gal batch or 11 gal for a ten gal batch. I have a homemade graduated mash paddle to measure volume.
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasbrewer73 View Post
What exactly is your concern? Is your efficiency low? Are you extracting tannins from grain (too hot or too long a sparge)? Your technique sounds fine - its what I do except that I heat my sparge water before my mash is done.
Efficiency is not really my concern because i always seem to hit my OG, what i was wondering is what people use as a sparge arm and there exact technique. The only concern i have is temps and technique. I am totally self taught from this forum and a few tips at my local brew store.

I normally sparge at about 175f for a basic american ale, I start my water and begin sparging slowly and at the same time i slowly drain the wort, Never return any of it back to the grain bed, do people dump some wort back in the grains before sparging ? And how much Wort do i drain off the grain before sparging. Or should i add water before draining any Wort.
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northcalais40 View Post
I use only gravity. Mash in a cooler, so I heat sparge water as soon as I mash in. I heat 7 gal sparge water to 175f, wrap it in astro foil (reflectix) and put on the top shelf (dangerous if you aren't able to lift comfortably). I put my kettle on the floor, my MLT on the short table (purpose built of 2x4's) and attach the drip ring (pex + 3 brass T's).

Then I vorlauf, slow the mlt drain as slow as possible, crank open the drip ring (to get out bubbles) then slow it down as slow as possible.

Sounds complicated but all told the above process takes 2-3 minutes, not including heating. The sparge takes 45 minutes. I go and check the flow every 5 minutes at first to make sure I don't run dry or over flow, then it pretty much goes by itself. I collect 6.5 gallons for a 5 gal batch or 11 gal for a ten gal batch. I have a homemade graduated mash paddle to measure volume.
OK this helps me, vorlauf is dumping the wort back into the grains ? Of course gently to avoid stirring up the grains, Why do you do this ?
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:46 PM   #9
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This is what i have been using, I would like to build or buy something that spreads the water evenly across the grain bed, any ideas on a sparge arm build would be greatly appreciated. I often have to move the arm around to prevent channeling, Pain in the butt.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:20 PM   #10
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To vorlauf is to very slowly begin to drain your MLT so that the grain bed "sets" and filters out fine grist particles. You can see the runnings go from cloudy to bright in 1-2 qts. It reduces the amount of grist and therefore trub and astringency in the wort.

Many will disagree. But this is the traditional rationale.


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