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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > fly sparging vs. batch sparging
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
michaelpeach76
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Default fly sparging vs. batch sparging

Which is a better method of sparging...fly sparging or batch sparging.


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Old 09-25-2012, 06:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by michaelpeach76 View Post
Which is a better method of sparging...fly sparging or batch sparging.
It depends on what your parameters are for considering one better. Fly sparging theoretically will give you slightly higher efficiency (assuming your system is designed for it). However, batch sparging is quicker. There's also less concern about sparge pH with batch sparging.


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Old 09-25-2012, 06:41 PM   #3
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"Better" is a hard term to work with. That's like saying, "Which is better, penne pasta, or linquine?"

It depends on equipment, and the brewer's goals and amount of time. Neither is inherently better than the other.

For fly sparging, it's pretty important to have a round MLT with a false bottom. Braids and other things just don't work well with fly sparging. Also, you almost need to have an HLT for fly sparging and keep the pH below 6.

For batch sparging, and braid/false bottom will do, as will any shape or size of cooler. An HLT is handy, but not required.

There are very small differences in efficiency, so it's really up to the brewer to work with his/her equipment efficiently and do what works for them.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:42 PM   #4
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There's no overall better. Depends on what works beat for your system. I have asteel braid in my mash tun and find fly sparging to be inefficient. If I had a false bottom and gravity or pumps I might fly sparge, but then again maybe not. I'd guess one reason pro brewers fly sparge is because they aren't able to remix hundreds of lbs of grain for batch sparging.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:11 PM   #5
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Penne is a better sparge method. There's really no comparison.


Batch sparging just seems easier to set up. Plus, efficiency isn't the homebrewer's biggest problem... it's a matter of scale: adding $1 of extra grain isn't a big deal for us. Adding $100 of grain is a big deal to breweries.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
For fly sparging, it's pretty important to have a round MLT with a false bottom. Braids and other things just don't work well with fly sparging. Also, you almost need to have an HLT for fly sparging and keep the pH below 6.
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I have asteel braid in my mash tun and find fly sparging to be inefficient.
*shrug* I've got a round cooler with a braid and get a much better efficiency fly sparging than batch sparging. I lauter really slowly and add the sparge water by hand with a pitcher though, I don't have a gravity system. My efficiency runs between 68-70%. Batch sparging was getting me low 60s. It all really depends on your setup and how you use it. At some point I might add another cooler as a HLT and switch to a false bottom in the MLT to pick up my efficiency a little.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:42 PM   #7
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*shrug* I've got a round cooler with a braid and get a much better efficiency fly sparging than batch sparging. I lauter really slowly and add the sparge water by hand with a pitcher though, I don't have a gravity system. My efficiency runs between 68-70%. Batch sparging was getting me low 60s. It all really depends on your setup and how you use it. At some point I might add another cooler as a HLT and switch to a false bottom in the MLT to pick up my efficiency a little.
I suspect your crush is a problem if you only got low 60s with batch sparging. Also, perhaps you weren't making your run-offs roughly equal?
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I suspect your crush is a problem if you only got low 60s with batch sparging. Also, perhaps you weren't making your run-offs roughly equal?
Haven't changed sources on my grain, so that hasn't changed. I was batch sparging according to Beersmith's calculations. Fly sparging is working pretty well for me, so I've been sticking with it.

EDIT: I will add that I've begun acidifying my sparge water recently, so that has improved my fly sparge efficiency a little more, up about 72% the last couple batches, so it's really not comparable to what I was doing with batch sparging previously.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
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Haven't changed sources on my grain, so that hasn't changed.
I'm not sure what your point is with this statement. I was saying that you could likely up your batch sparge efficiency if you got your grain crushed finer. Obviously do what works for you, though.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:53 PM   #10
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I started fly sparging to save myself the work of vorlaufing three different times. I've since discovered the false bottom I was using was causing mt to have to vorlauf MUCH more than I do now, but I was already pretty well set-up for fly sparging and there's not really much too it.

So instead of:
Add-water
Add-grain
Stir
Stir
Stir
Wait
Stir
Wait
Vorlauf
Drain
Add water
Stir
Stir
Stir
Wait
Vorlauf
Drain
Add water
Stir
Stir
Stir
Wait
Vourlauf
Drain

I just:
Add Water
Add Grain
Stir
Stir
Stir
Wait
Stir
Wait
Vorlauf
Drain slowly
While draining add water to top of MT equal to rate it's draining
Wait

Fly sparging takes me no more time than I was spending doing 2 batch sparges and vourlaufing my ass off. All the extra work of stirring and vourlaufing again just sucks.

My efficiency has been pretty much the same, maybe it's a little closer to 75% than the 70ish% I got batch sparging.


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