Originally Posted by Jersh
Has anyone ever had a close-up view of a commercial scale brewery in action? I had the opportunity to brew on a 15 barrel system and during the mash they recirculate, and as the wort recirculates it is literally sprayed out, it's not a gentle stream, it's a spray with pretty fine droplets. Kinda like what you see coming from a fire sprinkler. If HSA were a problem I don't think they would vorlauf in this manner.
I have brewed on around a dozen commercial systems, from 1-50bbls and never saw wort "sprayed" out on recirc. I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing, just never saw it that way. Usually there is a return that directs the flow to the mash tun wall where it fans out and runs down the side back to the grain bed.
Now, something that DOES spray the wort is a kettle calandria. For those not familiar, the calandria sits in the middle of the kettle and is the primary heat source. Wort is pumped in the bottom, heated by steam as it rises then sprays out in a 360 degree pattern back into the kettle. Many companies use them, they used to be seen only on large kettles, say 50bbl+, but they are showing up on smaller systems.
Here is a short vid showing a calandria in action: