Fly sparge vs Batch sparge - Home Brew Forums

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Old 09-08-2013, 01:59 AM   #1
smccarter
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I brewed the same beer twice today sparging two different ways....

NB Surly Bitter Brewer clone.

Beer 1:
Mash temp 152, 2.5 gallons water
Sparge water - 5 gal total, 170 degrees
Fly sparge for about 30 minutes
Pre-boil volume - 6.4 gal
Pre-boil gravity - 1.033
Post-boil volume - 5.5 gal
OG - 1.040
Efficiency - 66%

Beer 2:
Mash temp 152, 2.5 gallons water
Sparge water - 5 gal total, 170 degrees
Batch sparge
- first runnings
- second runnings, 2.5 gal
- third runnings, 2.5 gal
Pre-boil volume - 6.5 gal
Pre-boil gravity - 1.040
Post-boil volume - 5 gal
OG - 1.046
Efficiency - 80%

First time batch sparging for me. I think this is a change in process that will stick for me.

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:46 AM   #2
eltorrente
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Do what's easiest and what you like the best. I should say though, that generally fly sparging produces better efficiency and a cleaner runoff - but do what makes your brew day the best for you. I generally fly sparge slowly for 45-60mins, but batch sparging is quicker and easier - so stick to it if you like it better.

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:04 AM   #3
dgr
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Your numbers don't compute. If your starting volume, pre-boil gravity and post boil gravity are correct on your fly sparge, the liquid left in the pot would have been 5.28 gallons but you got 5.5 . With the batch sparge, 5.65 gallons but you got 5

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:07 PM   #4
smccarter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgr View Post
Your numbers don't compute
Don't know. Those are the numbers though. Actual and calculated may differ I suppose.

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
bethebrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smccarter View Post
Don't know. Those are the numbers though. Actual and calculated may differ I suppose.
Personally I use your second method every time. Just start with 15 gallons in my hot liquor tank, and use it all then add a little more at the end as needed. Do a first, second and third runnings. Let the draining continue as I boil, surprising how much slowly drains out of the mash tun. Use silicone hoses between the tanks, and pour the water in by hand, or just let it fill from the bottom. It's all about the gravity.

Pumps suck, and pumps blow. Pumps suck in air, and create a localized hot spot where the beer goes around, and around, and around, Beat up and tired, it finally decides to not make it through the false bottom and gets stuck. I sold pumps for 30 years, were I to EVER consider one for award winning brew efforts, it would be in a much bigger system, and one always controlled with a VFD so as to gently move it around, not at motor speed.

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:21 PM   #6
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Please post your grain weight and post a picture of the inside of your mash tun (or describe it).
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:42 PM   #7
smccarter
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An igloo 7 gal cooler.

4 lb Fawcett Optic
3 lb Canada Malting pale ale malt
.75 lb Simpsons Golden Naked Oats
.38 lb English Medium Crystal
.05 lb English Roasted Barley

90 minute boil

Efficiency numbers were calculated using 7 lb 2-row. The calculator I use doesn't have either Fawcett Optic or Canada Malting pale ale malt. Just grouped the 7 lb together as 2-row.

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:00 PM   #8
newbies13
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Interesting, thanks for testing this. One red flag I would say though is that your estimated fly sparging time is roughly half what is recommended, so you may be draining too quickly and losing efficiency that way.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smccarter View Post
An igloo 7 gal cooler.

4 lb Fawcett Optic
3 lb Canada Malting pale ale malt
.75 lb Simpsons Golden Naked Oats
.38 lb English Medium Crystal
.05 lb English Roasted Barley

90 minute boil

Efficiency numbers were calculated using 7 lb 2-row. The calculator I use doesn't have either Fawcett Optic or Canada Malting pale ale malt. Just grouped the 7 lb together as 2-row.
Sorry, I meant specifically what kind of separation media you use in the cooler. False bottom, manifold, or mesh tube?

When you fly sparged, how much water did you maintain on top of the grain bed?
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:44 AM   #10
smccarter
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False bottom. I maintain about 1/4" water above the grain.

 
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