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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Fly sparging question
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:25 PM   #1
Tankard
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Default Fly sparging question

How do you start the process? If you are supposed to keep 1 inch of water above the grain bed at all times, how can this be achieved if the outflow matches the inflow from the HLT? Are you supposed to open the valve on the HLT, wait until there is enough water above the grainbed, and then open the valve on the mash tun?


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Old 05-05-2008, 09:35 PM   #2
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That's how I do it.

I'll vorlauf until the runoff is clear. Then I'll start slowly adding the water to the MLT from the HLT. Once an inch or so of water is above the grain bed, I'll slowly open the valve from the MLT and start draining to the kettle. then I just keep an eye on everything until I reach my pre-boil volume.

If all goes well, the HLT will be empty about 40-45 minutes into the sparge and then the remaining liquid drains out of the MLT in the last 15-20 minutes so there isn't much of anything left in the MLT except the grains.


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Old 05-05-2008, 09:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew Dude View Post
How do you start the process? If you are supposed to keep 1 inch of water above the grain bed at all times, how can this be achieved if the outflow matches the inflow from the HLT? Are you supposed to open the valve on the HLT, wait until there is enough water above the grainbed, and then open the valve on the mash tun?
Essentially yes. The 1" is a minimum. It may go higher as you begin the lautering process.

You simply want to prevent the water level from dropping until it reaches the top of the grains because that is when you'll get channeling and stir up the grains.

1 inch or 4 inches...won't really matter as long as you create a slow "squeegee" effect of clean water pushing through the grains.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:41 PM   #4
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I always mash out with about 3 gallons of boiling water, which brings my water level where it needs to be at the start of the sparge.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:05 PM   #5
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Followup question- how long does it take you guys to do the whole lautering/sparging process? Is there a rate you aim for?

I've had some stuck sparge issues, and I think maybe I've just been draining too quickly. I use a false bottom, and it occurs to me that I could just have some majore grain bed compaction. I saw a blog earlier where the guy said the whole lauter process should take 40+ minutes. If that's the case, do you guys barely open up the valve on draining your MLT?
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:40 PM   #6
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Yeah I have the same questions, have been doing it for about two years now, but never get good effiecency. I think I am doing it took quickly. Today I only got about 69 percent on the first batch. Sparged for only about 30 minutes, but I can't seem to go any slower. (But I also screwed this batch up) I forgot to put the falst bottom in so I had to do a move to the second keg and start again for another 30 minutes. OG on this batch is only at 1.066 and tartget estimate was 1.081.

This second batch I am at 15 minutes into it and quarter into the boil pot now.

I might go batch to batch sparging, but with the sculpture it is kind of hard to do it that way or is it. Could I just dump the mash then had the sparging water for about 15 minutes and then run it through. Does anyone do it this way with batching with a sculpture.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:00 AM   #7
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A fly sparge should last an hour.

With a volume of 6 gallons preboil try to drain at .4 qts a minute.
.4 x 60 minutes = 24 quarts or 6 gallons.


With a mash tun volume of 12 gallons preboil try to set your drain to flow .8 qts per minute.
.8 x 60 minutes = 48 quarts or 12 gallons.

If you are off a bit no harm done. The idea is to not run through the sparge water too fast and get all the sugar you can.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:01 AM   #8
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I sparge for 45-60 mins anything sooner and I think you leave a bunch of sugars behind.
I am usually in the 82-90% range
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maltMonkey View Post
I always mash out with about 3 gallons of boiling water, which brings my water level where it needs to be at the start of the sparge.
3 gallons boiling water? what size batches do you brew?

-a.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:27 AM   #10
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I just calculated my second batch and ran it through for 55 minutes. Got 82 percent eff to boiler. So just in these two batches can see the difference in efficiency


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