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Fly Sparge Question

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Bigsnake

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Is there a lot of temperature drop from the tank valve, through the hose, into the sparge arm, through the air, and into the grain bed?

I know there is some but do you heat your sparge water over sparge temp to counter that effect? If so, how much?

Just built a sparge arm and plan on giving fly sparging an attempt later today.
 

WBC

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Before you sparge just let some of the heated sparge water run through the line and measure it at the pot and at the sparge arm to find the drop. Then adjust your hot water temperature to compensate. Put some insulation around the tank to hold the temperature better during the sparge period of time.
 

Kauai_Kahuna

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Bigsnake - There are so many outside factors that impact this there is no answer. Outside temperature could swing it way down if your brewing in a blizzard.
Run a test with a gallon of water, let it sit in your tun for 40 minutes, start running it out and read the temp coming out. Everyone's equipment and environment is different.
 
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Bigsnake

Bigsnake

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Before you sparge just let some of the heated sparge water run through the line and measure it at the pot and at the sparge arm to find the drop. Then adjust your hot water temperature to compensate. Put some insulation around the tank to hold the temperature better during the sparge period of time.
I'm using igloo coolers so the tank side temp control won't be a problem.

And I figure there are a lot of variables. Was just wondering if people took it into consideration or if there was just a general rule of thumb.
 

ajf

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I heat my sparge water to 185 and pour it into a cold 5g cooler. This cools it down somewhat, and it loses more heat going through the tubing, and the sparge arm. I also do a mash out to bring the grain bed temperature up to 168 - 170 before starting the sparge, otherwise the sparge temp would not even reach 160. (The mash out raised my efficiency by 10%). However, that applies to my 5g MLT. With the 10g MLT I need to get things a lot hotter.
As the others have said there are a lot of variables. You could get in the ball park by doing a dry run and measuring the temperatures, and then fine tune it during the next few brews.

-a.
 

TeleTwanger

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I assume heat loss via valve/tube/sparge arm so I heat my sparge water to 185-190F and after it goes into my preheated cooler it drops to 170-175F. I don't do mash outs and the last time I checked the top of the water in the mash which is mostly sparge water it was around 165F.
 

davesrose

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I have a fairly short amount of tubing going from my faucet to arm....so I don't think I get much temperature loss with the tubing or fly arm. I think its more dependant on the amount of space from your arm to grain bed. That's where you have small beads of water getting in contact with cooler air. And that difference can always change if you can't adjust the fly arm (with the size of the grain bill). But really, as long as you did any sort of mash out and stay close to 170, I don't think its too much of an issue. I tend to heat my water up to 185-190. I also figure a 3 degree drop when pouring the water into my cooler (heat all the water with an aluminum pot, and have a second cooler for my lauter).
 

WBC

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If you fly sparge then an infusion mashout (Depending on space in the mashtun) or decoction mashout is best as you can bring the whole mass up to temperature before recirculation and sparging. This provides the best extraction of sugars using the least volume of water if you are making stronger beers. I keep the water above the grains at all times when doing the mashout and fly sparging. I do not use a spinning sparge arm as I use a manifold to evenly dispense water and keep the level 1 to 2 inches above the grains. The above procedure produces 80 to 90 percent efficiency if I have mashed correctly and my water chemistry is what it should be.
 
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Bigsnake

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Boiling my batch now.

I ended up doing a mashout and it brought the temp up to the 165 -167 region. I heated the sparge water to about 185 and put it in a cold 10 gallon cooler. Was in there maybe 15 minutes before I started sparging. I ended up checking the temp part way through the sparge in the tank and it was a little under 180. I couldn't figure out a way to get a good temp on the water ontop of my grain bed without disturbing the bed. My probe thermometer doesn't read accurately unless it's submerged half-way. My digital is not working well and I use it just as a timer .

First wort coming out was a 1053 gravity. Suppose to get a 1050 beer out of this so, idk if this is alright.

I actually oversparged by about 3/4 of a gallon. Was watching the end of the LSU vs. Alabama game and got distracted.
 

TeleTwanger

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don't worry about disturbing the grain bed, in fact I rake the top 1/3 a few times to avoid channeling.
 

WBC

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You can rig your lid to sparge with the lid on which keeps the lid on. Modify the manifold to mount on the lid with the tubing going through the lid. Use a small float and a stiff wire through the lid so you can monitor the liquid level (same as a sight tube but mechanical). If you measure your sparge water you will not over sparge.


In the future I am going to fabricate a valve that controls the sparge water using the float to open and shut the valve for sparging in any mashing/sparging vessel.
 
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Bigsnake

Bigsnake

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You can rig your lid to sparge with the lid on which keeps the lid on. Modify the manifold to mount on the lid with the tubing going through the lid. Use a small float and a stiff wire through the lid so you can monitor the liquid level (same as a sight tube but mechanical). If you measure your sparge water you will not over sparge.


In the future I am going to fabricate a valve that controls the sparge water using the float to open and shut the valve for sparging in any mashing/sparging vessel.
Good idea. I'm going to get on this. CPVC stuff is cheap to work with so I can keep redesigning until I got it right. lol
 

WBC

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Here is a rough concept I was talking about with the float control.

sparge control3.gif
 

WBC

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This will be easy and hardly any force required. Let me work on the valve itself and prototype it and I will get back to you. I am a retired tool and die maker and worked with engineers all through my career so this is easy for me. :)
 
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Bigsnake

Bigsnake

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This will be easy and hardly any force required. Let me work on the valve itself and prototype it and I will get back to you. I am a retired tool and die maker and worked with engineers all through my career so this is easy for me. :)
Well, I'm a Chem E, but my room mate is an ME in the nuke industry, let's have at it. lol
 

WBC

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i just hooked a float switch up to one of my pumps for sparging...works great
What float switch would that be? I was going to make a gravity actuated valve for the OP and future use but for my single level system a float switch would be fine as I have 2 pumps now.
 

planenut

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I used to have a float on a 5 gallon bucket that I used with an RO water system to get water for my salt water aquarium.

It mounted in a small hole in the side of the bucket at the level you wanted it to shut off and the small RO water line connected to the outside of the bucket. Water trickled in until the float raised and shut off the flow.

I will have to see if I can find it again.
 

steedtucker

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What float switch would that be? I was going to make a gravity actuated valve for the OP and future use but for my single level system a float switch would be fine as I have 2 pumps now.
it would be float switch: mcmaster carr part number 50195K93...just go to the website McMaster-Carr and type the part number in the search box and it should bring it up. this is the same way the auto sparge works on the systems that more beer makes.
 

steedtucker

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mcmaster also sells float valves as well which is what i think you were referring to earlier in this post.
 
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Bigsnake

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I just talked to igloo and they said they don't carry replacement lids for the 10 gallon cooler anymore. I was going to get one before I started cutting mine up. :mad:
 

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