• We have a new forum and it needs your help! Homebrewing Deals is a forum to post whatever deals and specials you find that other homebrewers might value! Includes coupon layering, Craigslist finds, eBay finds, Amazon specials, etc.

Fly Sparge VS Batch Sparge: Facts

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

ph0ngwh0ng

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
309
Reaction score
22
Location
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Hello!

I fully realize that with this post I am opening the gates of Hell and sticking my foot in to keep them open, but I just have to know.

I googled and have searched this forum for a SCIENTIFIC, FACTUAL explanation of the differences between fly sparging and batch sparging and have found none.

I am quite new to AG (2 batches) and have used batch sparging with success. Although, all the books I've read don't really mention this technique and tend to favor the fly sparging technique for lautering. I am quite an adept of the old sayin "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.", but I am turning into a brewing maniac and want to do it the best way there is.

So, my question is: "What is the difference, IN RESULTS, between fly sparging and batch sparging?"

PLEASE, back up your post with EVIDENCE so that this thread doesn't turn into an all out war. :fro:

Thank you!!
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,554
Reaction score
3,180
Location
Whitehouse Station
There is no hard evidence. No one has done any experiments that I'm aware of that test for differences. Both sparging techniques have their pros and cons and it is usually the equipment setup and brewer's skill that exploits either of them. Anectodotally, fly sparging takes a bit more attention to detail in order to maximize efficiency (most importantly in lauter tun design and sparge speed). Following a few basic steps in fly sparging will usually get the job done.

I'm personally aiming to fly sparge a few batches so that I can more conclusively weigh in on the matter. It's just hard to push myself to do it because 90% efficiency batch sparging has been good to me.
 

menschmaschine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
3,259
Reaction score
48
Location
Delaware
I think it's actually a fairly simple scientific concept. All other factors aside (water quality, mash tun design, etc.), think about what you're trying to accomplish. The goal here is to get sugars, proteins, and other good wort compounds off of the grain. With continuous sparging, there is a constant down-flow of sparge water relatively uniformly distributed through the grain bed. All of the sugars and other compounds have a good chance of getting rinsed off the grain and ending up in the kettle. In batch sparging, there are typically 2 batches of sparges. The water mixes up all the grain and does a fairly good job of loosening up sugars, etc. into solution. However, when it is drained, some of these sugars, etc. can get "caught" up in the grains and not make it to the kettle. This is why a double batch sparge works a lot better than a single batch sparge... because you're loosening up these compounds that didn't make it the first time and getting them back into solution and into the kettle.

With the single minded goal of getting the most out of the grain, continuous sparging is just going to get more (with the right system). The negatives are that there is a risk of over-sparging (tannin extraction), but this is really water dependent. If your sparge water has a relatively low pH, there isn't much risk of this. Another negative is time, it's generally recommended to fly-sparge for an hour or more. Many brewers don't like this extra time and are willing to sacrifice a few points of efficiency for the time saved.

Some batch spargers claim to get practically as high efficiency as fly-spargers, but while that is possible, I can also say that I've fly-sparged in 30 minutes (12 gallon batch- open valves to close) and still got over 90% efficiency. So these are anomalies and the majority of brewers fall into the positives and negatives mentioned above. One thing to note, is that most commercial breweries do continuous sparging or some related method. Their main goals are cost cutting and quality, both of which tend to work out for them (personal beer tastes aside) with continuous sparging.
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,584
Reaction score
178
Location
Oak Grove
The few people I know who have done both under carefully controlled conditions report no real differences in the final results. Commercial brewers fly sparge, because it is optimal use of the equipment volume. Batch sparging requires a tun volume about 50% larger than the grain bed, fly sparging you can use nearly 100% of the tun.
 

bigben

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2006
Messages
522
Reaction score
1
Location
My House
there's a reason you haven't found hard evidence of the final results... Because there isn't any :)

Theoretically, all things being equal, fly spargeing will yield higher efficiency. Fly spargeing may also increase the risk of leeching tannins from the grains but I don't remember ever hearing anyone complain about that.

Batch sparging can save you time. Also "no sparge" has been rumored to produce a richer,maltier beer at the expense of efficiency. But again, no hard facts.
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,554
Reaction score
3,180
Location
Whitehouse Station
The moral of the story is if you want scientific evidence, you'll probably have to buckle down and do the experimenting on your own. Keep good notes and post your results for review.

I agree with David in that commercial brewers almost always use fly sparging but it is hardly a valid arguement for or against it in the context of homebrewing. It would be a bit silly building a stirring mechanism on a 15 barrel MLT that would acheive the same effect as our mash paddles are capable of upon each batch sparge infusion.

It seems to me that most fly spargers get about 85% plus efficiency when they design their tuns correctly and take their time sparging. Most batch spargers get about 70% following the rules loosely. There are always exceptions. A few fly spargers in my club told me they get 75% consistently. I get 90% batch sparging (as do others).

If you were to design a fly vs batch experiment, what hypotheses would you be most interested in testing for (afterall there is no "best" at such a high level)? Efficiency? Flavor? Long term stability?
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
7,763
Reaction score
172
Location
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Do what is easier for you. On our scale efficiency really doesn't matter. I mean if your batch costs an extra dollar in grain, are you really going to notice. I fly sparge because it made more sense to me when I started brewing and I have stuck with it. If you have a system that works and yields good results why change it. Unless you get bored or curious, just stick with what you are doing.
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,554
Reaction score
3,180
Location
Whitehouse Station
I propose not to let this thread get out of hand. This is one of those topics where a relatively new memeber posts and then HBT regulars bring it to 75+ posts strong and the OP chimes in once or twice (if that). He should obviously chime in to explain what the intent was. Frankly, given the generic nature of the OP, this should be in the debate forum. If there's some specific aspect of either method that is in question, that's a different story.
 

Saccharomyces

Be good to your yeast...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Messages
5,440
Reaction score
142
Location
Pflugerville, Texas
I used the hybrid fly sparge technique for a couple of big beers and I got 83% and 86% with 16 and 14 pounds of grain on a 5 gallon batch. The rest of the time I do a double batch sparge and consistently get 78-82% efficiency. I find the batch sparge to be simpler and more RDWHAHB, although it isn't necessarily quicker since I do not yet have a HLT (I heat my two sparge infusions separately).

Both techniques will yield good efficiency if you dial in your process.

In batch sparging a fine crush is key to getting good efficiency, since you don't get complete diffusion with a coarse crush. If you don't have a mill, have your LHBS run the grain through the mill twice. In fly sparging you don't want to overcrush the grain or you risk a stuck sparge, and will end up effectively batch sparging in slow motion. ;)
 
OP
P

ph0ngwh0ng

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
309
Reaction score
22
Location
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Wow..

I wish I had the same amount of replies when I have problems with my brews :ban:

I have to say you all pretty much answered my question... with another question :D

My intent with this thread was to poke around if someone had a link to some site explaining the matter scientifically (with a hint of chemistry + fluid mechanics I guess). I really didn't have any hypothesis for or against either method in any respect.

I realize now I may have over-simplified the problem. In fact, as bobby_m stated, there is more to sparging than efficiency and I don't think a side-by-side experiment will ever settle the question. It would take, I think, lab equipment and controlled experiments.

As I said, being new to AG, I wanted to know if I was missing something by going steady with batch sparging. Since the process has yielded good results so far, I will work on perfecting my batch sparge technique. In the future although, I might try fly sparging, just to play around.

Thanks a lot for the answers, but foremost for the peacefulness of the exchange.
 

Saccharomyces

Be good to your yeast...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Messages
5,440
Reaction score
142
Location
Pflugerville, Texas
As I said, being new to AG, I wanted to know if I was missing something by going steady with batch sparging. Since the process has yielded good results so far, I will work on perfecting my batch sparge technique. In the future although, I might try fly sparging, just to play around.
Depends on how much you like to tweak. If you are a tweaker, keep working on changing your process but try to limit yourself to one variable per brew so you know where the effects are coming from. Other folks are happy to stick with something that works once they stumble on it. That's the nice thing about this hobby. You can tweak your process as much or as little as you like and still make good beer. :D

There is a nice analysis of batch sparging Kaiser posted recently.

Batch Sparging Analysis - German Brewing Techniques

With batch sparging you are essentially diluting the residual sugars with every infusion and then drawing off the solution. With fly sparging you are rinsing the sugars gradually, and gravity slowly draws the denser fluid (wort) down to the manifold making the design of the lauter tun much more important.
 

RumRiverBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2010
Messages
185
Reaction score
4
Location
Twin Cities
I'm new to AG and been doing as much research as I can... Can you direct me to a link where you explain your batch sparging process? 90% would probably take some practice to attain but is impressive - Thanks
 

Malticulous

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Messages
4,144
Reaction score
80
Location
St. George Utah
I've hit 90% numerous times batch sparging. It's always with smaller beers or 90 minute boils. It's the watter to grain ratio.

When I fly sparged my process was down to 80% consistently with crush from on line vendors. Courser crush is generally preferred for fly sparging. When I started batch sparging I also got a bigger MLT and a barley crusher. I now get 85% consistently on regular size beers. My newer MLT designs are not conducive to fly sparging so nothing is scientific really. I did batch sparge a small beer with my old false bottom MLT at got 87%, but with the finer crushed grain.

My personal experience is batch sparging is better, at least for me. The big advantages are some time savings and the ease of making a much larger MLT.
 

Denny

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2005
Messages
5,543
Reaction score
1,063
Location
Eugene
You asked for science. Here's some, and a darned good bit of information about advantages/disadvantages of fly/batch/no sparge techniques.

http://www.franklinbrew.org/brewinfo/nbsparge.html
That's Ken Schwartz's paper. I learned a lot from him when I began batch sparging, but I also learned that some of hos theories don't hold in the real world. For instance, I fully understand and appreciate the math behind equal runoff volumes, but I've found through experience that if your volumes are within about a gal. of each other, that's close enough. Ken also has you scaling up your grain amount for batch sparging. When I was feeding him my data to help him develop his spreadsheets, I found that I was always overshooting my OG. Once I stopped scaling up the grain and just started adjusting my recipes to my system's efficiency, I got much better results.
 

suprchunk

North Okaloosa (NO) Brew Club
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
807
Reaction score
26
Location
Crestview
It seems to me that most fly spargers get about 85% plus efficiency when they design their tuns correctly and take their time sparging.
I keep seeing it mentioned that correctly designed tuns will help in the efficiency. And two times by you in this thread alone Bobby (sorry, don't mean to call you out, but you mentioned it :) ). What would you consider a correctly designed tun for fly sparging?

To not load the question I will say that I used to use my five gallon round cooler, but have switched to a 48 quart rectangular cooler. I made a copper manifold that pretty much covers all the real estate at the bottom (I'll get a picture up someday) and get excellent efficiency (above 90%). I've sparged quick, I've sparged slow. I've matched runoff with the sparge water, I've sparged it almost dry at times and have had it too wet. From all I've read this is not an ideal setup for fly sparging, and I upped my grain bill in my first few brews using this paradigm. Well needless to say I had to adjust my grain bill down to make sure I stopped overshooting my OG. I've used this system for years now and it is consistent.

Now, I am planning on doing a few batch sparges soon so I can see if it is something that I would like to do. As I don't want to say something bad about a method if I've never attempted it. And I don't want to discuss something that I know nothing about.

Maybe I've just been lucky over the years with my method, but I've brewed a lot, and have had no complaints (although if I have an off beer I tend not to serve it to others) yet. So maybe there is too much science put into this hobby at times. Maybe we should all switch it up at times to see what's on the other side of the fence and see if it's something we can implement in our brewdays. I hope I get the same efficiency with batch sparging, as it sounds a bit easier and quicker than the 'typical' fly sparge. But if it only saves me 20 minutes I don't think I will be dropping my ingrained ways.
 

Killervector

Active Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
44
Reaction score
0
Location
Council Bluffs, IA
In batch sparging a fine crush is key to getting good efficiency, since you don't get complete diffusion with a coarse crush. If you don't have a mill, have your LHBS run the grain through the mill twice. In fly sparging you don't want to overcrush the grain or you risk a stuck sparge, and will end up effectively batch sparging in slow motion.
Crush is key with batch sparging... Denny... what was your saying?

"Crush til yer scared."


That about right?
 

Reelale

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
17,737
Reaction score
1,374
Sacch, I thought you were no-sparge brewing? Or is that just an additional method you employ at times? I think this discussion/experiment should include no-sparge, or constant wort recirculation, as it is a viable process as well. In fact, it has been argued that this process produces higher quality wort than both batch and fly-sparging, albeit at the expense of efficiency.
 

goose1873

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
674
Reaction score
6
Location
Erie, PA
both work very well if done correctly.

I think there is a misconception that fly sparging is more work. I have done both and actually feel batch sparging is more physical work. Fly sparging is more of a set it and forget it once you know were to set the ball valves and monitor for a few minutes. batch sparging is faster but involves more busy work with 2 washes and vorlaufs. My batch sparging set-up was less expensive (rectangle cooled and ss braid) vs. 10G Igloo with false bottom) but the hour that it takes for me to fly sparge allows me to do other things (prepare fermentors, yeast, hops, etc...)

I personally fly sparge all of the time now for 2 reasons:
1. A deep grain bed seems to give me a clearer wort
2. My efficiency is a few points better (mid/high-80s vs high 70's) could just be differences in set-up)

my point for the new guys is fly sparging is not very difficult if they choose to go that route...
 

Wellshooter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
380
Reaction score
5
Location
San Angelo
my point for the new guys is fly sparging is not very difficult if they choose to go that route...
I found that I like to fly sparge, it doesn't disturb my grain bed. I just take the top off my cooler and dribble in my hot water, I wiggle the hose around some to try to keep it even. My method is not complex and doesn't require building a manifold. I can't complain about the results either.
 

goose1873

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
674
Reaction score
6
Location
Erie, PA
I found that I like to fly sparge, it doesn't disturb my grain bed. I just take the top off my cooler and dribble in my hot water, I wiggle the hose around some to try to keep it even. My method is not complex and doesn't require building a manifold. I can't complain about the results either.
just toss a piece of foil and let the hose pour onto the foil... works well:mug:
 

ksbrain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
1,008
Reaction score
13
Location
Mystic, CT
I think there's an unnecessarily strict line drawn between batch sparging and fly sparging. Just rinse the damn grains and do what you can. Keep it simple, and make it work for you.

I started with fly sparging, because I'd read it was best. Now I batch sparge (sort of, I guess), and I get better efficiency, the process is simpler and quicker, and overall it just works best for me. I'm happy with 80%, and I'm happy with the time it takes me to sparge my way.
 

Toecutter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
560
Reaction score
16
Location
Riverside, ca
I'm somewhat new to this and been using a rectangular cooler with a copper manifold and getting bad efficiency, so i just started using a little extra grain. so after some reading i think part of my problem was channeling, so i have modified my manifold by shortening it to get away from the cooler walls and got it flatter against the bottom.

this week i designed a copper fly sparge manifold with 4 equal tubes that fits perfectly on the little raise lip just inside the cooler. I drilled many tiny holes in all 4 tubes. I tested for gravity feed with a raised bucket and spigot, which worked ok, but i think to get better water distribution from the pin holes i am going to have to use a small aquarium pump. anxious to try this on my next batch.
 

Brew-boy

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 31, 2006
Messages
2,272
Reaction score
18
Location
Lapeer, Michigan
I have tried both and more than once. I found I did not like to batch sparge my efficiencies were terrible and all over the place. I fly sparge now and yes it does take more time but it is very predictable for me.
 

Wellshooter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
380
Reaction score
5
Location
San Angelo
I have tried both and more than once. I found I did not like to batch sparge my efficiencies were terrible and all over the place. I fly sparge now and yes it does take more time but it is very predictable for me.
Funny it works the opposite for me. Batch is a little better. I think maybe some people get in too big a hurry to drain first runnings. I eat lunch and take a nap during the mash. It's a long brew day, and hurrying it up doesn't help.
 

wbown

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
I went from fly to batch and now I am back to fly. It does seem like less work for me, no stirring. If you are not in a hurry (30 minutes more) it seems fine to me. Either one works, I just prefer fly.
 

tunoffun

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Messages
239
Reaction score
8
Location
AZ
I think fretting over a few efficiency points on the scale of most homebrewers is a complete waste of time, so that's the last thing I care about when deciding how to sparge. For starters, the difference in grain cost between 'great' efficiency and 'good' efficiency is hardly worth caring about. But of even greater importance - even if it were - we're not exactly engaged in a cost-effective enterprise here. By the time you add in all time & labor involved - homebrewing in general is far from efficient.

What we do have as an advantage, however, is the potential for quality. A quality that due to scale can easily exceed any commercial product so long as we do our part. So that's my goal: quality. Make the best damned beer possible.

IMO, batch sparging - and especially no-sparging - has the potential to make better beer. That's why it's my choice. Efficiency has nothing to do with it.
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
79
FWIW, you can achieve any degree of efficiency desired if you know how to manipulate the numbers properly. In theory, fly sparging should be more efficient as it works on a principle of displacement, while batch sparging works through dilution. It's easier to screw up the fly sparging than the batch sparging, but if either is done correctly, any difference in the finished beer won't be detectable.
 

stevedasleeve

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2009
Messages
1,017
Reaction score
88
Location
Betelgeuse
so that this thread doesn't turn into an all out war
God who cares man?! Two different ways to do the same thing: one is good, one is good, unless you do it bad then one is not good and the other is bad, unless you do one better than the other in which case one is great and the other sucks.
 

stevedasleeve

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2009
Messages
1,017
Reaction score
88
Location
Betelgeuse
Ah thanks for pointing that out! I guess the "new posts" link is not so accurate - either that or my computer date is a bit off... or perhaps my brain is...!

Sorry for the bandwidth.
 

mtwhickory

New Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Hickory, NC
You realized you quoted a post from over two years ago right? And the guy you're talking to hasn't posted here in over a year.
Hey, I don't mean to keep this dead horse going, but I found this thread and am not sure how to post a new question. Plus, you seem to be a good one to ask this.

I am setting up my 10 gallon Rubbermaid mash/lauter tun and don't have the money or inclination right now to set up a circulating system. My brew buddy and I brewed a BG Perfect Porter recipe yesterday and he (new to mashing as well) insisted that you needed to do only 2 stages of sparging- the first for an hour (we did 3.5 gal) then the 2nd (also 3.5 gal) for about 10 min. My idea was to do 3 sets of sparging at 20-30 minute intervals using clear pre-heated 165 degree water from the stove/burner and adding the previous runoff directly into the boil pot but kept at mash temp (165 degrees?) until all wort is ready to boil. He insisted that all the water needed to be in the mash for the full hour, but I don't see how the grain would care as long as the temp is the same.

The advantage I see with doing 3 sparges of clean water is 1) it keeps the temp constant and 2) it allows for more complete rinsing.

Is there anything wrong with doing the mashing/sparging this way?
 

logdrum

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
1,128
Reaction score
135
Location
North Olmsted
Hey, I don't mean to keep this dead horse going, but I found this thread and am not sure how to post a new question. Plus, you seem to be a good one to ask this.

I am setting up my 10 gallon Rubbermaid mash/lauter tun and don't have the money or inclination right now to set up a circulating system. My brew buddy and I brewed a BG Perfect Porter recipe yesterday and he (new to mashing as well) insisted that you needed to do only 2 stages of sparging- the first for an hour (we did 3.5 gal) then the 2nd (also 3.5 gal) for about 10 min. My idea was to do 3 sets of sparging at 20-30 minute intervals using clear pre-heated 165 degree water from the stove/burner and adding the previous runoff directly into the boil pot but kept at mash temp (165 degrees?) until all wort is ready to boil. He insisted that all the water needed to be in the mash for the full hour, but I don't see how the grain would care as long as the temp is the same.

The advantage I see with doing 3 sparges of clean water is 1) it keeps the temp constant and 2) it allows for more complete rinsing.



Is there anything wrong with doing the mashing/sparging this way?
[-Not Bobby_m-]

That "first sparge" is actually your mash, and yes most people will mash for an hour-but not @ 165*F-more like 150-155 range. After the hour, most people who are batch sparging will EITHER: "mash out" w/ a volume of near boiling water equal to the grain absorption (in an attempt to bring the temp to ~168*F), followed by a sparge that roughly equals the volume now in the pot (which should be ~1/2 of your pre-boil volume. OR: drain the MLT & sparge with two equal infusions that make up the pre-boil volume minus the first run-off.

here's a link to Bobby's primer which helped me immeasurably:

http://www.suebob.com/index.php?opt...in-primer&catid=40:brewing-articles&Itemid=66

-d
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,554
Reaction score
3,180
Location
Whitehouse Station
Hey, I don't mean to keep this dead horse going, but I found this thread and am not sure how to post a new question. Plus, you seem to be a good one to ask this.

I am setting up my 10 gallon Rubbermaid mash/lauter tun and don't have the money or inclination right now to set up a circulating system. My brew buddy and I brewed a BG Perfect Porter recipe yesterday and he (new to mashing as well) insisted that you needed to do only 2 stages of sparging- the first for an hour (we did 3.5 gal) then the 2nd (also 3.5 gal) for about 10 min. My idea was to do 3 sets of sparging at 20-30 minute intervals using clear pre-heated 165 degree water from the stove/burner and adding the previous runoff directly into the boil pot but kept at mash temp (165 degrees?) until all wort is ready to boil. He insisted that all the water needed to be in the mash for the full hour, but I don't see how the grain would care as long as the temp is the same.

The advantage I see with doing 3 sparges of clean water is 1) it keeps the temp constant and 2) it allows for more complete rinsing.

Is there anything wrong with doing the mashing/sparging this way?
The single misconception that I see here is that there is a single process going on. Mashing is distinct function where temperature really matters (150-155F typical) and it takes time for enzymes to convert starch to sugar (most people go 60 minutes to be safe). The sparge is rinsing/flushing the sugars out of and off the grain once the sugar is created.

The described process may work to some degree only because a LOT of the starch is converted in the first 20-30 minutes.
 

metlcutr55

New Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
charlestown
noob here & 1st post, in process of setting up my mash tun(s), question for this batch vs fly discussion, Noonan's book about lagers talks about fly sparging and how unwanted fines and proteins are trapped at the top of the grain bed. would these would go right thru a batch sparge or is it that they just not present in an infusion mach? thanks. ken
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
79
noob here & 1st post, in process of setting up my mash tun(s), question for this batch vs fly discussion, Noonan's book about lagers talks about fly sparging and how unwanted fines and proteins are trapped at the top of the grain bed. would these would go right thru a batch sparge or is it that they just not present in an infusion mach? thanks. ken
The fine particulates are a unavoidable components of the grist. They will be present regadless of whether you are batch sparging or fly sparging. The good news is that they are very easily mitigated by a brief vorlaugh procedure, which is drawing off some of the wort and depositing it gently back to the top of the grain bed. How much to vorlaugh varies, but typically a gallon or more is common and often considerably more than that. I use a pump to vorlaugh for 5-10 minutes before beginning the run off.
 
2
Top