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Fly sparging question

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G-E-R-M-A-N

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How long do you typically fly sparge?

I will be brewing soon, and have never fly sparged, and want to make sure I do it right.
 

Lil' Sparky

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Fly Sparging - Home Brewing Wiki

I think most fly spargers try to keep an inch or so of water on top of the grains. You want to gently add the sparge water (some use a sprinkler device, but it's not necessary) to avoid the channeling that's mentioned in the wiki article.
 

Lil' Sparky

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Oops. Misread the original Q.

When I fly sparged, my efficiency really suffered if I didn't take at least 45 mins. Thus one of the beauties of batch sparging. You sure you wouldn't rather batch sparge??
 

BrewDey

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I do it for about an hour, and try to keep about an inch of water above the grain, and have as much go in as goes out.
 
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G-E-R-M-A-N

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Oops. Misread the original Q.

When I fly sparged, my efficiency really suffered if I didn't take at least 45 mins. Thus one of the beauties of batch sparging. You sure you wouldn't rather batch sparge??
Well I am using pols herms system, and the return runs back into the mash tun via loc line.

Apparently fly sparging is the way to go after you have recirculated for the complete mash time. If I mixed things up I would need to vorlauf manually.
 

menschmaschine

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I fly sparged this past Saturday on a German Pils and completed it in 24 minutes with 90% brewhouse efficiency (14.5 gallons pre-boil). But I have specific equipment configurations and methods that allow this to work. There is at least one other brewer on this site (Boerderij Kabouter) that does this and we've talked about it before on this board here.
 
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G-E-R-M-A-N

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I fly sparged this past Saturday on a German Pils and completed it in 24 minutes with 90% brewhouse efficiency (14.5 gallons pre-boil). But I have specific equipment configurations and methods that allow this to work. There is at least one other brewer on this site (Boerderij Kabouter) that does this and we've talked about it before on this board here.

Yeah I will be heating up mash to 170 via recirculation, then sparging with 173 water. I just dont want to rush things, if it could affect the OG.
 

Thirsty_Monk

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Someone said that the flow rate should be somewhere between 40 sec to 1 min for 1 qt of wort out of your MT.

Do the math:
7 gal pre boil = 28qt
1 min X 28 = 28 min to empty your MT
 

ghack

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My experience is the flow rate really depends on your equipment.

Too fast with some false bottoms, and you can get a stuck sparge. It is best to start slowly and then slowly increase the flow rate once the grain bed is established. How fast is too fast? It depends on your equipment.
 

Brew-boy

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I shoot for 45 Mins and get 85-87% efficiency I use a CPVC manifold and made it to be a balanced system using John Palmer design in his book.
 

JVD_X

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Does the actual amount of water above the grain really make a difference? If you are slowly adding water the heavy sugars should always sink to the bottom is this not correct?
 

menschmaschine

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Does the actual amount of water above the grain really make a difference? If you are slowly adding water the heavy sugars should always sink to the bottom is this not correct?
It's just to prevent air (oxygen) from contacting the grain too much. An inch or two should be fine.
 

thdewitt

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I have found the biggest difference in effeciency for me is the Mash out. Getting the temp up to 168. and the crush of course. The time of the sparge is not as important as long as you dont create channeling.
 
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G-E-R-M-A-N

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I have found the biggest difference in effeciency for me is the Mash out. Getting the temp up to 168. and the crush of course. The time of the sparge is not as important as long as you dont create channeling.
I am sure people don't seek channeling, but what are ways to avoid it? I am running a stainless false bottom with 10g rubbermaid.
 

ghack

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I am sure people don't seek channeling, but what are ways to avoid it?
Drain a little slow at first and recirculate the wort to get the grain bed set up before you add any sparge water.

Don't dump the recirculated wort or sparge water in. Don't add the water at the walls of the mash tun. And keeping the 1" of water over the grain will go a long way to preventing it.

Ideally you want to sprinkle it over the surface. That can be done with a fancy sparge arm, or I have found pouring the water into a colander set on top breaks it up nicely You can, if you keep an inch or so of water above the grain, sort of ladle it by submerging whatever you are scooping sparge water water with into the water and allowing it to flow out gently.
 
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G-E-R-M-A-N

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Drain a little slow at first and recirculate the wort to get the grain bed set up before you add any sparge water.

Don't dump the recirculated wort or sparge water in. Don't add the water at the walls of the mash tun. And keeping the 1" of water over the grain will go a long way to preventing it.

Ideally you want to sprinkle it over the surface. That can be done with a fancy sparge arm, or I have found pouring the water into a colander set on top breaks it up nicely You can, if you keep an inch or so of water above the grain, sort of ladle it by submerging whatever you are scooping sparge water water with into the water and allowing it to flow out gently.
I guess I should be more specific, I am recirculating with HERMS during the mash, then will be sparging via a locline like shown in this thread 3rd pic down.https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/new-10-gallon-herms-pics-76773/
I guess my situation is not quite the norm. I am guessing the grain bed should be well established after recirculating during mash.
 

thdewitt

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I have a morebeer 1550 so I heat the mash through a Heat exchanger so there is not much of a need to recirculate the first runnings. I try to make sure I have a little more water in the mash from the start. I also make sure I start my first runnings slow and then speed up. If you see the mash pulling away from the sides of the mash tun you may have a channeling problem. If you are getting 75% or more effiecency you are probably not channeling.
 

p4ck37p1mp

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I also do herms and fly sparge, I just disconnect the pump inlet from the drain on the MLT and connect that to the HLT after my mash. I open the valves and spray the sparge water into the MLT via a sparge / spray bar until I get a nice layer of water over the grain. I then drain into the BK and close the valves until its almost a drip both into the MLT and out of the MLT. I do 20 gallons so it takes at least an hour if I'm rushing, but I try to take 1.5-2 hours. I find other things to do, like clean kegs, during this time as it is completely hands off. I push the sparge water through my IC that I use as my herms hex, cleans it up nicely.
 

giligson

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So really, you could put all the sparge water in slowly before starting the drain. I'm just sayin'...
I've thought about this too - like an exchange column.
In fact because of the limitations of my equipment I have to tilt my liquor tank near the end of the sparge to get the last of my sparge water out - it has been easiest for me to leave a column of sparge water over the grain bed about 6 inches deep at that stage - no ill effects yet.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Noonan claims that adding excessive sparge water during the beginning of the fly sparge is likely to cause a compacted bed and a stuck sparge.

I have never tried it to find out if he is right.
 
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G-E-R-M-A-N

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Ok so after sparging for about 40min at 170f, I hit my target pre boil gravity of 1.045 for 7.7 gals.

I have a slight problem however. After getting my boil volume I still had sparg/wort/water in the mash tun left to drain. It was about 1.5-2gal to be exact. I wound up draining it to another vessel just to measure.

Are my caclulations off via beersmith or do you just not need this extra amount of wort? I guess I am wondering if I am missing a boost in efficiancy if I am not utilizing this excess.
 
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