Hypoyhetical Fly Sparge Method. Validate?

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LostDakota

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I'm finally doing it.
ALL GRAIN.
I was prepping for tomorrows brew when I had this idea. I think it will work and will require no more purchases on my end, but I need you to tell me go for it OR "You're just plain dumb."
I have two empty ones of these:
Could I drill holes evenly spaced about 1" apart then put it on my MLT like this:
Then pour my sparge water into it?
Like I said, tell me that's dumb or explain why that won't work or that it will. I know that I wont be able to get all of my water into it at the same time, but I figured it's worth a shot.
Thanks
-Drew
 

gruntingfrog

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I'm not going to say you're stupid, just don't waste those tubs by drilling holes in them. I only have 6 words for you.

Batch sparge, batch sparge, batch sparge.
 

uwmgdman

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I also wonder if the temperature of your sparge water would drop too much while in the uninsulated broad tub.........more surface area per volume more heat transfer........in your case away from the water to the surrounding air.
 
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Well, I'll be the devil's advocate here. It looks plausible. I fly sparge, and I like it. Creating a sparge water dispersion system like you suggest here will probably work quite well. I pump my sparge water through about 8' of tubing and then through a sparge arm, and I'm sure I lose quite a bit of heat through the process. So, I heat my sparge water to about 180° F in the HLT. By the time it hits the top of the mash, it's down to 170°-ish. My efficiency is usually above 80%, and my beer is good. I think your proposed method has plenty of merit, and I wouldn't be afraid to give it a shot.
 

jdoiv

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I would test the tub and see how flexible it becomes when 180* water is added to it. You may find that it wants to collapse into your cooler. If it holds up, I would also suggest, that you slowly add water too it so it doesn't drain down into the mlt too fast. That will cause channeling, which you don't want with fly sparging. If both those conditions are met, I bet it will work just fine.
 

ebeer

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First, I'd say "heck yeah, give it a try". I love new ideas, and if everyone ditched their ideas when someone said no, we'd have a lot less cool stuff in the world.

But since you asked....I would echo the temperature loss concern. Also, not all plastic is rated for high temperatures. Often 160F is the max, at which point it will weaken, become flexible, and possibly even melt. So beware, many gallons of 180F water in a potentially unstable container could be slightly dangerous (brew safe).

My biggest concern would be that some plastic will bleed at high temps. Definitely want to avoid any plastic taste or aromatics in your beer.

But go for it, and post your results.
 

ajf

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What do you have in the bottom of the cooler to filter the wort?
If you have a manifold or braid that covers the entire bottom of the cooler, then it may work. If not, I think you will get channeling, which will result in lousy efficiency. Add to that the temperature loss problems already mentioned, I would be inclined to stay with a batch sparge.

Whichever way you go - good luck with it.

-a.
 
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LostDakota

LostDakota

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ajf- I have a 20" SS braid.

I decided against this idead for today's brew. (Being my first AG, I wanted to start simple.)

You have a great point with temp loss and warping of the plastic. I think I will brew again tomorrow. I might just test it out then and let you guys know how it worked out.
Thanks
-Drew
 

Spyk'd

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If you wanted to "tend" the bin, you could add a couple of pitchers of hot water at a time into the bin/sparge arm. This way the temp loss would decrease and the possible warping might be lessened.

:drunk:


Just a thought.

:)
 

DeathBrewer

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LostDakota said:
ajf- I have a 20" SS braid.

I decided against this idead for today's brew. (Being my first AG, I wanted to start simple.)

You have a great point with temp loss and warping of the plastic. I think I will brew again tomorrow. I might just test it out then and let you guys know how it worked out.
Thanks
-Drew
sounds like a good idea, you batch sparging tonight?
 

ajf

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With a 20 inch braid in a cooler that size, I would definitely stick to batch sparging. It's much faster, and will almost certainly give you better efficiency.

-a.
 

The Pol

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Back when I built my system, I went for looks and "wowie" factor. I ended up with (2) 10 gallon rubbermaid coolers and the SS fly sparger... anyway, I always heat to 180F, you lose 10F fast running through tubing, a sparge arm and then in its way to the grainbed. My only worry with your system (still try it!) is that the tub will get pretty flexible at 180F. Let us know how it goes!!

:ban:
 

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