Sparge Manual Recirculation

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UnDeadly

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Hi all!

So I am doing my 2nd all-grain brew tomorrow, after pulling about 60% efficiency the first time. It turned into an OK 4.5% session brew, but now I want something a little heavier...and of course, to get reasonable efficiency.

My setup in a SS HLT with steel mesh hose inside feeding a spigot. That feeds the sparge water into my 48 lt. cooler with CPVC manifold and brass spigot, which of course gets collected by another brew pot.

I am thinking this time around I would like to do a manual fly sparge recirculation...the process would go as follows:

Dough in, target temp 125 degrees for a 30 minute protein rest (any downside to doing this? Did it the first time around, and though the beer is a bit weak, its crystal clear)

Mash at 155, 1 hour, stir at 20, 40, and 60 minutes.

Begin fly sparge with 185 degree water. Water from HLT feeds the tun, with is then opened up very slowly to start collecting the runnings.

Vorlauf until clear...

THEN continue to collect runnings, and after a while take the runnings and put them back into the HLT to be recirculated.


Any thoughts on this process (the recirculation or otherwise)? I was thinking I would recirculate for an hour...I've seen some of the gnarly systems on here do it automatically, just curious if it is worth the effort to do manually? Or worse, does it somehow re-trap the sugars already collected?

Thanks!
 

devilishprune

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I think that fly sparging with a braid isn't worth it, because since the braid (usually) isn't evenly dispersed on the bed of the cooler, channeling is going to result. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

I would say to continue to batch sparge. Your low efficiency probably is not from your batch sparge, but from something else like grain crush or dead space in your MLT. I think that by doing the process that you specified, you would be doing more work then necessary. People who batch sparge (myself included) vorlauf until clear and then just drain the MLT into the boil kettle.
 

Bizoune

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I don't want to brag here (ok maybe a little), but my eff. is about 78% all the time batch sparging. I recirculate the equivalent of about 2 pitchers and that takes about 5 minutes. Wort comes out really clear.

Couple of thoughts here:

Did you say that your put your runnings back in your HLT? MLT maybe but HLT sounds strange to me.

I seriously question the utility of recurculating for an hour. Unless you want a 7hr brew day.

With today's modified malt, you can get away without a protein rest on probably most of the batches that you're brewing. Single infusion mash for 1h-1h30 should get you where you want to go.

I usually dough in then stir once, 30 minutes later. I find I lose less heat in my MLT this way.
 
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UnDeadly

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Hehe, I am envious of your 78%. Here's hoping...

But yes, I did mean my HLT. My thought was to have my entire pre-boil volume circulating from the HLT to the mash tun, and then collected, multiple times to achieve uber (or in my case, reasonable) efficiency.
 
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UnDeadly

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Thanks all.

Successful brew day with 73% efficiency with a nice, slow fly sparge. Targeted ABV will be 9% if my yeast can hold out.
 

bobz

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Why fly sparge? I has no purpose in small home batches. Batch or modified batch is the way.If your mash tun is super large diam then raking and fly sparge is the commercial way of doing even water dispersing. Heat loss is significant depending on the vertical distance away from the grain bed. Flow on a perforated plate of some sort without splashing.
Hot side aeration?? -----bobz
 
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