Sparging advice

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Paddington
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Sparging advice

Post by Paddington » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:25 pm

I'm sure this is a bit of an old chestnut and there will be a few sighs and 'not agains'... I'm trying to improve efficiency from a pretty poor level and I would appreciate opinions on fly v batch sparging. I started off fly sparging with a device I made from copper pipe with lots of holes drilled in which was the shape of my picnic box mash tun. It has five tubes across the width and two along the side, so it covers a good proportion of the grain bed. I struggled to get the flow rate right and, having read that batch sparging was nearly as efficient, I switched to that. I sparge once, resting the 'second mash' for about 20 mins. However, now that I'm a bit more in control on brew day, I'm thinking of giving the homemade fly sparge a go again IF it is likely to improve my efficiency.

jaroporter
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Re: Sparging advice

Post by jaroporter » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:36 pm

well i wont jump in on fly vs batch 'cause yeah that's been done to death and always comes down to a matter of opinion so just chucking in another is kinda pointless..

but i will say that you don't need fancy devices to fly sparge. it's also known as continuous sparging as you are just continuously replacing the water that is being drawn out. just opening a tap into the tun does exactly the same job as a fancy flysparge manifold or rotating sparge arm.
the main thing about flysparging that is important is mashtun geometry and what false bottom or manifold you got.

in my opinion most of the reason there is a debate about this comes down to differences in preference and equipment. at the end of the day there's a certain amount of sugars in the grain and either method can get them all..

the other key question is.. did your original efforts flysparging lead to higher efficiency than you're gettin now?
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Paddington
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Re: Sparging advice

Post by Paddington » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:41 pm

I use a BIAB bag as my filter, maybe that's not the good idea I was lead to believe? The very first AG I did hit the numbers, which is why I'm tempted to give it another go.

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orlando
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Re: Sparging advice

Post by orlando » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:27 am

The method is arguable, what isn't is time. If we assume you are using sparge water at the right temperature then giving the sparge water enough time to dissolve the remaining sugars is just as important. For a 25 litre batch taking an hour or more will improve efficiency, if that is important to you, frnakly if you reduce your efficiency in your calculations, from say 75% to 70% you can adjust your grain quantities, which will be negligible, and still hit your targets. I've tried batch and fly sparging and have settled on the simplest method I have found. I can recirculate my wort using a pump and find a metre of silicon hose curled round the tun to give me a very gentle couple of centimetres or so above the top of the grain can give me 80+ % efficiency and that is more than good enough. Slowly, slowly catches this Monkey.
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Fermenting: Blitzkrieg Hop
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS)
Drinking: India (real IPA), Kernel Bogey (Reprise), Autumn Almanac
Up Next: Peaches (Peach IPA), Party Like A Russian (RIS), Black Night
Planning: Autumn drinking beer.

Paddington
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Re: Sparging advice

Post by Paddington » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:15 am

Thanks, Orlando. I’m not massively hung up on efficiency but it is VERY low at the moment, too low to admit. I like to think of brewing as an all day commitment with long spells of doing other things, so an hour’s rest at sparge is fine by me. I’m probably being thick but are you recirculating your sparge water during the hour it is ‘resting’?

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orlando
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Re: Sparging advice

Post by orlando » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:06 am

Paddington wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:15 am
I’m probably being thick but are you recirculating your sparge water during the hour it is ‘resting’?

No your not, yes I do. This is not essential but in my view desirable. I think recirculating does help as it speeds up wort clarification. Why is that important? It leaves behind in the tun more of the haze forming proteins we are trying to reduce, reduce not eliminate, because proteins support head retention. I recirculate through a RIMS tube controlled by a PID, this helps me to keep a consistent temperature in the mash tun. My main interest is producing clear consistent beer, this method helps this enormously.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Blitzkrieg Hop
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS)
Drinking: India (real IPA), Kernel Bogey (Reprise), Autumn Almanac
Up Next: Peaches (Peach IPA), Party Like A Russian (RIS), Black Night
Planning: Autumn drinking beer.

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