Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  Mike Philleo on Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:45 pm

Hopefully it's not a non-issue by now to weigh in. A lot of folks already made a lot of good points, but I'll add my $0.02. To be honest, I haven't tried batch sparging, but having researched both batch and fly sparging and, after working in a microbrewery, fly sparging makes more sense to me as a brewer. That applies to both my perception of ease, efficiency and process control. I sincerely, believe that the best technique out there is the one that works best for that specific brewer. Playing the devil's advocate, one could also consider that fly sparging is widely, if not completely, utilized as a process for breweries for the reasons I stated. Ultimately, it doesn't matter as long as the beer is good!
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  dkwandt on Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:14 am

porter!
man after my own heart! amber, brown, porter! my favs.

once you get your system dialed in you will have no problems getting the efficiency! i have watch and tasted beer from the cooler, so i know it works great, you won't have any problems in the future.

i will soon try my hand at a cascadian dark, or black ipa, or what ever else they are calling them now. hope your brew day went well!

my next brew is an Imperial stout, follow by an american Lager, i suppose i could go further across the spectrum by trying a light lager Smile
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  JaymeG on Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:15 am

sounds like a good day!!
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  permo on Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:13 am

adding water to bring to temp and finishing with more wort then intended will sure mess up your OG. Conversion temperature shouldn't effect the final gravity reading. As long as you are over 135 conversion will take place. If you sparge with water that is not up to temp you may not get as many sugars viscous in the solution and miss some points there.


Digital thermometers that you get in most retail stores are not designed for being used in brewing applications as the probe will quickly get saturated with water and malfunction. I have found numerous ways to waterproof mine. After I ruined four probes I finally took action and have been on the same one for almost a year. You should also calibrate your thermomers by dipping them in ice/water to be sure they read 32...it may not seem like much but if you are off by 3-5 degrees that is a big deal during conversion.


I am glad it went well.......hope your secret recipe is tasty Very Happy


I am going to brew up a kick butt Cascadian Dark Ale tomorow while I watch football......dark as satans soul, loaded with american hops and fermented with pacman yeast....mmmm
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  JaymeG on Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:01 pm

Well, not too bad. I ended up with a 66.2% efficiancy. I blame most of it on my digital thermometer. I had the right mash temp on that, but then I poured it in the grain & used 2 different theremometers (the digital & my old 1 I've always used) & there was a 20 DEGREE DIFFERENCE! CRAP! So yeah, I added more boiling water to the mash to try to raise it up some but I know that definately messed up my OG.
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  JaymeG on Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:46 am

I would post it if it was mine, but it is a fellow Masher's recipe that he trusted me with not to give it out. I'm sorry, but I don't wanna break that trust.

Yeah, I definately plan on taking a preboil gravity reading. I hope all works out. It's good to know that porter is almost fool proof! That takes some worries away. Currently I have it in the mash tun. Color on the outflo tube looks nice so far.
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  permo on Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:39 pm

Good luck with your first AG brew. Porter is one of the most fool proof styles. If I may give some advice, take a preboil gravity reading and keep some DME around just in case. It is not uncommon for your first AG to fall a little short on efficiency until you get dialed in.

Do you mind posting the recipe? I am always interested to see different recipes and what mash temps, yeasts..etc..etc... folks are using.
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  JaymeG on Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:43 pm

Thanks for the love! LOL! I am making a porter for my 1st AG.

I bought Jeff's Mash tun (owner of Wheels Wings & Hobbies) It's a rectangular cooler w/ PVC bottom strainer. He has had good luck with it @ around 75% or higher. I'll give it a shot tomorrow & see how it all goes. Good luck to me!

Gotta try it to learn.
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Mash tun

Post  Jon on Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:01 pm

My mash tun is a 10 gallon Gott water cooler with a stainless steel false bottom. It is simple, works great and retains heat very well.
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  dkwandt on Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:46 am

if i didn't rib you you would not think i cared! i loved it by the way! it was just too scary cuase it tasted soo good!

6.7 is still pretty high (session beer for beer dealer though :face: )

what style are you going with or even more to the point what are you brewing for your first all grain? my first was my amber, special thanks to Mike P. and Randi for making sure i didn't f*&k it up!
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  JaymeG on Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:27 pm

lol! @ Dennis! That was the only one I made that high. This should be about 6.7%. Should end up to be about 5.5 gallons after the 90 min boil. I hope...
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  permo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:54 pm

Personally I take my sparge water and divide into two equal portions and perform two equal batch sparges of 10 minutes each. Double batch sparging. For barley wines, imperials..etc...I will go triple or more to meet my volume. I calculate my recipes at %75 efficiency and usually end up in the 76-78% range with double batch sparging. I will lose a few points if I get lazy and do a single batch sparge. I do no mash out or anything of that nature and I usually try and get the grainbed up to about 170 and hold it there for my batch sparges....this usually means 180 degree or so sparge water for the batches.
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  dkwandt on Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:05 pm

as far as water for your mash, that is right on. (my opinion)

it always seems to say something like add water to meet your volume, i have never had a problem, (but i do fly sparge) Jon seems very helpful and jeff is a great source for batch sparging. i just keep getting late runnings until i get to the right volume. don't think you will have any problems getting your volume though, 7 gallons should be plenty.

how many gallons are you brewing? you are going high gravity again aren't you? you know it is ok to have beers under 10% right? hehehehe lol!
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  JaymeG on Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:55 pm

ok... 1 more question. I'm looking at a recipe that uses 13.25 lbs of grain. Says to sparge with 4.25 gallons of water (easy enough), but then says to stop the sparge at 7 gallons. If I am batch sparging, how much more water would I heat up for the mash out? I know the grain will possibly soak up a gallon or so. but would hate to end up short, or too much & dillute the mashout too much. Fly sparge, there is no problem there.
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  dkwandt on Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:43 am

12 oz is a pretty good amount; I shoot for about 45 min for 5 gallons. I shot for 75% efficiency. If I use the same methods and my efficiency is low or high more than once than I adjust the recipe to match that efficiency (add or subtract fermentables till I get it where I want it).

I will agree, a good crush is a huge difference, and if you want to sparge or drain for an hour that is ok too. You have a second burner, so you will be right at boil when you finish your mash out. (Always a good thing) I have to reheat my sparge water depending on the wind (brewing in the garage you know) so a second burner is helpful as well as having a boil kettle and hot liquor tank separate.

Funny we can't be patient drivers, or waiting in line, or during a meeting, but we can learn patience making beer!

jon mentioned temp control during mash too, what are you using? a cooler i assume, depending on wall thickness it should hold your temp for an hour. i have a 10 gallon round Gott cooler it is great, temp goes up 1.5 degress once i close the lid and it holds for an hour.
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  JaymeG on Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:52 pm

I knew I needed patience. Just not sure how much. Thanks for the tip!
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Sparge runoff rate

Post  Jon on Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:20 pm

I shoot for about 12 fluid ounces per minute. This is one of the parts of the brewing process where patience is indeed a virtue and a higher extract rate is the payoff.
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  JaymeG on Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:11 pm

so what's slow? 1 gal / 10 min? like a trickle? a slow pour?
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extract efficiency

Post  Jon on Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:42 pm

I think the crush of the malt, temperature control during mashing and a slow and careful runoff drives my extract efficiency more so than does the method of sparging.
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  dkwandt on Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:23 am

see, i agree, batch sparging is fine, and easy.
plus after you do it once or twice learn your efficiency, if you want better, you just tweak your recipe and add more grain.

Jon 80% is outstanding, for almost any method, decoction might get a bit more, but that is way too much hassle in my opinion. then again people would argue both of my last comments, someone would dissagree you get better efficiency that way, and someone else would say it is the only way to get the desired results.

back to preference Jayme!
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Batch sparge

Post  Jon on Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:19 pm

I have been batch sparging and like the simplicity and the extract rate is fine (usually 80+% extract efficiency).
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  randi philleo on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:19 am

motorcyclelvr77 wrote:OOOPS! I see I accidently put this under partial mash & not AG...... oh well....

Moved Smile
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  JaymeG on Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:05 am

OOOPS! I see I accidently put this under partial mash & not AG...... oh well....

Thanks for your input Dennis. Someday down the road I will be building a sculpture to do recirculating as well. I look forward to it in fact. But for now & with the equipment I have, options are a little limited.
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Re: Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  dkwandt on Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:13 am

Like everything else with regards to home brewing it is a matter of opinion. you can make great beer either way. And from listening and reading you can expect 68-72% efficiency from batch, and 72-78% with fly. Experience has shown me different, i have seen Jeff get 75/76% from batch and it really is more dependent in my opinion on the grain than the method.

i like fly because that is how i chose to start me set up, and it is going to make it easy to switch to recirculating shortly. But i do not see why you can not do a recirculating mash with a batch set up just as easily.

all that to say it is really how you feel comfortable, and want to make your beer. when you decide to start pumping though, i would shoot for a rim's or recirculating mash.

don't think it helped but, there you go.
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Which to do? Fly or Batch sparge?

Post  JaymeG on Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:58 am

This weekend (I believe) I am going to do my 1st AG batch. Been doing a lot of reading on Batch sparging & fly sparging. I think I am going to use the batch sparge meathod but does anyone have any reasons/thoughts on why fly would be better? Do you get better efficiency with one or the other? length of time? PH balance? tannins? etc.

All info is greatly appreciated!

Oh! My equipment: (don't know if you really need to know, but just in case)
- dual 120,000 btu burner
- 2 35 qt steel kettles
- mash tun
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