I’m new to fly sparging and have a quick question. I’ve read that the proper sparge water temp is 168-170F. When I did my first fly sparge run, I had my HLT water at 170F and slowly sparged over 45-50 min. I took the temp of my mash tun water to see what the temperature was, and it was only at 155F. Should I be sparging with hotter water, say ~185F, so that the grain bed is at 170F, or would this have adverse effects? My mash tun is a 36 qt rectangular cooler, by the way. Thanks for your help!
There is really no need to perform a mash out when homebrewing.
The pupose of the mash out is to denature the enzymes in the mash to stop any additional conversion of complex sugars. Doing this helps prevent the beer from becoming thin, dry and flat tasting. Most commercial breweries will perform a mash out because draining their mash tun can take hours, and raising the temp of the wort can also takes hours, which is a lot of time for those enzymes to cause some unwanted conversions.
The reason I say it is not neccesary in homebrewing is because it only takes maybe 1 hour to complete you sprage and bring the resulting wort above 170, which denatues the enzymes. 1 hour really is not long enough for the enzymes to break down the complex sugars and affect your resulting beer.
I personnaly fly sparge with 170F - 175F water and have never had any issues result from not performing a mash out.
I like to make sure conversion is complete so I try to raise my grain bed temp to 168-170 with my sparge water. If I don’t hit it, no big deal. My sparge water is in the 185-190F range.
I fly sparge 20g batches with water between 190-200F and I monitor the temp near the top of the grain bed to make sure it does not go above 172F. To answer your question, yes, raise your water temp and you might even get better efficiency.
With my HLT at 185, the water is 170 as it enters the MT. Keep in mind that you’ll lose heat in your tubing.