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Sparging: Do you mix up the grain bed before?

I know there are a lot of different ways to sparge but I keep reading more conflicting things online so I thought I would throw it out there.

So I know that I have to mix vigorously when I first add the grains to my mash but after I have had the mash sitting in the cooler for 60 mins and I am about to sparge do I mix up the grain bed before sparging?

Another question, I am using a rectangular cooler, should I be fly sparging or batch sparging because I have recently read that batch sparging is better for rectangular coolers and fly sparging is better for the standup coolers.

Thanks everyone!

[quote=“tony269”]I know there are a lot of different ways to sparge but I keep reading more conflicting things online so I thought I would throw it out there.

So I know that I have to mix vigorously when I first add the grains to my mash but after I have had the mash sitting in the cooler for 60 mins and I am about to sparge do I mix up the grain bed before sparging?

Another question, I am using a rectangular cooler, should I be fly sparging or batch sparging because I have recently read that batch sparging is better for rectangular coolers and fly sparging is better for the standup coolers.

Thanks everyone![/quote]

If you batch sparge, you mix. If you fly sparge, you don’t. You are correct about technique and cooler geometry to a point, but it really doesn’t matter all that much. The design of your lauter system makes a much bigger difference in which type of sparging to use. You can certainly fly sparge in a rectangular cooler and vice versa. FWIW, I have batch sparged 458 batches in a rectangular cooler and it’s works great.

Listen to Denny, he’s an expert on the subject.
But just to elaborate on the ‘why’ of it, there is a basic difference in how you are separating the sugars from the grain with batch vs. fly sparging. When you batch sparge, you try to mix as well as possible to create a homogenous mixture before each time you drain the tun. With fly sparging, you attempt to create a sugar gradient. That requires very even flow across the entire surface to drive the sugar out without leaving spots of high sugar concentration which would kill your efficiency.

Thanks guys for your comments that helps out a lot, since it doesn’t make much of a difference I am thinking I will do the batch sparge. My current system is a rectangular cooler like I said before with a long mash/boil screen made of metal mesh hooked up to my valve.

Sorry for the another rookie question but if I do a batch sparge would I mix up the grains again before I drain the mash or drain the mash completely then mix the grains right before I sparge or does it not matter?

THANKS AGAIN GUYS!

[quote=“tony269”]Thanks guys for your comments that helps out a lot, since it doesn’t make much of a difference I am thinking I will do the batch sparge. My current system is a rectangular cooler like I said before with a long mash/boil screen made of metal mesh hooked up to my valve.

Sorry for the another rookie question but if I do a batch sparge would I mix up the grains again before I drain the mash or drain the mash completely then mix the grains right before I sparge or does it not matter?

THANKS AGAIN GUYS![/quote]

I’ve tried mixing the grain before running off the mash and it didn’t make any difference. So now I don’t worry about that. You run off the mash after a vorlauf, then stir in the sparge water, vorlauf again, and run that off. You can get more info at dennybrew.com

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“tony269”]Thanks guys for your comments that helps out a lot, since it doesn’t make much of a difference I am thinking I will do the batch sparge. My current system is a rectangular cooler like I said before with a long mash/boil screen made of metal mesh hooked up to my valve.

Sorry for the another rookie question but if I do a batch sparge would I mix up the grains again before I drain the mash or drain the mash completely then mix the grains right before I sparge or does it not matter?

THANKS AGAIN GUYS![/quote]

I’ve tried mixing the grain before running off the mash and it didn’t make any difference. So now I don’t worry about that. You run off the mash after a vorlauf, then stir in the sparge water, vorlauf again, and run that off. You can get more info at dennybrew.com[/quote]

awesome, thanks Denny, you are the man!

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