Sparging - why the vinyl tubing leading to boil kettle

Just curious as to why all grain set ups have vinyl tubing going from the mush tun to the boil kettle? Is it just there so you don’t have to move the kettle when the flow from the ball valve slows or is there some other purpose I am missing?

2 purposes really…it helps avoid oxygen pickup by splashing the wort into the kettle. There’s debate about whether that’s a problem or not, but why not avoid it if possible? Secondly, the tubing helps create a siphon effect which empties your tun more completely and quickly.

Denny,

Thanks for the reply. I will pick up some vinyl tubing before my next brew day.

I use a copper tube on mine to minimize the splashing, but it’s also marked for 5 and 10 gal. pre-boil volumes.

The siphon effect can’t be overstated. Adding tubing to my mash tun turned a 30 minute batch sparge into a 5 minute dawdle.

Would it be reasonable to say that it (siphon effect) is beneficial for a batch sparge where draining quickly is a benefit, but if fly sparging you may not want the siphon effect?

With the caveat that I’ve never fly sparged, I’d say that’s fair…

One thing to keep in mind which seems so simple but caused many moments of frustration for me is that once the end of the tube is below the surface of the wort, if your sparge gets stuck or slows down too much and an air bubble gets trapped between the end of the hose and the mashtun you will need to pull the end of the hose above the surface of the wort to restart the “siphon effect”

Using a clear silicone hose so i can see when this is occurring.

+1 on the clear silicone.

I use the high temp food grade silicone tubing and an in-line valve. It moves around a bit more and doesn’t stiffen up like the vinyl stuff. My run offs go pretty quickly.

Overall it was the cheapest way. Could have added a fancy SS ball valve and that would have been nice (I still might) but for now I’m happy with Denny’s setup!

No, not necessarily. It’s more about complete draining so you don’t leave any wort behind than speed.