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fly sparging: once you're done should it be wet or dry?

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zee:
was over at a friend's house today just seeing his brew process and an interesting question came up. we both have fly sparging systems, but we use them slightly differently.

when i sparge, i keep the water level topped up over the grain the whole time. eventually i pretty much drain my entire 15g hlt into my mash, and get my 15 or so gallons in the kettle. when i'm done, the level of the liquid in the mash is still above the grain bed.

when he sparges, he keeps the water level topped up over the grain, until he gets close to his volume. then he lets the wort drain out of the mash/lauter tun, ending up with 15 or so gallons in the kettle, but when he is done, there is no liquid left in the mash.

i've been doing it my way as i thought that is how it should be done, and he's been doing the same thing for the same reason. it seems like there might be some differences in efficiency as well as ph in choosing one of these methods.

does anyone have any info / opinions? i've looked in how to brew, and this question seems to not be covered in the fly sparging sections.

dzlater:
Don't really have an answer  but
I do it your way.
Only because I am paranoid about running out of sparge water before
I get my boil volume, so I keep adding water to the HLT just in case.
If I were more sure about how much sparge water I need I might do the opposite.

MDixon:
I generally have drained the tun by the end. I always make up more sparge water than I need, but often have gauged the volume so it ends up essentially dry so I have less to carry to the compost bin.

corkybstewart:

--- Quote from: MDixon on January 04, 2010, 05:05:20 AM ---I generally have drained the tun by the end. I always make up more sparge water than I need, but often have gauged the volume so it ends up essentially dry so I have less to carry to the compost bin.

--- End quote ---

Same here.  Once in a while I'll come up a little short on volume but my refractometer tells me if I still have sugars in the runoff or if I can just top off with water.  But if I need to I still have sparge water hot because I fill my converted keg HLT all the way so I have hot cleaning water.

dzlater:
How do you know how much sparge water you will need?
I have The Home Brewers Companion
and it says "...... generaly sparge water will equal about 3/4
to just over the total volume of water necessary for the mash process.
I don't understand this?
And I know you're supposed to stop when the gravity gets below
1.008 but how the hell can you check this without a refractometer?
Stop sparging take a sample of wort cool it down and use a hydrometer?
That seems like a real pain , I've just been sparging till I get my boil volume
but sometimes I think I might be going to far.

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