Hooked on Brewing
And better flow rate. * Go ahead and make fun of my crazy spiral sparge arm! It was a spontaneous creation. : )
Much better water coverage.
Sparge arm #2:
The sprinkling water was uneven, and the flow rate into the kettle was too fast ... live and learn.
Some videos ...
Video #1, below left: I ditched my old copper tubing that I had coming over the top of the keg, and added a new port to the keggle. Now, I can lauter through my pick-up tube port, and whirlpool with other later in the process.
Video #2, below right: This is still lautering (1st runnings), but you can see the new whirlpool port I added just above the surface of the wort.
Although my fly sparging technique was improving, I decided to try batch sparging as I had heard good things about it.
Anyway, my mash efficiency was running around 62-688% with fly sparging. But, the first time I used the batch sparge method it jumped to 75%. That got my attention. After many more brew days batch sparging it has consistently between around 75%.
To complete my experiment I will try the fly sparge method one more time. But, I'm pretty much sold on batch sparging at this point. A lot of people say that fly sparging yields higher efficiency when done correctly. That very well may be the case, but that certainly hasn't been my experience ... at least not yet.
Anyway, I think it's safe to say that whatever method gives you the best results, AND can give you consistent results, THAT is the way you should do it. Everybody's equipment is a little bit different. Everybody's techniques are a little bit different. Finding the "right" way to do it seems to be quite individualized. A friend told me early on that it might take up to 10 batches to learn how my own equipment behaves. Boy was he right. Temperatures, volumes, mashing, etc. For me, this makes home brewing even more appealing - the process of learning the craft is just as satisfying as enjoying your first really good home brew.
Video #3, below center: The video below was taken just after the 15min hop addition (and just after the chiller went in). As the wort is boiling, I have the pump turned on and recirculating the wort through the new whirlpool port. I know you can't see it because of the rolling boil, but it was working great.
Sparge arm #1: