Why, during sparging, do all-grain brewers drip water over the grains instead of simply filling it up with water again and redraining that?

  • Dripping water through the mash is called fly or continuous sparging.
    – mdma
    Apr 20, 2014 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


It's simply a different technique. Batch sparging (filling up the mash tun and then draining) versus fly sparging (dripping water while simultaneously draining) is a long standing debate where folks like our own Denny Conn will side with batch sparging, while others will take the side of fly sparging. They both generally yield very similar efficiencies, so to say one is better than the other is often moot.

The trend that I see the most is that if a brewer is using a level brewing stand (single tier) with pumps, more often than not they'll utilize fly sparging. There are exceptions to this of course, but more often than not, if pumps are used, brewers will often use the fly sparging technique where others who don't use a pump will batch sparge.

  • One thing that influences it, as well, is vessel size. I've just changed from batch to fly sparging, but with my ~60qt cooler mash tun and 10gl batch sizes, I need to split the sparge water into two batches or it will over-fill my mash tun.
    – jsled
    Apr 20, 2014 at 14:36
  • I have a single tier "brew stand" (actually a SS table) and a pump and I batch sparge.
    – Denny Conn
    Apr 20, 2014 at 16:29
  • Batch sparging is more time efficient. Fly sparking has to be done slowly to avoid channelling in the grain bed. Batch sparging can be done as quickly as practicable. Apr 20, 2014 at 16:54
  • In my very limited (ie. 3 brews, only) experience, I'm spending the same amount of time fly-sparging as I am doing two batch sparges with filling, settling, vourlauf/recirculation and draining, and with slightly higher efficiency.
    – jsled
    Apr 20, 2014 at 19:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.