Lautering

I use the Phil's Sparge Arm for sparging, which is a metal spinning arm driven by hot water through holes in the arm. The arm is attached to a hose which comes out of the hot liquor tank, which is placed high up to allow gravity to emty the tank into the grain bed. The lauter tun is a plastic bucket with a false bottom and a hole in the side with a hose that is attached to the center of the false bottom, allowing the wort to run out into the brew kettle. The hose has a clamp on it to allow for stopping flow if needed.

We manually transfer the grains into the lauter tun, and place a saucer on top of the grain bed to start. The saucer will prevent channeling when pouring liquid on top of the grain bed. If the grain bed looks thick, then add some sparge water to the top of the grain bed, and begin collecting wort in a pitcher. There will be haze and grain chunks to start, and this gets collected and poured carefully back on top of the saucer. I do four collections, and then usually the wort is running clear. Be very carful not to aerate the wort that is being collected, and pour as close to the plate as possible. Too much splashing can result in astringency in the finished product (believe me I know!).

Once the 4 recircs are complete, the wort then begins collecting in the brew kettle. I have two pots of hot sparge water. The first goes into the hot liquor tank. Remember that there is heat loss and do not hesitate to use hotter water as compensation. I usually us 180F water to get started, and have hotter water that i add gradually from the stove until sparge is complete. I try and achieve a balance of flow from the hot liquor tank to the lauter tun, and from the lauter tun to the brew pot.  I maintain a layer of water above the surface of the grain bed until either the water runs out or enough wort has been collected in the kettle. On lighter brews, be careful not to oversparge. Add water if the amount collected is deemed to be on the low side.