I have been all grain brewing for a couple months now, and have been doing a batch sparge so far. This weekend I built a, for lack of a better term, Sparge Arm so that I can start doing a fly sparge vs batch. It doesn't rotate or anything, but I get pretty good coverage of the whole grain bed (well where the grain bed will be).
A couple questions:
1. I am brewing 6 gallon batches, and my total brew kettle volume is around 7.5 gallons to achieve this. I typically mash with 4 gallons, and sparge with 4.25 gallons. It gets me pretty close to the 7.5 at the end. Is this right, or should I go a little more on the mash and a little less on the sparge?
2. When do I start sparging? I recirculate 3-4 quarts to set the bed, then do a slow drain in to my kettle. Once I start the slow draining of my mash tun, should I start the sparge at the same time, or wait until I can see the grain bed, or when there is still a little water over top of the bed?
3. At what rate should I sparge? Is 4.25 gallons over 30 minutes too fast? Should I shoot for 45 minutes or an hour for that volume?
Thanks in advance for everyone's thoughts.