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What would be the point?
It's the hot water that strips the sugar from the grain - it it was cold it would be less effective, so why do it?
its fad of the day Rhys, all over the net, some claiming increased eff%
maybe more so in systems that recirculate.
i doubt increased efficiency - cancs are they got lcky more than anything else.
i know the madfermentationist does it, and he loeses 2-3% efficiency. but its solely for convenience reasons.
the downsides wouldbe the temp of your wort would go down, and take longer to get to boil - you'd lose some efficiency aswell -
cold water dosnt make sugar as soluable as warm does. it'll dissolve sure, but hot water its almost instant
This looks interesting:
My hot water comes out at 55c or so - so I might try a sparge with that next batch to save me from heating 15L to 76c on the gas hob..
Mind you - then the 3Kw element will have to heat the temp diff, so I'm really not sure I'm saving any time and it's not much of a hassle...
Grainfather people might be interest as the need to heat a separate HLT and the need for another vessel...
I sometimes finish the sparge with 55C hot water tap... if I get caught short of heated sparge water.... article hasnt swayed me to change anything major.....