Sparge arm...

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Sparge arm...

Postby eaholljr » Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:41 pm

Is there a way to make a "homemade" sparge arm? I am interested in starting an all-grain brew and I'd like to "make" most of my equipment. Any help would be great!
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Re: Sparge arm...

Postby billvelek » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:05 pm

eaholljr wrote:Is there a way to make a "homemade" sparge arm? I am interested in starting an all-grain brew and I'd like to "make" most of my equipment. Any help would be great!

I've seen a number of people do it, but I can't be of any help because I batch sparge instead of fly-sparge. But since you are just starting into all-grain, I want to be sure that you are aware of batch-sparging as an option. You don't need special equipment, and for a tun you can use a regular ice chest instead of a round beverage cooler that most folks probably don't use for anything else. I use my tun as a regular ice chest all the time. Admittedly the efficiency is going to be a bit lower than fly-sparging -- assuming that your fly-sparge manifold is properly designed and you sparge correctly -- but batch-sparging is just about fool-proof, probably easier, and is a huge time saver, too. The sum total of my sparge equipment, besides a 48 quart ice chest, is a length of stainless steel mesh hose plugged on one end with a piece of wooden dowel (not even clamped), a piece of plastic tube, and some teflon tape to seal around the tube when it is inserted through the drain in the ice chest. That's it; I don't have any valve or clamp for the drain hose because I just elevate it and hook it under the ice chest handle. Took me all of a few minutes to strip the mesh off of a reinforced water hose, and plug the end with dowel; takes me maybe 1 minute to set it up each brew session. Just my two cents. Anyway, if you don't get an answer to your 'sparge arm' question here, then check my 'BrewEquipment' group (sig block below).

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Homemade Sparge Arm

Postby KBrau » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:49 pm

I have also tried batch sparging, although you generally lose efficiency with that method and will have to compensate with additional malt. I do agree that it is much easier to do though. I currently use one of those Phil rotating sparge arms which seems to work fairly well for fly sparging, but would probably be tricky to build on your own. Anyway as for a homemade sparge arm, you could make a copper pipe spiral which has hole drilled in it. It has no moving parts and would probably work well (although I have never used one). Here is a link to a photo:

http://www.brewtree.com/i/components/Dsc06511.jpg

Hope this helps.

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Batch sparging

Postby slothrob » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:26 am

Not to start a Batch Sparging vs. Fly Sparging argument, but the lower efficiency of Batch Sparging is mostly just theoretical, except in perfectly optimized equipment.

I routinely get 82% efficiency with Batch Sparging and have hit 90-92% efficiency on a couple batches. My experience is not uncommon and few fly spargers do much better.

Crush is the primary factor in efficiency when Batch Sparging, while Fly Sparging also requires well designed equipment to maximize efficiency.
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Any Tips

Postby KBrau » Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:54 pm

I have never had much luck but maybe my process is flawed. Can you tell me what you are doing? Thanks.

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Batch Sparge Procedure

Postby slothrob » Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:56 am

I use a cooler with a stainless steel braid from a water supply line, connected to a short length of copper tubing with a hose clamp, which passes through a stopper plugging the hole in the wall of the cooler. I control flow with a sinple in-line valve.

I add my grain to my strike water to hit a mash temperature of around 150
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Thanks

Postby KBrau » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:05 pm

Well it sounds pretty similar to what I did in the past although I am going to give it another shot for my next batch. If nothing else it is certainly easier and faster than fly sparging and I will just pad my grain bill a bit in case efficiency suffers. Thanks for the info.

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