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Sparge arm design

At 10 all grain batches in, I’m getting the urge to build a sparge arm. I’m mashing in a 10 gallon round cooler with a false bottom, using punched aluminum to keep the grain bed settled. I’m willing to admit this is more about making a toy than improving efficiency. Who’s got suggestions?

And I probably should have put this in DIY, so any moderators who want to move this/yell at me, feel free.

Sparge arms are notoriously fussy to use and they drop a lot of the heat of your sparge water. Be sure to research and design carefully.

Sparge arms are gimmicky when it comes to homebrewing.

You have a ton of options:

1.) Lay the hose from your HLT on top of your grain bed, possibly directing the output onto a plate or piece of aluminum foil or what have you.
2.) Buy one of the self-rotating sparge arms; beware that these require some fussing around to get them going.
3.) Take a piece of pipe and drill some holes in it and hook your HLT up to that while resting it on top of your MT.
4.) etc. etc. etc. (probably a million designs, Blichman Sparge arm, etc…)

The important part is to distribute the water evenly over the grain bed without disturbing the grain bed. Most of the time you’d like to keep about 1/2" - 1" of water above the grain bed.

Something to make sure of is that you have enough height for your HLT; so if you live in an apartment you might need to put the HLT up on some books on your counter top (I know I did).

Too much work and time for me; I thought is was neat to look at, but then I just started batch sparging.

Now if you have one of those new fangled pump systems with the fancy valves and such then maybe a nice stainless sparge arm is for you.

Typical examples (I like the stout tanks design best):

http://www.norcalbrewingsolutions.com/s ... ct419.html http://conical-fermenter.com/Sparge-Arm-10.html http://morebeer.com/products/ultimate-sparge-arm.html http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brew ... large.html http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/blic ... parge.html http://www.homebrewing.org/AIH-Sparge-Arm_p_1830.html

They may drop some heat, but generally not enough to be concerned with especially if you are using an automated HERMS/RIMS pump driven system. Now if your just heating your sparge water and putting it in a cooler and then running it through your sparge arm, you might want to either pre heat the sparge arm or use a higher temp sparge water. Shouldn’t be too difficult to calculate the difference needed after using it a couple times. Of course it will also depend on the materials used for your sparge arm.

Excuse my rambling.

A good design may be similar in nature to a water fountain or sprinkler that constantly pulsates from a wide spray pattern to a narrow back to wide to narrow, etc… At least it would be cool to look at…

Have you looked into batch sparging? Its easier and faster. I don’t get why home brewers bother fly sparging it seems time consuming with little or no benefit over batch sparging. But sometimes its not about what’s practical its about building the perfect sparge arm, Good luck :cheers:

Check out my easy DIY sparge arm below.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=108792&p=960094&hilit=sparge#p960094

I used to use a simple copper pipe with holes drilled in it. Now I use this:

http://brewhardware.com/accessories-62/114-mashtube

Pretty damn adjustable. You don’t really need a sprinkler set up. You only need to bring sparge water into the tun gently.

[quote=“gregscsu”]Check out my easy DIY sparge arm below.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=108792&p=960094&hilit=sparge#p960094[/quote]

I was contemplating a similar design since I have some extra copper tubing on hand, but couldn’t decide how to mount it. Can’t believe I didn’t think of something as obvious as hooks. Thanks!

Thank you for saying that so I didn’t have to!

Thank you for saying that so I didn’t have to![/quote]

Hey, I said it first so neener neener!

I batch sparged my first batch, but I enjoy adding more control to my process, even when the benefit is negligible-to-nonexistent. I guess I’m just a control freak.

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