Homemade Sparging Arm

Discussion in 'Brewing Photos & Videos' started by AHarper, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. AHarper

    AHarper Well-Known Member

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    #1 AHarper, Aug 19, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
    I had difficulty in sparging my first couple of brews using the "jug-at-a-time" method as it seemed to disturb the grain bed too much and, as a result, it was taking a long time for the wort to run clear. I had seen other brewers Youtube methods using copper or plastic plumbing pipework suitably drilled to produce a more even spread of sparge so I decided to have a go and make my own.

    Being on a budget I had also "manufactured" my own Mash tun using a 35lt Fermentation bucket so my sparge arm had to be capable of fitting the mash tun therefore was to be circular.

    The big problem is that copper pipe is hard enough to bend at t he best of times so there had to be a better way.
    A trip to the local B&Q store gave me the idea of using the "bendable" copper pipes that are used to connect to sing taps so I came up with the following design.

    Components:
    upload_2018-8-19_0-8-0.png

    All the bits above and some 15mm pipe were fashioned into a T shape as the basic frame with the "bendable" sticks set at opposing 90 degree angles and then bent to fit the lowest diameter of the Mashtun bin.

    upload_2018-8-19_0-12-47.png

    The parts detailed in figure 1 were soldered together and manipulated to end up like this:
    upload_2018-8-19_0-16-15.png

    All the lower arms, including the base of the T shape were drilled at 20mm intervals on the lower working side to produce a spread of spray across the grain bed over which the arm is suspended. I use a bespoke movable brewing frame that has 3 levels so I can gravity feed the wort and hot water at the different stages of mashing, boiling and draining into the FV after cooling the wort so I have drilled holes in the frame to hold another 25mm pipe with a T-End that supports the sparge arm in operation. The following videos show the arm in use in an early test. The hot water for the sparge is transferred into a PB that I use as the sparging source. The tap on the PB regulates the flow of water through the sparge arm. The whole unit is covered in a polystyrene shield to keep the heat in during use.
    upload_2018-8-19_0-32-58.png

    I hope this will be of some help if you are thinking of constructing a similar rig for your own brewhouse.

    The Sparge arm in use: ,
     
    Mase, Trialben and Texas Ale Works like this.
  2. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Cool. Nice work.
     
  3. Vallka

    Vallka Well-Known Member

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    That looks great
     
  4. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Found this thread when doing a google seach for DIY spatge arm, giving it a bump so I can find it tomorrow. Going to use this for inspiration!
     
  5. SkaldBrewer

    SkaldBrewer New Member

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    I love it dude! By chance are you good if I take this whole idea and make one for myself using your specs.
     
  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Can't speak for AHarper, but I can't imagine he would mind a bit if you copied his setup, that is why we post our DIY's!
     
  7. FrostyBeach

    FrostyBeach Well-Known Member

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    I would like to understand why you need this?
    I fly sparge and just keep 2 to 3 cm of water on top of the grain.
     
  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    This is for fly sparging, and recirculating the mash.
     
  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Have mine mostly mocked up, ordered a few more parts from home depot
    20200426_153206.jpg
     
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  10. FrostyBeach

    FrostyBeach Well-Known Member

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    I understand that Craigerrr. I recirculate mash and fly sparge by placing a 1/2" ID silicone hose on the MLT inlet and keep a constant 2 to 3 cm of sparge water on top of the mash while sparging (until the end when I'm out of sparge water). I'm interested to know why you need a way to distribute the water over the grain bed?
     
  11. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    If you don't diffuse the flow you could create a pathway through the grain bed. I have been running the wort/sparge water over the back of a spoon, but it is a pain in the hind quarters to get it set up, and to manage it.
     
  12. FrostyBeach

    FrostyBeach Well-Known Member

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    I don't do that an have over 95% mash efficiency. Maybe you have some other problem?
     
  13. FrostyBeach

    FrostyBeach Well-Known Member

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    perhaps a bad false bottom that causes channeling?
     
  14. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I actually don't have any channeling issues, but my current set up sucks...
    Going to set up that contraption so it will hang just inside the TUN, and make it easy to connect the hose to.

    20200407_083009.jpg

    I use to do the following with a betty crocker pizza pan, but I could not see the level of wort over the grain bed.
    20200318_093545.jpg
     
  15. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    20200427_153001.jpg
    This one is pretty simple. Just used a board and a clamp for hight adjustment till i tried it a few times. That was about 100 batches ago. Guess it works ok!
     
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  16. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    I use the auto sparge , I have a quick connect set up at the top of my mash tun, it creates a whirlpool 11259.jpg
     
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  17. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Oh. I like that too, no drilling...
     
  18. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Delayed the start of brew day to throw this together. Just need to come up with a clamping arrangement to make height adjustment quick and easy.
    20200428_104032.jpg
    20200428_104238.jpg
     
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