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Old 09-22-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
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Default Blichmann Engineering "set-it-and-forget-it design" Auto Sparge?

What do you guys and gals think about this? I have a RIMS and for $50 I may try it.

Blichmann Engineering "set-it-and-forget-it design" AutoSparge™



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Old 09-22-2009, 02:55 PM   #2
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I don't see how it adjusts to accommodate a 5 vs. 10 gallon batch or a large vs. small grain bill. If the float arm is a fixed length and the mounting point is also fixed (only drill one hole in your pot/keggle, right?), it seems like it would only be able to maintain a constant water level at a certain height in the MLT, independent of the depth of the grain bed. How would this let you maintain "an inch or two" of sparge water above the grain bed? Maybe I'm missing something.

Also, depending on how it's mounted, you'll likely lose a few inches of space in your MLT.

I tried fly sparging for the first time a few weeks ago on my RIMS build, and it took maybe 5 minutes to get the in/out flows to match, plus occasional monitoring and minor tweaking to make sure it was keeping a good depth above the grain bed. Since I'm pumping into and gravity draining out of the MLT, I think the rates weren't constant. I could see how a tool like this AutoSparge would be handy if implemented well.

Buy one and let us know how it works out



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Old 09-22-2009, 03:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddyb View Post
I don't see how it adjusts to accommodate a 5 vs. 10 gallon batch or a large vs. small grain bill. If the float arm is a fixed length and the mounting point is also fixed (only drill one hole in your pot/keggle, right?), it seems like it would only be able to maintain a constant water level at a certain height in the MLT, independent of the depth of the grain bed. How would this let you maintain "an inch or two" of sparge water above the grain bed? Maybe I'm missing something.
It says it's "adjustable" - set the desired level and let it fly, which I interpret as being able to set the desired liquid level in the tun. The pictures are low resolution, but it appears to have an adjustment of some sort on the valve.

That said, I'll stick with my adjustable, electric valve actuated sparge arm. It cost me less than $50 to build and the controls are integrated into my control panel.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:12 PM   #4
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Yeah, bigger pictures would be nice. I do like the new, redesigned webpage though.

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Old 09-22-2009, 04:35 PM   #5
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Loosen the lock screw on the arm and set to what ever level you want to operate at. A simple and effective solution to non electric mash tun level control, would be a bit more impressive if the float valve was stainless.

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Old 09-22-2009, 04:41 PM   #6
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Yeah, the arm has a vertical pivot. I looked at it pretty closely at the booth at the NHC this year. The markup has to be nuts on this and for $50, I had really hoped for stainless. Maybe I'm crazy.

If you've got a really tall, narrow MLT, you'd probably want to set up two locations for the float for 5/10 g batches and just use a plug for the unused hole.

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Old 09-22-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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I like this gadget, but I would not drill a hole in my kettle to mount it. Instead, I would fabricate a bracket to fit over the side of the kettle with some kind of a clamping mechanism or thumb screw to secure it. OTOH, I don't have problems with maintaining the proper flow rate as is, so it may be a long time before I buy one. There are other priorities ahead of it.

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Old 09-22-2009, 05:44 PM   #8
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That's super cool...but this might be cheaper/more adjustable?
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-super-efficient-5-gallon-mash-lauter-tun-92724/index3.html#post1011236

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Old 09-22-2009, 05:52 PM   #9
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I don't see any means to adjust the water level with the Hartford loop arrangement. I suppose you could fit a tube inside a tube with some kind of a compression fitting to seal the joint. This would allow you to vary the height of the overflow weir to control the water level.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:00 PM   #10
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I think it works like the "float" on a toilet, it lets more water in, as the float moves down, pretty simpe devise you could probably build yourself.



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