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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > ideas for sparge "arm"/return/sprinkler, etc.
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:04 PM   #1
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Default ideas for sparge "arm"/return/sprinkler, etc.

What's everyone using for sparge return to the top of the bed in their system?

I'm finishing up a single tier, 2 pump HERMS. My MLT is a blichmann 20g. I'd like to rig up something simple to use, maybe something even that I can mount through the blichmann's lid.

Maybe if I make a copper tube octogon with a cross piece, T up from the middle of the crosspiece to a compression fitting mounted through the lid to a coupler (compression fitting has threaded opposite end), and put the male QD just on the outside of the lid for easy attachment.

The compression fitting would let me take it off occasionally to scrub out the inside, but if it's in a HERMS, then has all the sparge water run through... maybe that will work.

Drawbacks are that I would have to lift it to check water level, but I guess once I set the level, I could watch the site-glass tube on the blichmann.

Positives are that it would be very simple to build, and I could just drill holes with the tiniest bit possible until it flowed properly.

I may do the same to the HLT lid (it's a converted keg) so I can keep the fluid in that moving to stabilize it's temp. I may just use my hang-on-the-side copper whirlpool tubing though.

Anyway... I'm looking for suggestions. I'll hope to build it on friday and give my rig a water-only test run.

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Old 12-16-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
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On my old rig I started using the Brew-Magic method as derived from Conrad-Fix and just lay a hose over top of the grain bed and let the return swirl around in a 1 " layer over top. It works for me and my mash efficiency went up 2 percent (to 85%) consistent over 4 batches.

Sometimes the simplest approach is the best approach.

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Old 12-16-2008, 03:16 PM   #3
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I think this is one of the better ways to go:



Here is the thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/hey-...rge-arm-79824/

Here is the cheapest place to get it:

ModularHose.com - Loc-Line Modular Hose System

Item numbers:
50813
32094
51837
Total $40.65

32094 is a nozzle that I plan to put on the end so I can open it for full flow during vorlauf or while circulating the mash.

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Old 12-16-2008, 03:24 PM   #4
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is that a half inch thread on there?
do the sections snap apart for cleaning?

Is anyone actually using this yet?

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Old 12-16-2008, 03:27 PM   #5
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It is 1/2" NPT on the end, the flow path is 1/2" and they do snap apart, but I would do that every time. These are designed for supplying industrial fluids, such as lubricants, for tooling. They are food grade plastic and rated to a really high temp (I can't remember). I think the idea is originally the Pol's and he has been using it for a while (I could be wrong about that though).

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Old 12-18-2008, 12:03 AM   #6
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Now that's pretty cool. I've been trying to figure out a good sparge/vorlauf return that would level itself. The one I had before was a simple copper ring. It worked fine, but my brewing area is not flat, so neither are my kettles, so it would tend to drain more from one side than the other. Seems like I was always bending and tweaking on it to get it to flow consistent.

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Old 12-18-2008, 12:47 AM   #7
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I havn't built it yet but I'm planning on rebuilding my copper ring. In the top of my keggle I'm going to drill a hole to allow a 1/2" pipe through with a 90* elbow at the end. I have my MT top cut to 12" so there is plenty of room on the top to do this even with a lid on it. Connected to this 90* compression fit elbow I'm going to make a new ring out of copper. Not sure what size holes i'm going to drill in it but they will point up. At the end of the copper ring I'm going to keep a feature my ring already has, a stainless steel bolt that can be removed for cleaning of the ring. The first sparge arm I made was "H" shaped and sweated together. I diddn't leave anything unsoldered so once some grain got in I couldn't clean it out. For heighth of the ring to the grainbed I plan on using some kind of clamp attached to the 1/2" pipe above where it goes through the edge of the top of the keggle so it can be adjusted to any height I want. I have looked at Boerderij_Kabouter's post and I like that idea too as long as it can come apart for cleaning.

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Old 12-18-2008, 02:30 AM   #8
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I did this same basic thing - I have 10Gal Gott MLT. I made a polygon out of 8 x 45* CPVC and 3" sections. A Couple of Tees and a piece down the center. Fits through a 1/2" hole in the lid. Oh yeah, don't forget to drill the holes

And if you use this, remember that I just saved you about $4 and a trip to the store to get a bunch more fittings because you used 4" instead of three.

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Old 12-18-2008, 03:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
It is 1/2" NPT on the end, the flow path is 1/2" and they do snap apart, but I would do that every time. These are designed for supplying industrial fluids, such as lubricants, for tooling. They are food grade plastic and rated to a really high temp (I can't remember). I think the idea is originally the Pol's and he has been using it for a while (I could be wrong about that though).
Yup, that is what my HERMS runs with. I love it... highly recommend it! You will not be disappointed
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
Yup, that is what my HERMS runs with. I love it... highly recommend it! You will not be disappointed
Any problems with clogging? The holes dont appear to be that big.
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