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Old 09-07-2009, 03:28 AM   #1
MikeScott
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Default Cheap Fly Sparge Set up

I just converted a 60Qt Igloo Cube to a MLT this weekend, and did a test run using nothing but water, so far, so good. No leaks :-)

I had read a couple of batch vs fly sparging posts, and I was thinking that it wouldn't be too hard to just cut some PVC to fit on the top of the cooler, put some holes in it, and when I'm ready to sparge, siphon the hot water into the PVC, using a valve to control flow.

My questions is, so long as I keep the water level above the grain, that should be good to go, right? Should I keep the water just above the grain, or can I just put it in as fast as I can so long as I don't disturb the bed?

Also, big thanks to everyone who posted their MLT builds, they were a huge benefit to me. I would have never known not to use Zinc hardware, and would have poisoned myself or my friends. Great forums are made by great people, and this forum is not short on those!

The only downside, is that in the last 2 days I've ran across 3 other projects I would like to do. :-)

Any help is appreciated!

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Old 09-07-2009, 04:53 AM   #2
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Fly sparging should be done as slow as possible. You want to keep the water level about 2 inches above your grains.

Batch sparging really is the easiest way to go. It's less hassle...and no matter what anyone says... I tend to get better efficiency from batch sparging.

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Old 09-07-2009, 02:47 PM   #3
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If you want to make it out of plastic. I would suggest CPVC if you can get it rather than PVC. At sparging temperatures, PVC is likely to start melting (and possibly adding some unpleasant flavors).
Then again, a loop of silicon tubing with holes drilled in it would probably work as well.

-a.

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Old 09-07-2009, 03:04 PM   #4
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Thanks Guys!

I didn't realize you're supposed to do fly as slow as possible. Maybe after I get a couple of batches under my belt, I'll try it. Batch sparging seems to be the simplest.

I didn't realize there was a cpvc until I went to the hardware store for the parts for my MLT cooler conversion. Luckily all the parts I bought were cpvc.

Thanks!

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Old 09-07-2009, 03:17 PM   #5
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I built this sparge arm out of the stainless steel tube from a sanke keg spear.



It works great and the price was right.
Perhaps I was doing something wrong, but my efficiencies went to hell when I tried batch sparging. Last weekend my braid got crushed during the mash and the flow was reduced to a trickle so I switched to fly sparging and my efficiency hit 80%. Compared to the 50%-60% I had when batch sparging, I think I'll go back to fly sparging.

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Old 09-07-2009, 03:41 PM   #6
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i've been using the aluminium filter from my coffe urn hlt as the spreader unit for my sparge water. and i dont know about the whole slower is better when fly sparging thing since i open the valve all the way and set the outflow on the mlt to match. this generally gets me thru a full session in as little as 20min and still get an efficiency of over 85%.

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Old 09-07-2009, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragutis View Post
I built this sparge arm out of the stainless steel tube from a sanke keg spear.



It works great and the price was right.
Perhaps I was doing something wrong, but my efficiencies went to hell when I tried batch sparging. Last weekend my braid got crushed during the mash and the flow was reduced to a trickle so I switched to fly sparging and my efficiency hit 80%. Compared to the 50%-60% I had when batch sparging, I think I'll go back to fly sparging.
Something was definitely wrong if you got 50% batch sparging. You could do better than that with a NO sparge. My guess is that you weren't fully converted.
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:21 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Ragutis;1531532]I built this sparge arm out of the stainless steel tube from a sanke keg spear.



That's just about what I was looking at doing, except with CPVC. I'm planning on doing a couple of batch sparges first, so I'll be able to take a look at my efficiency then.

i've been using the aluminium filter from my coffe urn hlt as the spreader unit

eriktlupus - That's a good idea too! I don't mind doing it slow, but faster would be good too :-)

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Old 10-25-2012, 07:27 PM   #9
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Can you tell me what kind of connection you did in the middle ? Did you welded the ends ? Tell me more I want to build one using the spare spear I have! Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragutis View Post
I built this sparge arm out of the stainless steel tube from a sanke keg spear.



It works great and the price was right.
Perhaps I was doing something wrong, but my efficiencies went to hell when I tried batch sparging. Last weekend my braid got crushed during the mash and the flow was reduced to a trickle so I switched to fly sparging and my efficiency hit 80%. Compared to the 50%-60% I had when batch sparging, I think I'll go back to fly sparging.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:05 PM   #10
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I'd just like to point out at that tons of fly spargers (myself included) just flow sparge water from the HLT in slowly, with no sparge arm. If you want you can curl the tube around the inner wall of the MLT. I usually get 82% efficiency, and haven't noticed any channeling along the cooler wall. Just keep the water an inch or two above the grain bed.

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