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Old 07-25-2011, 07:08 AM   #1
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Default Sparging Methods - Fly Sparge with arm or floating tube?

Has anyone compared using a method similar to Blinchmanns auto sparge where a floating silicone tube delivers the sparge water with the traditional rotating sparge arm?

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Old 07-25-2011, 12:44 PM   #2
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I would think that as long as you maintain a shallow bed of water on top of the grain, the direction and momentum (as long as it is not strong enough to disturb the grain bed) of the water being delivered to the tun would have little impact on the efficiency. The water from a Blichmann sparge arm is not rotating through the grain bed. The grain will stop the rotation and the water will simply fall through the grain bed as it will with a traditional sparge arm.

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Old 07-25-2011, 02:42 PM   #3
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Blinchmann claims the auto sparge helps eliminate Channeling because of the rotating wort flow on top of the grain bed. I'm curious...

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Old 07-25-2011, 09:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtrevino View Post
Blinchmann claims the auto sparge helps eliminate Channeling because of the rotating wort flow on top of the grain bed. I'm curious...
The channeling can be caused from several things - one is the flow of water separating the grains, creating a path of least resistance for which the water would flow through. In this case, the blichmann would prevent this, but so would a rotating fly sparge arm.

Another is if you have inadvertently created a separation in the grain bed physically, as with a paddle/spoon. In that case, it might not matter how the water was introduced.

I'm not sure... someone call John Palmer and break out the blue dye!
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:11 AM   #5
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This thread is quite old, but I have been using the auto-sparge and run into problems with channeling. I am wondering if anyone else has had similar problem.

The silicone hose has a metal ball on the end. The hose naturally ends up against the sidewall of the mashtun (i'm using 15 gallon boilmaker). It sits there the whole time and I end up with channeling down the side wall. If I manually intervene and move the hose every once in a while, I can prevent this problem, but isn't the whole point of auto-sparge to be auto?

Wondering if anyone else has this problem and more importantly, a solution?

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Old 12-04-2012, 01:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dermotstratton View Post
This thread is quite old, but I have been using the auto-sparge and run into problems with channeling. I am wondering if anyone else has had similar problem.

The silicone hose has a metal ball on the end. The hose naturally ends up against the sidewall of the mashtun (i'm using 15 gallon boilmaker). It sits there the whole time and I end up with channeling down the side wall. If I manually intervene and move the hose every once in a while, I can prevent this problem, but isn't the whole point of auto-sparge to be auto?

Wondering if anyone else has this problem and more importantly, a solution?
The silicone hose has a foam float on the end, not a metal ball. The metal ball is on the float switch. You should be maintaining at least an inch of water above the top of the grain bed. This will keep it from channeling and allow it to flow evenly through the bed.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:44 AM   #7
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New auto sparge ships with small stainless ball on end of hose instead of foam stopper. I have been trying to keep 1" of water on top of grain bed, but still having issue. I think something that sprinkled water more towards the center would be a better solution.

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Old 12-04-2012, 03:41 AM   #8
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Interesting. I hadn't seen the new design of the float.

If there's enough water on top of the grain bed, it shouldn't matter if the hose is right at the side. I know many people that just use a hose laying on top of the grain bed (myself included) and don't have channeling issues. Maybe try increasing the water level on top of the grain bed a bit.

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Old 12-04-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback JonW. I'll try to keep a little more water on top of the grain bed next time and see if that helps.

I think the problem may have been amplified by the Tower of Power set up. The flow meter was getting stuck, so I had to open and close ball valve. That may have disturbed grain bed and created a channel?

Hope to figure it out during next brew. . . .

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