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Old 12-10-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
zzARzz's Avatar
Jul 2012
Posts: 416
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While in Home Depot the other day I was wandering through the plumbing section when I got the idea for a sparge arm using cheap copper parts. I just put it together and I have to say I'm happy with the way it turned out. So I thought I'd share it with a parts list and how to. I'd love to hear everyone's comments and suggestions.

Parts List

(1) 1/2" Copper Tee $0.99
(2) 1/2" Copper Caps $0.67/EA
(1) 1/2" x 2' Type M Copper Pipe $4.70
(1) 1/2" Lead-Free Brass Male Barb Sweat Adapter $1.57

Plumbing Soldering Kit
Sealing Tape
(1) Wire Coat Hanger to fashion supports with

1/16" Drill Bit
Low Speed Drill
Hack Saw or Jig Saw with metal cutting blade
Metal File

1. Measure the top diameter of your mash-tun and design your measurements 1/4" short of that measurement. For instance, my Igloo 10g cooler is 13", so I made the total length 12-3/4" (1/8" clearance on either side).

2. Mark off the cuts on the pipe including the dots for drilling the drain holes. Dry fit the parts together and use a pencil to mark off how far the pipe will be recessed into the caps and tee. There is 3/4" of space inside the tee separating each arm, so I made each arm 6" (for a total of 12-3/4").

3. Drill the holes with the 1/16" bit before cutting each arm with the hack saw. Cut each arm and clean off any barbs inside the pipe. I used a piece of the coat hanger to clean them out which worked well. Use a metal file to clean each end of the arm pipes until smooth. Here are the parts laid out as they will be put together:

4. Optional: I used a plumbing soldering kit I already had to bond and seal all the parts. If you've never soldered copper before, there's a decent YouTube video
with a tutorial. Just be sure to use lead-free solder meant for plumbing, of course. You could also use sealing tape, I suppose, but I didn't try this. When I ran water through the sparge arm with the parts dry fitted it leaked like a sieve, so I would recommend one of those two options. I also used a single wire coat hanger I had to make supports for the sparge arm while attached to the mash tun as seen below with the sparge arm already soldered (I'm not the best solderer, btw ).

Here is a picture of it in action with my hot liquor tank attached to it via a gravity feed. It covers most of the surface while running and overall I'm excited to try it with my next brew. I'll post an update to let everyone know how it worked.

Let me know what you think!

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Old 12-10-2012, 09:51 PM   #2
BigB's Avatar
Dec 2009
Shelby Twp, MI
Posts: 1,755
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It looks good. Let us know how it works!
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:31 PM   #3
BBQBrew01's Avatar
Aug 2010
Posts: 81
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You going to drill a hole in the cooler lid for the hose?

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Old 05-28-2014, 10:55 PM   #4
flippedcracker's Avatar
Apr 2014
Anaheim, CA
Posts: 53
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts

So how did it turn out?

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Old 05-30-2014, 08:23 PM   #5
bobeer's Avatar
Feb 2012
Round Hill, VA
Posts: 1,983
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yea... did you have to put a hole in the cooler lid? I guess I see why you wouldn't really have to. How's it work? I need a sparge arm and this pretty much fits the bill if it works well. I need a 2nd pot first though!

Nice diy.
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Old 05-31-2014, 02:12 AM   #6
Sep 2012
Congers, NY
Posts: 354
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Nice setup! I have some Cpvc parts laying around my garage, may try to do the same with it

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Old 06-03-2014, 08:26 PM   #7
zzARzz's Avatar
Jul 2012
Posts: 416
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Hi! It works really well and even better when the braided tubing softens a bit. I've never put a hole in the lid but may do so eventually because the wire hanger setup is a bit unwieldy (it was initially just a jury rig to test the sparge arm, but laziness has kept it around ).

The sparge water drips out evenly a bit like soft rain and with an inch or two head of wort over the grain bed I've never been worried about channeling or an uneven sparge. Even without the lid on the grain temp doesn't drop too much over a 30-45 minute sparge with the use of an insulated sparge tank.

If you have the gear and/or parts laying around your garage or house it's worth a go. PVC would work just as well, I'm sure. You could even use an extra piece of braided tubing connected to the sparge tank, plugged on one end with holes drilled in it and looped in a ring, suspended over the top of mash tun to do the same job.

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