Diffuse sparge water?

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rack04

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Hopefully in the next couple weeks I will have everything I need to do my first all grain brew. Can anyone give tips on how to diffuse the sparge water to avoid disturbing the grain bed? The videos I've seen have shown pouring the sparge water through a colander but I'm wondering what other methods are available to someone who doesn't have a sparge arm. Thanks.
 

COLObrewer

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I just pour mine in without any problem, I have a copper manifold. If it's a round tun you can just use a small plate or saucer on the grain bed, I suppose the same for a rectangular tun. Pour the sparge water on the plate.
 

Pappers_

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That's an interesting thought, I've never been concerned about not disturbing the grain bed. I use the batch sparging method, just pour the water into my mash tun (using a 1/2 gallon pitcher) and stir up the grain well, let it sit for a few minutes, then drain. Repeat.

Here's some resources on batch sparging that you might find helpful:

http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/
http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2008/...rge-a-guide-for-batch-sparging-and-no-sparge/
http://www.suebob.com/brew/Bobby_Mallgrainprimer.pdf
 

DeafSmith

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I use a 10 gallon round cooler for a MLT and I batch sparge. I don't want to disturb the grain bed during the recirculation (vorlauf) so I made the following:

I took a 5 gallon HDPE bucket (I used a white translucent "Mix and Measure" bucket from Lowe's, which according to the manufacturer's web site - Encore Plastics - is made from virgin materials with no recycled content). I cut off the bottom three inches of the bucket to make a short "bucket". Then I drilled a bunch (80 or 90 ?) of 1/8 inch holes in the bottom. To support the bucket at the top of my cooler I drilled three large holes about 3/4 inch below the top rim of my short bucket, spaced 120º apart, and mounted three large bolts (3/8 inch because that's what I had on hand) 3 inches long, sticking out from the rim. I used a flat washer on the inside and outside of the plastic and a lock washer and nuts to keep tight. From the outside of the bucket to the inside I have the bolt head, a flat washer (free floating), a nut, a split washer, a flat washer, the bucket rim, a flat washer, and another nut, with just enough bolt sticking into the inside of the bucket to hold the last two items. The items listed after the free floating washer are to secure the bolt to the plastic bucket. The free floating flat washer between the bolt head and the "bucket" is to catch on the outside of the cooler rim and keep the bucket from sliding too far in one direction and falling into the cooler.

So all I have to do is open the cooler and lay this device right on top (with the free floating washers pulled out next to the bolt heads on the outside of the cooler, and begin recirculating. I can just dump the liquid into the bucket bottom as fast as I can pour and don't have to reach down inside the cooler and try to pour gently. It only took me a few minutes to make this - the only disadvantage I see is cost - in my case I only had to buy the bucket - I had all the other hardware in my spare parts bin. The hardware doesn't even have to be stainless since it doesn't contact the wort.
 

ghengisdan

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I just pour into a big plastic spoon I use for brewing so the water spreads out everywhere and doesn't drill a hole in the grain bed. It's cheap but effective. Another tip that I picked up here on this forum was to go ahead and keep adding sparge water before the grain bed is dry and gets exposed.

I used to just pour my water in, not really caring, but I've changed my ways. Now I take some care to try to let it settle, vorlauf to get any sediment to filter out, and get a really clean wort out of my mash for two reasons. Astringency and a clean boil. Since I've paid more attention to getting a clean wort, I get a much cleaner boil without any boil overs (knock on wood).

First post here, just wanted to say thanks to everyone who uses this resource and all the great advice, pictures, and recipes. I've read quite a few books, watched a lot of online brewing shows, and listened to a lot of podcasts, but I think this is one of the best places for home brewing inspiration on the web. Going to get back to salivating over the pics in the DIY Project forum. Cheers! :mug:
 
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