Sparge Arm

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Old Hooky

Re: Sparge Arm

Post by Old Hooky » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:02 am

OK I've just learnt how to upload images so I hope this works. I've now made a sparge arm using 1/4 inch and 5/16 inch aluminium tubing. Hope the image explains how to make one. I forgot to mention on the photo that the holes I've drilled for the arm are about 0.5mm.


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MikeG
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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by MikeG » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:52 pm

newtonsshed wrote:You know you can buy them right for £22.44 from say the home brew shop stainless steel too if ur into shiny things but don't give up be worth it in long run and u have sense of achievement.
Well, I bought one of those last October from the Home Brew Shop and was very pleased with it.

I'm just getting ready for a brew-up and checked the arm only to fond that it leaks loads around the bottom of the vertical piece of tube, where the arm fits; not very pleased about that...
...and
it rotates for a second then sticks so I have to keep nudging it; not very pleased about that either.

The trouble is that it's all welded together so maintenance does not seem to be an option. Has anyone any advice (apart from chucking it in the bin)?

Mike.

**Edit**
Whoops! I just checked the photos I took last October and it did leak loads from the swivel joint; sorry. :oops:

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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by 50quidsoundboy » Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:01 pm

MikeG wrote: it rotates for a second then sticks so I have to keep nudging it; not very pleased about that either.
same here. irritating, but it seems to work fine as a non-spinning sparge arm and my efficiency is steady at 75%.

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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by scotia » Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:11 am

I modified my sparge last time I used it by removing the olive which fitted into the T and using a 15mm straight tap connector, this has a flange pressed onto the end (looks like a wahser fitting over a pipe) so less contact area and seems to work a lot better.
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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by Talisman » Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:22 pm

just re made mine today, dead easy to make and works a treat.
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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by ciderhead » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:20 pm

scotia wrote:I modified my sparge last time I used it by removing the olive which fitted into the T and using a 15mm straight tap connector, this has a flange pressed onto the end (looks like a wahser fitting over a pipe) so less contact area and seems to work a lot better.
Can you post a pic please?

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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by Cheesey » Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:49 pm

I bought one of them stainless jobs I hate it. It leaks, doesn't turn. I tried to increase the bores as some were not working no better. I got around 68% efficiency next brew I batched sparged
And achived 75%.
I was thinking why do you need a rotating arm. Wouldn't a spiralled coil of copper with holes around it in the lid of the mash tun to drizzle down do equally as good with no moving parts?

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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by scotia » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:45 pm

ciderhead wrote:
scotia wrote:I modified my sparge last time I used it by removing the olive which fitted into the T and using a 15mm straight tap connector, this has a flange pressed onto the end (looks like a wahser fitting over a pipe) so less contact area and seems to work a lot better.
Can you post a pic please?
Sorry about the quality of pic taken with my phone but this is a similar fitting but 22mm you can make out the flange where the nut tightens onto. here is a link to the fitting
http://www.screwfix.com/p/yorkshire-sol ... wwodo30AOw

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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by MikeG » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:03 pm

I know I'm coming late to the party but:

I have a ball valve on the output to my hlt which I adjust to limit the flow so it takes around 45 minutes to empty the hlt. This is far too slow to make the rotating sparge arm do anything at all so I sit there for ¾ of an hour tapping the arm around with the handle of my long plastic spoon.

...it drives me nuts!! :wacko: :wacko: :wacko:

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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by MikeG » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:41 pm

Cheesey wrote:
Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:49 pm
I was thinking why do you need a rotating arm. Wouldn't a spiralled coil of copper with holes around it in the lid of the mash tun to drizzle down do equally as good with no moving parts?
I agree.

I normally get reasonable efficiency but it seems to me that the rotating arm approach is not really what you want. Apart from the moving parts not moving problem there is also a problem with the drizzle density.

If you think of the surface of the grain, in a tun of diameter 310mm, divided up into 10mm wide circular strips with a 10mm diameter circle in the middle the area of the outside strip will be nearly 95 cm² and the circle in the middle will be about 0.78cm². So the outside strip needs 120 times more drizzle than the middle to have the same coverage. The rotating arm I have has evenly spaced holes so the outside strip gets the same amount of water as the centre circle. ...well it would if the middle didn't leak so badly which only aggravates the problem.

Cheesey's spiral would fix both problems.

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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by orlando » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:41 pm

Spinning sparge arms ape the big boys set up, it isn't really necessary for us, but for a commercial efficiency can be the difference between making a profit and not. You can achieve superb efficiency, if that bothers you, by returning the wort through a silicone hose curled around and over the top of the grain bed. Slowly introducing the sparge water by throttling back the ball valve inlet will not stir up the bed but you could put down some baking foil pierced with holes if it makes you feel better.
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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by Kev888 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:14 pm

For properly slow fly or continuous sparging at homebrew scales, the flow is often a bit too slow to push the arm around so people get tempted to sparge too fast - in that case it could be counterproductive compared to something simpler. A motorised arm would break that reliance but add more complexity, or a faster flow could be used to drive the arm but intermittently rather than continuously (if a device such as a valentine arm stops the level dropping between times).

To my mind there is only really any benefit from a rotating arm if the grain surface is exposed. If you prefer to have a shallow depth of water over the grain (or like me, fail to get it to float and so end up with one), then almost any simple means of letting the sparge liquor in will do for a gentle rate.
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Re: Sparge Arm

Post by Haydnexport » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:38 pm

I had some difficulty with fly sparging evenly to start with, but buying a mash manifold sorted my setup out. https://www.brewuk.co.uk/recirc-manifold.html

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