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Subject: Cooler sparging
Author: mje1980
May 5th, 2004
12:47 am
I am wondering about making my own sparging equipment out of copper pipe. I have got john palmers book, but it confuses the hell out of me, is there a rough guide as to how to make on of these for a rectangular cooler?? or do i have to get a degree in fluid mechanics!! I have talked to people who have made them and they just made it up to fit the bottom, and then cut slots in the bottom of it. Anybody out there made there own and if so how?? Any advice is always appreciated.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: mjarvis
May 5th, 2004
12:52 am
Mark-

You might consider making one out of CPVC - cheaper and maybe easier to do...

I used to have a figure 8 setup in mine, with slots running along the bottom... Worked just fine...

Don't worry too much about the physics of the whole thing - on the scale we brew it just doesn't make that much of a difference...

--/\/\--
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: relaxrelaxx
May 5th, 2004
2:10 pm
The heat might leech out some nasties from the PVC -- especially if you're using the cooler fly sparge system where you attach the sparge arm to the inside roof of the cooler. I would just batch sparge if I were you.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: lefoe
May 5th, 2004
2:21 pm
I made one of these when I first went all grain. Just try and keep everything evenly spaced. The best thing you could do is forget about copper or PVC and go with a stainless steel hose braid, I switched to one a few months ago and it really works much better.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: chris1kanobi
May 5th, 2004
2:32 pm
CPVC is food grade and should not release any "nasties", the stuff can be hard to find though. You can use standard copper pipe and cut slots in the bottom using a hack saw or saws-all. Like this http://www.g4cio.demon.co.uk/beer/mashtun.htm (adjust to your size). I use a stainless braid like this: http://www.freewebs.com/homebrew/mashing.htm
It doesn't have to fit the exact shape of your cooler. Liquid finds the path of least resistance, and that is the bottom of the cooler. You could even use a long piece of SS braid or copper down the middle. As long as the wort can get to the bottom and out the valve you are in buisness. I also reccomend batch sparging, it is quick, simple and cheap. http://hbd.org/clubs/cascade/public_html/dennybrew/
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: mje1980
May 6th, 2004
2:36 am
thanks guys, i can probably "borrow" some copper tubing from work, so i will muck around with that i think. Thanks again for the ideas and advice
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: DConn
May 6th, 2004
3:35 pm
I highly recommend the hose braid route...not only is it more effective, it's way easier to construct. It does kinda limit you to batch sparging (which I don't think is a limit!).
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: mje1980
May 7th, 2004
1:16 am
It's too late denny! after reading the replies, i went down to the local rip off merchant OOPS i mean trade centre and bought some copper pipe and fittings. I made it to fit my rectangular cooler and it looks a million bucks!! it has four pipes which are evenly spaced and i cut slots with my hacksaw.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: dave007
May 7th, 2004
3:04 pm
I recommend the DCHB (Denny Conn Hose Braid) and batch sparging. Works like a charm.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: mike_kelly1
May 7th, 2004
7:50 pm
ditto the hose braid, works fine for me
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: wunpac
May 7th, 2004
8:19 pm
Stupid question alert! Denny, why does it limit you to batch sparging?
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: DConn
May 7th, 2004
8:28 pm
There would be too much channelling going on with the single hose braid to use fly sparging. You need a more distributed lautering system to use fly sparging.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: wunpac
May 9th, 2004
1:26 am
I am still in the process of building my all grain system and I want to try various techniques (I'm sure batch sparging is ultimately what I'll settle on, but the experimentation is the part I love most about home brewing). I modified your design by using a long hose braid that takes an oval path... well, more like an hourglass path around the cooler. How does that sound?
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: DConn
May 10th, 2004
4:09 pm
Prbably not real good for fly sparging...go to www.howtobrew.com and look at Palmer's diagrams. He spells out wht the spacing should be for fly sparging. But why not batch sparge first, since you're set up for it, THEN try fly sparging?
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: wunpac
May 10th, 2004
6:00 pm
I will batch sparge first because I want my first all-grain to be easy *and* good. I know I read somewhere that you need to modify the ingredients to make up for the difference in efficiency... So if I have an existing all-grain recipe I need to modify it,m correct? Is that something that ProMash will calculate or is there a good rule of thumb?
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: DConn
May 10th, 2004
6:16 pm
There is no more need to modify your recipes for batch sparging than for any other kind of sparging. You should always adjust recipes to your system's efficiency, though. My efficiency with batch sparging is comparable to most people's efficiency with fly sparging (and better than some!). For your first brew, assume 65-70% efficiency just to be on the safe side. You might want to have some DME on hand, too, just in case. You can use Promash to adjust recipes. Once you've done a brew or 2, you'll know what your system is capable of. Then just adjust all recipes to that.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: wunpac
May 10th, 2004
6:33 pm
The DME standby is an excellent idea. I'll do that. Thx
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: Lou1998
May 11th, 2004
12:05 pm
Has anyone ever had a stuck sparge using the hose braid? I did my second AG batch on Sunday, an oatmeal stout, and had a stuck sparge. I ended up having to replace the hose braid with a metal screen with bigger holes.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: arsenalfctx
May 17th, 2004
8:51 pm
Is there (or would there be) a difference or benefit in having more than a single hose braid in the cooler? For instance, having three or four braids running parallel and connected by a piece of solid copper tubing running perpedicular on the one end that connects to the outgoing tubing or pipe? (was that a really confusing question?)
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: chris1kanobi
May 17th, 2004
9:04 pm
Lou1998- I have only had 1 stuck sparge in 2.5 years, by adding pellet hops into the mash. I made a stout with 2 lbs. of flaked barley on Sat with no problems. I also made a wheat with 60% wheat, no problems there either.

Mike Snow- I don't think that it really matters. Liquid will take the path of least resistance, so even if there is 100 ways out it may only take 1. For example, look at the Bazooka screen. It has much less surface area than a false bottom, or stainless braid.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: arsenalfctx
May 17th, 2004
9:08 pm
Chris-

Thanks! Agreeded about the path of least resist. Just wasn't sure if having more "paths" for the liquid to take would lessen the possibilty of a stuck sparge. I still haven't brewed my first AG batch and am still putting together my equipment. I want somethng fairly simple, but not equipment that I'll want to upgrade after a couple batches and I get the hang of things.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: mike_kelly1
May 18th, 2004
11:50 am
For an answer to Mike Snow, I have modified my hose braid to a "Y" config and ran 2 braids to the opposite corners. I have to be honest and say I noticed no difference, I think unless you change the output hose size it's the same, and FWIW I have never had a "Stuck" sparge, but did have onbe take a little extra time. Be careful on the sparge temps.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: RobF
May 18th, 2004
1:57 pm
I use a 5-gal Igloo with a single length of braid. The braid is loosely held in a circle about two inches inside the cooler diameter. I use this setup for fly sparging and my efficiencies have been as high as 90%, so I don't think channelling is an issue. The wort achieves excellent clarity after recirculating about a gallon. I sparge pretty slowly and keep an inch or two of liquid above the grain until the end. Never a stuck sparge. Hose braid rocks!
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: DConn
May 18th, 2004
3:29 pm
If you batch sparge, the amount and configuration of hose braid makes no difference. If you fly sparge, it's a different story.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: mike_kelly1
May 18th, 2004
3:36 pm
Batch sparge rules, fly sparge is not worth the extra "hands on" and time required. I merely add a little extra grains and march on. I am lazy and batch sparging is way to easy for me !!!!!!! With the cooler/hose braid deal I have had great results with batching. For example if I have a recipe that calls for 10, I add 11 or 12, big deal I think, but to each their own. I am a firm believer in keeping it simple, there are too many other things to keep straight in your head when brewing without adding extra time/effort and labor into the equation.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: mje1980
May 20th, 2004
1:25 am
Well, just an update fella's. I did an english pale ale yesterday and everything (so far) turned out sweet. I just added an extra 10% of grain and batch sparged using my copper manifold. It was dead easy, just run off the mash, then added some water at 73deg c. then left it for 15 mins and syphoned it off again until i got 7 gallons. Boiled , cooled and ran off into the fermentor. Can't wait to try it!!
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: BryansBrew
May 20th, 2004
4:00 pm
I know sparging is like a religion, and I don't mean to fuel that debate- to each his own, and I won't attempt to change anyone's practice...

I read a few articles including Denny's and I gave batch sparging two faithful tries, but I didn't see any real savings in time, effort, or quality. I probably saved 5 minutes, but it took a lot more effort, and I suffered a drop of 15 to 20 points in efficiency. No doubt, batch sparging is great as a low-cost approach when it comes to equipment needs, but I'm going back to fly sparging and staying there. I expect most of you to disagree with me, but that's okay- we both make good beer.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: Kaz
May 20th, 2004
4:16 pm
To fuel the debate, I agree with Bryan that batch sparging does not significantly save time. When I am fly sparging I am usually working on something else, so it allows me two do two things at once. If I batch sparge it interupts my other project and also results in additional steps. If you want to save time your better off switching a low effeciency wort chiller to a higher effeciency chiller.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: DConn
May 20th, 2004
4:22 pm
Yep, it all depends on your style...for me, I have no interest in doing it any other way than batch sparging.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: Stumptown
May 20th, 2004
5:31 pm
Kaz and Bryan, I'm curious as to how long it takes you to do a fly sparge session. Most folks I talk to seem to take a significantly longer time than my batch sparging sessions go. But, I'd imagine that for both kinds of sparging people are all over the board in terms of how long it takes.

I don't know -- I consider batch sparging pretty much idiot proof, which is probably why it appeals to me.

Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: Kaz
May 20th, 2004
6:55 pm
I think people make fly sparging more difficult than it is. My mash time runs from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the style of beer and mash type (i.e. infusion, step, or decocction). Mash in and recirculate to remove temperature inversions and then let it mash.

During the mash process, I fill my hot liquor with water and heat to 175 to 180 F. When the mash is finished, I manually (runoff in a small pan and then pour over the top of the grain bed) recirculate to clarify the runoff. After recirc, I start my sparge and adjust the flow into the mash tun so that it is the same as the flow out. I usually float a half to an inch of water over the top of the grain bed during the sparge process (no fancy sparge arms or sprinkle systems). The sparge process usually runs from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on several factors such as beer style, amount of grain, and number of batches that I am brewing that day. Sometimes I cut the mash during the sparge process, mainly in high gravity beers. When I get 12-13 gallons of wort, I am done. If the beer is high gravity, I may collect an additional 2 or 3 gallons and boil that on the side and use as top off. I don't check the gravity, pH, and conversion of my mash or sparge water. That pretty much it and not hard to mess up. I consistently get 75-80% extract, lower sometimes on high gravity when I don't boil off extra.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: BryansBrew
May 20th, 2004
9:49 pm
pretty much the same here. I mostly do single infusion mashes for an hour- with today's malt, you can probably do it in 30 minutes, but I rather just take the time. Depending on the temp and what I want for dextrins, I'll might a mashout at 170 as I recirculate. Then it's sparging with a rotating sparge arm for an avg of 45 mins (give or take 15) where I go and do some other stuff (ie no attention is needed on my part). I've never worried about temperature, pH, or gravity during sparging and have had no ill effects- everyone (including people in the know) praises our beer. So it seems fast, easy, and as Jim says, idiot-proof to me. My efficiency is also 75-80%. When I tried batch, it was 60-65%.

If it was easier or saved a good amount of time, I wouldn't mind the extraction drop. But it just didn't do it for me. I was honestly hoping it'd work out- because I love doing things more efficiently... but sorry. Like i said before- from an equipment standpoint, it's probably easier and cheaper to get into batch sparging, so if that's a factor for new brewers- go for it! I'll support ya 100%

Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: RobF
May 21st, 2004
11:54 am
If I had a larger cooler, I would give batch sparging a try, but the 5-gal Igloo for a 5-gal batch serves well for 90% of the beers I brew. It's a nice compact size for storage. If a larger cooler falls in my lap, I'll deal with it. Sparging method should not generate angst like, say, stainless vs. aluminum. No sparging method will lead to premature dementia.
Subject: Re: Cooler sparging
Author: Homebrewer7
Feb 22nd, 2017
10:00 am
The Best Sparge Arm I Have Seen Is Here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSb9WjPfSY4&feature=youtu.be

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