brewing innovation  

AutoSparge™

Do you long for a sparging system with a “set-it-and-forget-it” design? The elegantly simple construction of the AutoSparge™ level and flow control system lets it automatically set the hot liquor flow rate and liquid level and adjust to compensate for a constant level in your mash tun. It’s an awesome accessory for RIMS systems. Autosparge™ also works great with gravity or with pumps!  New 100% stainless steel design!

 

Features

Have you longed for a sparging system with a "set-it-and-forget-it" design? The elegantly simple construction of Blichmann Engineering's AutoSparge™ automatically sets the hot liquor flow rate and liquid level in your mash tun. As you change the sparge rate into your boil kettle, the AutoSparge™ automatically responds by increasing or decreasing hot liquor flow to compensate and keeps a constant level in your mash tun.

Newly redesigned - 100% stainless steel, improved o-ring mounting and 1/2" NPT thread.

The AutoSparge™ level and flow control system is an awesome accessory for RIMS systems, and it also works great with gravity systems or with pumps! Wort gently rotates on top of the grain bed to reduce channeling and oxygen pick-up, and to increase extraction efficiency. With a constant hot liquor level over your grain bed, complicated rotating sparge arms are unnecessary!

  • Stainless steel float ball, float arm, and valve body!
  • Includes 18" silicone hose and stainless steel hose float ball.
  • Fits any kettle larger than 12" in diameter, including converted kegs.
  • Comes equipped with 6" float arm.  9" and 12" float arms available separately for increasing range of motion. Min pot diameter for longer float arms is 15" and 18" respectively.
  • Adaptable to cooler mash tuns. Requires a 13/16 to 7/8" mounting hole. See the Installation tab for details.
  • Optional AutoSparge hole punching service, six locations available for installing the Autosparge™ in your BoilerMaker™ brew kettle. Click the Installation tab above for ordering details!

 

Installation

The AutoSparge™ can be easily installed into any kettle or cooler larger than 12" in diameter. Blichmann Engineering also offers optional AutoSparge hole punching service for installing the Autosparge™ in your BoilerMaker™ brew kettle! Simply specify the position you'd like below and we'll punch it for a nominal fee.


installation

To install yourself, you'll need to punch / drill a 13/16" hole in your kettle or cooler. A 7/8" hole will work, but it's a little on the big side. We recommend using a step drill or a Greenlee knock-out punch. A great source for these is McMaster-Carr . The step drill is part number 8841A24 (89315A42 for TiN coating) or a punch 3449A999 - requires a 3/8" pilot hole. This particular punch (Greenlee model 730BB) is special-order with a three-day lead time. Slug-Buster types are available in their catalog but do not work well in this application. When drilling stainless steel, a moderate to slow speed is best to avoid overheating the tool. While hole saws will also work, they are difficult to use in stainless sheet metal.

Installing into a Cooler

The threaded portion of the AutoSparge™ is not long enough to fit through a 1-2" deep cooler wall, so you will need to use a 2" hole saw for clearance for your hose connection and a smaller hole for mounting the AutoSparge™. To do this, drill a 1/4" pilot hole all the way through the cooler at the desired location. Then, slowly and carefully saw through the outside layer of the cooler. Be careful that you do not accidentally drill all the way through it. Remove the outer cut-out and foam insulation inside the hole. Then, drill the 13/16" mounting hole through the inside wall of the cooler with a step drill. Here are a few shots of the installation in a 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler:


cooler

 

Manual

Click the link below to download  a PDF of the current AutoSparge™ product manual.

 

FAQ

Will the AutoSparge™ plug with grain particles? Can I use the AutoSparge™ with a RIMS system?

Our research and development team has used the AutoSparge™ for several years on our RIMS system and experienced no issues with grain plugging. We specially designed the valve body to have much larger passages than typical float valves. In the rare event that you do get some grain stuck, simply push down on the float for a moment and the wort / hot liquor flow will clear the stuck grain.

Water flows out of the end of my AutoSparge™. Is this normal?

Yes, it is normal for some water to leak past the sliding piston and drain onto the surface of the grain. We have opened the clearance of this part to prevent grain particles and sticky wort from causing the valve to malfunction. If the flow is excessive, simply throttle back on the pump outlet on the hot liquor tank drain valve.

The float arm of the AutoSparge™ does not reach the grain with small batches. What should I do?

Simply set the AutoSparge™ float in the lowest position and allow the hot liquor to rise above the grain until the flow is balanced. It is not a problem to run a large amount of foundation water above your grain.  Alternatively, we do offer 9” and 12” float arms that will extend the reach of the float.  Please ensure your kettle has adequate room for the longer float arm before ordering.

The float arm of the AutoSparge™ bounces

Bouncing of the float arm and pulsating of the flow is not too common but if it does occur it is easily remedied.   This situation is usually caused from inlet pressure from the pump being excessively high causing a "wave" on the top of the water level.  It is more likely to occur while heating strike water than in the mash which tends to dampen out this phenomonon.  To remedy this, simply reduce the excessive pressure from the pump by throttling the outlet valve on the pump.