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Mash Recirculation and Sparge

sparger tnWe spent way too long trying to come up with a clever name for this thing. Mash Tube, Any Height Recirulation Port, Sparge Height Thingy. A lot of people use a piece of hose or copper tubing on the inside of their mash tun recirculation (or sparge) port but it's not as cool as this. This assembly is made from "Loc-Line" which is a the trade name for this positionable plastic tubing used wherever flow needs to be directed. You can adjust the output from the same height as the port all the way down to 12" below the port to adjust for five or ten gallon batches of varying grain bills.

Base Recirculation Options:

  • Plastic Only - You can buy just the loc-line assembly including the 1/2" male connector, 90 degree elbow, and 14 flexible segments and thread it into your own bulkhead and provide a maximum vertical drop of about 12" with the last two links bent to horizontal. (shown on the left of the picture).
  • Weldless Kit - with all piece shown to the right. After drilling a 7/8" hole in the top sidewall of your metal mashtun, use the SS washer on the inside and silicone flat gasket on the outside just behind the Camlock Type A Fitting. Of course this only works if you're subscribed to the use of Cam Locks for your disconnect system.(shown in the middle of the picture). It provides a maximum vertical drop of about 12" with the last two links bent to horizontal.
  • Kit for Thick Cooler Lids - This kit deletes the lockline elbow so that the straight connector is inline with the tube. It comes with a metal washer, silicone gasket and 1/2" NPT coupling. Drill a 13/16" or 7/8" hole in the underside of the lid and a 1-1/8" hole in the topside of the lid for the coupling to fit into. You can then put either a hose barb or camlock type F into the top of the coupling (not include, buy elsewhere on this site). This kit will work with lids that are up up to about 1.5" thick, e.g. 10 gallon round Igloo. It will also work with Rubbermaid/Gott cooler lids, but you can acheive a lower profile with the regular weldless kit if you make the hole at a location where the top and bottom plastic gets close together. This kit is shown on the far right of the picture. This kit comes standard with 16 straight links for a height drop of about 13" when the bottom is curved to horizontal.

Note: After you select one of the first three options in the dropdown below (and click the Add to Cart button), you may aditionally select in the dropdown to add additional length to the kits. 3 more links will give you another 2.75" of drop and six links gives you another 5" of drop.

Upgraded Sparge Ring Option:

spargerclose med

While we believe that the above options allow for a gentle enough delivery of either mash recircuation or sparge water, we recognize that some brewers prefer a more dispersed trickled delivery of the sparge water. This add-on piece clips to the bottom of one of the recirculation options. Despite the picture showing differently, this kit is now made up of 15 side nozzle sections back to back forming about a 10" diameter ring. If you wanted to price compare, it's Loc-Line model 51837 and don't forget we include two elbows which run $2 each retail. The elbow at the end of the ring can be rotated during recirculation to have wort spill out the end. Then when it's time to sparge, rotate the opening upwards so that the sparge water is encouraged to spill out the side nozzles around the ring. This ring should sit just under the layer of sparge water on top of your grain.
 
Options

 All locline parts are made in the U.S.A.

 

SPECs from the manufacturer:

Material: Acetal Copolymer

Compatibility:Yes: Acetone, Alcohol, Ethyl, Greases, Oils, Commercial Dish Detergents, Gasoline, Lacquer Solvents, Sodium HydroxideNo: Acids, Ammonium Hydroxide, Bases Strong, Hypochlorite Ion Solutions, Sodium Hypochlorite

Melting Point: 329° F Maximum Operating Temperature: 170° F (Repeated exposure over this temperature will cause fatigue)

"Acetal Copolymer" appears to be the generic name for Delrin. More about Delrin on Dupont's site here.

More about food contact from a distributor:

 

Q: Is Loc-Line safe for food contact?

A: The material used to manufacture Loc-Line is an acetal copolymer. This material, in accordance to the rules 21 CFR 177.2470, meets the requirements of this regulation for aqueous food contact. Not applicable for fatty foods and alcohol. All colorants are used at the recommended let-down ratio and meet 21 CFR 178-3297 for food contact.

 

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Comments   

 
+3 # Michael 2012-02-07 17:35
What temperature is this safe to? Could it be used for whirlpool while boiling/chillin g?
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+1 # Bill 2012-04-24 17:43
Having a hard time understanding how this would be used for sparging. Got anything that would show this in action?

Thanks
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0 # Bobby 2012-04-24 18:59
Quoting Bill:
Having a hard time understanding how this would be used for sparging. Got anything that would show this in action?

Thanks


Bill, I understand the confusion. There's a huge group of people out there with the impression that sparging requires some kind of shower head or spinning spray mechanism because the term "rinsing" probably paints that picture. A proper fly sparge requires a foundation of about 1-2" of water on top of the grain bed. Once that is there, it doesn't matter how you deliver new water to that mass other than two requirements: Don't slam the grain with a high pressure stream and the new water should integrate with the current layer. The mash tube is bent/manipulate d such that the exit is turned sideways as shown in the pic, just below the water line. In effect, it is barely sitting on top of the grain but also covered by the foundation water. It's angled so that the incoming water creates a gentle swirling of the foundation water. The whole point of this device is to be able to set the height over a large range of grainbeds and is an alternative for those folks who simply lay their ouput hose on top of the grain (which doesn't really stay put anyway).

I promise you, there's no need for showering the grain.
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0 # Rich 2014-03-10 19:46
I don't think he was asking about whether or not it worked.. Rather, I think he was asking how it attached to the MT. I can't see it either. Why do I need a 12" long tube for recirc? Does it attach through the side wall at the top of the MT? Does it poke through the lid? What? Does it sit UNDER the grain? I don't see how it works at all.
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0 # Bobby 2014-03-11 05:04
Quoting Rich:
I don't think he was asking about whether or not it worked.. Rather, I think he was asking how it attached to the MT. I can't see it either. Why do I need a 12" long tube for recirc? Does it attach through the side wall at the top of the MT? Does it poke through the lid? What? Does it sit UNDER the grain? I don't see how it works at all.

I thought the descriptions were pretty clear. Some options are for the cooler lid, others are for installing through the top sidewall of a metal tun. The opening of the device will sit above your grain, but under the liquid level. Why a 12" tube? Some grain bills are small and some are large. The last thing you want to do is dump the recirc wort down onto the grain from a 10" height for the whole mash.
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0 # Tom 2012-05-16 12:06
Could this be used in a 10 gallon Igloo? I'm building a RIMS with my MashTun as a 10 gallon Igloo and I'm trying to figure out the best way to attach this...any ideas?
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+1 # Bobby 2012-05-16 14:03
Tom, I'm sure it can, but I think I may want to offer a specific configuration for it that mounts to the lid rather than going through the thick wall of the cooler. I have a 10g igloo in the shop, but I won't be there for a few hours.
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+1 # Bobby M. 2013-01-04 17:20
Any updates on this? I like the idea of being able to recirculate in my 10 gal igloo while keeping the lid on to maintain temp.
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0 # Bobby 2013-01-04 17:25
Quoting Bobby M.:
Any updates on this? I like the idea of being able to recirculate in my 10 gal igloo while keeping the lid on to maintain temp.


Yes, it's one of the options in the drop down.
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0 # Jusware 2012-06-15 03:02
I've been using locline in my MLT and BK inlets for over a year now and really enjoy them. I'd highly recommend it to anyone .. wish mine had the 90 elbows!
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0 # Brian 2012-07-18 20:19
That is the easiset recirculate/spa rge I have done. Been looking for an alternative to the rotating sparge arm. Glad you put it together and for less then if I did it by self from the manufacturer. Thanks. :D
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0 # Wally Feck 2012-08-23 23:51
12", is that long enough to use for whirlpooling? If I wanted to attach it on the top of the keg, just under the top. 5 gallon batch. Thanks.
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0 # Bobby 2012-08-24 01:59
I don't think I'd use it for recirculating. The first issue is that they don't recommend using loc-line at boiling temps because the links loosen up a bit at that temp and may not hold shape. The other is flow turbulence. You want as much flow as possible for this. If you really want to go in towards the top, a compression elbow with some custom bent SS tubing is a best bet.
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0 # Jusware 2013-02-12 15:24
I've been using one in my BK for over a year and half and have not had any fatigue issues. I use 2 12" sections and can adjust the height easily. I have a LG pump and have absolutely no flow issues.
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0 # James 2012-09-14 13:08
This has got to be the best sparge arm out there. Easy to install. Maximum flexibility for height / position. Just get one!
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0 # Art 2012-10-29 11:57
Use it as a Recirculating arm in my keg/mash tun. works perfect
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0 # Richie 2012-12-22 22:52
I just bought my locline from you got it in today quick shipping thank you for that, mine came with Two rubber gaskets whats the other one for, there was no install instructions for it.
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0 # Bobby 2012-12-22 23:20
Quoting Richie:
I just bought my locline from you got it in today quick shipping thank you for that, mine came with Two rubber gaskets whats the other one for, there was no install instructions for it.


Just a spare.
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0 # Vince 2013-01-23 21:05
I use one of these in my keggle a long with my Blichmann TOP and it works great! It recirculates during the whole mash perfectly. Glad you came up with this idea and offered it to us Bobby, thanks!
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0 # Swan 2013-04-07 17:15
Not understanding the benefit of this over the equivalent length hose that lays on top of the grain bed.
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0 # Swan 2013-04-07 17:33
I can see how this serves equivalent function to CPVC or copper and is simpler. But, how is it better than just a hose that sits on the grainbed?
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0 # Bobby 2013-04-07 19:42
Quoting Swan:
I can see how this serves equivalent function to CPVC or copper and is simpler. But, how is it better than just a hose that sits on the grainbed?


A hose sitting on the grain bed tends to drop lower and lower as the time goes on. The liquid flowing out of it creates a current that removes some of the grain and the hose drops, over and over and eventually it's buried 3" below the grain. The mashtube is rigid enough to stay at the level you set it to.
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0 # Matthew 2013-05-26 04:33
Bobby, I am wondering how well this equipment is to clean because of the movable pieces. I can see how the nasties from the sweet wort could get into the crevasses. Have you had any issues with difficult cleaning.
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0 # RSR 2014-01-14 20:12
I think I understand the components correctly, but please confirm: the threaded connector and the elbow are two separate pieces, correct? And the pieces all come apart and can be rearranged (I could put the elbow as the third link, etc)?

I have a cooler lid with thin areas (cup holders) and I think I can just attach a camlock from the top, as long as I can eliminate the elbow if necessary.

Of course, the elbow would allow me to run the 'tube' horizontally, which might be a good idea as our mash tun is usually very full.
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0 # Bobby 2014-01-14 22:10
Quoting RSR:
I think I understand the components correctly, but please confirm: the threaded connector and the elbow are two separate pieces, correct? And the pieces all come apart and can be rearranged (I could put the elbow as the third link, etc)?

I have a cooler lid with thin areas (cup holders) and I think I can just attach a camlock from the top, as long as I can eliminate the elbow if necessary.

Of course, the elbow would allow me to run the 'tube' horizontally, which might be a good idea as our mash tun is usually very full.


They will come apart and can be popped together by hand but be strong..If there's some reconfiguration you want, I can do it since I have the cheap tool that helps click them together easier. The threads may make it through at the cup holders, but you may still want a full coupling to get your camlock up high enough to latch the female coupling on.
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0 # Bionic Brewing 2014-07-21 22:20
I have used this Recirc / Sparge arm in several batches. I can not imagine not using it. The above description was very clear and this mounts on my 10 gallon Igloo mash tun.
Brew Hardware is my go-to site for all brewing related hardware needs.
Thanks Bobby for another top notch product!
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0 # Jeff Watson 2014-07-31 15:49
I originally purchased the base re-circulation weldless kit and added a 1/2" coupling to use in my large rectangular cooler. while it was superior to just using a silicone hose, I wanted to distribute my return stream a little more evenly over my grain bed because I was creating high and low spots in the grain bed.

I subsequently purchased the new upgraded sparge ring. I could not be happier with my purchase. Instead of forming a ring, I lined nozzles up down the length of the grain bed, and I now get a nice even return flow.
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