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Newly redesigned - 100% stainless steel, improved o-ring mounting and 1/2" NPT thread.
A word from John Blichmann:
We have implemented some improvements and added some new features to the AutoSpargetm level control based on customer feedback. We have changed the brass body to stainless steel so it is now a 100% stainless product! We also changed the thread a bit so that standard NPT fittings thread on more completely. We've closed up the sliding piston clearances a bit to reduce leakage, and last but not least we've added an o-ring seal instead of the gasket. Don't forget that we have optional 9 inch and 12 inch float rods available in addition to the standard 6 inch rod. This increases the range of level control desirable in larger pots.
Finally a sparging system that's a "set-it-and-forget-it" design! This elegantly simple sparge mechanism automatically sets the hot liquor flow rate and liquid level in your mash / lauter tun. As you change the sparge rate into your boil kettle, the AutoSparge automatically responds by increasing or decreasing your hot liquor flow to compensate and keeps a constant level in your tun. Awesome for RIMS systems!Works great with gravity systems OR with pumps! Wort gently rotates on top of grain bed to reduce channeling, oxygen pick-up, and to increase extraction efficiency. WIth a constant hot liquor level over your grain bed, complicated rotating sparge arms are unnecessary complications!
Fits any pot larger than 12" in diameter including converted kegs. Adaptable to coolers.
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I gave it 4 stars because I haven't installed it or used it yet. Everything looks like it will fit. I am glad I ordered the short rod as the others look like they would be to long for my igloo 10 gallon cooler. Now I need to order the Blichmann quick connects for this thing to work. So far, I'm happy with my purchase. Can't o wrong with Blichmann.
This is a great way to keep the flow balanced for sparging, no more constant vigil to adjust the water in or wort out. I have a single-tier system with two pumps and it was never easy to keep them even. The Auto Sparge works great for keeping a constant water level above the mash. However, the silicon tubing with the float ball on the end needs to be a little longer so the end doesn't point down into the tun and create a tunnel. I had to cut a longer piece and install it myself, no big deal. The kit is set up, I believe, for a 5 or 10 gallon tun, I have a 15 gallon tun so I needed to get the longer arm. The water control in the nice stainless steel body is a small piston that can be forced open by just a little water pressure. It's very twitchy so the pressure from the pump must be adjusted so it doesn't force open the flow valve. Once I fixed the little nits, it works great! I definitely will not brew without it.
My son and I have been all-grain brewing for a couple of years and one of our jokes is that we never brew the same beer twice. Mostly it's because of the sparge and not hitting our temps/times. We've done a couple of batches since we got the autosparge installed (using a cooler with a stepped cut for inner and outer layers) and it's like we're in the big time now. Set it and forget it. It just works.