Although it may sound like a common brewer's injury, a sparge arm is something that will help your brew day rather than hinder it. This tool is essential if you want to use the fly or continuous sparging process in order to get the most out of your mashed grains.\n\n\n\nSo, what exactly is a sparge arm and what do you use it for? A sparge arm is a piece of brewing equipment used in fly\/continuous sparging during the lautering phase. It is basically an adjustable unit that has a tube with a disc, plate or other outlet port at one end so hot water trickles evenly into a mash tun filled with grain to extract fermentable sugars.\n\n\n\nSparge arms come in several different designs but they all have the same goal, to help you extract as much fermentable material as you need in order to produce the best beer you can from your ingredients. \n\n\n\nIn the following article, I'll go into a little bit more detail about sparge arms and how to use them. I'll also give you some suggestions on choosing the best one for your set up.\n\n\n\nWhat is sparging exactly?\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nSparging is a term which basically means 'sprinkle' and refers to the pouring of water onto grains in order to rinse them and get as much usable material possible for fermentation.\n\n\n\nSparging takes place as part of the lautering process which probably comes from the German word for 'to rinse-off'. Once you have mashed grains, we don't actually want the grains themselves in the wort, so in short sparging is one step in separating the grain from the sugary wort mixture our beery eyes are set on.\n\n\n\nThere are many different ways to sparge your wort and these have developed over time and have different effects on the finished beer. The most common technique among professional and amateur brewers is probably fly or continuous sparging. It seems to bring about the best efficiency in collecting fermentable sugars and is therefore favored more than other techniques such as batch sparging or the 'no sparge' method.\n\n\n\nIf you'd like to find out a lot more about sparging and what temperature your sparge water should be as well as how much you need to prepare, then head over to my full article "What Is Sparging? Beginner Brewer\u2019s Guide for Better Results". I've packed it full of useful tips and explanations for the questions you have been wondering about but probably weren't able to find the answers to yet.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nDo I need to sparge when using an extract recipe?\n\n\n\nSparging is a stage in all-grain recipes, so when you are following an extract recipe from a kit you may have purchased online or in-store, you don't need to worry about doing it.\n\n\n\nThe reason why is because an extract kit contains liquid or dry malt extract. This is resulting wort of the sparging process which the manufacturer of your kit has already carried out for you. This is why the first major step of an extract recipe is the boil. Although there is nothing wrong with spending your entire career as a brewer working with extract kits, nothing really beats seeing a beer created from the raw materials themselves.\n\n\n\nSo, unless you are dealing with an all-grain recipe, you don't need to worry about lautering, and therefore sparging.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n Plan your next Beer Creation?