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Old 03-19-2013, 05:35 PM   #1
archer75
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Default Blichmann Mash/Tun stuck sparge

I've made two batches with this mash/tun and their false bottom and i've gotten stuck recirculations on both batches. I have a chugger pump to recirc with with ball valve to adjust flow. I've tried different flow rates without much luck.

My first batch would constantly clog and the flow would stop. I'd stir it up and start again. I've tried a very low flow rate(blichmann recommends .25 gpm for 15gal pot) and a higher rate with not much difference. When lautering the first batch I could see through the wort where I pushed the grains aside to the false bottom and even though it was clear of grains to this part of the false bottom it just would not flow any more wort. The tip tube and valve were clear of obstruction.

On my 2nd batch I used rice hulls but still had the issue for most of the mash. The last 15 minutes or so started flowing nicely at a fairly high flow rate through the pump. But the rest of the mash the flow was constantly stopping and i'd have to stir it up.

I did not have wheat in either batch. I used a water to grain ratio of 1.5qt/lb

My guess at this point is it's the crush of the grains. My LHBS crushes them pretty fine and i've always gotten great efficiency from them in my cooler mash tun but it doesn't seem to work so well in the blichmann. So my plan is i'm going to get grains from a different source and not milled so fine to see if that fixes it. If so i'll buy my own mill so I can have greater control over the process.

Anyone else use the blichmann mash tun and experience similar issues?

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:48 PM   #2
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how are you throttling the recirculation? I do it with a combination of my ball valve on the pot, and the ball valve on the output of my pump. I have not had an issue.

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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how are you throttling the recirculation? I do it with a combination of my ball valve on the pot, and the ball valve on the output of my pump. I have not had an issue.
ball valve on the pump. I've messed around with using the one on the kettle as well without success.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
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i have the one on the kettle cracked at maybe 20% open, about the same on the output of my pump.

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Old 03-20-2013, 03:42 PM   #5
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I would look at your crush first.I had a similar problem only after I closed up the gap on my mill.I also startyed getting a lot of dough balls.I opened the gap a bit and my problem is now gone.
My efficiency went from 83% down to 77% which is fine by me as long as I have no issues.
(I use 15 gallon boiler makers)

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Old 03-20-2013, 05:06 PM   #6
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I have a 55g blichmann with a false bottom. The kettle valve all the way open and the pump valve about half way open. I have no problems. I do crush my own grains pretty fine, gap is set at .40. I would find out the gap setting at your lhbs.

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:03 PM   #7
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I have a Blichmann Tower of Power (10 Gal Blichmann Mash Tun) and had a major issue with stuck mashes during recirculation. I corrected the problem after consulting Blichmann and reading the instructions for the TOP by allowing a MINIMUM of 10 minutes AFTER doughing-in (I wait 15 minutes). This allows the water to absorb and the air to purge from the grains. By the way, the 15 gal Blichmann Boil Pot and false bottom allows a maximum of 1 gpm not .25 gpm. The .25 gpm you referenced is for the rate they recommend for lautering.

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMG318 View Post
I have a Blichmann Tower of Power (10 Gal Blichmann Mash Tun) and had a major issue with stuck mashes during recirculation. I corrected the problem after consulting Blichmann and reading the instructions for the TOP by allowing a MINIMUM of 10 minutes AFTER doughing-in (I wait 15 minutes). This allows the water to absorb and the air to purge from the grains. By the way, the 15 gal Blichmann Boil Pot and false bottom allows a maximum of 1 gpm not .25 gpm. The .25 gpm you referenced is for the rate they recommend for lautering.
That's interesting. I have a homemade RIMS setup, that is no way comparable to Blichmann's, but I found that my recirc was getting stuck from the smaller particles falling through the false bottom and plugging the ball valve. To help this, I upped my water to grain ratio from 1.25 to 1.4, put roughly 60-75% of the water in the tun to start, and run a slow recirc while I'm adding grain. My LHBS mills the grain to .040 and until I have my own mill, am at his mercy. So I just adjusted to what he mills, which I find to be a little flourey (I don't think that's a word). His grind worked good in a beer cooler mash tun, as the smaller stuff settled under the drain hose, but since moving to a set up with the drain in the bottom of the tun, it tends to plug up the system.
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