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Old 12-15-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
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Default Braided Tube vs. Domed False Bottom vs. Flat False Bottom?

I've spend the last couple hours pouring through every thread on the site as well as a Google search looking for information on on false bottoms. I've poured through every book, magazine and manual I have. I haven't found the answers to my questions.

The level of information here is incredibly high, easily the equivalent of a graduate level seminar. So, I turn to you ladies and gentlemen...

Here's my situation:

I'm pulling together the parts for a Kal-clone style eHERMS system.

I just bought three 60 quart SS pots through eBay. I got a great deal, $75 each. I had a field crew in LA so I had them pick the pots up rather than spend an extra $75 for shipping...I'm a cheap b@$tard.

The pots are 16 3/8" diameter by 16 1/2" high. They are not clad bottoms, which is fine for my intended use in an all electric system.

The walls are quite a bit thicker than I thought they would be. We recently moved and I'll be darned if I can find my mic to measure the thickness. However, they will easily withstand the toils and pressures of weldless fittings. They're not as thick as a keggle, but still substantial.

Obviously, the set up will be a Hot Liquor Tank / Mash-Lauter Tun / Boil Kettle.

With an electric recirculation mashing system, I'm not worried about scorching of grain or caramelization of wort in the MLT.

I have yet to settle on fly sparge v. batch sparge, so this might affect your comments and would be of great interest to me, also.

Here's the question:

In the MLT What are the advantages / disadvantages of a

How does each affect the efficiency of the mash?

Does the increase in screen area increase flow through on sparge?

In short, with a number of areas to economize, is the method of screening grain one of them?

Is a bazooka tube as good as a custom sized flat false bottom?

Is there enough of a difference in efficiency/ease of use/etc. to warrant a custom made bottom as opposed to a 12"doomed false bottom?

Is a 9" false bottom less efficient than a 12" one?

Thank you for your time reading this and thank you for your answers! I am really looking forward to your posts.

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Old 12-15-2012, 07:08 PM   #2
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tl;dr

IMO the best is the Jaybird style heavy gauge flat false bottom. Cheers.

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Old 12-15-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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I'm curious about this too

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Old 12-15-2012, 11:18 PM   #4
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I like my flat false bottom, though I wish there wasn't so much space between it and the bottom of my pot. It makes it hard sometimes to get a decent water to grist ratio above the line.

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Old 12-15-2012, 11:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
I like my flat false bottom, though I wish there wasn't so much space between it and the bottom of my pot. It makes it hard sometimes to get a decent water to grist ratio above the line.
add more water?
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
add more water?
Sure, but I do a single batch sparge, so then I either end up either dumping half my sparge water or sending too much volume to the boil kettle. I wouldn't mind the first so much, except I suspect it would bounce my efficiency around a fair bit. I certainly don't chase efficiency, but I like having it be consistent. Or is there a simple solution to all that that I'm just missing?
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
Sure, but I do a single batch sparge, so then I either end up either dumping half my sparge water or sending too much volume to the boil kettle. I wouldn't mind the first so much, except I suspect it would bounce my efficiency around a fair bit. I certainly don't chase efficiency, but I like having it be consistent. Or is there a simple solution to all that that I'm just missing?
Many false bottoms have a dip tube that go through them (or under them) that pick up all the wort, typically by siphon or pump. It sounds like you don't have that. If that's the case then you will waste some wort, true.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
Many false bottoms have a dip tube that go through them (or under them) that pick up all the wort, typically by siphon or pump. It sounds like you don't have that. If that's the case then you will waste some wort, true.
My dip tube is underneath, so I pull virtually all of the wort out at the end (and I recirculate during). It's just an issue of having enough liquid in the tun at any given time to keep the grain fully submerged. If my drain valve were a bit higher I'd be able keep the false bottom under it, but right now above is too high and below is too low.

I've been thinking about dropping the sparge all together for a while now. Maybe I'll just do that and not need to worry about it.

(Anyway, to the OP, I've got something similar to Jaybird's and I'm very happy about it. Do think about the volume you'll have underneath though.)
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:45 PM   #9
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Does a bazooka tube work less well for sparging and recirculating? Is it more likely to get clogged than a false bottom? Does it leave a lot of liquid behind as compared to a false bottom with a pickup tube?

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Old 12-17-2012, 04:11 PM   #10
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Ah! You and I have the same kettle. Let's talk.

I bought two of those. First, they are a steal for the price. I bought one initially from Spike Brewing back when he offered them without a welded coupler. I then bought another from the vendor you bought from. I can assure you they are identical kettles, and rather nice too.

So anyway, to your point, false bottoms. Considering you're doing a Kal clone, that means you'll be recirculating your mash. That means you're going to want to avoid a braid, as you will get channeling.

I used a CVPC manifold for years in a cooler. It worked great, but I did need to rework it so it drained more evenly once I started recirculating my mash.

If I were in your shoes (which I recently was), I'd get a false bottom (which I did). I found a cheap 12" domed stainless one. It's very similar to this: http://r.ebay.com/twlvoR if not the exact one. Here's how I have it installed in my mash tun:

It works fantastic, and I have no issues with stuck or slow sparges. I crush my grain very tight, and I recirculate my mash for 60 minutes with the pump on full blast. Is it the nicest false bottom I've seen? No. Are Jaybirds nicer? Yes. This false bottom was 1/3 the price though when I considered that jaybirds would need to be hinged and would require a stand. So, I'm happy with it. It gets the job done. My one complaint was the 90* elbow barb it came with was rather small. I found a vendor on eBay that sold a 1/2 MPT 90* elbow with a 5/8" barb that you see in the picture. It flows much more than the tiny one the false bottom came with initially.

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