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Old 06-02-2011, 01:22 AM   #1
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Default SS Braid Help

I have a 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler with a stainless steel braid, constructed from these directions. The problem I am having is after the mash I slowly open the valve and I get decent flow for about 5 seconds, then a trickle. The only way I can get it flowing again is to run a paddle along the braid but then it promptly reduces to a trickle. This has happened with the only two mashes I have done, the last using this grain bill. I start the mash by putting in the strike water and then mixing in the grain, after an hour I attempt to start the vourlauf without any luck. Any ideas what I am doing wrong? Is it the grind from Northern Brewer? Is it as simple as rice hulls? Any suggestions would be appreciated, I am getting a bit frustrated.

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Old 06-02-2011, 01:56 AM   #2
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just open the valve just enough to slowly drain the wort, let it sit that way for around 5 min or so this will set the grain bed, once this happens you should be able to open it (slowly) to full. This is how I do it and I have never had a problem, if this does not work for you; you could always use rice hulls and that would help.

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Old 06-02-2011, 02:11 AM   #3
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The braid may be getting crushed. I use this spring to prevent it from crushing.

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Old 06-02-2011, 02:14 AM   #4
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Hmm..Shouldn't be a problem. I crack my valve and slowly fill up a 2 quart picture then let 'er rip. Could be your mash is too thick. You should be mashing around 1.4:1 or thinner up to say 1.8:1

If you have access to an air source you can free up the stuck sparge by blowing air back through the valve.

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Bobby_M>>I flood the keg with CO2 for one minute with the lid off, rack the beer in to the bottom gently, seal it, flood it, vent it. If there's still O2 in there after that, F it.

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Old 06-02-2011, 02:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxofRain View Post
The braid may be getting crushed. I use this spring to prevent it from crushing.
True. A possibility. You may want to use a manifold made from copper instead or a false bottom.
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Revvy>>You shouldn't worry about ANYTHING, you didn't hurt the yeast, they know what they need to do, they want to eat all that sugar they are swimming around in. They want to pee alcohol and fart co2, it's their nature.

Bobby_M>>I flood the keg with CO2 for one minute with the lid off, rack the beer in to the bottom gently, seal it, flood it, vent it. If there's still O2 in there after that, F it.

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Old 06-02-2011, 02:34 AM   #6
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is your braid stainless or plastic? Some braids are not actually ss but appear ss. Home Depot?

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Old 06-02-2011, 02:47 AM   #7
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Ace, but I verified it was stainless steel.

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Old 06-02-2011, 04:00 PM   #8
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I've had this problem too in the past. It hasn't happened in quite a few batches though.

One problem was that I was using a stainless spoon to dough in and stir in the sparge water. It did a number on the braid with dents and folds. I replaced that braid and I'm now using a plastic mash paddle from my LHBS.

Other things I've changed:

1. I make sure there aren't any larger holes in the top of the braid. If there are, I'll loosen the hose clamp and rotate the braid so those face down.
2. After doughing in and making sure there are no dough balls, I orient the braid straight out from the valve.
3. I only open the valve slowly at the beginning to let the grain bed settle.
4. When I batch sparge, I again make sure the braid is oriented straight from the valve after stirring.
5. I wait 10 minutes for the grain bed to settle and then open the valve slowly again.

I mash at 1.25 qts/lb.

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Old 06-03-2011, 03:13 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone, I will give it another shot. If it doesn't work this time I may try a copper manifold.

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Old 06-03-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
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im building mine right now, and have used advice gleaned from here. Take a long strip of Romex wire and cut it open and pull the ground out. Wrap this around something to make a spring-like coil. Spread it out a little and insert. This will keep the braid from collapsing.

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