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Old 02-19-2007, 05:28 AM   #1
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Default Stuck sparge with SS braid ? *mad*

I bought a 16Q Coleman cooler and equipped it with a 12" SS braid.

I bought a SS braided hose from Home Depot. I cut the ends off and pulled out the core. I tested it with hot water and it worked fine.

I did my mash. I injected steam in the braid to warm the mash. Everything worked great. (I'll post about the steam in another post.)

I heated the mash up to 170F with steam and then started to drain the bed. About a cup drained out and then it was stuck. I stirred and tried everything and I couldn't get it to flow.

I bought my mash from the LHBS. I've mashed it several times using false bottoms and never had a stuck mash before.

I dumped the cooler into my double pail false bottom setup and sparged it out, to decent efficiency, nonetheless, given the mess up !

I looked at the braid after the grains were dumped. The braid was collapsed. I put water in the cooler without touching it and it drained no problem.

What the hell is up with my SS braid ?

I'll post pictures of it tomorrow.

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Old 02-19-2007, 06:07 AM   #2
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Could it be your SS braid is of those plastic sleeves that only looks like stainless steel? That's the only reason I can think of why it would collapse.

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Old 02-19-2007, 06:10 AM   #3
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I'll double check it isn't plastic tomorrow, but I am pretty sure it isn't.

Here I though these braids were invincible. All I want to do now is put a false bottom in my cooler !

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Old 02-19-2007, 06:44 AM   #4
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Its plastic ! I didn't even notice. I used the braid as the entrance for my steam and the heat of the steam and the weight of the mash must have caused the braid to collapse and thus I couldn't sparge.

I feel so stupid !

Do the SS braids collapse like that ? Or do they stay open ?

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Old 02-19-2007, 08:18 AM   #5
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If you're using steam injection I'd go for a manifold.

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Old 02-19-2007, 10:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
If you're using steam injection I'd go for a manifold.
You beat me too it. I was thinking the steam might expand the braid and cause other issues.
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:11 AM   #7
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My SS braid has never been a problem as-is, and I've done some high percentage wheat and rye beers with no sparge problems.

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Old 02-19-2007, 11:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcbrewmeister
You beat me too it. I was thinking the steam might expand the braid and cause other issues.
I'm thinking that it will actually cook the mash and cause problems that way. I'm guessing that the steam is not going to be under pressure so it may have difficulty in clearing flour that is usually present in the mash.
A manifold is more rigid, will help with less localised release of heat and can be modified in the size and amount of steam delivery points.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:37 PM   #9
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I discuss the steam part of things here.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?p=218331#post218331

Quote:
I'm thinking that it will actually cook the mash and cause problems that way. I'm guessing that the steam is not going to be under pressure so it may have difficulty in clearing flour that is usually present in the mash. A manifold is more rigid, will help with less localised release of heat and can be modified in the size and amount of steam delivery points.
The steam did not cook the mash. The heating is very gentle, but yet effective. The steam bubble doesn't immediately burst, it travels through the mash.

The steam IS under pressure. Up to 15 PSI if you want it to be.

A solid manifold is necessary to prevent the manifold from floating.

See the steam thread for details and further discussion.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:45 PM   #10
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My stainless braid has never failed me. I have heard of some brewers inserting copper wire insided of them to keep their shape. I think they wrapped the wire around a pencil to form the shape.

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