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Old 05-02-2012, 12:52 AM   #1
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Default Constantly Getting Stuck Mashes

I've had my 10 Gallon Igloo MT with a 12" Domed SS False Bottom for about a year and have never had an issue with stuck mashes (I've breweed 30 batches in it no problem). I have a 1/2" bulkhead w/ a 1/2" Brass ball valve to drain.

About a month and a half ago, I was brewing a Black IPA, and it got stuck. I fixed it and figured the false bottom got plugged up with some of the very fine dried from the husks of the roasted malt... then my next two batches got stuck, an amber ale and a wit. Each of my beers I use at least a 1/2 lb of rice hulls, 1 lb for wheat beers... both got stuck.

After that I took apart my mash tun and reassembled it, and my hefe went just fine, not stuck, though it drained a little slow. My next beers tho, an American Premium Lager and a Traditional Bock, both got stuck.

To remedy, I have had to dump the mash into a kettle, then put a small piece of wooden dowel between the wall of the MT and the edge of the False Bottom, which lifted up the edge of the False Bottom about 1/2 an inch or so.
After I do this, the flow is usually fine.

So, all things considered, and I've talked to guys at AHS about this, there is no reason that this should happen, but it does. Has anyone had this problem? Any idea on what could be causing this?

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Old 05-02-2012, 01:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zgardener
I've had my 10 Gallon Igloo MT with a 12" Domed SS False Bottom for about a year and have never had an issue with stuck mashes (I've breweed 30 batches in it no problem). I have a 1/2" bulkhead w/ a 1/2" Brass ball valve to drain.

About a month and a half ago, I was brewing a Black IPA, and it got stuck. I fixed it and figured the false bottom got plugged up with some of the very fine dried from the husks of the roasted malt... then my next two batches got stuck, an amber ale and a wit. Each of my beers I use at least a 1/2 lb of rice hulls, 1 lb for wheat beers... both got stuck.

After that I took apart my mash tun and reassembled it, and my hefe went just fine, not stuck, though it drained a little slow. My next beers tho, an American Premium Lager and a Traditional Bock, both got stuck.

To remedy, I have had to dump the mash into a kettle, then put a small piece of wooden dowel between the wall of the MT and the edge of the False Bottom, which lifted up the edge of the False Bottom about 1/2 an inch or so.
After I do this, the flow is usually fine.

So, all things considered, and I've talked to guys at AHS about this, there is no reason that this should happen, but it does. Has anyone had this problem? Any idea on what could be causing this?
Are you maintaining a proper water level above the grain bed?
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukonamo View Post
Are you maintaining a proper water level above the grain bed?
During sparge 2" to 3" above grain bed, though, it won't drain at all at any point. I tried re-circulating with a HERMS system, when the problem started, it wouldn't flow, and I've also done a normal mash with a mashout addition and vorlauf, still no flow until I made the fix that I mentioned.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:48 AM   #4
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I used to get stuck/slow sparges allll the time. My temp was spot on, and I maintained a good flow and water above the grain bed. Then I noticed something: I had my nut screwed too tight against the false bottom. With the nut hard against the plate, it looked great, but it would knock out of the FB or allow grain to pass through.

To remedy this, I have the nut up higher, so that the brass 90* elbow is just resting in the FB. It doesn't look right at first, but think of the weight of grains + water on the system. I now get clear runnings after vorlauf. No stuck sparges.

This is what works for my system, and assuming that you have the same problem as me with yours.

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Old 05-04-2012, 12:35 PM   #5
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Same thing happened to me and a buddy. Domed false bottom started out working great for 1+ yrs, then the stuck sparges constantly. We both swapped to a s/s braid and haven't had trouble since. My best guess is our coolers warped slightly letting grain under the false bottom.

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Old 05-04-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
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Potential solution 1: Different type of manifold

Potential solution 2: batch sparge

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Old 05-04-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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Perhaps a build up of beer stone on the manifold making the holes smaller? (easier to plug)

I had this problem with my hop filter. It had become discolored, but I thought nothing of it. Then it started to take longer to drain. I finally thought to give it a thorough cleaning and was surprised at the amount of gunk that came off of what I thought was a clean SS screen. I soaked it in hot oxyclean and then starsan (neither alone worked) and a little srcubbing loosened up tons of gunk that had slowly accumulated in the mesh. The difference in flow was huge!

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Old 05-04-2012, 04:45 PM   #8
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thanks for the suggestions.
I added an extra 90 degree elbow to act as a pickup tube, and it lifts the false bottom up by maybe a 1/2", I'll loosen those nuts and see how it all works when I brew on Saturday.

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Old 05-04-2012, 08:29 PM   #9
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Have you been messing with your grain mill gap recently?

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Old 05-04-2012, 08:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durhamite View Post
Have you been messing with your grain mill gap recently?
I get everything milled at AHS, never had an issue before.
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