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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Stuck sparge sucks!
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:07 AM   #1
agroff383
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Default Stuck sparge sucks!

My first time using this 10 gallon Rubbermaid MLT that I bought on eBay. Put my strike water in and then put in 12 lbs of milled Vienna malt. Let it sit for 60 mins, and was psyched to start brewing. Went to vorlauf, and nothing came out.

OK so what did I do wrong? I don't know what a good crush is but from pictures I have seen my LHBS does a good crush. I am brewing a SMASH with Citra hops.

I think either the false bottom floated up and clogged the outlet. But I put a hose on the spigot and blew into it gently. It didn't seem clogged but that didn't unclog it.

The only dumb thing I can think of is that the grain bed became so compacted that it wouldn't let wort through. I am saying it is dumb because I don't have a mash paddle or anything long enough to get to the bottom of the MLT.

So would that cause it to not drain properly since I wasn't able to stir it?

I gave up trying to unclog it and siphoned the wort out of the top and strained it over a bed of grain I put in a strainer over my pot. Not a fun time first time using my mash tun I was so excited about...

But I am not mad a bad day brewing is better than a good day at work.

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:27 AM   #2
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. Put my strike water in and then put in 12 lbs of milled Vienna malt.
OK so what did I do wrong? I am saying it is dumb because I don't have a mash paddle or anything long enough to get to the bottom of the MLT.
How did you stir the grain after adding to the mash tun? If you didn't, maybe a giant dough ball was your problem.
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Things are going great too. I think I've only punched her in the face 3 times!
FERMENTING: Heady Topper Clone?
CONDITIONING: 40 gallons KBS clone in a Jim Beam Barrel (since 11/24/12)
DRINKING: Smoked Robust Porter, Orange Coriander Pale Ale #5
THINKING: first foray into lagers?
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:37 AM   #3
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I stirred with a 12 inch long spatula. I couldn't reach the bottom with it and I have kitchen hands and wanted to reach into the mash to reach the bottom with the spatula but that didn't work.

But when I did get to the bottom after ladling all the wort out the grain was densly packed. So I think you are right. Lesson learned, I need a mash paddle! Normally I have a really large spoon I would have used but it was at my parent's house, my dad needed it to make a batch of ketchup.

So I am not changing anything on this MLT and will try again with a longer spoon/mash paddle. Man I feel dumb!!

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:43 AM   #4
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Hey, we all make mistakes. You'll get it next time.

BTW, I see you're from Raubsville. A good buddy of mine is from right down the road in Riegelsville.

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Things are going great too. I think I've only punched her in the face 3 times!
FERMENTING: Heady Topper Clone?
CONDITIONING: 40 gallons KBS clone in a Jim Beam Barrel (since 11/24/12)
DRINKING: Smoked Robust Porter, Orange Coriander Pale Ale #5
THINKING: first foray into lagers?
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:51 AM   #5
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Hey, we all make mistakes. You'll get it next time.

BTW, I see you're from Raubsville. A good buddy of mine is from right down the road in Riegelsville.
No I am in Lancaster, I just had Pride of Raubsville ESB in my brews completed in my sig...someone's recipe on here I tried out. Where is Kingston? Near Wilkes-Barre?
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:52 AM   #6
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No I am in Lancaster, I just had Pride of Raubsville ESB in my brews completed in my sig...someone's recipe on here I tried out. Where is Kingston? Near Wilkes-Barre?
Ooh I was right just Googled it...I am in Amish country haha!
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