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Old 03-17-2014, 02:19 PM   #1
neub
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Default First all grain brew!

Hello! Yesterday I survived my first brew day...ever. I ran into some issues, and am curious of the outcomes of my problem. I built my 5g mash tun using the info from screwy brewer. We'll, my filter worked too well as it really slowed down the mash tun drain and subsequent sparging...to the point that it took me ~5hrs to pulls goal of 4.6g of wort. A buddy said that this shouldn't really affect anything, and I'm curious what the community says about that. I nailed my gravity readings and the fermenter seems like it's off to a good start, so I'm quite hopeful. Amy thoughts/insights?

BTW-it's supposed to be an American pale ale...


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Old 03-17-2014, 02:24 PM   #2
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I forgot to mention that using the brewers friend efficiency calculator, my efficiency is supposedly around 85%...which seems ridiculous. Maybe that's a perk of surviving a looooong brew day...Gonna have my buddy look over my calculations to make sure I'm doing it right


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Old 03-17-2014, 02:32 PM   #3
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5hrs is definitely a long sparge, but I don't think it should cause any issue with your beer. Having poor flow on your sparge can be caused by lots of different things, but the most common reasons are (1) too fine a crush and (2) high % of huskless (e.g. wheat) grain in the malt bill. There are other things that could cause a slow/stuck sparge, but those are the 2 most common in my opinion.

In your case, since I doubt you were using much wheat (if any) in an APA, I'd bet that your crush was on the fine side. This has the advantage of improving your efficiency, which it sounds like you experienced (85% is good efficiency, but not unheard of by any means, lots of guys on here get 80%+ regularly).

So if you're happy with a 5hr sparge and want to keep that high efficiency, stick with the crush you're using. If you want to speed things up and don't mind (potentially) losing a few points of efficiency, increase your crush gap and things should flow more quickly.

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Old 03-17-2014, 02:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I'm quote certain the slow flow was caused by my filter. I used a 20" stainless steel 3/8" water line. I removed the internal hose, drilled a bunch of holes, and put it back inside the stainless steel braid. I don't think I put in enough holes. I have a plan to fix it, and I kept my spent grain from yesterday so I can test it before my next brew with fresh grain. I did up my qty of base malts from 5.12 to 5.5lbs as I expected lower efficiency...so we'll see how it turns out!


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Old 03-17-2014, 02:45 PM   #5
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I don't think the guys that use toilet hose braids for MLT filters leave the actual hose in the braid. Might want to look into that, as I doubt those tubes are made of a material that can stand up to mash temps. Might just be collapsing.

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Old 03-17-2014, 02:50 PM   #6
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Pull the hose out of the braid. The braid works as the filter and all you need is something (the braid) to keep grain out of the spigot. This should speed things up. I use a bazooka screen, which is nothing but a steel screen rolled and crimped on the end and attached to the spigot. It works great.

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Old 03-17-2014, 03:52 PM   #7
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I was thinking of not having the inner tube, but I read about how the grains can smother the steel braid thus reducing flow


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