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Old 04-16-2007, 04:03 PM   #1
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Default 1st Stuck Mash, a Curse or a Blessing?

I tried a finer grind yesterday in an attempt to do better with my OG and I thought I might have a problem with my SS false bottom. The mash looked good but when I opened the valve to start sparging my cooler just laughed at me. Once I got over the horror of it, I went to plan B which involved a collander and alot of wort spilled on the floor. Then to plan C which involved dumping the grain from the cooler into my 32 qt kettle (with bazooka screen installed) with my sparge arm slapped on top. My yield was about a gallon short due to spillage, but the flow out of the bazooka was excellent. It made me think maybe I should either mash out of my kettle, or install a bazooka in my tun. Let me tell you this bazzoka is sweet. Anyone use one of these in their tun? Oh, the OG went great, 44, real close to the 50 target. Thats good for me just starting out.

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Old 04-16-2007, 07:44 PM   #2
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I use a bazooka in my SS tun, but I'm thinking braid for the cooler. Since I batch sparge, channeling & stuck sparges just aren't a consideration.

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Old 04-16-2007, 08:08 PM   #3
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I'm using a mcopper slotted manifold. I just did a 10 brew that was 60% wheat and 3% rye flake. I had no sparge issues. I did about 200g of rice hulls, but that's not a lot.
A friend with the false bottom thing from phil's cringes at the thought of doing a wheat beer like that with his setup.

Anyone else have problems with false bottoms and stuck sparges? Is there a technique used to avoid them?

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Old 04-16-2007, 10:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennys Fine Consumptibles
Anyone else have problems with false bottoms and stuck sparges? Is there a technique used to avoid them?
I add strike water until it is about 2 - 3 inches above the top of the false bottom and drain a small amount of water out of the spigot, which primes the outlet with water. Then I add the grains and more water (in small batches), stirring as I do so.
Priming the outlet, allows the sparge to start without any problems. Adding sufficient foundation water prevents the grains from compacting on the false bottom.
Never had a stuck sparge since I started doing this.

-a.
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:30 PM   #5
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My 9lb Beglian Wit is 50% Flaked Wheat and narry a problem with a manifold wrapped in a 1-gallon nylon paint strainer from Lowes.

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Old 04-17-2007, 11:19 AM   #6
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How does that manifold attach? It doesn't look like it could possibly screw in.

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Old 04-17-2007, 01:05 PM   #7
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My first brew had a stuck sparge because I went water-on-grains. Then I got sage advice from good old Alton Brown: Always go dry on wet, never wet on dry. I did my 19 pound barley wine without a stuck sparge.

I'm going to get a mesh and switch back and forth until I decide which is my fave for which situation.

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Old 04-17-2007, 01:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WormBoy
How does that manifold attach? It doesn't look like it could possibly screw in.
Here's a pic without the mesh. It simply slides into the inside of the male threaded connector that connects to the female threaded peice connection.

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Old 04-18-2007, 12:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WormBoy
I tried a finer grind yesterday in an attempt to do better with my OG and I thought I might have a problem with my SS false bottom.
I had a problem with my SS false bottom in a 5 gallon rubbermaid cooler the first 2 times I used it. Finally did 2 things.

1) Cut slits in the brass fitting on the bottom of the false bottom. The fitting was resting on the cooler bottom and not allowing any flow. The slits allow the liquid to pass. Saw it on here somewhere...

2) When I first start the draining, the flow stops almost instantly, from what I assume is stuck grains. Blowing on the tube frees things up, but then the process repeats itself and gets stuck again. SO, instead I squeeze the tubing a few times (maybe a dozen) right at the valve, like priming the gas on an outboard. This gentle backpressure is enough to free the stuck grains w/o stirring it up enough to create more. And away she goes!

Long answer, but it took me 2 batches to figure it out, I figure I had to pass it along to someone...
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