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Old 12-07-2008, 10:26 PM   #1
sdbrew1024
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Default Grain crush

Hey all,
I have several questions.

First, yesterday I encountered my first stuck sparge. After 20 or so all-grain brews I have never encountered this. I use a large Gott cooler with a false bottom. The grain bill was standard, mostly german pilsner. The only thing that was different is the grain had been crushed about 5 days before I used it. Could this have any affect?

Secondly, because the sparge was seemingly permanently stuck, I ended up stirring the grains in order to get anything out. This resulted in a lot of small grain particles in the wort during the boil. How will this affect the final outcome?

Thanks!

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Old 12-08-2008, 12:17 PM   #2
fratermus
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I wouldn't think the advance crush was related to the stuckness.

The particle debris could theoretically increase husk tannin extraction and lead to astringency (unless you are Alton Brown) but I wouldn't worry about it.

To avoid getting this debris in wort after stirring, many folks here vorlauf (sp?) which involves catching the sparge runoff in a smaller container and recirculating it back into the mash until it runs clear[er].

I had never used this technique before starting to read this board this year. I can't gurarantee it will reduce husk extraction, but I can tell you it reduces the amount of debris floating in the brewpot.

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Old 12-08-2008, 03:54 PM   #3
thebikingengineer
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You may get a bit of astringency, but unless you had a pound or more of grain in there you shouldn't have any problems with that. For clarity, I've always vorlaufed, it seems to be the best way to do things. The only problem I've run into is an excess of coagulated protein in the mash (wheat beers are bad on this) can really clog up the false bottom I'm using on smaller beers.

I've been working off of a keggle system, so I think that a new mash tun for smaller batches (one with a larger height to diameter ratio) may help small batch sparge speed.

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