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Old 02-01-2011, 05:19 PM   #1
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Default Having issues getting clear runnings

I'm having issues getting good, clear runnings from my mash tun.

Currently I'm using a 48qt coleman cooler with a stainless bulkhead and a 20" length of stainless braid. I recirculate maybe 5 or 6 pitchers worth of wort but still get little bits of grain and such into the pitcher ( / into the BK). These bits usually find their way into the finished beer which is driving me up the wall.

I used to mash at 2 qt/lb of grain but ive taken that down recently to 1.5 qt/lb. I have tried two different braided hoses and get the same results. I use a stainless clamp to get the hose around a brass female NPT barb, so theres no paths for particles to get through at either end of the hose.

Is this just the nature of the beast with all grain? Could it be a problem with my crush? Possibly unsuitable stainless mesh hoses? At this point I'm considering going with some sort of copper manifold but I'm afraid of getting the same results!

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Old 02-01-2011, 05:23 PM   #2
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Are you getting a good grain bed set? The hose shouldn't make a huge difference, since it's the grain bed that filters. It could certainly be a problem with your crush, especially if you are getting shredded husks. Could you be disturbing the grain bed significantly when you pour back over?

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Old 02-01-2011, 05:24 PM   #3
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Are you doing 5 gallon batches in a rectangular 48 qt cooler?

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Old 02-01-2011, 05:32 PM   #4
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Getting grain bits in your finished beer? Like in your bottle or keg? Makes me wonder how you're transfering the wort from your boil kettle to the fermenter. Could you not be whirlpooling before transfering, not pouring the wort into the fermenter carefuly, or have a hole somewhere in a screen that's letting that stuff get in?

Or could you just be being really anal about not getting any grain into your boil kettle. If that's the case, RDWAHAHB. A couple bits of grain isn't going to ruin a batch.

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:02 PM   #5
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My buddy had the same problems you're describing. The odd thing is that he uses the same Bazooka tube that I use and I've never had issues. After troubleshooting it we determined that his bulk-head/tube had enough play when opening/closing the valve that it disrupts the bed enough to let grain through. the resolution to this was to let it run off for about 2 quarts then put the runoff tube into the brew kettle without stopping the flow.

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:32 PM   #6
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How fast are you draining out of your mash tun? It usually takes me ~1 hour to empty the cooler/tun for a 12-14 gallon pre-boil.

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Are you getting a good grain bed set? The hose shouldn't make a huge difference, since it's the grain bed that filters. It could certainly be a problem with your crush, especially if you are getting shredded husks. Could you be disturbing the grain bed significantly when you pour back over?
When stirring, I can definitely feel the grain on the bottom of the tun. I've recently adjusted my crush to be more coarse along your lines of thinking - The husks are no longer shredded but I found this didn't really make a difference.

I poar the runnings from the pitcher back in fairly slowly, but could opening the valve wide open too quickly cause a problem?

Quote:
Are you doing 5 gallon batches in a rectangular 48 qt cooler?
yes.

Quote:
Getting grain bits in your finished beer?
Yes like in the keg, when I'm poaring, more so once I get towards the very end of the keg, you can see some particles in the beer. I have a valve on my BK that I basically drain into my fermenter from.

Quote:
bulk-head/tube had enough play when opening/closing the valve that it disrupts the bed enough to let grain through
I'm starting to think the grainbed isn't setting properly. When I'm running off, I basically will open the bulkhead a little bit at first, and eventually wide open. I tend to open and close the valve while I'm running out into a pitcher to recirculate too.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:36 PM   #8
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Have you tried making a really big beer with a lot of grains? Your lack of grain bed depth might have something to do with it.

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:59 PM   #9
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Do you pour your running directly onto the grain bed when you Vorlauf? I like to take a piece of Tin Foil and shape it like a bowl then place it upside down on the grain bed and then slowly pour the runnings onto that. It will minimize disturbing the grain bed.

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Old 02-01-2011, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
I tend to open and close the valve while I'm running out into a pitcher to recirculate too.
I think this is a contributor to the issue. Open it and don't close it till you are done running it out
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