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Old 10-08-2013, 10:56 PM   #1
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Default Love Stuck Mashes?

If you're like me, you just love love LOVE stuck a stuck mash. Nothing better to blow your efficiency, wasting time and energy.

Today I brewed a DoppelBock using about 30% wheat malt and despite my better judgement i didn't use rice hulls nor did I condition the grains.....

Not shortly after the mash began did it start to clog up. so much fun!
Now all is not lost, fortunately i left room to add hot water and my first rest temp was 122, so naturally add hot water+stir, got some flow for a bit then back to clog. repeating the process up until my next rest temp at 156 only to fined, you guessed it, still CLOGGED. well lets just let rest and resettle for a while. time to mash out, oh wait, CLOGGED. Well might as well just try and sparge, stirring the mash as vigorously as I dare while my girlfriend pours the sparge water. finally we got some flow, but not without cost. Cloudy and with bits of grain we reach boil volume but efficiency is around 60% Oh well, I'm tired and I got some Malt extract to bump the gravity, nothing some lagering and kettle finnings won't solve.

Thanks for reading about my wonderful brew day, hope no one out there is sharing this experience with me and if so perhaps this story may help

Cheers!

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Old 10-09-2013, 01:45 AM   #2
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Hate to hear this from a fellow brewer. It happens to the best of us. Do you use a SS braid or false bottom in your mash tun?

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Old 10-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #3
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I started to use rice hulls every time, no matter what the grain bill. Haven't had a stuck mash since. Makes brew days a lot less stressful.

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Old 10-10-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoVaBrewer View Post
Not shortly after the mash began did it start to clog up. so much fun! Now all is not lost, fortunately i left room to add hot water and my first rest temp was 122, so naturally add hot water+stir, got some flow for a bit then back to clog.
Confused. If you're sticking during the mash, you must be doing continuious recirculation with a pumping on a RIMS or HERMS system. But you're adding hot water to step and stirring.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:23 PM   #5
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Rice hulls for the win. Regardless the recipe.

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Old 10-10-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by hunter_la5 View Post
I started to use rice hulls every time, no matter what the grain bill. Haven't had a stuck mash since. Makes brew days a lot less stressful.
This, an entire pound from my LHBS is i think 70 cents. If there's any adjuncts in it, from pumpkin to wheat ill just dump in a whole pound of rice hulls....who cares at 70 cents even if its not needed, that one time it DOES make a difference as OP found out its so worth it.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:05 PM   #7
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I grind my grains at .012 and never stuck. this is what I use http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f85/my-new-mash-tun-filter-376005/
I made it and cover it with a nylon paint strainer . the Strainer is the most important part here . Cover what ever you use for a false bottom with one and eliminate the problem .
I run my tun full open . At the factory setting of my barley crusher , I think it is .030 , it really works well . At .012 it does slow down after a bit when ran fast.

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Old 10-11-2013, 01:59 AM   #8
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I use a HERMS and after my first temp rest at 122 the system jammed up when I tried to raise the temp, stirring helped but hot water turned out to be the best solution.

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Old 10-11-2013, 01:38 PM   #9
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One good thing is that as the mash progresses, the permeability of the mash grist improves. In my RIMS, I monitor the headloss through the bed and I always have to throttle the flow back a bit in the early stages of the mash. As the mash converts, the headlosses reduce and I can increase the flow rate.

Since I moved to milling my own malt, I now condition the malt and that significantly improves the integrity of the malt husks. They aren't shredded into small bits. I did learn an important lesson the last brew: only spray on enough water on the malt to make the 'dustiness' go away. Too much moisture on the malt will cause the malt flour to create a concrete layer on the rollers. NO FUN!

I'm not sure if there is any detriment to adding rice hulls to every mash, but I typically limit their use to mashes with over 10 percent wheat or rye.

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Old 10-11-2013, 01:40 PM   #10
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Once the bed has set and the pump is running don't stir. That's what the "R" is HERMS is for; recirculation. All that stirring does is cause grain to get sucked through your pump and clog your filter system. If you're having a problem throttle back the pump.

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