Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mash Tun Problems

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-02-2010, 12:08 AM   #1
agroff383
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lancaster PA
Posts: 525
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default Mash Tun Problems

Hello, having issues with mashing and looking for input. Sorry to be wordy here just trying to give as much info as possible.

I did my 3rd all grain batch yesterday and I love brewing this way but it is getting frustrating. The mash tun is a 10 gallon cooler with a 10 inch or so metal false bottom, looks just like every other one of this style I have seen. All 3 batches I have done in this tun have been with 12 lbs of grain. BTW I have done the all grain stovetop method for a few brews before I got the mash tun and they turned out great with 75% efficency. I HATE math I am not an engineer but I like figuring out as many formulas related to brewing so that is a step forward

The first batch I did in it, just wanted to try it out. Did 1.25 quarts per pound of grain, mashed for an hour, temps were perfect all the way through, went to open the valve to vorlauf. Nothing nothing came out, I even started blowing in the valve I know that is probably not the right way to do it but whatever. Ended up straining the grain to get as much wort as possible out of there.

I decided on that one not enough strike water, and well, there was no sparge to speak of really I just dumped by sparge water in there to try and unclog it. I opened the valve too fast and didn't have a utensil to get all the way to the bottom of the tun. Lesson learned.

Last two batches I did in the carport of my new house. Love brewing here already. Heated water, put water in tun, stirred in grain, checked temp and let er rip. This time used 1.5 qts per lb 2nd batch and 1.75 qts per lb 3rd batch. More water seems to work better...

Basically, I don't understand the point of vorlaufing and establishing a good grain bed if this thing just gets clogged. I might as well batch sparge. But my point is I screw with the grain bed to get the thing unclogged to try to vorlauf so I think I am defeating the point of vorlaufing? Anyone follow my rambling?

What it comes down to is I got the 10 gallon tun because I love to brew, want to brew 10 gallon batches eventually, I also want to make high gravity beers (never made over a 1060 wort). My efficency sucks, maybe like 60 percent? I started with 5 gallons of strike water and 4 gallons of sparge and ended up with almost 5 gallons of wort, after boil. On last nights batch (3rd batch in tun) my gravity was 1.043 and I used 10 lbs of Pilsner .5 lbs of Crystal 60L and .5 of carapils. I would assume I could do better than that.

Just wondering if there is something I am missing here or if I am on the right track or what.

__________________

Can I have your business card?


Last edited by agroff383; 06-02-2010 at 12:11 AM.
agroff383 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-02-2010, 12:22 AM   #2
passedpawn
Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
passedpawn's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: ☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
Posts: 18,431
Liked 3141 Times on 1962 Posts
Likes Given: 2659

Default

batch sparge. Replace false bottom with a home depot braid. your efficiency will blow your mind and you won't every have a stuck sparge again. you're welcome.

__________________
What Would Vermeer Paint?
passedpawn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-02-2010, 12:30 AM   #3
eddie
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hermon, Maine
Posts: 1,084
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
batch sparge. Replace false bottom with a home depot braid. your efficiency will blow your mind and you won't every have a stuck sparge again. you're welcome.
+1 Gotta spread some love for batch sparging!!!

There are a lot of things that can make your runoff stick like this. The primary thing is draining too fast too soon. Try opening the drain 1/4 to 1/2 for the first quarter or so of the runnings then you can open it up all the way. It could also me your mash being too thick for the set-up. Adding 1lb of rice hulls per 10lbs of grain will help loosen things up and get things flowing again.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick500 View Post
Congrats! You're not a real brewer until a batch of beer has ruined a significant portion of your home or caused bodily harm. :p
eddie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-02-2010, 12:35 AM   #4
JOHN51277
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
JOHN51277's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,022
Liked 10 Times on 5 Posts

Default

I have a 10 gallon HD water cooler and use a stainless braid from a supply line. I have not had one stick yet (knocking on wood). I batch sparge as well. It is easy, I get 78-85% effeciency, and no worries. Try it, you will like it!

__________________
My Cigar Forum www.cigarhops.com
PM me for access.

On Deck: Centennial Blonde, Midnight IIPA
Primary: SMaSH Citra/2 Row, KBS Clone
Secondary: ???
Kegged:
Bottled: Gulf Oil Spill Stout, Breakfast Stout, Amarillo SMaSH, Orange Wit, RIPA Oak/Bourbon Aged, Barleywine, Apfelwein,
JOHN51277 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-02-2010, 12:50 AM   #5
agroff383
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lancaster PA
Posts: 525
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default

Wow ok, this case it is better to go cheaper than buy a screen. I bought the tun like this so I just assumed because it looked fancier it would look better. But this weekend I will get the supply hose and see how she works!!!

Thanks for the advice I am stoked! If I didn't have to get up early tommrow I would run and get the hose right now!

__________________

Can I have your business card?

agroff383 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-02-2010, 01:28 AM   #6
agroff383
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lancaster PA
Posts: 525
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default

I am lazy so just ordered the braid from Bargain Fittings, saw it in another post...going to be awhile til I can brew again so it will be here by then, and I can't wait to try it out.

Batch sparging...vorlauf, drain my wort, close valve, dump in sparge water?

I see a lot of different temps and what not for sparging. 170F and 1/2 gallon per pound of grain is what my consensus was. How long to let it sit in the cooler to sparge? I did 10 mins when I used the stovetop method.

__________________

Can I have your business card?

agroff383 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-02-2010, 01:32 AM   #7
ajf
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ajf's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Long Island
Posts: 4,643
Liked 99 Times on 93 Posts
Likes Given: 39

Default

I have a 10g cooler with a SS false bottom. Works like a charm. If I just add the water, stir in the grains, mash, and then try to drain; then occasionally I have difficulty getting any runnings out. If I drain about a cup of water through the outlet after adding the strike water, but before adding any grain (thus flooding the outlet with water), then I don't have the problem.
You say you have a 10g cooler and a 10 inch false bottom? For a 10g cooler, you need a 12 inch FB. If your FB is too small, you stand a good chance of getting grains underneath it, and this could be the cause of your problem.

-a.

__________________

There are only 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary, and those that don't.

ajf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-02-2010, 01:40 AM   #8
BadgerBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 345
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default

I use the HD 10 Gallon beverage cooler with the stainless tube fitted with a copper pipe with lots of slits cut into it. I used to crush my braid when doing heavy grain bills (and yes, I have the real SS braid), but since sliding in the copper support I never had one again. Get 70-85% efficiency.

If you have an extra $25 I would highly recommend Beersmith. It gives you the exact amount of water to use for your mash, mashout, step, etc. so you will have the right amounts without trying to guess how much to use to avoid a stuck sparge. It also gives you all sorts of other cool information, like efficiency, SRM, IBU, calories, and more. Download the free demo and give it a try.

__________________

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first." - Ronald Reagan

BadgerBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-02-2010, 02:43 AM   #9
passedpawn
Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
passedpawn's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: ☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
Posts: 18,431
Liked 3141 Times on 1962 Posts
Likes Given: 2659

Default

Sorry for quick reply. I was in the middle of watching a baseball game.

Here's a few more tidbits:

  • If you go the braid route, get the longest one at home depot (30"). I also use a bazooka screen (basically a very strong braid), which I prefer because it won't crush (easily). That's what I would buy online. Making a loop with it will help keep it at the bottom (I didn't do this, but should have).
  • I add enough water to cover my braid before I add grains.
  • I don't ever use rice hulls, even when making wheat beers. Still no stuck sparges.
  • I only pump from the mash tun at valve about half open, or less. I've opened it all the way up before and it wasn't a problem, but I don't want to tempt fate. I vorlauf for about 5 minutes before I pump to the boil kettle.
  • I mill my own grain (Schmidling Malt Mill). I think it is a fairly fine grind, (not flour though). I've measured it at about 0.035" with a feeler.
  • I don't trust fly sparging. If everything is perfect, the efficiency there will be slightly better than batch sparging. However, batch sparging is quite foolproof, and I am perfectly OK losing a bit of efficiency. In fact, I really don't care about efficiency at all. I hit > 80% on most grain bills (less with big beers).
  • I've batch sparged in 4 different mash tuns, all with similar success: sanke, 10g round igloo, 10g square igloo, giant (100+ qt) long boat cooler.
__________________
What Would Vermeer Paint?

Last edited by passedpawn; 06-02-2010 at 02:46 AM.
passedpawn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-02-2010, 04:03 AM   #10
mkorpal
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado (Fort Fun/Foco)
Posts: 139
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by agroff383 View Post
I am lazy so just ordered the braid from Bargain Fittings, saw it in another post...going to be awhile til I can brew again so it will be here by then, and I can't wait to try it out.

Batch sparging...vorlauf, drain my wort, close valve, dump in sparge water?

I see a lot of different temps and what not for sparging. 170F and 1/2 gallon per pound of grain is what my consensus was. How long to let it sit in the cooler to sparge? I did 10 mins when I used the stovetop method.
In regards to your sparge water. There is no set amount per pound you need. Your sparge should be enough to give you what you need to boil. you take the amount of grain you are using, multiply by the thickness you want to use, such as 1.25Q/lb. This will give you the amount of water you need for your mash. Your grain will typically absorb .1 to .2 gallons per pound, with .2 being your best bet. So, the amount of grain, multiply by .2, and subtract that from the amount of mash water you are using to get the volume of your first runnings. From here, you are going to sparge with the volume needed to get up to your pre-boil volume. Just remember, during sparging, what you add in will come out. Hope that helps.
__________________

Primary: Exam Brown Ale
Primary: Unknown Mead
Secondary: Matt's Saison
Carbing: Raspberry Apple Cider 333
Enjoying: Lazy Ass Orange Pale Ale, Belgian Grand Cru, Belgian Dubble, Cherry Stout, Demonstration IPA

On Deck: Black IPA

mkorpal is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First Partial Mash problems Oaklandgourmand Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 13 05-02-2010 07:53 PM
Mash Problems Cellarbrau All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 14 06-21-2009 10:28 PM
DAy 1 Mash day 2 Boil - problems?? Grinder12000 General Beer Discussion 7 02-02-2009 10:10 PM
Partial Mash/AG Efficiency Problems efreem01 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 10-04-2007 04:18 PM
Problems with Mash Temps Sir Humpsalot All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 36 05-16-2007 06:16 PM