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Old 10-23-2010, 02:10 AM   #1
stevedasleeve
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Default nightmare brewday!

I knew it had to happen eventually but I didn't think it would be because of my own idiocy!

I brewed - or wanted to brew - a rye IPa with some of my own toasted rye. 3.5 lbs or rye, 1 of wheat + 11 of pale ale + some crystal. I almost added rice hulls...almost! Then I decided to change my mill to a finer setting to increase my efficiency which has been not so great the last few brew days. All in all perfect ingredients for my first stuck sparge - after 100s of easy good tasting gallons I suppose I was due for one really bad day!

Ak what mess. I could not unstick it, I tried everything. Eventually I scooped out the hot sticky brown paste (I think I milled a bit too fine!) and spilled it all over the floor, managed to get some wort out but left the spigot open so it all poured everywhere, god what a mess.

So instead of siting down in the middle of it to cry like I wanted, I got myself a brew and contemplated the situation. I did realize after 10 mins or so that my wanger was clearly not big enough to handle the mechanics of brewing beer. About 30 mins after that and 2 more brews I decided to try again, got about 4 gallons out and then cleaned up the mess.

So what would you have done?!

I ended up adding water and DME and recalculating for bitterness and finishing the day with 5.5 gallons of...what? I am not quite sure! Hoppy definitely but what spilled and what remained is somewhat tricky to figure.

My final gravity was 1.068, my bitterness in the 70s and I pitched at around 72 f.

I call it "Le Sparge est Merde IPA" and I bet it wins a blue ribbon.

Tomorrow I'm putting my barley crusher back to the factory default and living with 60% efficiency, just please god no more stuck sparges, I'd rather eat my own head.

Steve da sleeve



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Old 10-23-2010, 02:19 AM   #2
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I have a pump. I've only had this happen a couple of times, and each time I just pumped some small amount of water into the "exit" of my mash tun. That fixed it immediatly.

I don't use rice hulls ever, even on wheat beers.



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Old 10-23-2010, 02:43 AM   #3
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i would've stopped and had a few beers, then used what was left for a smaller, but expected, brew. what crusher?

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Old 10-23-2010, 03:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevedasleeve View Post
I did realize after 10 mins or so that my wanger was clearly not big enough to handle the mechanics of brewing beer.
Ahhhhhh... new sig for me.
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:08 AM   #5
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I just had the same problem, here's what I did. First of all I have a keggle and a false bottom made of stainless steel. I took out my high speed power drill and put on the paint stirrer. I put it right next to the false bottom and put it on full speed, about a min. later I got a big plug of flour out of the tap, once the flour stopped it cleared very quickly. so I added the flour to the top.

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Old 10-23-2010, 04:23 AM   #6
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I use a 10 gallon round cooler and SS false bottom for a MLT. I've had a couple mashes that have been a bit of a nuisance. The last one was 10 gallons worth of an american lager which had rice flakes, that stuff turns the mash into a tightly compacted ball at some point. During my draining of the first running it stuck about 2/3 of the way through. This is where double batch sparging comes in handy. I just dumped in the first sparge waters and stirred the hell out of it. It unstuck immediately. It continued to be a pain but I got my 11.5 gallons of wort out without having to resort to anything too crazy. However when I went to go dump the spent grain it looked more like a block of cement than my ordinary bill of malted barley. Seemed much worse than wheat malt.

Ohh and I got over 84% efficiency. I love my MLT and I always get a 80%+ efficiency with Brewmaster's Warehouse crush.

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Old 10-23-2010, 12:24 PM   #7
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I have a barley crusher. This was definitely more related to my crush and exasperated by the rye than anything else. The grain was like flour. I even thought "oh sh1t" when I finished milling but, of course, I assumed all would be fine as the beer gods have always helped me out in the past. This time they decided I was too cocky so they p1ssed all over me laughing like hyenas all the while!

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Old 10-23-2010, 02:58 PM   #8
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God, that sounds like it sucks.

*knocks on wood*

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Old 10-23-2010, 05:42 PM   #9
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Just had the same thing happen to me, but during my recirculating of my mash. I am making a Pumpkin recipe and I suspect the pumpkin as this has never happened before. I pumped 1 1/2gallons of 180 degree water in through the bottom of the MT and stirred it up. Then I pumped the same water thru the pump (I have 2 pumps) recirculating my mash tun to clear it and the lines (all was clear and not clogged). Then started over.
It stuck again.

So I dumped the contents into the empty BK and found this "cake" in the bottom.




So I cleaned it all out and thought maybe my dip tube wasn't sealed as my false bottom (Blichmann) didn't look stuck anywhere. Stuck again. So I assume my mash is just way too sticky.

Contemplating on what to do next. Heating my sparge water. I will try to batch sparge and see if I can get it transferred to the BK.

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Old 10-23-2010, 06:09 PM   #10
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Can't get it. Grrr...

Got about 3 gallons into the BK by adding about a gallon of boiling water to the mash then stirring while continuing to add the boiling water making sure my temp didn' get too high in the mash.

Cannot vorlauf so its a cloudy mess going to the BK. Guess I'm going to have to pull the plug for the first time in almost 3 years!! Smelled so good too. I'm pissed.



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