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Old 05-31-2012, 04:17 PM   #1
AJBrew710
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Default Round Igloo Cooler False Bottom

Hey,

I'm getting ready to do my first all grain batch...pretty excited. I got a round 10 gallon Igloo cooler to mash in. I am considering fly sparging at some point so I wanted to get used to a false bottom off the bat. I was going to get the standard 12" stainless steel false bottom that most places have (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kl5RhQPDL.jpg), but then I saw this: http://www.homebrewing.org/12-Stainl...om_p_1058.html. It has slits rather than a bunch of little holes. I'm wondering if anybody's tried this, and if they've had better results regarding stuck sparges with this design. It seems like the slits may be less prone to getting stuck than the holes. If nobody's tried it, I don't mind being the guinea pig, but I figured I'd ask.

Cheers,
A.J.

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Old 05-31-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
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All I can say is that the one with the holes works fine for me. Last time I got a stuck sparge I really destroyed my grain in my grainmill. Other than that its gone smooth.

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Old 05-31-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
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That's a sexy bottom!

I have the one with little holes. I've had a stuck sparge or two, but not usually and when I do it's pretty much my fault.

The bad thing is that it takes a long time to vorlauf. I vorlauf manually with 2 1liter wine carafes and I'll probably fill them 20 times or so. I still end up with grains in the boil kettle. I've also made the mistake of opening up the valve a little while it was draining. That sucked up a ton of grains and spit them into the boil kettle.

I didn't think it was abnormal but then I read a thread from someone asking if vorlaufing was even necessary because he gets almost no grain after one or two vorlaufs. Made me feel like I had a problem. Maybe that slited screen will be better. Plus it looks hot.

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Old 05-31-2012, 06:46 PM   #4
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Do what I do, get the braided water supply line. I fly sparge and have no problems. It's cheaper too.

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Old 05-31-2012, 06:48 PM   #5
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For batch sparging, I've been really pleased with a homemade copper manifold in my cooler mash tun. Never a stuck sparge, it drains fast, it has little to no dead-space, and it'll vorlauf clear in about two or three quarts. Plus, they're pretty cheap to make if you have torch and a dremel tool...just another idea.

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Old 05-31-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gameface View Post
That's a sexy bottom!

I have the one with little holes. I've had a stuck sparge or two, but not usually and when I do it's pretty much my fault.

The bad thing is that it takes a long time to vorlauf. I vorlauf manually with 2 1liter wine carafes and I'll probably fill them 20 times or so. I still end up with grains in the boil kettle. I've also made the mistake of opening up the valve a little while it was draining. That sucked up a ton of grains and spit them into the boil kettle.

I didn't think it was abnormal but then I read a thread from someone asking if vorlaufing was even necessary because he gets almost no grain after one or two vorlaufs. Made me feel like I had a problem. Maybe that slited screen will be better. Plus it looks hot.
I use a Big nylon grain bag inside mine. They work really well and you wont get all that grain in your vorlauf
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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I have the exact same adventures in homebrewing false bottom, and with a very small 'n' I can say that it worked great. I did my first AG batch last week, and with no help had a very successful brew day. Voluraff in about 2 quarts, no stuck sparge (even with nearly-dusty roasted barley, which my recipe called for), and ended with an efficiency of about 74% on a batch sparge. Worth the extra dough? Hard to say, but the whole system is solid and worked fantastic for me. Cheers!

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Old 05-31-2012, 07:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gameface View Post
That's a sexy bottom!

I have the one with little holes. I've had a stuck sparge or two, but not usually and when I do it's pretty much my fault.

The bad thing is that it takes a long time to vorlauf. I vorlauf manually with 2 1liter wine carafes and I'll probably fill them 20 times or so..
Agreed...it is a sexy bottom. I did some digging and found out the slits are 1.2mm wide, so they're half the width of the holes in the other false bottom. I wonder if that would help with the vorlauf.

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Originally Posted by planetscott View Post
Do what I do, get the braided water supply line. I fly sparge and have no problems. It's cheaper too.
Is your braid in a ring layout, or is it just a single straight piece connected to the valve?

Thanks for all the advice guys.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locham View Post
I have the exact same adventures in homebrewing false bottom, and with a very small 'n' I can say that it worked great. I did my first AG batch last week, and with no help had a very successful brew day. Voluraff in about 2 quarts, no stuck sparge (even with nearly-dusty roasted barley, which my recipe called for), and ended with an efficiency of about 74% on a batch sparge. Worth the extra dough? Hard to say, but the whole system is solid and worked fantastic for me. Cheers!
Awesome...thanks for the feedback. And congrats on the first AG batch. I'm looking forward to mine.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJBrew710 View Post
Agreed...it is a sexy bottom. I did some digging and found out the slits are 1.2mm wide, so they're half the width of the holes in the other false bottom. I wonder if that would help with the vorlauf.



Is your braid in a ring layout, or is it just a single straight piece connected to the valve?

Thanks for all the advice guys.
It's a straight piece, but I have a rectangular cooler. With the round, you can coil it and get better sparging without the worry of channeling. Just remember to drain slowly. Thats the best way to prevent stuck sparges.
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