today I had the mother of all stuck sparges.....first one ever. I use a 10 gallon round igloo with a cpvc octangon manifold. I preheated my cooler with 13.5 quarts of 185F water, let it cool to 165F doughed in 10.5 lbs grain, stirred and checked temp at 154F. 60 minute mash.
I vorlaufed but only got 1 quarts, that had me worried already. When I tried to drain the MLT it was slow as hell and only got about 2.5 quarts and I could see that I had plenty of liquid on top of the grain.
Not knowing what else to do, I added half my sparge water and tried to rinse the grains...not happening, I stirred, blew back through the drain hose, got maybe a gallon after 10 minutes, kept trying to dislodge the grain, added the rest of my sparge water, still not right. Then all of a sudden th whole volume ran out and I knew the manifold had come apart from too much stirring and such. I ended up dumping the grain out into a pot, removing the manifold, cleaning and reassembing. Added grain and water and sparged. I have my doubts on this one but brewed it anyway. I also added a lb of DME as I feel the wort is too thin.
Only good thing today is that my new BK worked right as far as beginning boil volumes and ending boil volume. My OG was 1.052 which is lower than I like but this was a recipe I made up with what I had on hand.
Question-what causes the stuck sparge? Was the grain crushed too fine? Should I switch to a false bottom or maybe a braided hose? My manifold has slots cut with a hacksaw and they do face the bottom. What a brew nitemare, on top of all that it tried to rain in the middle of all this :^(