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Old 02-04-2011, 02:42 AM   #1
just2brew
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Default Stuck Sparges only with 10 gal rubbermaid

Initially getting into all grain I converted a 5 gal. rubbermaid using the stainless steel braid method found here. This cooler has worked great, making many batches of beer, giving good efficiency.

Anyways, christmas rolls around and I recieve a larger brew pot capable of brewing 10+ gallon batches. Needing a bigger cooler and having such good luck with the first rubbermaid. I purchased a 10 gal. rubbermaid and converted it using the same parts as the first one. It has been used 3 times and gets a stuck sparge everytime. It was used in combination with the 5 gal. (for larger grain bills) twice and the 5 gal had no problem while the 10 had to be stirred and restarted for initial runnings and sparge.

I would think if it was a problem with the crush the 5 gal cooler would also have problems.

Am I missing something here? Anyone have any suggestions?

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Old 02-04-2011, 03:12 AM   #2
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Did you also upgrade with a pump?

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Old 02-04-2011, 05:12 AM   #3
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Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but I'm wondering if the extra weight of the grain (and water) in your 10 gallon cooler is what is causing the stuck sparge. What diameter braid are you using? The toilet size? Or the washing machine size? If it's the toilet size, I imagine that might be the problem.

Pump shouldn't be an issue. I have a rectangular cooler, but my friend with a 10 gal rubbermaid doesn't use a pump, and he has no problems.

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Old 02-04-2011, 05:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBeerist View Post
Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but I'm wondering if the extra weight of the grain (and water) in your 10 gallon cooler is what is causing the stuck sparge. What diameter braid are you using? The toilet size? Or the washing machine size? If it's the toilet size, I imagine that might be the problem.
That was my first thought...how fast you are draining as well as the diamater of the braid & cooler could also affect it. I am looking into going to a 10 gal. as well but I am planning on uping my braid, probably going to have a tee in there to add another braid...maybe a circular style or something...I believe in Palmer's book (I lent mine to a friend so don't have to reference) he talks about this and gives examples how the wort will drain...and like TheBeerist said...the weight and size will affect this...here is the topic...

Appendix D - Building a Mash/Lauter Tun
D.2 Tun Geometry and Flow Potential

you can go to his website...http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-2.html

Hope this gives you some insight...Rock On!!
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:48 AM   #5
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I use the 10 gal cooler and braid and found that if you only open your drain all the way, it compacts the grain bed too much causing a stuck sparge. Only open it up halfway and it wont get stuck as easy

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Old 02-05-2011, 01:08 PM   #6
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It does seem like the grain bed gets compacted, but I have been openning the valve less then half way and this still results in a stuck sparge. Maybe I'll try adding more braid like kugster suggested. I'll have to get to home depot and find some tees.

Thanks

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Old 02-05-2011, 02:27 PM   #7
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I did the same, went from a 5g round to a 10 g round and reused everything initially but I use a false bottom. My first batch, I had the dreaded stuck sparge. So I did some reading on the subject of braids verses false bottoms and the decided to stick with a FB. After I got my larger FB, 12" verses the 9" one I had on the smaller MLT, no more stuck sparges.

As far as the braid, it is defiantly worth doing a circular braid, about .7 of the overall diameter to get the best results. However, if I was going to go that route, I think I would make a octagon pvc or copper manifold with slits on the bottom instead.

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Old 02-05-2011, 04:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowhere View Post
As far as the braid, it is defiantly worth doing a circular braid, about .7 of the overall diameter to get the best results. However, if I was going to go that route, I think I would make a octagon pvc or copper manifold with slits on the bottom instead.
I like that idea. There would leave no chance for the weight to compress the braid...nice! I wonder if a thin screen could be attached/placed onto the tube...maybe removable (for cleaning) to prevent a S.S.? Plus then you would loose the "metal" in the tank. (Something i just really don't care for...I know it really doesn't effect it but in my mind....)

on the pvc...there are no worries about the pvc cement?
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
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When I use my 10 gallon cooler with cpvc manifold, I put the entire manifold in a 5 gallon paint strainer bag from Home Depot. I tie the bag end in a knot, and put the pipe through a hole in it to connect to my bulkhead.
Never had a stuck sparge after doing this!

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Old 02-06-2011, 12:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave258 View Post
When I use my 10 gallon cooler with cpvc manifold, I put the entire manifold in a 5 gallon paint strainer bag from Home Depot. I tie the bag end in a knot, and put the pipe through a hole in it to connect to my bulkhead.
Never had a stuck sparge after doing this!
Gosh...I love this site!!! Al these good ideas...
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