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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Two tries with a new false bottom, two stuck sparges!!!!WTF??????????
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:19 AM   #1
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Default Two tries with a new false bottom, two stuck sparges!!!!WTF??????????

Ok, so, I had been using a SS mesh hose wrap for a "false bottom" for my 10 gallon rubermaid round cooler and NEVER had a stuck sparge. However, my efficiency bit the big sack when fly sparging but was ok when batch sparging. I have recently bought a 12inch false bottom from Northern Brewer to try and increase my efficiency when fly sparging and I've had two-for-two stuck sparges. I take my time when I sparge (up to 1 hour) but these got stuck right out of the gate. I'm pissed and fed up with the false bottom crap. I did a beer (original recipe for a "Blood orange Black Beefy Hefeweizen") and ,yes, my batch sparge did SLOW DOWN but did not get stuck. Some will ask, "So, Why not stick to what you had???" It is simple, when I sparged, I stirred up the mash really well. I also twisted up my SS hose as well. To do that every time and then replace before the next batch is impractical and in the long run will be expensive. At first I thought it was the "Naked Oats" in the Surly Cynic Clone I did from NB however, the AK47 Pale Mild also got stuck today and I guarantee there ain't no gluten in that beer or anytrhing else to stick that damn sparge. I use a 10 gallon rubbermaid round cooler with a 12inch NortherBrewer false bottom and a 3/8 inch high temp hose (up to 500F) from Midwest Supplies. I vorlauf at a very slow rate and STILL get a stuck EFFING sparge! Can anyone help???? I'm ready to sell the false bottom and go back to my simple sh*t!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you to all

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Reason: didn't finish the first post before hitting the wrong button
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:25 AM   #2
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i hear your frustrations. It has been my experience that simpler is often easier. Yes, the 'old way' can roll & wrinkle your stainless tube. Have you considered going back to it and inserting a stainless steel spring to the I.D. of the stainless screen tube? That was the trick for me to keep it straight and not get knocked around when I stir in cooler (I use a 54qt rectangle Igloo).

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Old 03-20-2011, 05:52 AM   #3
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Check out my thread on a 3/4" stainless braid . You can see in the pics that my old wimpy braid was getting pretty thrashed by stirring and dumping grains. I have done 3-4 brews with this new set up, no stuck sparges, and 80-85% efficiency...and it still looks just like it does in the pics

I also tried conditioning my malt for the firswt time last brew. WOW, what a difference it made. The crushed grain looked fluffy because the husks didn't get destroyed and I set my Barley Crusher to like .032"...flour, crushed pieces, and big whole husks to create an awesome filter bed that gave me 85% without even thinking of sticking

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Old 03-20-2011, 04:09 PM   #4
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I had the exact opposite problem, I use a false bottom in my Home cheapo 10 gallon and have only once had a problem and it was my fault because I crushed the grain way too fine. Tried the braid once because of all the positive hype here and it got stuck right away. Same crush same everything, right into the trash, if it aint broke why fix it, anyways check your crush I bet its too fine, and make sure the tubing that connects to the false bottom is double thickness because when it gets hot regular tubing will collapse.

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Old 03-20-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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I have the same false bottom setup from NB and have not had this problem.

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Old 03-20-2011, 04:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandt9299 View Post
I had the exact opposite problem, I use a false bottom in my Home cheapo 10 gallon and have only once had a problem and it was my fault because I crushed the grain way too fine. Tried the braid once because of all the positive hype here and it got stuck right away. Same crush same everything, right into the trash, if it aint broke why fix it, anyways check your crush I bet its too fine, and make sure the tubing that connects to the false bottom is double thickness because when it gets hot regular tubing will collapse.
I would look at this first....

Tim
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:39 PM   #7
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Thank you to all. I didn't know they made 1/2" SS braids(putting that thread in favorites). I think I'm going back to "the braid" just because I haven't ever had a problem with it. I am going to check out the high temp hose as well. It may be rated to 500F but it may get too pliable and collapse. This would cause a stuck sparge immediately. Again, Thank you to everyone.

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Old 03-20-2011, 07:01 PM   #8
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Where are you getting stuck? I found when I fly sparged nice and slow, you would get a gelatinous cap on top of the mash. If you were doing it real gentle, this could actually prevent water from getting below it. I don't think this is the classic stuck sparge that rice hulls can prevent and wheat contributes to. Commercial set ups constantly rake the top of the mash to prevent this cap from forming. If this is your problem, you can stir the top few inches, and not disturb your grain filter.

But all this is why batch sparging is easier, faster, and more full proof. You can batch sparge with your false bottom.

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Old 03-20-2011, 07:04 PM   #9
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I have what sounds like the same setup, although it all came from Midwest. The 3/8th inch hose; is it braided or clear? If clear, I have a similar hose I use for other purposes and that will collapse when warmed up. It also likes to loosen up from it's connections. My braided hose in the MLT has never caused an issue. If you can make that FB work, I'd stick with it. You'll be happier in the long run as it will give you a more even flow through the grain bed, which is more important if fly sparging.

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Old 03-20-2011, 07:06 PM   #10
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Also, what's the roller gap on your crusher? I had issues below .035. I also would have issues with Maris Otter if I didn't use rice hulls, which you may not have depending on your water profile.

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