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Old 12-20-2011, 11:21 PM   #1
SocalNat
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Default Mash Tun question

I just finished building my mash tun and tested for leaks. I used a single braded line for lautering. The drain on my cooler sits about 1/2" above the floor of the cooler. What am I to do about the mash that sits on the bottom of the cooler after all has drained from the spigot? What effect will that have on the amount of water I use at mash in? Tilting the tun will disturb the grain bed and I don't want that, do I? Thanks.

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:50 PM   #2
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That's called "equipment loss." You can include it in your mash calculator (try Green Bay Rackers), but you'll be sparging until you get your boil volume anyway, so it shouldn't make much difference. With the actual grains that fill that space, you won't be losing anything noticeable.

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:53 PM   #3
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You should be able to tilt it to some degree. The grain bed will obviously, 'shift' slightly to the lower side but, not enough to worry about. Like SilverZero said, you're going to be sparging until you get your full boil volume anyway...

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:57 PM   #4
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I tilt mine after it has run off for a little while, by then the grain bed has settled enough that the shift shouldnt disturb it

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:58 PM   #5
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When I built my mash tun out of a cooler I used a 45 degree elbow to lower my manifold down to the bottom of the cooler. After some pvc adjustments I have roughly 1/8 of an inch off the bottom of the cooler from my manifold.

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:59 PM   #6
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If you are batch sparging I don't think shifting the grain bed a little will be a problem, you're going to stir up the grain bed after adding your sparge water anyway

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:45 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the great info!

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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Whats the importance of not shifting/tilting the grain bead? I have the same set up and do the batch sparging process. Thanks.

Mark

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:45 PM   #9
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Whats the importance of not shifting/tilting the grain bead? I have the same set up and do the batch sparging process. Thanks.

Mark
The grain bed acts as a filter for the water to run through, and ideally it will settle evenly and let water flow through more uniformly vs. forming channels, which keep the water from rinsing out sugars from the grains away from the channels. If you're batch sparging, just stir it up well after adding the sparge water, then let it settle for 5 minutes before draining again (vorlaufing as necessary, of course).

Shifting the bed while it's draining might collapse the uniformity causing channeling. So goes the myth. It's really more of an issue with fly sparging because you're running a low volume at a constant rate, instead of just basically roughing the sugars out of the grains when you add the sparge water and mix it up.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SilverZero View Post
The grain bed acts as a filter for the water to run through, and ideally it will settle evenly and let water flow through more uniformly vs. forming channels, which keep the water from rinsing out sugars from the grains away from the channels. If you're batch sparging, just stir it up well after adding the sparge water, then let it settle for 5 minutes before draining again (vorlaufing as necessary, of course).

Shifting the bed while it's draining might collapse the uniformity causing channeling. So goes the myth. It's really more of an issue with fly sparging because you're running a low volume at a constant rate, instead of just basically roughing the sugars out of the grains when you add the sparge water and mix it up.
That makes sense. Channeling at the end of lautering isn't much of an issue since the grainbed has already filtered all of the water. I won't worry about it then. Thanks all.
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