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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Mini-mash in cooler mash tun stuck
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:40 PM   #1
dmako
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Default Mini-mash in cooler mash tun stuck

I received as a xmas gift a 5 gal mash tun which my wife purchased from a local home brew store. Now its very well made and has a plastic false bottom.

I used it to make a mini-mash Rye (AHS) added my hot water, added pre-crushed gains, stirred a bit, and wait 45 min.

Then opened the spigot, got maybe a 1/4 cup of liquid out before it got stuck. I tried moving the grains over the false bottom to no avail.

When I emptied the mash tun none of the grains got through the false bottom so I'm thing that the grains/dust simply clogged the small holes of the false bottom.

Now I am wondering what went wrong, and what do I do next time?

My guesses:

1) Grains milled to fine, in shipment there is a lot of fine dust in the grains.
Perhaps remove the fine powder before using mash tun?

2) Rye it self if hard to use in a mash tun. Put grains in a nylon bag and then into mash tun?

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Old 12-30-2008, 03:28 PM   #2
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The easiest method is to add rice hulls when mashing rye. This is even more critical in a mini-mash, as the rye will be a larger percentage of the mash than for an AG recipe.

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Old 12-30-2008, 04:20 PM   #3
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never stir your mash around the false bottom. that will just make matters worse.

ALWAYS use rice hulls with rye or large amounts of wheat.

1) i wouldn't concern yourself with dust. with proper process and rice hulls, all they will do is help create a filter bed.

2) you could use a bag, but you're kind of defeating the purpose of your system if you do.

if you do get a stuck mash, one thing you can do is blow through the tube back up into the false bottom. this will move the grains around and allow some to run through the hose.

also, don't open the valve all the way while vorlaufing. drain some of the wort out and allow the grains to create a filter bed...do your best not to disturb the grains inside when you dump the vorlauf wort back in (use a piece of aluminum foil.)

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Old 12-30-2008, 10:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DeathBrewer View Post
never stir your mash around the false bottom. that will just make matters worse.

ALWAYS use rice hulls with rye or large amounts of wheat.

1) i wouldn't concern yourself with dust. with proper process and rice hulls, all they will do is help create a filter bed.

2) you could use a bag, but you're kind of defeating the purpose of your system if you do.

if you do get a stuck mash, one thing you can do is blow through the tube back up into the false bottom. this will move the grains around and allow some to run through the hose.

also, don't open the valve all the way while vorlaufing. drain some of the wort out and allow the grains to create a filter bed...do your best not to disturb the grains inside when you dump the vorlauf wort back in (use a piece of aluminum foil.)
Now using rice hulls, how?

Add water, mix rice with the rye and add to water?
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:11 PM   #5
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just put it with your grains and add a little extra water to compensate for absorption.

some people rinse the dust off of them first.

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Old 12-30-2008, 10:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DeathBrewer View Post
never stir your mash around the false bottom. that will just make matters worse.

ALWAYS use rice hulls with rye or large amounts of wheat.

1) i wouldn't concern yourself with dust. with proper process and rice hulls, all they will do is help create a filter bed.

2) you could use a bag, but you're kind of defeating the purpose of your system if you do.

if you do get a stuck mash, one thing you can do is blow through the tube back up into the false bottom. this will move the grains around and allow some to run through the hose.

also, don't open the valve all the way while vorlaufing. drain some of the wort out and allow the grains to create a filter bed...do your best not to disturb the grains inside when you dump the vorlauf wort back in (use a piece of aluminum foil.)
Also: "dump it back in (use a pieve of aluminum foil)"

I was planning on draining the wort after 45 min into brew pot , then sparging while the valve was open right into brew pot.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:25 PM   #7
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how are you going to sparge? just pour it in? if you upset the grain bed, you will get another stuck mash and/or grains in your brew pot.

i do "splash-sparging" which involves having the sparge water pour at the same rate as the run-off. you don't want it to go quickly, and you want a piece of aluminum foil or something sitting on top of the grains so that it doesn't pour into the grains and mess things up.

fly-sparging is the other set-up, which involves equipment that sprinkles water on top of the wort. i personally don't think this is necessary on a homebrew scale...splash-sparging works fine.

if you're just going to dump it in, i would batch sparge, which would mean running off all the wort from your mash, then adding more water, stirring, waiting and letting the filter bed re-settle before doing your second run-off.

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Old 12-30-2008, 10:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DeathBrewer View Post
how are you going to sparge? just pour it in? if you upset the grain bed, you will get another stuck mash and/or grains in your brew pot.

i do "splash-sparging" which involves having the sparge water pour at the same rate as the run-off. you don't want it to go quickly, and you want a piece of aluminum foil or something sitting on top of the grains so that it doesn't pour into the grains and mess things up.

fly-sparging is the other set-up, which involves equipment that sprinkles water on top of the wort. i personally don't think this is necessary on a homebrew scale...splash-sparging works fine.

if you're just going to dump it in, i would batch sparge, which would mean running off all the wort from your mash, then adding more water, stirring, waiting and letting the filter bed re-settle before doing your second run-off.
The mash tun came with a fly-sparging setup, a pre-drilled brass unit that rotates.

Also I would venture to guess a a pound of rice hulls to add?
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:32 PM   #9
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yes, a pound should be plenty.

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Old 12-30-2008, 10:35 PM   #10
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Great info here!

Now if I may this is how I fixed my situation.

I put a larger strainer over my brew bucket and emptied the stuck mash tun into it.
Next I pour slowly 2 quarts of 170 degree sparging water and brewed as normal.

Any comment on what the outcome will be?

Next time rice hulls.

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