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Old 05-13-2010, 12:49 PM   #11
SamuraiSquirrel
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Thanks for all the input. I think I will try number of the suggestions before brewing my next batch.

I knew everyone always said to open the valve slowly but I never really took this to heart based on my prior experience (9+ batches with no stuck or slow sparge with the old cooler) of just opening the valve full bore. The deeper bed must make the difference in this case. When I go to stir after it gets stuck feels like concrete down towards the bottom.

I did try only opening it half way rather than all the way but maybe I misunderstood "slowly" lol. I will try this next time and really open it slowly. Damn new equipment. I feel like a newbie all over again lol.

I'm also going to add some holes (using the same bit i used to build discarded manifold from old cooler) to open things up a bit and get some additional flow.


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Old 05-13-2010, 01:02 PM   #12
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i'm starting to wonder if cylindrical coolers are more prone to stuck sparges than rectangular ones. I have an igloo cylinder cooler with a braid and have them all the time. I think the higher head pressure compacts the grain bed towards the bottom where the manifold/braid is


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Old 05-13-2010, 02:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aluminumpark View Post
i'm starting to wonder if cylindrical coolers are more prone to stuck sparges than rectangular ones. I have an igloo cylinder cooler with a braid and have them all the time. I think the higher head pressure compacts the grain bed towards the bottom where the manifold/braid is
I second that. That is exactly what I am noticing. I had a rectangular cooler (the one I previously described) and I couldn't get a stuck sparge in that thing if I tried to get one because there was so much surface area and the grain bed was so thin.

Now that I have converted to the round ten gallon igloo I am having the problems I have been reading about for the past year lol. The smaller surface area and deeper grain bed really seem to compact things if you don't take a good deal of care when running off.

My rectangular cooler I could do initial runoff and two sparge rounds yielding about 8.5 gallons in about fifteen minutes.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:50 PM   #14
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Also, are you 100% positive that you have the holes going the proper way on your manifold? Remember you put the holes DOWN towards the bottom. I think that is a common rookie mistake.

When I made my manifold I cut slats as oppose to holes and made them slightly angled so its really hard for grain to get into my manifold. Perhaps ideas to try.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:17 PM   #15
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Yeah the slits are pointing down. They are also angled. It is almost impossible not to angle them when using the dremel to cut them.

I'll try and post a picture of it later. Maybe that will shed some light on things.
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:43 PM   #16
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What about your crush? Has that changed? Is it too fine for the manifold and husks are clogging it up? I use a false bottom and have had husks make it underneath and into the hose and it can clog up. Just thinking.....
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:04 PM   #17
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Crush was grain from BMW. It was about 13 pounds maris otter with some small amounts of specialty grains mixed in (no wheat, or flaked anything).
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:52 PM   #18
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I use the 10 gal igloo box - at the bottom I have a folded piece of stainless steel sheet drilled with quarter inch holes, I fix one end of my syphon tube inside the fold, and put the whole thing into a very fine muslin bag, after mashing I syphon out the wort, and have never had a stuck sparge. I top up with water for the mash so my mash is quite thin and I fly sparge. It works for me.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:26 PM   #19
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This morning, I did a batch of Bee Cave Brewery Rye IPA in my Rubbermaid 10 gal. cylindrical w/ a 9 inch braid for a manifold. This recipe has 15 pounds of fermentables, including two pounds of rye malt, so the potential for a stuck sparge is certainly there....but no trace of a stuck sparge. I used the sparge technique discussed in previous posts, whereby I crack the ball valve open just enough to get a decent flow when vorlaufing, and then when the wort runs clear, open the valve- gradually. Probably 15 minutes to take the first runnings, and 15 for the sparge....depending on how much I feel like draining the MLT.
I do a one-shot batch sparge, and I have no trouble hitting the correct SG number; less concerned about top efficiency and more with getting the beer I want and keeping the beer day to about noon.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:26 PM   #20
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Here's what I'm working with for a manifold (yes it's a square manifold that fits perfectly into a round cooler & the slits do face down when it is assembled)

I think I will add some holes between the slits and possibly on the 90's & T's since they don't currently have slits on them.







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