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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Stuck Sparge EMERGENCY
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:18 PM   #1
Fishinsmitty
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Default Stuck Sparge EMERGENCY

I've never had a stuck sparge, but have read threads about it just in case. Now I have one and the tricks aren't working.

I just mashed 19 lbs of grain in water steeped with roasted pumpkin pie mix (in resin bag).

When my sarge stuck at the beginning of my first runnings, I blew back into the tube. It didn't work, so I tried several more times to no avail.

Thinking the weight of the grain might be too heavy I used a colander to remove some from my tun. Still no luck.

I dumped my tun into another large cooler and checked the screen. It was fine so I added some mash (mostly water) back into the tun - just enough to cover the screen tube. It clogged again.

The liquid is thick from the pumpkin that dissolved and I'm sure that this is the problem. What should I do next.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:24 PM   #2
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Add rice hulls?
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:25 PM   #3
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Bring up the temperature to ~175 degrees, add some rice hulls, and/or do brew-in-a-bag, if necessary using multiple small bags.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:29 AM   #4
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Get a strainer or colander, put it over a bucket and scoop the grain/water in to it. When the strainer is full, dump it back in and repeat until there is minimal water left. Then dump the bucket in to the boil kettle.

Try sparing as you normally would. If it doesn't work, repeat the process - scoop grain and spare thru the strainer.

This happened to me once, with grist that had lots and lots of oats.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:31 AM   #5
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Spare = sparge. Damn auto correct.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:53 AM   #6
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I ended up running out for straining bags. My brew shop is too far, so I had to go to a nearby liquor store with a small brew section (no rice hulls). I bagged as much as possible then poured the rest back over the bags in my tun. The grain that was left stuck the sparge again. I pulled everything out again and used a strainer. It took a while as the colander kept clogging as well. I finally got my first runnings drained and just added the sparge water over the bags. Finally headed in the right direction. That's the last time I try to get cute with a brew. Better be an f-ing good beer when it's done. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:37 PM   #7
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When you blew in the hose did you see your mash bubble?

I usually blow in the hose, make sure that everything is clear, then stir like hell and wait 10 mins and try again. I'm guessing you didn't use any rice hulls? I usually don't but with pumpkin it is almost a given to use it. Also I don't mash the pumpkin just because of this.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:05 PM   #8
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I was in this same exact situation a few weeks ago. I ran to the LHBS and got there ten minutes after they closed! luckily the owner saw me outside and took pity. I got two pounds of rice hulls, mixed 'em in, and everything was smooth sailing after that. From now on anytime i do a beer that may possibly get stuck, I'm going to add rice hulls. I couldn't believe how much of a difference they made.
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