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Old 08-29-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default Switched from Braided Hose to False Bottom - Big Efficiency Drop

I recently (within the past 6 months) have switched to a false bottom in hopes of relieving myself of all the stuck sparges I've been having. It worked great. Brewed about 5 times and not one stuck sparge. Real problem that I'm having is the fact that my efficiency has dropped from about 75% to 65%. Anyone have any thoughts on why this may be the case?

I batch sparge with keggles for all 3 vessels. My temperature control is weak at best, but it's always been that way.


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Old 08-29-2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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No idea about why, but you might be able to tighten up your crush now without fear of a stuck sparge?


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Old 08-30-2013, 01:10 AM   #3
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Just spitballing here...do hou have a large volume under the FB, or dead space?

Are you only doing 5 gallon batches?

If so, try recirculating a few gallons prior to your batch run offs.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:46 AM   #4
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If you ever go back to using the braided hose might I recommend that you try making a sock out of voile cloth and place your hose inside it. I secure the open end with a zip tie. I have never had a stuck sparge even with a finer crush for my grain.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:55 AM   #5
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I use a larger stiffer water heater supply line braid and have had no issues with stuck sparge. My efficiency is all over the place but it is not because of the braid. The beer is good so I don't really worry too much about my efficiency.

My guess at the drop in efficiency would be due to the change in the dead space. I assume you are leaving wort/sugars behind under the FB. I don't know how you deal with that.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msa8967
Imight I recommend that you try making a sock out of voile cloth and place your hose inside it.
Have any brewing advice? Zing!
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:03 AM   #7
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I find I get close to 85% when I vorlof for 30 to 45 minutes. Of course a pump helps a bunch.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReuFroman
I find I get close to 85% when I vorlof for 30 to 45 minutes. Of course a pump helps a bunch.
You vorlauf for 30 to 45 minutes on a batch sparge? Seems like overkill
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:15 AM   #9
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I think he means sparge.

Here's why you'd lose efficiency with a false bottom:
1. You don't have a diptube to reach the bottom dish.
2. You have a diptube but you runoff a little too fast at the end, losing siphon before the last gallon or so of the first running wort is able to get below the FB.
3. You are still mashing at 1.25 qt/lb when you have 7/8 of a gallon of pure liquid below the FB. That leaves the grain area too thick and your conversion is suffering.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
I think he means sparge.

Here's why you'd lose efficiency with a false bottom:
3. You are still mashing at 1.25 qt/lb when you have 7/8 of a gallon of pure liquid below the FB. That leaves the grain area too thick and your conversion is suffering.
I think this last one might be the cause of my most recent effenciency drop. I too switched over to a false bottom and have been trying to dial in the system. I've noticed the mash is a bit thicker than it used to be.

Is there a recommended water/grain ratio to use when using a false bottom? Would 1.5:1 be overkill?


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