Crushed too fine-stuck sparge-no break(?)

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Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2007
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I did an oatmeal stout on Saturday and I had a suspicion that the grain was too fine, but I proceeded as usual (mashed at 155). When I vorlaufed, I knew I had some problems, as it was having some major troubles flowing out (I use a 5 gal cooler and a false bottom). When i began sparging, it was hard to get more than a trickle. I didn't want to disrupt the grain, so I just added more water (a good 4 inches or so above the grainbed) thinking that the increased water pressure would push it through.

It took twice as long as usual (2 hrs.), but I was able to get my volume..and by that time, the worty was running out almost clear, so it seemed like I was getting the right extraction. When I went to boil though, I had a very limited amount of hot break, it seemed to foam up and subside very quickly. When I pitched, I didn't have the usual clumps of break falling out of suspension when the wort was cooled. My OG ended up being right on-this was good, but the lack of break gave me some cause for concern.

When I dumped the grain, I could see that the grain bed was significantly stratified (courser base malt at the bottom-finer specialty grains on top-pulverized flour on the very top). I'm not terribly worried, as it's bubbling away right now, and I hit the OG. But does anyone have any clue as to what may have been going on to decrease the break?
well i was going to suggest that you had channeling in your grist, but if you hit your target og, then i got nothin!