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Explain Stuck Sparge

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shamrockdoc

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Ok at work so I can't post recipe but I was doing a Wit last night. Grain bill was 9.3lbs strike water was 11.63(12)qts @ 163 to make the mash 150 degrees. Mashed for 90 min preboil weight was spot on for 72% efficency. Mashtun is a DIY model with my screen being a SS mesh from a hose...you know they type. Mash out for 10 min and when I go to Vorlauf I get old man with prostate issues stream then nothing. I stir up the mash hoping that it will help have my sparge water all ready but still no flow whatsoever. It was ugly and I made a complete mess but I was able to "strain" out the wort and collect about 4.5 gal to boil. After that I had to strain again post boil to get the rest of the sediment out...needless to say it was a bad up til 2AM ****ty brewday my OG 1.044 6 points off my target but welll within style range.

So with that being said can someone explain to me stuck sparge or maybe what I might need to do for this not to happen again....do I need to put some 16GA wire in my mesh filter?

Your thoughts GO!
 

Lodovico

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Very common when making a wheat beer like a Wit. Best solution is to be proactive. Add at least 1/2 pound of rice hulls to the mix.
 

Ichthy

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Or malt condition. Lightly mist the malt with water before you mill it. It will keep the grain bed "fluffy".
 
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the flaked wheat doesn't have husks. The husk on the grain provides a filter. Add rice hulls (empty husks) to make up for the lack of husks on flaked wheat.

AKA, it's too mushy and clogs the braid.
 

BrewDey

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It's happened to me when I've used a lot of rye-rice hulls really help. The other thing that has helped is to have the mash be pretty wet to begin with and then have as much water go in as goes out.
 
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shamrockdoc

shamrockdoc

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Added a 1/2Lbs of rice husks to mash so.....
 
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shamrockdoc

shamrockdoc

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spitballing the recipe here cuz im at work and cant get the goods

3.5lb 2 row
4lb wheat malt
.90 flaked wheat
.40 flaked oat
.5lb rice hulls(husks)
1lb Belgian Candi clear
saaz, coriander, allspice, lemon peel, orange bitters...etc
 
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I have encountered stuck sparges on my last two brews. I couldn't even vorlauf on the last one! I think my problem is two fine a crush as this just started happening after I got a barley crusher.
 
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shamrockdoc

shamrockdoc

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I wonder if the crush was too fine. Because I've brewed this before and had no issues. So it sounds like it isn't equipment failure per se but addtion of more rice hulls and a more course crush would fix it
 

Docjowles

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Maybe the hose got crushed by the weight of the grain, or by the mash paddle when you were stirring? Heard of that happening before and that would obviously stop anything from flowing out. Just spitballing ideas though :)

Edit: any idea what your mashout and sparge temps were? Hotter sparge = less viscous wort = easier to drain.
 
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shamrockdoc

shamrockdoc

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Maybe the hose got crushed by the weight of the grain, or by the mash paddle when you were stirring? Heard of that happening before and that would obviously stop anything from flowing out. Just spitballing ideas though :)

Edit: any idea what your mashout and sparge temps were? Hotter sparge = less viscous wort = easier to drain.
Mash out was 170 temp 10 min rest sparge temp same. I was thinking that the hose may have been crushed as well.
 

jpaulson344

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I brewed a wit last night also and experienced the same issue. the line wasn't clogging, the liquid just wasn't flowing.
I was thinking i did something wrong as it was my first all grain and first time using my mash tun. makes sense that the wheat flakes clog it up.
 
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