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Dark_Ale

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I have always used partial grain when brewing. I am ready to move on to an all grain. I was reading a little, I understand the concept of false bottom, how is the liquid circulated over the grain to rinse? Do you hand pour the liquid over the grain over and over. Is it pumped? The procedure said till its clear. Well how can it be clear if your circulating it back over should'nt it be getting darker if anything. Do I really need a false bottom? Can an all grain be made well using sometype of kitchen strainer? Thanks for the help
 

ctrlfreak

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Dark_Ale said:
I have always used partial grain when brewing. I am ready to move on to an all grain. I was reading a little, I understand the concept of false bottom, how is the liquid circulated over the grain to rinse? Do you hand pour the liquid over the grain over and over. Is it pumped? The procedure said till its clear. Well how can it be clear if your circulating it back over should'nt it be getting darker if anything. Do I really need a false bottom? Can an all grain be made well using sometype of kitchen strainer? Thanks for the help
1st - yes, you need a false bottom or some kind of strainer (bazooka screen) that will keep the grain out of your ball valve. If it gets in there (sometimes it does even with a screen) it will clog everything up and you would have to stir things up again or get it unplugged somehow. 155* water is really hot.



2nd - I use a big glass beer pitcher to reticulate when trying to clear the wort. This helps set the grain bed and creates a natural filter keeping grain out of your wort and kettle which can lead to off flavors if too much is boiled in your kettle. Start with your valve open half way and fill up your pitcher then pour gently back on top repeat until there isn't any grain or VERY little grain coming through the valve. Your wort probably wont become any darker and may lighten just a bit after mixing in the first wort back into the mash tun.



3rd - I have seen plans using two bottling buckets (if you don't have the $ for an insulated cooler type) for the mash tun but I don’t think you could use a strainer, by the time you bought one big enough for the job, if you could find one, it would probably be more expensive than a cheap set up.
 

Janx

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Just my experience talking, but unless you circulate a LOT, I don't see a darn bit of difference in the end result. We don't recirculate any of our wort.

You need a false bottom or a similar solution definitely. With all-grain, it's important to never disturb the grain bed. It acts as a natural filter and the water percolating through it gently rinses the grain. Think of sparging like making coffe, where the grain is coffee (and there's a lot of it). Hot water in the top, coffee out the bottom.

So you add grain and hot water to your mash tun, let it sit the appropriate amount of time, and then start adding hot water to the top and draining out the bottom, gently and slowly. So you need something at the bottom to keep grains out of your wort. That's the false bottom...like a coffee filter.

Personally, I have had miserable luck with false bottoms, so I always build a manifold out of copper or CPVC pipe and use that. I make a loop of tubing, drill holes in the bottom and attach that to my outflow valve on my mash tun. Works like a champ.

Janx
 

arachnyd

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If you are using a water cooler for mashtun, Listerman's Phil's Phalse Bottom is an excellent product that sells at a very reasonable price. Most homebrew stores I have been in sell them - or you can buy them online - you can even buy one straight from the original source at Listerman's Manufacturing

the specific product is here
 
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