Sabco Brewmagic users: couple of questions

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ziggy13

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New Sabco user here and I love it so far, but have a few questions.

One thing that was slightly different was the instructions telling you to fill your mash tun up to the false bottom, then add your grain, then let the water fill the rest of the way until it's an inch over the grain bed. This differs from how I was typically doing it where I would actually measure the amount of water being used so you could have 1.25 qts/lb, 1.5 qts/lb, etc etc. Does anyone measure the amount of water being used with their Brew Magic or do you just let the water cover the grain like they say and go from there?

I have also had problems with the grain bed rising during the sparge. Not sure what's going on, but it rises every single time no matter what I do. I still seem to get fairly good efficiency, but was hoping to dial this in somehow. Anyone else experience this?

Finally, this may or may not be related to the grain bed issue, but during the sparge we seem to have bubbles coming up through the flexible piping and into the whirlpool during the sparge. We seemed to have gotten it fixed when we tore the whole thing apart, cleaned everything and tightened all the compression fittings and on/off valves. But then on the very next batch it started happening again. Is there something I might be missing here that's causing air to get sucked up in?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to help us!
 

jmorris62

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My reply is in regards to your last issue. It seems possible you are trying to sparge too fast and not allowing your pump to remain full. Is your pump making any strange noises while sparging? If it is, a good place to start would be to pinch the discharge back in your system. I've seen this problem before in industrial situations, but a pump is a pump so it should apply here as well.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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The idea behind filling the dead space is to prevent grain from getting under the false bottom.

I always make note of strike volume, then calculate sparge volume after that.

The bed rising sounds like you are not getting a valve closed and some of the sparge water is making it under the false bottom. Cannot for the life of me figure out how tho'.

Air entrainment can only possibly be something loose. Too many possibilities there. You'll have to check them all. And make sure the gaskets are setting properly on the tri-clamps.
 

AmandaK

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1) Your grain bed is rising? The only thing I can think of with this is that you're filling with water to an inch above the grain bed, then when everything is actually wet (and expanded) you're confusing the now totally soaked and expanded grains with a rising grain bed.

2) Yes, just fill to above the grain bed. Take note of the water used and use that to figure out your strike water. I tried it the 'normal' way in the beginning and all I got was a stuck sparge.

3) Are you positioning your flexible tubing parallel to the top of your grain bed? I can't see how you'd pick up air unless you didn't prime your pump correctly.
 
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