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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: woody on November 21, 2009, 09:59:23 PM

Title: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: woody on November 21, 2009, 09:59:23 PM
I seem to be losing a larger volume of water in the mash tun lately and while I"m running off it seems to be sucking air once and awhile and bubbling.      Looking at the SS braid in my cooler, its all crimped up right where it meets the hose barb.    Anyone ever replace the braid?    Or would it be better to add a slotted piece of copper tubing inside the braid to keep it open?   
Or any other solutions?   
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: danwbrews on November 22, 2009, 12:29:00 AM
That's what I would do if I used a SS braid.  I just use the sloted copper tube and don't worry about it.  After a couple of quarts your wort runs clear ( I do both type sparges, what ever I'm in the mood for). 
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: dhacker on November 22, 2009, 01:54:46 PM
To answer your post topic question . . yes, I've replaced the braid in my mash tun . .It's simple and quick, and I did it because I reconfigured my manifold slightly.

Questions for you . . How big is the barb?(diameter) Are you using a single length of braid? How long is the braid? What kind of vessel are you using for your MT?

The thing that causes braid to contract is being stretched. Something is pulling on it to make it pinch at the barb. Perhaps a longer piece of braid would lessen the potential of tug stress. Or make a loop with a "T" to have 2 points for the wort to enter.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: woody on November 22, 2009, 02:11:08 PM
The mash tun is a Coleman xtreme.  The braid is either a six or eight inch.   I think it's a half inch barb
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: dhacker on November 22, 2009, 03:07:37 PM
Palmer talks about manifold configurations in his book as it relates to the flow through the grain bed. I suspect you are loosing a fair amount of efficiency as a result of an inadequate manifold. 6 to 8 inches of braid in a Coleman Extreme is pretty meager for efficient pickup. Perhaps someone can reference the section of Palmer's book I'm talking about. I'd suggest either 3 or 4 runs of braid running the length of the cooler's bottom with two "T's" combining into the bulkhead fitting.    

Ah . . here it is.

http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-1.html
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: Hokerer on November 22, 2009, 03:46:33 PM
Palmer talks about manifold configurations in his book as it relates to the flow through the grain bed.

The manifold configuration is only really important for fly sparging.  Assuming the OP is following Denny's Cheap'n'easy methods, he would be batch sparging and 6 to 8 inches of braid is perfectly fine.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: woody on November 22, 2009, 03:54:21 PM
Palmer talks about manifold configurations in his book as it relates to the flow through the grain bed.

The manifold configuration is only really important for fly sparging.  Assuming the OP is following Denny's Cheap'n'easy methods, he would be batch sparging and 6 to 8 inches of braid is perfectly fine.
yeah I'm batch sparging.   I believe I saw a post somewhere by Denny saying that'd he experimented with longer braids and didn't notice a difference. 
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: denny on November 22, 2009, 05:58:19 PM
That's true.  I used braids as short as 3" up to my current one which is about 24".  Tge only reason it's that long is that it's the length I was at for my final experiment and I didn't see any reason to change it!  I've used the same bread for 360 batches (as of today!).  I don't use a copper tube inside of it or anything like that.  Keep in mind that a longer braid doesn't matter since all the draining happens at the outlet.  Wort doesn't enter at one end and flow through the braid to the other!  The braid is simply a mechanism to keep the outlet from getting clogged.  Admittedly, I don't do anything as fancy as connecting it to a hose bard or bulkhead...quite frankly, when I tried those I got worse performance.  Based on what you say, it does sound like the constriction at the outlet is your problem.  You could try pushing the braid ends in toward the center to open it up, or replace the braid.  Or go Cheap'n'Easy like this....

(http://hbd.org/clubs/cascade/public_html/dennybrew/bung.jpg)

(http://hbd.org/clubs/cascade/public_html/dennybrew/bung2.jpg)
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: dhacker on November 22, 2009, 06:44:51 PM
Boy Denny, that thing does look well seasoned!  I guess 360 for the hose clamp too.  :D

One statement you made: "Keep in mind that a longer braid doesn't matter since all the draining happens at the outlet.  Wort doesn't enter at one end and flow through the braid to the other!" May not be entirely, 100% correct in all instances. If a wheat or rye heavy mash should drain in such a way as to plug a certain amount of the braid, the flow could move to one end of the braid or the other to find an open path to the outlet. I guess that's why I'm thinking more braid would translate to a lesser chance of a stuck or slow sparge.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: denny on November 22, 2009, 07:59:02 PM
Boy Denny, that thing does look well seasoned!  I guess 360 for the hose clamp too.  :D

One statement you made: "Keep in mind that a longer braid doesn't matter since all the draining happens at the outlet.  Wort doesn't enter at one end and flow through the braid to the other!" May not be entirely, 100% correct in all instances. If a wheat or rye heavy mash should drain in such a way as to plug a certain amount of the braid, the flow could move to one end of the braid or the other to find an open path to the outlet. I guess that's why I'm thinking more braid would translate to a lesser chance of a stuck or slow sparge.

You don't know well seasoned, man....that pic is maybe 150 batches ago!

OK, here's how I look at the....if the wort can flow in, it can also flow out.  So the case you mentioned would only happen if the braid was mainly clogged all along the length.  I have never had a stuck runoff in all 360 batches, and as you know, I use a lot of rye malt.  Personally, I just don't foresee the scenario happening.  Not to mention that I've heard from many people who experienced fewer problems with a shorter braid.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: dhacker on November 22, 2009, 08:12:26 PM
Can't argue with success.  :)
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: ndcube on November 23, 2009, 12:25:25 PM
I rinse my braid out after every batch and insert a pience of plastic tubing for the first few inches to make sure I get all the dents and pinches out.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: wilypig on November 23, 2009, 05:47:00 PM
I am a big fan of the slotted copper manifold - 80-88% efficiencies with no astringency issues and no issues with stuck sparge.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: denny on November 23, 2009, 05:52:44 PM
I am a big fan of the slotted copper manifold - 80-88% efficiencies with no astringency issues and no issues with stuck sparge.

I'm not sure how the lautering system you use would create astringency.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: bluesman on November 23, 2009, 05:56:30 PM
I recently replaced my braid with a 24". I use it in a Coleman Ultimate Extreme 58qt mash tun. Works great.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: bonjour on November 23, 2009, 06:00:24 PM
I'd think of replacing my braid but all I've got is a round white thingy with a bunch of holes in it.  Works great for either batch or fly sparge.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: stout_fan on November 26, 2009, 04:04:30 PM
My braid is doing fine, I've lost count of the # of batches.
I put a 1/2" SS brain inside. Here's checking length and overlap.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/stout_fan/HERMS2/306_spring_test.jpg)

Then I fit inside the braid. Great flow rates. No collapse and a still looks good after all these years.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/stout_fan/HERMS2/309_warthog.jpg)

There's also some slots in the bottom of the feeder "T" so I can drain it all.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: woody on November 29, 2009, 06:03:27 PM
I readjusted mine (well, I shoved it further up onto the barb) and it got the stretch out of it.   My runoff was a lot faster today.  I didn't think it would retain its shape by simply pushing it back together, but it did.   
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: roberba on December 08, 2009, 11:39:02 PM
One thing I did was to make a small coil of copper wire to fit in the braid. This prevents it from collapsing. ;)
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 04:33:00 PM
That's a good solution.  A better one is to get a braid that doesn't collapse!  Mine never has with up to 75 lb. of grain.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: dbarber on December 09, 2009, 05:33:45 PM
I shortened mine to 8 inches or so because I thought it might be easier to stir without hitting.  After that I started getting either stuck mashes or very slow runoff.  I switched it back to 15 inches and haven't had the problem since.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 06:14:43 PM
I shortened mine to 8 inches or so because I thought it might be easier to stir without hitting.  After that I started getting either stuck mashes or very slow runoff.  I switched it back to 15 inches and haven't had the problem since.

That's very interesting and kinda puzzling.  Both my experiments and my experience have made me conclude that it doesn't matter.  I wonder why the different results?
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: dbarber on December 09, 2009, 06:51:49 PM
I shortened mine to 8 inches or so because I thought it might be easier to stir without hitting.  After that I started getting either stuck mashes or very slow runoff.  I switched it back to 15 inches and haven't had the problem since.

That's very interesting and kinda puzzling.  Both my experiments and my experience have made me conclude that it doesn't matter.  I wonder why the different results?

That what I had read, so I figured it couldn't hurt.  But nothing else in my brewing had changed except the length of the braid.  I should mention that I use a coleman extreme that has a channel in the bottom.  Once I shortened it, it fit completely within that channel, so maybe that had an effect.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: bluesman on December 09, 2009, 07:40:49 PM
I recently replaced my braid with a 24". I use it in a Coleman Ultimate Extreme 58qt mash tun. Works great.

I don't think I've ever quoted myself...but there's a first time for everything. I just damaged the new braid I installed and need to  replace it. That's the only thing I don't like about the braid. It's very fragile. But it works great.  8)
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 07:44:27 PM
Either you're a really rough brewer or you need to find a better braid!  ;)  Did you see the pics of mine?
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: ndcube on December 09, 2009, 07:48:37 PM
Mine just kind of floats around at the bottom.  I'm semi-careful when I stir not to pinch it to the bottom of the cooler.  It has a few dings in it but nothing too bad.

Sometimes I'll run a pience of siphon tubing through it to straighten it out or remove dings but this usually isn't necessary.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: lupy on December 09, 2009, 10:36:20 PM
I walked a buddy through the building of his Denny tun. His braid was different than mine. It had a looser weave and a much weaker overall strength so i suspect there are different grades of braids. Either way, both have worked fine without problems.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: bluesman on December 10, 2009, 01:13:05 AM
Either you're a really rough brewer or you need to find a better braid!  ;)  Did you see the pics of mine?

Actually... redbeerman was over to brew your VBIP and we overfilled the cooler slightly... he was stirring the mash... Things were kind of hectic and ...well it got kinked...we got a stuck sparge...man it was rough but in the end the beer turned out great.

My last braid lasted over a year.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: Kaiser on December 10, 2009, 02:14:17 AM
What is a good braid to get? I want to replace my slotted pipe with a braid and when I looked at the HD I found that most braids and made from plastic nowadays.

The motivation comes from the fact that I tried to lauter a Doppelbock a few weeks back and it was getting stuck very easily. I had to remove lots of the grain and add it back once the wort was more dilute.

My mash tun looks like this:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/mashtun.jpg)

and the manifold like this:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/manifold.jpg)

stout_fan, where did you get the spring to fit inside the braid? Is it stainless?

Kai
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: bluesman on December 10, 2009, 02:24:12 AM
You can get the Stainless Steel water supply lines from HD or Lowes...

(http://www.watts.com/prod_images/hi-res/3812BSS.jpg)

and cut the ends off with a hack saw...

(http://www.patrickmotorsports.com/img/parts/Oil-Line-23K.jpg)

then pull out the inner liner very carefully as not to kink the braid...I use a pair of needle nose pliers to grab the inner liner.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: dhacker on December 10, 2009, 02:38:46 AM
I walked a buddy through the building of his Denny tun. His braid was different than mine. It had a looser weave and a much weaker overall strength so i suspect there are different grades of braids. Either way, both have worked fine without problems.

Indeed there are different grades of braids . . both being available on the same isle of Slowes or Home Despot. Shop carefully to get the tighter weave. Less particulate in the first recirculations translates to shorter recirculation times.   
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: k4df4l on December 10, 2009, 10:51:29 AM
My first braid worked great through a dozen batches until I crushed it with my mash paddle.  I had too many issues with the second and replaced it after three batches with a bazooka tube and haven't looked back since.  I do use a braid in my kettle to filter leaf hops and break material (not recommended for pellet hops).
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: stout_fan on December 10, 2009, 02:24:30 PM
and the manifold like this:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/manifold.jpg)

Kai, I also have a 10 gal Orange Gott, like your HD one. I have a Bazooka tube and use it indoors for 5 gal batches. Not really happy with it, considering a SS false bottom. Presently I have a problem with dead space at the tube since it is all screen. But looking at your set-up: If you just have holes or slots on the bottom and none on the top you will be able to draw from lower in the tun. At least that is until you break the siphon action. And that has to do with run off rates. Think wort percolating down through the grain. A rapid run off will drop the liquid level and break the siphon. A slower rate will allow all the grain to flush out and keep the liquid level higher for longer. Or so the theory goes....

stout_fan, where did you get the spring to fit inside the braid? Is it stainless?
Kai

It is a 1/2" SS spring from McMaster with the min turns per inch. Necessary to de-temper the ends and bend over otherwise they puncture the braid.
Detempering with extra fuzziness:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/stout_fan/HERMS2/307_spring_temper.jpg)

And the bent ends before and after:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/stout_fan/HERMS2/308_spring_B_A.jpg)

hope that answers your questions
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: denny on December 10, 2009, 05:25:45 PM
What is a good braid to get? I want to replace my slotted pipe with a braid and when I looked at the HD I found that most braids and made from plastic nowadays.

Kai, that's tough for me to answer since I don't shop at HD.  I go to a place that's the locally based equivalent of HD.  I always buy a toilet supply line and it's always worked great.  As far as I can tell, the important thing is the numbers of straqnds of wire that comprise each of the "threads" that are woven to make the braid.  High on my priority list is to find time to quantify that, as well as put together a list of brand names and model #s that are recommended.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: ndcube on December 10, 2009, 05:44:21 PM
I have a ten foot (maybe it's 15) refridgerator water supply line that got ruined encased in an SS braid.

I cut one chunk off of it and have been using it for over a year.  I think I may have a lifetime supply off SS braid.
Title: Re: Ever replace the SS braid in your mashtun?
Post by: Kaiser on December 10, 2009, 05:53:03 PM
High on my priority list is to find time to quantify that, as well as put together a list of brand names and model #s that are recommended.

That would be a useful reference to have given that designing a braid that works well for batch sparging is not a priority for any of the manufacturers of these hoses. They are interested in keeping the cost down while being able to provide a hose that meets the necessary specs. I guess that’s why we are seeing plastic braids as well.

I’ll keep looking around at other places as well.

Kai