Author Topic: stuck sparge  (Read 3679 times)

Offline diesel

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stuck sparge
« on: November 01, 2012, 06:56:01 PM »
Hey dudes,

I get a stuck sparge often and no matter how much water or how little water I use I seem to have a stuck sparge 8 out of 10 times.  I am draining through a bazooka screen.  I tend to grind my barley very fine.  Do you all think this is the issue?  Thanks  :o

Offline euge

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 07:03:06 PM »
Yes.

Try increasing the gap in your mill and slow down your lauter. Might take some fiddling but it will fix your problem. Some will say " use rice hulls" but I think rice hulls are dirty and worthless.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline diesel

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 07:08:35 PM »
I'll try it.  Thanks!   :o

Offline gmac

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 07:24:26 PM »
I've been getting a lot of stuck sparges too. Especially towards the end of the sparge and I know my mill is too tight but I haven't loosened it off yet either. Need to do so.

Offline malzig

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 07:34:02 PM »
Try malt conditioning.  Very slightly dampening the husks prior to crushing the grain can substantially improve the quality of the husks, which is the easiest way to improve lautering and reduce the chance of a stuck sparge.

Offline surfin_mikeg

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 08:56:17 PM »
Try malt conditioning.  Very slightly dampening the husks prior to crushing the grain can substantially improve the quality of the husks, which is the easiest way to improve lautering and reduce the chance of a stuck sparge.

How is your efficiency?  I was doing this for a while and needed to stop, mostly to simplify the process and to not clean the mill in fine detail (sticks to the rollers).  I used about two cups of water per 5 gallon batch (14-18 pounds), letting it sit for a couple hours before milling & mashing.

Cheers.

Offline malzig

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 04:00:20 AM »
Try malt conditioning.  Very slightly dampening the husks prior to crushing the grain can substantially improve the quality of the husks, which is the easiest way to improve lautering and reduce the chance of a stuck sparge.
How is your efficiency?  I was doing this for a while and needed to stop, mostly to simplify the process and to not clean the mill in fine detail (sticks to the rollers).  I used about two cups of water per 5 gallon batch (14-18 pounds), letting it sit for a couple hours before milling & mashing.

Cheers.
I average 85-87% for a sparged beer.

You're using too much water and waiting too long.  For this much grain you would want to use about 1/2 cup maximum, in fact you can use half of that or less and still see benefits on husk quality.  Then, I just spray the water on the grain as I'm transferring it off my scale, mix it with my hand a little until the water is absorbed and it feels evenly dry, then mill it.  Maybe 5 minutes total.  The grain should feel dry, not wet, and it shouldn't stick to your mill, or you've used too much water. 

If you want, hold ~1 pound back, un-conditioned, and run that through last to remove any remaining moisture from your mill.

Offline pikelakehomebrew

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 08:57:17 PM »
I would also suggest adding a mash-out step around 168°F — raise your temperature to about that mark while being mindful about not venturing too far above 170 — and that should help a bit too, or so I've read.  So between increasing the gap in your mill and mashing out, I think that should reduce your stuck mash issues.  I rarely get them.  And if I do, a little suction action on the collection tube helps get the wort flowing quickly.
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Online ynotbrusum

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 02:58:57 PM »
I had troubles with the bazooka tube when running off too quickly - once I learned to slow the drain to about a little less than half way open valve, the problem went away.
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Offline benamcg

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 07:42:45 AM »
I have battled many stuck sparges (with a Bazooka), and my advice is:

Dont get greedy with the crush size or impatient with the run-off.  Back off on the crush size and sparge as slow as possible.  You probably aren't brewing 10 BBLs or more, so the loss of efficiency with a larger crush wont kill your bank account.

I think you will find that you can hit 80%+ efficiency with a larger crush size -just by sparging slower (> 1 hr for ~ 25-30 lbs malt, 12 gal).  If you can't wait that long, batch sparge or go to extract brewing.

Offline Alewyfe

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2012, 10:10:54 AM »
Batch sparging is not necessarily a panacea here. 8 of us used the same mill on Learn to Brew Day, and I think everyone using a Bazooka/kettle screen ended up with a stuck mash and we were all batch sparging.
It's primarily the crush, as even with a very slow run off speed, if you've got a ton of flour in there it's going to clog up that screen. When I use my own mill, which I have adjusted by trial and stuck sparge, I never have a problem...thankfully.
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Offline beer_crafter

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 11:22:48 AM »
I find a psuedo-mash-out helps with this.  I also batch sparge and whenever I have had a slow or stuck sparge, infusing boiling water and getthing the mash up to about 160 or so has done the trick.

Offline denny

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 11:29:58 AM »
Batch sparging is not necessarily a panacea here. 8 of us used the same mill on Learn to Brew Day, and I think everyone using a Bazooka/kettle screen ended up with a stuck mash and we were all batch sparging.
It's primarily the crush, as even with a very slow run off speed, if you've got a ton of flour in there it's going to clog up that screen. When I use my own mill, which I have adjusted by trial and stuck sparge, I never have a problem...thankfully.

Anybody using a SS hose braid?  I find those work much better than a Bazooka. 
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Offline denny

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 11:30:44 AM »
I find a psuedo-mash-out helps with this.  I also batch sparge and whenever I have had a slow or stuck sparge, infusing boiling water and getthing the mash up to about 160 or so has done the trick.

My guess is that it's the agitation from adding the water rather than the temp that makes the difference.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: stuck sparge
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 11:35:24 AM »
Batch sparging is not necessarily a panacea here. 8 of us used the same mill on Learn to Brew Day, and I think everyone using a Bazooka/kettle screen ended up with a stuck mash and we were all batch sparging.
It's primarily the crush, as even with a very slow run off speed, if you've got a ton of flour in there it's going to clog up that screen. When I use my own mill, which I have adjusted by trial and stuck sparge, I never have a problem...thankfully.

Anybody using a SS hose braid?  I find those work much better than a Bazooka.

+1 to the SS braid.  I've had one stuck sparge in over 100 brews and it was because I added too much canned pumpkin.  It was ugly......

Dave
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