Author Topic: SS mesh vs false bottom  (Read 8021 times)

Offline denny

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2010, 08:41:43 AM »
But, I would still recommend to one and all to use a false bottom, regardless of sparging method. 

What advantages do you think a false bottom has?
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Offline micsager

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2010, 01:32:54 PM »
But, I would still recommend to one and all to use a false bottom, regardless of sparging method. 

What advantages do you think a false bottom has?

I re-read Palmer's book and I believe him.  Even if batch sparging, the liquid will not flow through the corners of your mash tun with a bazooka screen.  It's plain physics.  He explains much better than I.  Whereas a false bottom drains the entire mast bed equally.

But, that's not to say you can't make good beer unless you have a false bottom.  That would be crazy talk.  But I do beleive it's the best option.   

Offline denny

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2010, 02:10:21 PM »
I re-read Palmer's book and I believe him.  Even if batch sparging, the liquid will not flow through the corners of your mash tun with a bazooka screen.  It's plain physics.  He explains much better than I.  Whereas a false bottom drains the entire mast bed equally.

But, that's not to say you can't make good beer unless you have a false bottom.  That would be crazy talk.  But I do beleive it's the best option.   

I think you're confusing the physics behind fly sparging and batch sparging.  In fly sparging, it is important to get the sparge water evenly distributed over the grain, since you're rinsing the sugars out.  In batch sparging, though, the stirring dissolves the sugars into the sparge water so it's a draining process and even distribution makes no difference.  That's borne out by the fact that I and most other batch spargers get efficiency at least as good as fly spargers.  Both methods of sparging work fine, but in batch sparging you're not dependent on your lauter design to get good efficiency.
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Offline micsager

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2010, 04:53:52 PM »
I re-read Palmer's book and I believe him.  Even if batch sparging, the liquid will not flow through the corners of your mash tun with a bazooka screen.  It's plain physics.  He explains much better than I.  Whereas a false bottom drains the entire mast bed equally.

But, that's not to say you can't make good beer unless you have a false bottom.  That would be crazy talk.  But I do beleive it's the best option.   

I think you're confusing the physics behind fly sparging and batch sparging.  In fly sparging, it is important to get the sparge water evenly distributed over the grain, since you're rinsing the sugars out.  In batch sparging, though, the stirring dissolves the sugars into the sparge water so it's a draining process and even distribution makes no difference.  That's borne out by the fact that I and most other batch spargers get efficiency at least as good as fly spargers.  Both methods of sparging work fine, but in batch sparging you're not dependent on your lauter design to get good efficiency.

But shouldn't you compare batch sparging with a bazooka vs batch sparging with a false bottom?  I fully agree you can get great efficiency with a bazooka screen and batch sparging.  And I have no doubt depending on other factors, even better than a fly sparger.  But my guess is that even a batch sparger, would get increased effiency by using a false bottom.  Because either way, gravity will pull the wort to the opening.  With a false bottom, the whole bottom of the tun is that opening, and liquid on the top and edge of the grain bed will go straight down.  With a bazooka, it will creep towards the center as it falls.  With the less liquid going through the grain at the far edge at the bottom of the tun.

Offline hokerer

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2010, 07:34:31 PM »
With a false bottom, the whole bottom of the tun is that opening, and liquid on the top and edge of the grain bed will go straight down.  With a bazooka, it will creep towards the center as it falls.  With the less liquid going through the grain at the far edge at the bottom of the tun.

You're still missing the fact that that doesn't matter with batch sparging.  With fly, the only way you rinse all your grain is to have the water pass through all the grain, hence the need for the false bottom (or manifold or whatever).  With batch, you add all your water at once and then completely stir the mash.  This stirring causes all the grain to get rinsed (even the little bits way down in the corners that fly can't get to).  Now that every bit of grain has been rinsed, all the sugars are in solution and you simply drain off that sugar containing liquid (wort).  At that point it doesn't matter whether/which grain is passes through.
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Offline micsager

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2010, 08:31:05 AM »
With a false bottom, the whole bottom of the tun is that opening, and liquid on the top and edge of the grain bed will go straight down.  With a bazooka, it will creep towards the center as it falls.  With the less liquid going through the grain at the far edge at the bottom of the tun.

You're still missing the fact that that doesn't matter with batch sparging.  With fly, the only way you rinse all your grain is to have the water pass through all the grain, hence the need for the false bottom (or manifold or whatever).  With batch, you add all your water at once and then completely stir the mash.  This stirring causes all the grain to get rinsed (even the little bits way down in the corners that fly can't get to).  Now that every bit of grain has been rinsed, all the sugars are in solution and you simply drain off that sugar containing liquid (wort).  At that point it doesn't matter whether/which grain is passes through.

I understand all that.  And don't really want to get into a big argument.  I believe even with batch sparging, a false bottom is a better option.  Obviously, other do not.  Isn't that the beauty of homebrewing?  Many different opinions on how to pursue this great hobby.  I'll never know for sure, because I will only use a false bottom. 

Offline ratcitybrew

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2010, 08:32:18 AM »
Wow! Interesting discussion...with all this talk of batch vs fly and false bottom vs mesh tube, I've come to the conclusion that I must be doing a combination of both. I regularly drain most of the wort from the tun before beginning my fly sparge, add sparge water until I have about a 2" blanket of water over the grist and stir thoroughly before sparging.

I've used false bottom stainless screens, mesh tubing and even a little copper gizmo that I made for myself once; just a 12" long piece of 3/4 inch copper tubing drilled full of holes that screws to the inside of my tun via the outlet coupling. All seem to work well but I went back to the old school method of using a picnic cooler with a CPVC strainer in the bottom and found my efficiency increased over all the other methods. I don't atttribute this to the lautering method, more to the fact that I am dealing with a mash that is wider then it is tall. I never seemed to get such good efficiency from a converted keg where I was dealing with a tall mash.

Offline denny

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2010, 08:36:50 AM »
I understand all that.  And don't really want to get into a big argument.  I believe even with batch sparging, a false bottom is a better option.  Obviously, other do not.  Isn't that the beauty of homebrewing?  Many different opinions on how to pursue this great hobby.  I'll never know for sure, because I will only use a false bottom. 

No argument, man, but I know people who use a false bottom to batch sparge and it offers no advantages.  In your analysis, though, you still hang on to the "rinsing" theory, even though batch sparging is draining.  Between theory and actual experience, I can assure you that there are no efficiency advantages to using a false bottom.  But neither are there drawbacks.
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Offline piratepointbrewer

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2010, 08:30:57 AM »
We have used a screen tube, and the mesh.  We prefer the mesh for all ofthe reasons stated above.
The best for us how quickly the wort clears when recirculateing and we have never had a stuck lauter.

We do only batch spargeing. We always sparge in two batches. Our 3rd runing is usually 1.014 to 1.015

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Offline timo

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2010, 09:44:43 AM »
Great discussion guys, one I've seen and been part of for years.

I batch sparged with the SS mesh tube for years, worked great. I fly sparged for a while, and while a different process between the stirring and draining in batch and simply rinsing in fly.....both worked great and the efficiency difference was so small as to not even worry about arguing about it.

My current brew house has a CPVC manifold, I have the ability to batch and fly due to how I designed it. I did that on purpose to have the ability to demonstrate the two types in brewing classes.

Happy brewing,

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Offline bobby_m

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2010, 01:21:03 PM »

I understand all that.  And don't really want to get into a big argument.  I believe even with batch sparging, a false bottom is a better option.  Obviously, other do not.  Isn't that the beauty of homebrewing?  Many different opinions on how to pursue this great hobby.  I'll never know for sure, because I will only use a false bottom. 

Ok, it's not a big argument but you don't explain why you think a false bottom is better for batch sparging. There is no sugar gradient at all when you stir the sparge water in. All you have to do at that point is to get all the wort out. If you're suggesting that a false bottom will reduce dead space, then that would support the argument. However, properly installed, a braid can leave less than a 1/2 quart of wort behind.

Alternatively, you can install a FB poorly with a siphon tube that doesn't go all the way to the bottom, and leave a bunch of wort behind.

Finally, the holes in a FB are really prone to getting clogged with circular bits of grain. I have one.

Offline tom

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2010, 05:19:48 PM »
I use a false bottom stuck with a stainless screen over it just for added benefit.
How do you keep the screen in place?
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Offline hankus

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2010, 08:44:32 AM »
A good point about making sure (as I did)to extend the pickup point on the false bottom so as to minimize dead space

Offline IHBHS

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2010, 02:02:34 PM »
I use a false bottom stuck with a stainless screen over it just for added benefit.
How do you keep the screen in place?

I fold the screen around edges of the the false bottom.  As soon as I can get a TIG welder I'll end up tacking the screen to the FB.
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Offline tom

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Re: SS mesh vs false bottom
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2010, 03:37:44 PM »
Good idea. I tried to fold over the corners, but when I stirred the mash I pulled it up.
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