Author Topic: Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun  (Read 955 times)

Offline Erik_Mog

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Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun
« on: June 27, 2016, 04:17:34 PM »
I have a domed false bottom in my mash tun, and the dead space is just under 1/2 gal. I do have some extra vinyl tubing that will fit in the center hole of the false bottom. If I were to cut a piece of this so it was about 1/8" to 1/16' above the bottom of the mash tun, would that make any appreciable difference in the amount of unrecoverable wort left in the tun after mashing, or not enough to worry about? I am trying to make my equipment/process as efficient as possible.

My only concern about doing this, if it would make any noticeable difference, would be stuck runoff/sparge. I just did my first all grain brew day, and when I first opened the valve, the finer grain particles had apparently clogged the outlet hole on the false bottom, and I had to blow back through it to get any runoff started. After vorlauf, there was no issue, even after stirring when adding the sparge water. Would putting a pickup tube on make it less likely to happen again, or would I be asking for trouble?
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Bottled/Drinking:  Born Again Heathenweizen, Mongrel Belgian
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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2016, 04:36:28 PM »
PVC tubing doesn't handle heat well. I'm not sure what the upper limit is, but I would read up before attempting.

Also, FWIW rather than "fix" deadspace issues in my kettles/tuns/etc I end up just making a few quarts more wort. Then I don't have to worry about squeezing every last drop. Also, if you forget to take a sample or want to taste something there's always that last little bit you could put the effort in to recover.

Offline Erik_Mog

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Re: Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 04:46:03 PM »
The tubing I have probably isn't heat tolerant.  It's the vinyl tubing that you use with racking canes and such.  If it won't really make any difference, then I won't fix what isn't broken.  I had about 1.5" to 2" of wort left on the grain bed after the tun had finished draining (after tipping, etc to try and get everything) and got the 7gal that I was going for with a 75.8% mash efficiency on my first go-round.  It's probably not worth worrying about then.
Bottled/Drinking:  Born Again Heathenweizen, Mongrel Belgian
Fermenting:  None
Future:  Undecided...too many to choose from

Doggie Mutt Brewing Co.
"Beer....Because people suck."

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 06:33:24 PM »
The tubing I have probably isn't heat tolerant.  It's the vinyl tubing that you use with racking canes and such.  If it won't really make any difference, then I won't fix what isn't broken.  I had about 1.5" to 2" of wort left on the grain bed after the tun had finished draining (after tipping, etc to try and get everything) and got the 7gal that I was going for with a 75.8% mash efficiency on my first go-round.  It's probably not worth worrying about then.
Correct, that stuff isn't heat tolerant and can shed chemicals that you don't want at high temps.

For purposes of your process, the "foundation water" under the false bottom will be the same amount every time. You can measure it once (even with water) just to know how much "waste" to put into any calculations you do, but otherwise it's a non-issue.

As for efficiency, Brewer's Friend and BrauKaiser have some good information about different definintions of "efficiency" and what they mean (i.e. difference between conversion efficiency and brew house efficiency). Have a quick look at those, as they may help you wrap your head around the cases in which this would or would not be an issue. The BrauKaiser one is more detailed/technical, so you may want to start with the Brewer's Friend one.

http://www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency/

http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Understanding_Efficiency


Offline Erik_Mog

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Re: Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 07:53:18 PM »
Thanks
Bottled/Drinking:  Born Again Heathenweizen, Mongrel Belgian
Fermenting:  None
Future:  Undecided...too many to choose from

Doggie Mutt Brewing Co.
"Beer....Because people suck."

Offline Werks21

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Re: Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2016, 01:57:40 AM »
A half gallon is about 7 percent of your 7 gallon pre boil volume so its a pretty big hit in mash/brewhouse efficiency. If you could get silicone tube or extend it some other way (metal fitting perhaps)that could help for sure just dont go that close to the bottom. I did the math on available area/flow on my build and came up with 3/16 (IIRC) as the break even height with a half inch pick up tube. Maybe I just worry about losses more than others but if you can save 1 quart per brew day and you brew once a month thats 3 gallons of beer a year! if you can whittle it down to only 1/2 a quart left in the MLT thats just about a corny Keg yearly!!
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2016, 03:14:42 PM »
A half gallon is about 7 percent of your 7 gallon pre boil volume so its a pretty big hit in mash/brewhouse efficiency. If you could get silicone tube or extend it some other way (metal fitting perhaps)that could help for sure just dont go that close to the bottom. I did the math on available area/flow on my build and came up with 3/16 (IIRC) as the break even height with a half inch pick up tube. Maybe I just worry about losses more than others but if you can save 1 quart per brew day and you brew once a month thats 3 gallons of beer a year! if you can whittle it down to only 1/2 a quart left in the MLT thats just about a corny Keg yearly!!
True. The other side of that is that from a raw materials standpoint the beer you're saving is worth a few dollars per year at most. I tend to accept waste like this anywhere that it saves me time or might improve quality (i.e. I also leave a little at the bottom of the kettle because it contains a much higher concentration of break and hop material that I'd prefer not to transfer to the fermentor).

But don't get me wrong Werks -- if I let me OCD take over I'd be trying to squeeze every last drop of efficiency out of it. Letting that stuff go is totally swimming upstream for my brain ;)

Offline Werks21

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Re: Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2016, 01:50:22 AM »
if I let me OCD take over I'd be trying to squeeze every last drop of efficiency out of it. Letting that stuff go is totally swimming upstream for my brain ;)


I know what you mean, I am always after a perfect solution to any given problem but I have to let things go sometimes for one reason or another and it takes energy...
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Pickup tube for false bottom in mash tun
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2016, 02:38:40 AM »
if I let me OCD take over I'd be trying to squeeze every last drop of efficiency out of it. Letting that stuff go is totally swimming upstream for my brain ;)


I know what you mean, I am always after a perfect solution to any given problem but I have to let things go sometimes for one reason or another and it takes energy...
I find alcohol reduces the amount of energy it takes ;)