Author Topic: First stuck mash: batch sparge  (Read 3271 times)

Offline zee

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Re: First stuck mash: batch sparge
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2010, 11:38:15 AM »
FWIW, I've done 365 batches with the same braid and never had a stuck runoff, although I crush very fine.  The braid has also never collapsed, even with 75 lb. of grain.

personally, i think there are so many things you changed here that it's hard to put your finger on which one it was that caused the stuck mash. i'd try each thing separately and see what happens on future batches.

with that said, i think both the things you did could lead to a stuck mash. the finer the grind the more likely you are to plug up all the holes in your ss braid.

secondly, i would think that dumping the grain on the braid could crush it more easily than putting the water in first. since the grain won't get into the tube its just going to sit as dead weight on it, potentially squashing it a little. add the weight of some water, and it could definitely distort. the other way around, when you add water first, you can be certain that the braid is not deformed since the water can pass readily through the holes. when you add the grain it won't go shooting to the bottom, it will slowly drop as it soaks up water, so likely it will pile up around and on top of the braid in a more gradual manner helping prevent any distortion or smooshing. as in your second try, dumping mash on top of your braid, i would think again, could squash it due to the weight of the wet grain and water hitting the braid.

so in short, i'd advise adding the grain to the water in the future, as in my mind the other way around seems likely to cause problems.

Offline denny

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Re: First stuck mash: batch sparge
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2010, 12:05:17 PM »
so in short, i'd advise adding the grain to the water in the future, as in my mind the other way around seems likely to cause problems.

To clarify my post, this is what I do.
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Offline yugamrap

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Re: First stuck mash: batch sparge
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2010, 07:33:05 AM »
I've had a couple very slow run-offs where the problem was that doughy/pasty protein, called "teig," that you saw on top of the grain bed.  In both cases, the teig was so dense that the wort was just sitting on top of it and not flowing down through the grain bed.  The solution for me was to "cut" the grain bed while sparging.  I use the edge of a long spoon or my mash paddle and cut down through the grain bed in a criss-cross pattern.  As long as you stay an inch or so above your braid (or manifold in my case) as you cut, there will still be an adequate filter matrix at the bottom of the tun and the runnings will stay clear.
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Offline nyakavt

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Re: First stuck mash: batch sparge
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2010, 08:43:54 AM »
To the OP, I had similar problems with certain mashes getting stuck or flowing very slowly using cooler and braid system.  Looking in the MT, you could see water sitting on top near the edges of the cooler (furthest from the braid).  I think this is due to the very tight crush you used.  The braid may not be able to handle such a fine crush from certain mills, as Denny seems to have no problems with it, but I did.

My barley crusher was set at .025" and I almost always had issues on the first runoff.  Since then I started conditioning the malt before milling and it solved the problem completely.  You could also use rice hulls, or open up the crush a bit.  Even raising the temperature before runoff may help, as I never had problem on the sparge, but I would typically not do this for first runnings.

If you don't have gauges you could try a credit card, they are around 0.030" according to the ones in my wallet.  If that won't go between your rollers, you are probably crushing fine enough to notice problems, at least if your system is similar to mine.

Offline beer_crafter

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Re: First stuck mash: batch sparge
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2010, 08:10:22 AM »
Opened up the gap on the mill to the same width as a credit card (about .030") and my latest mash was much better.  There was very little teig on top of the grain. Still using regular tubing, next step is to try with the hi-temp stuff.

Offline zee

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Re: First stuck mash: batch sparge
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2010, 12:40:27 PM »
you've got to also take into account the speed at which you are milling your grain. if you're going at hand crank speeds you're going to get a very different crush than you will at high speed drill speeds, as at high speeds it will tend to rip and tear the husks more.