Tagged: stuck sparge
Stuck SpargePosted by Ramesh Pandey on January 28, 2020 at 3:24 pm
This weekend I had the brew day from hell and had lots of problems. One problem I had was a stuck sparge. How do you avoid this? I had to stir everything and then vorlouf again and I think it really messed up my wort. How do you avoid a stuck sparge?
- 7 Replies
- MemberJanuary 28, 2020 at 3:28 pm
How fine did you crush your grain? What type of system do you use? The answers to both of those questions will dictate why you’re getting a stuck sparge. That said, the easiest answer is to always add rice hulls. A stuck sparge is not fun, and rice hulls are easy and cheap and go a long way to avoid a stuck sparge.
- MemberJanuary 28, 2020 at 3:32 pm
I cursh my grain using a barley crusher mill. Here is a picture of the milled grain from my brew day yesterday. My system is the igloo coolers and I have a braided hose in the bottom of the mash ton. I vorlauf with a small pitcher. I have brewed a lot of beers on this system and didnt have this problem before.
I will try adding rice hulls. How much do you add for 5 gallon batch?
- MemberJanuary 28, 2020 at 3:33 pm
2 large handfulls of rice hulls in every mash. Never had a stuck sparge since I started doing that.
- MemberJanuary 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm
Ramesh – if you don’t have a pump to recirculate your mash, try to pump some C02 backwards through the valve. That will clear it–then slow down your sparge. And if you are doing a fly-sparge, keep at least 1/2 inch sparge water on top of the mash while sparging.
- MemberJanuary 28, 2020 at 3:36 pm
I reverse the flow on my pump or swap the input/output hoses on my mashtun (same effect). This always clears the pickup tube, then I can swap it back. You may need to vorlauf again.
If you dont have a pump/hoses, etc. I have in the past used an air compressor to blow air back through the pickup. A short blast or two is all that’s needed.
- AdministratorJanuary 28, 2020 at 3:39 pm
Hi Ramesh – one thing that helped me was changing my mash tun to a new type. I have a 72 qurt Coleman Xtreme cooler with a CPVC manifold covering the entire bottom of the mash tun with small holes facing down. Since I added that, I have not had a stuck sparge because it draws the wort fairly evenly across the bottom of the mash tun.
Side note, I also added a sparge manifold into the lid and it makes sparging more or less automatic and my efficiency increased a lot with that system. I’ve been really happy with it!
- MemberJanuary 28, 2020 at 3:49 pm
I blow into the tube as hard as I can. Germs going to get killed in boil anyway. That, and I swear at it a lot and say I’m never going to brew again haha