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More "Stuck" mash

This is strange. I’ve never heard of a false bottom ‘failing’.
Edited to add: other than the false bottom crumbling under too much weight. But I wouldn’t think that would happen under 15.5lbs. What kind of bottom are you using?

I do use a 3 vessel system. With a bazooka. Tube. Till so far never. Had. Any issues. With stuck. Mash. Be carefull. If you do use a regular. Air compressor. There are lots of oil particals in your air. Its not clean air

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I was using the titan 11.5" I believe. Domed false bottom, stainless. Granted, my mash tun is a plastic igloo cooler, so the plastic could be warped inside. But as I mentioned, the false bottom is a little warped as well. Not a huge amount, but I could definitely see it being a possibility that grain could get under the lifted lip, especially since it doesn’t reach out to the outer limits of the cooler.

I will use a biab filter bag, and I’ll keep my false bottom in place. Sort of a belt-and-suspenders approach. I’ll keep my grain mill at the same gap, just to see if this beer can finally get brewed.

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Just out of curiosity what method of sparge do you use?

I normally batch sparge. Unfortunately I haven’t even made it that far as I never got any wort out of the Mash Tun

Just starting to batch sparge… or is it a normal practice?
Sneezles61

I’ve been doing it for probably 4 years now.

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Can I ask why that matters? Or just curious in general?

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More of a curious thought…
I’m stumped on any other ideas… It’d easier to crack this mystery being there brewing…
Sneezles61

Wow ok. Just trying to limit where it’s happening in the process. So the clog is happening right after static mash when you go to vorlauf (essentially when your going to catch your first runnings in which your vorlaufing to clear). When you go to feed your pump for vorlauf are you opening the valve wide open quickly? Or do you do it slowly?

So it’s a motorized ball valve controlled by software. It takes approximately 5 seconds to fully open, so there shouldn’t be much vacuum.

Also, I poked a pipe cleaner in through the ball valve (disconnected all tubing) and liquid started to come out. I took the pipe cleaner out… And the liquid flow stopped. As I mentioned, I couldn’t even suck the liquid out by mouth like a straw. You’re correct, it was completely clogged immediately upon starting vorlauf, so I never got any sort of first (or any) runnings.

The only thing I can think of is that slight warping of the false bottom. Its not extreme, but it’s definitely enough for a few grains here and there… Which is enough to cause trouble

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You’ve isolated some problems so these are the things I would focus on. Make sure the valve is opening fully and that the ID is big enough. Then I would focus on too much grain sneaking in your false bottom.

I can verify it was fully open. The valve is 1/2" NPT. I stuck a pipe cleaner into the ball valve, all the way through to the tubing. This allowed liquid to come out, but when I removed the pipe cleaner, it clogged up again and all liquid flow stopped again. It acted as if the pipe cleaner was holding back the solids, at least temporarily.

I will be brewing this beer a third and final time next weekend, will report back. If it fails a third time, I will consider the recipe cursed and give up. If a bag AND a false bottom fails… I may just quit brewing altogether. Haha

Lucky yer havin’ a brew… you’ll be consumed with processing … process…
Sneezles61

Im totally baffled since you said you’ve used this system for years. What changed? Did you by chance heat your pot dry causing it to warp? Along with your slightly warped false bottom could be letting the grain get under. You could use the bag or bazooka tube in combination with your FB and still be able to add external heat. Im so confused by this thread im not sure if you tried the bag yet

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I honestly can’t tell you what changed. All I can say is that years ago I didn’t throttle my vorlauf pump, so over time that may have been hurting the false bottom. But I always used pre milled grain, so it’s possible the grain was bigger. Or I was just getting lucky? And now maybe it’s coming back to bite me in the ass? Basically could have been a ticking time bomb that finally blew up in my face.

I bought the bag, have not used it yet. I am going to use my warped false bottom in tandem with the biab bag, and see how that goes.

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Are you draining with a lid on the mash tun? If the lid has a tight seal, it could prevent drainage that way, needs to be open at least a crack.

Are you using much wheat, rye, or oats? These can definitely cause stuck runoff. If so you might want to try a step mash or reduce amounts of these grains.

Otherwise I am baffled by this. I would suggest ditching the false bottom and instead cover the drain valve with a wad of coarse mesh bag. There are different meshes on grain bags and I always prefer the wide gap mesh versus the super fine mesh, runs off way easier without hassle.

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Very good point Dave… I bought some when I first got into the BIAB method… I could not get the wort out of it! But it was very strong… as I squeezed it… wrung it out and it did not tear or fall apart…
NB had some course mesh… worked well when pressing apple joose from the mangled apples…
Sneezles61

The lid was definitely off when I started to drain, because I was trying to vorlauf. My system recirculates the wort back to the top of the tun, so it requires the top to be open. I also was stirring it as an attempt to free anything up.

I got the biab bag from our host. It’s a substantially fine mesh. I might need to squeeze the bag, who knows. I only worry that I might get scorching with my heating element, that happened once when I squeezed a filter bag to extract some wort.

I bought a… hhmm… round elevated gizmo from brewhardware… Its like 1/4" hardware clothe/screen with some long bolts that keep my baskets above the element… It very good at what it does… Stainless Steel too…
I do not know if a bag would be appropriate…
Sneezles61

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