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Better Mash Tun

I need some help with my Mash Tun. I am currently using a 7 gallon round cooler with a 9 inch stainless steel false bottom in my cooler.

I continue to have trouble draining my mash tun. Anytime I use wheat or oats in my grain bill I always get a stuck sparge. I have used rice hulls and tried resting the grain at 122 protein rest for the grain. Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong or should I buy a different mash tun or false bottom.


In terms of having to worry about stuck sparges, a false bottom is about the worst design you can use. The tradeoff is that it’s also the most efficient.

Are you batch sparging or fly sparging? If you’re batching then lauter tun design doesn’t really matter and you should probably just switch to something else. If you’re fly sparging, then in addition to using rice hulls you could do a mashout, which reduces the viscosity of the wort and might improve your flow rate.

I’d evaluate your crush too. If you’re just cracking the majority of the husks as opposed to splitting them, they’d be more likely to plug the holes in the false bottom.

I am batch sparging for all my beers. For all my beers. What would you recommend instead of a false bottom.

The SS braid from a toilet hose…seriously. See

I’m using a CPVC manifold and love it. If you search for “Making a CPVC Mash Lauter Tun” on YouTube, you can see the version I mimicked. I also used Palmer’s equations to measure everything out. In looking at copper pipe and wire mesh versions, I settled on the CPVC manifold because the tolerance of the pieces give them plenty of grip, but you can still take them apart - much easier cleaning. I also found a great variety of accompanying pieces (i.e. nipples, connectors, elbows, valves, etc.).

If, however, you’re going to continue to use your round cooler, you’ll have to defer to others’ opinions and expertise.

I use a false bottom in a 5 gallon round cooler and haven’t had a stuck sparge. I fly sparge.

This may not address your problem or make it better, but I just thought you might like to know that your setup does work in theory.

When you dough in, do you add water to the grain or vise versa? Is your false botton in good condition and free of debris?

The SS braid from a toilet hose…seriously. See[/quote]
+1. Cheap and effective.

When I get a a stuck mash I either underlet to refloat the grains or stir up the grains. It’s really no more work than batch sparging. Rake the grain bed to a few inches of the false bottom the keep the bed from compacting.

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