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MLT Braid Failure

I was mashing a large batch of wheat beer grist yesterday, and in spite of using rice hulls I found the mash was draining exceedlingly slow and I eventually had to resort to a bag to strain the grain. When I looked in the MLT, I saw that I had smashed/pulled the Denny-style mesh braid till it was tight right at the place where it attached to the hose (the worst place for this to happen). I guess I did this with my spoon as I was trying to get the thick mash (1qt/lb) to keep draining.

I was able to push it back into a larger diameter, open shape. Then I took a piece of copper tubing and out it inside the braid. It runs nearly the entire length of the braid (which I have made into a circle by putting the tag end in the clamped end.) The tubing is only slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the braid. My question is, will this work or do I need something smaller like a thick copper wire?

I’m guessing if the tube was riddled with holes it would work or a coil of copper wire like a spring… I never could find a braid that was paddle proof and gave up on that idea and just built a cpvc manifold
http://gnipsel.com/beer/equipment/MashTun.htm
. I’ve never used rice hulls and usually do wheat type beers… I do get a good crush with intact hulls for the most part so I don’t know how much that impacts everything.

John

Good idea, I should cut a bunch of holes in the tube. I was really hoping it’d still allow wort to flow around it, but thats where I wasn’t sure if it would collapse onto the tubing so much that there’d be no place for the wort to flow.

I’ve used this design for years and this is the first time I remember this happening. I had really loaded up the tun though and was forced to mash with 1qt/lb. With gelatinized wheat that makes for a really thick mash.

I put copper tubing INSIDE my braid and crimped the ends shut so nothing would get inside it. Never had a stuck mash with it on any of my 3 MLTs.

I didn’t crimp mine, figured if the wort wanted to flow through it instead of around it would be OK. How much smaller in diameter is your tubing? Mine is smaller but there doens’t seem to be much room in between it and the braid. Guess I should just try it out.

I didn’t crimp mine, figured if the wort wanted to flow through it instead of around it would be OK. How much smaller in diameter is your tubing? Mine is smaller but there doens’t seem to be much room in between it and the braid. Guess I should just try it out.[/quote]Mine is about 1/4" OD. Here is a picture and years later, it still looks the same.

Thanks for the pic, I think thats where I got the idea for the insert in the first place. What I have is about the same size so I should be fine.

Or start looking for a heavier braid.

This one was off a water line. Its seen a lot of action though, maybe its time for a new one.

Why is it that everything gets less stiff as it gets older?

Maybe. I’ve been using the same one for 13 years and 416 batches, though.

Dude, I just turned 60…I don’t wanna talk about it! :wink:

My old braid was getting pretty raggedy & slow, so I replaced it a few brew days ago.

I took the advice of someone on this board (can’t remember who) and bought a stainless spring to slip inside the braid (http://www.mcmaster.com/#cadinlnord/9663k27/=gjcwcd).

With the spring installed, my last two brews have drained incredibly fast, even with a lot of flour in the grist - well worth the $10. I’ll try it on a rye soon and see how that works.

Can you say Viagra?

[quote=“tom sawyer”]I was mashing a large batch of wheat beer grist yesterday, and in spite of using rice hulls I found the mash was draining exceedlingly slow and I eventually had to resort to a bag to strain the grain. When I looked in the MLT, I saw that I had smashed/pulled the Denny-style mesh braid till it was tight right at the place where it attached to the hose (the worst place for this to happen). I guess I did this with my spoon as I was trying to get the thick mash (1qt/lb) to keep draining.

I was able to push it back into a larger diameter, open shape. Then I took a piece of copper tubing and out it inside the braid. It runs nearly the entire length of the braid (which I have made into a circle by putting the tag end in the clamped end.) The tubing is only slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the braid. My question is, will this work or do I need something smaller like a thick copper wire?[/quote]

I had that happen to me a couple of times, so I went overboard and about the mash/boil screen and valve from our host:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/s-s- ... -barb.html http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/mash ... creen.html

Never happened since… :twisted:

Don’t feel bad, I’m coming up on 50.

That stuff gives me a headache.

[quote=“Mike A.”]My old braid was getting pretty raggedy & slow, so I replaced it a few brew days ago.

I took the advice of someone on this board (can’t remember who) and bought a stainless spring to slip inside the braid (http://www.mcmaster.com/#cadinlnord/9663k27/=gjcwcd).

With the spring installed, my last two brews have drained incredibly fast, even with a lot of flour in the grist - well worth the $10. I’ll try it on a rye soon and see how that works.[/quote]
Sounds like a great idea! It’ll hold the braid out wide and keep some extending pressure on at least the outer half. I’ll certainly look into that one if this tubing fix doesn’t drain quickly.

I think I just mashed the braid to heck with my spoon. My older/smaller tun’s braid still looks fine.

Don’t feel bad, I’m coming up on 50.

That stuff gives me a headache.[/quote]
And a stiff neck? :mrgreen:

It does work as advertised.

So, in light of this thread I shortened and cut holes in the tube that I removed from the stainless braid and thought I’d use it as a ‘backbone’ to prevent it from being crushed. Using this means the mash will be exposed to the tube’s two layers of plastic, as well as some of the thread from the inner tube’s braiding that was exposed during cutting. Any thoughts on whether this would be OK to use, (i.e., anyone think the materials might impart flavor, toxic chemicals, etc)?

Here’s a pic:

I would suspect that the plastic core tubing would compress just as much (or more) as the stainless braid under high heat conditions, like any plastic tubing, defeating your purpose. That stuff was engineered for a cold-water toilet feed line. That doesn’t address your flavor/leaching question.

That’s possible, but it’s damn…shall we say…stiff? :wink:

I suppose at 170 the steel, if crushed, might be strong enough to push the plastic together and hold it there, but I guess I’d be surprised? Maybe I’ll do a little test some night this week. I’m hoping at worst there would be indentations where the gaps are cut out, but that it will generally hold its shape…

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