I’ve been doing all-grain for a year or so now, and the last 3 or 4 batches I’ve had an issue with a stuck sparge. Initially, I thought grain was getting under my false bottom and clogging the tube (5 gallon gott with ss false bottom). But if I push down on the valve, causing some air to get into the cooler, wort flows fine. Do I have some kind of a pressure thing going on? Is the system too air-tight? I know on my bottling bucket, the nozzle has that small hole in it when open to help with the flow of liquid. Anyone know how I can solve this problem? I use clamps inside the cooler as well as on the hose coming off the spigot.


Do you have the lid down tight or is it loose? Sounds like you need some pressure release.

I have had the same problem a couple of times. When batch sparging the initial mash runnings are good but the sparge sticks at the beginning. Have to open the lid next time. I found if you get the flow going with a small amount of suckage on the out tube works too.

(I use a 48qt. Igloo IceCube with a braided tube in the bottom. It has a 1" to 2" rise with a solid pipe to attach to the valve.)

Lid is open, yes.

Do you start your runoff slowly?

Yep. Just barely crack open the valve and nothing flows. Open all the way, same thing. Flows great if I push down on the valve, causing a slight opening. When I let go, back to square 1. I’m not sure what changed. First few times using this mash tun I had no such issues. Possible I put the assembly on the wrong way when I cleaned it, but I don’t think so. I’ll try a run with just water to see if that works. If it does, that would lead me to think it does have something to do with grain getting into the outlet. Although I don’t see how pushing down on the spigot would help that.

Grab yourself a stainless steel braid and do it Denny style. It really changed my mashing. The false bottoms have far more problems, the braid runs clearer more quickly, and I havent had a stuck sparge since I switched. Also maybe you’re getting too fine of a grind? I ran into that once or twice and some flower had made a cake type situation at the bottom.

What kind of false bottom do you have? Holes or slotted? If it has holes, you could try drilling them larger.

Had quite a few problems with braid. Specially in my round tall cooler and the cube is similar in shape hieght size. The braid would crush after a bit and thus slowed or stopped all flow. Put in a cpvc and never had another problem.

Or maybe just get a different braid. I’ve used mine for over 400 batches with up to 75 lb. of grain. Still works like new.

I love my false bottom, I have never had a stuck sparge. I have a buddy that states that his false bottom is somehow getting grain underneath it, so there could be some validity to that. One thing would be when you first start the system be sure that the false bottom is well weighted down the whole time. Perhaps keep it pushed down with a spoon or something. If you weigh it down and are still getting stuck it could be due to the grain itself.

One other thing is that you might be getting doughballs that are clogging.