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Stainless Steel Braid

Is all stainless steel braid the same?

For example, instead of buying the entire hose, can I just purchase a length of this:

http://www.cableorganizer.com/stainless-steel-braid

Looks fine. I think I only paid $10 or so for my SS braid at Home Depot so it may be a wash when you factor in shipping.

As far as price goes, I’m sure there’s not much difference.

Does anyone know if the design of these braids varies? I’d guess not, but doesn’t hurt to ask.

From the looks of it, they look pretty much the same. Pretty sure SS braid is all basically the same design.

Looks like the same to me. I agree about the price looking a bit stiff though.

My braid was $3.95 at TrueValue. That was a few years ago, but I don’t think they’re much more now. Just buy the shortest, cheapest one that is SS, unless you have a real reason to need a longer one. Not that price is much of an issue on one of these, since they seem to last forever. I must say, my buddy got a hot water heater line, which was a little over $10, I think, which has a larger diameter. That thing flows really quickly. It was also 2-feet long, so you could make 4+ braids from one, if you had someone to split it with.

I’m not so much concerned about cost, as I am about design.

It seems there are looser and tighter weaves as well as different diameters.

It seems most braids on water lines at the hardware store are very tight. Unless you stretch it just right (or have worn it out a bit from general stirring and use), it would appear to clog easily (stuck sparge).

In your experience, what diameter and weave works best?

I used the SS braid and had a problem with a stuck sparge. I was so frustrated that I ditched it and bought bazooka tube screens for my mash tuns. I love the bazooka tubes because they hold their shape and I have never had a flow issue. Once your grain bed is set you get clear wort regardless.

[quote=“GeneticBrew”]I’m not so much concerned about cost, as I am about design.

It seems there are looser and tighter weaves as well as different diameters.

It seems most braids on water lines at the hardware store are very tight. Unless you stretch it just right (or have worn it out a bit from general stirring and use), it would appear to clog easily (stuck sparge).

In your experience, what diameter and weave works best?[/quote]

The standard water supply lines at Home Depot work great. I have roughly 120 batches on my current braid with no issues.

Yes, there are a lot of complaints about stuck sparges with a braid.

What is the difference between the folks who use a braid and do not get a stuck sparge and those who get a stuck sparge? I’d venture to guess some of it has to do with crush, but what about the design and wear and tear of the braid.

If you look at MullerBrau’s braid, it seems to have very even opening and not be tightly braided shut.

If you look at Denny’s braid, it also appears to have nice evenly spaced openings and not be tightly braided shut.

http://hbd.org/clubs/cascade/public_html/dennybrew/braid.jpg

Now if you look at the stainless braid sold here, it is very tightly woven:

http://www.bargainfittings.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=47&product_id=96

I would venture to guess that there’s some secret being held by Denny and Greg with regard to stainless braids. Why won’t they tell us? :stuck_out_tongue:

I know Greg has a copper tube to hold his up, but Denny’s braid looks… well… rather used.

Not having used a braid, it may be best to buy the looser weave if it can be found.

Great! But why don’t you get a stuck sparge? What are you doing differently than those who do get a stuck sparge? Did you just happen to pick a loose weave braid?

Great! But why don’t you get a stuck sparge? What are you doing differently than those who do get a stuck sparge? Did you just happen to pick a loose weave braid?[/quote]

That’s a very good question, other than perhaps over crushing or lots of adjunct I don’t know why others would get a stuck sparge. I don’t believe I’m doing anything special, the braid I use appears fairly tightly woven, as I mentioned just the standard water supply line(toilets if I remember correctly) and I don’t use anything inside of it to keep it from compressing. I think you’d find that the people getting stuck sparges are more the exception rather than the rule, that’s part of the reason I decided to try one years ago.

I use Lasco brand braids (part number 10-0121 or 10-0321). You can find them online.

Bingo! That’s a loose weave braid!

[quote=“GeneticBrew”]What is the difference between the folks who use a braid and do not get a stuck sparge and those who get a stuck sparge? I’d venture to guess some of it has to do with crush, but what about the design and wear and tear of the braid.

If you look at MullerBrau’s braid, it seems to have very even opening and not be tightly braided shut.

I would venture to guess that there’s some secret being held by Denny and Greg with regard to stainless braids. Why won’t they tell us? :stuck_out_tongue:

I know Greg has a copper tube to hold his up, but Denny’s braid looks… well… rather used.[/quote]Mine has copper tubing inside it to help keep it down and retain its shape. If I did not use that, I would have just a stubby piece of braid in there.

Pulling it around the copper tube and clamping it on both ends stretches it lengthwise just enough to open the weave.

Do you know what hose you used Greg?

I just don’t get why people need to do that. I’m over 16 years and 435 batches with the same braid with nothing inside it. Sure, it looks beat up but that hasn’t affected the performance. It floats once in a while, not very often, but that doesn’t cause any problems. I just can’t figure out why mine is so trouble free and so many others need to do all that extra rigamarole!

I just don’t get why people need to do that. I’m over 16 years and 435 batches with the same braid with nothing inside it. Sure, it looks beat up but that hasn’t affected the performance. It floats once in a while, not very often, but that doesn’t cause any problems. I just can’t figure out why mine is so trouble free and so many others need to do all that extra rigamarole![/quote]

Sounds like you should have bought a lottery ticket instead! :cheers:

I think Greg does that so he can fly sparge. As for your luck, it seems to be related to the loose weave on your braids and probably your crush. I’d venture to guess that the “flexibility” of the bung and tubing might also aid your efforts.

I guess mine looks like Denny’s, but much shorter. When I go to the hardware store, they all look pretty much the same, with about three tight strands then a more open space.

Mine is in a loop, just to allow me to put a bit of torque on it, which holds it tightly against the bottom. My set up is also rigid, so no flexibility. I’ve never had a stuck sparge out of 100+ batches, though I’ve had a few slow runnings with some grists. Not often, though.

I suspect that the variable between brewers is not the braid weave, but the quality of their crush. I crush very fine with my mill (85%+ efficiency), but get a lot of whole husks. I’ve seen other cases where the husks are mostly shredded, such as from my LHBS, which can cause a lot of problems.

I just don’t get why people need to do that. I’m over 16 years and 435 batches with the same braid with nothing inside it. Sure, it looks beat up but that hasn’t affected the performance. It floats once in a while, not very often, but that doesn’t cause any problems. I just can’t figure out why mine is so trouble free and so many others need to do all that extra rigamarole![/quote]

Sounds like you should have bought a lottery ticket instead! :cheers:

I think Greg does that so he can fly sparge. As for your luck, it seems to be related to the loose weave on your braids and probably your crush. I’d venture to guess that the “flexibility” of the bung and tubing might also aid your efforts.[/quote]Yes I do fly sparge with mine. I’m just a little more concerned with looks than Denny might be. Both get the job done though. I would venture to say that Denny’s “check MLT soon” light would be on if he had one LOL.

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