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Stainless Steel Braid

Hey guys. I’m looking to make a false bottom with the stainless steel washing machine hose. How long does it need to be? I’m debating whether one hose would be long enough for two pieces; one for the mash tun and one for the brew kettle. I’ll primarily be doing batch spares or boil in a bag, so I don’t even know if I would need one for the kettle. I usually use hop bags to make cleanup a little easier. Any advice you could give would be great. Thanks!

For the mash tun, two inches is plenty - all you’re doing is holding the grain back so it can form a filter bed (and you won’t need a false bottom along with the braid). If you’re using pellets in the kettle, do not use a braid, it will clog, just go with an open pipe.

The longer the run of braid, the closer your mash tun comes to producing a flow path like with a false bottom. I have 5 ft of braid in the bottom of my tun and it is coiled all across the bottom. I used copper wire to bring the braid together at strategic locations so that it was in an orderly configuration.

If you have only a very short amount of braid, there is greater possibility to have ‘dead’ spots in the mash bed that don’t flow well and don’t contribute their sugars as effectively. Having a false bottom that covers the entire bottom of the tun is the ideal situation, but routing braid across most of the bottom is a decent compromise.

[quote=“mabrungard”]The longer the run of braid, the closer your mash tun comes to producing a flow path like with a false bottom. I have 5 ft of braid in the bottom of my tun and it is coiled all across the bottom. I used copper wire to bring the braid together at strategic locations so that it was in an orderly configuration.

If you have only a very short amount of braid, there is greater possibility to have ‘dead’ spots in the mash bed that don’t flow well and don’t contribute their sugars as effectively. Having a false bottom that covers the entire bottom of the tun is the ideal situation, but routing braid across most of the bottom is a decent compromise.[/quote]

Martin, that’s only true of fly sparging. If you batch sparge, the length or configuration of the braid makes no difference. Keep in mind that the braid is porous…wort flows in and out of it.

since you want to batch sparge, the size of the braid doesn’t matter a bit. AAMOF, most people who have started with long braids end up shortening them to prevent catching them when they stir. There is no effect on performance by doing that. For braid, I recommend Lasco part no. 10-0121or 10-0321. Here’s a picture of my configuration. I’ve used this for 460 batches over 16 years. I get great efficiency and I have never had a stuck runoff. Your braid doesn’t need to be as long as this one. The only reason I have that length is that I had been experimenting with different braid lengths and this is the last one I tried.

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“mabrungard”]The longer the run of braid, the closer your mash tun comes to producing a flow path like with a false bottom. I have 5 ft of braid in the bottom of my tun and it is coiled all across the bottom. I used copper wire to bring the braid together at strategic locations so that it was in an orderly configuration.

If you have only a very short amount of braid, there is greater possibility to have ‘dead’ spots in the mash bed that don’t flow well and don’t contribute their sugars as effectively. Having a false bottom that covers the entire bottom of the tun is the ideal situation, but routing braid across most of the bottom is a decent compromise.[/quote]

Martin, that’s only true of fly sparging. If you batch sparge, the length or configuration of the braid makes no difference. Keep in mind that the braid is porous…wort flows in and out of it.[/quote]

I’m interested in seeing you guys duke it out over this one. :cheers:

I’m not aware of any scientific experiments that have been performed to back up either position…

The only way its going to pull wort from anywhere but the first couple inches of the braid is if its clogged there. Anything past the first few inches is just going mosey along until it makes it into the area of flow.

You could test this pretty easily with some water and food coloring and paying attention to which area of the water is disrupted by the suction.

[quote=“mattnaik”]The only way its going to pull wort from anywhere but the first couple inches of the braid is if its clogged there. Anything past the first few inches is just going mosey along until it makes it into the area of flow.

You could test this pretty easily with some water and food coloring and paying attention to which area of the water is disrupted by the suction.[/quote]

It’s even easier than that…pick up the end of the braid that isn’t attached to the outlet. Hold it out of the water and watch the flow rate. It doesn’t change.

[quote=“Silentknyght”]
I’m interested in seeing you guys duke it out over this one. :cheers:

I’m not aware of any scientific experiments that have been performed to back up either position…[/quote]

I have tested this myself many, many times. I don’t believe Martin batch sparges, so his comments are almost always based on fly sparging.

You have a good point there, Denny. In the case of batch sparging, the sugar concentration in any of the wort is similar and there wouldn’t be a compelling reason to have a drain that covered the entire bottom of the tun.

So I should have further qualified my statement…in the case of fly spargers and RIMS users, covering as much of the bottom of the tun with the drain line is desirable. Yes, I fly sparge and run a RIMS. :smiley:

[quote=“mabrungard”]You have a good point there, Denny. In the case of batch sparging, the sugar concentration in any of the wort is similar and there wouldn’t be a compelling reason to have a drain that covered the entire bottom of the tun.

So I should have further qualified my statement…in the case of fly spargers and RIMS users, covering as much of the bottom of the tun with the drain line is desirable. Yes, I fly sparge and run a RIMS. :smiley: [/quote]

Good revision, buddy! :cheers:

Much appreciated guys!

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