So when it's stuck, whaddya do?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by wolfie7873, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. wolfie7873

    wolfie7873 Member

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    Every once in a while, I don't know it it's an adjunct I've added or just dumb luck, but occasionally, I get a stuck sparge. Since I often don't mash out, this can mean unintended continued conversion (I effectively ruined a beer this way). The first time this happened, I turned off the valve, stirred things up, waited to settle, vorlaufed, and tried again, and got stuck again. After that I just stir and give up the idea of clear wort into the boil kettle. Is there a way that works better? The only thing I can think of is keeping rice hulls on standby.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    add a pound of rice hulls per 5 gallons of beer before the mash even starts mix well, or condition the grain ahead of time by soaking in a temp under 125 for 30 minutes to soak the grain full of water before mashing making the hulls firmer

    I do both actually and I recirculate and never get a stuck sparge any more
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Once it's stuck? Back pressure (hold the runoff tube up high, pour it full of warm brewing liquor and hope for the best, or blow into the tube and hope you can free the gunk up). If that doesn't work, stir, heat up the mix some (there's really no evidence that a hot sparge will extract tannins, more beer lore) and if it loosens the mix, great. Best way is prevention: Either make sure your crush isn't damaging the husks or, if you're using lots of adjuncts, make sure you add lots of rice hulls. I do some high-adjunct beers and rice hulls are my weapon of choice for preventing stuck sparges.
     

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