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Derek Smalls

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Yes, Andrew. A splatter guard would probably work. Or a fine mesh strainer, and either would probably cost less than a second sparge plate.
 

Hew's Brews

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... enlarge the slots on it using a screwdriver or something.
Yes, I did that. I found that some of them were quite flat so I went around them all with a flat ended screwdriver and opened them up slightly. It did help.

I like your idea with the colanderathumb..

When I get around to it I want to construct a spinning sparge arm, similar to this one.
 

Derek Smalls

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I was a bit dubious about crowbarring my way around the sparge plate, in case I damage it irreparably. But if you’ve had success doing it, I might take a leap at it.

Yesterday, acting on Andrew’s idea, I ordered a 29 cms splatter guard (with a centre, fold-down handle). It should rest happily on top of the malt pipe, but within the diameter of the Master Brewer, so the lid could go on too. I might try that first, before the screwdriver option, and will let you know how it goes. However I’m unlikely to be brewing again for a least a fortnight, and then only if the temperatures aren’t predicted to be higher than 22 deg C for a few days.
 

ChrisD123

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I guess it must be ready now, how is it?
Gone...haha. It was really nice...made a few brews now and finding it really good. Only thing I don't like is the ring that the grain basket sits on when lautering and sparging....mine is not attached so care is needed when lifting the basket, also i find that the rests on the side of the basket only just rest on the ring so it takes a bit of manouvering. Might need to adjust the ring somehow so the legs sit on more securely..
 

Andrew Taylor

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Gone...haha. It was really nice...made a few brews now and finding it really good. Only thing I don't like is the ring that the grain basket sits on when lautering and sparging....mine is not attached so care is needed when lifting the basket, also i find that the rests on the side of the basket only just rest on the ring so it takes a bit of manouvering. Might need to adjust the ring somehow so the legs sit on more securely..
Hi, I think the ring is designed to to be removed for cleaning
 

ChrisD123

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Yes it is but I need to tweak it a bit. Could do with it being a bit thicker so the basket is more secure when resting on it.
 

ChrisD123

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So did another brew yesterday...had a problem with recirculating during mashing....ie I couldn't...think it was a clogged bazooka from the grain crush ( even had rice hulls in, and it wasn't a massive grain bill either) there was a lot more crud by the time everything was done....do people bother with the bazooka? If not is there a risk of materials damaging the pump?...Was thinking of putting a splatter guard on the bottom of the the basket but worried in case this will clog....any thought?

There was no problem sparging and the OG was 1.058...anyway its in the FV and away!
 

Hew's Brews

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Don't bother with the bazooka. Just dissasemble the pump after each brew and clean it out. If you have the same pump I did then a pin will be needed to poke out the bits from the impellar and/or blowing quite hard through the slot should dislodge any bits of grain.
 

Derek Smalls

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So did another brew yesterday...had a problem with recirculating during mashing....ie I couldn't...think it was a clogged bazooka from the grain crush ( even had rice hulls in, and it wasn't a massive grain bill either) there was a lot more crud by the time everything was done....do people bother with the bazooka? If not is there a risk of materials damaging the pump?...Was thinking of putting a splatter guard on the bottom of the the basket but worried in case this will clog....any thought?

There was no problem sparging and the OG was 1.058...anyway its in the FV and away!
As mentioned earlier in the thread, I have not used the bazooka since the first brew. I have only got a clogged pump once in the 9 subsequent brews, which was when I used whole hops commando. I was asking for trouble, wasn’t I?
 

Derek Smalls

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My splatter guard has arrived.
Here it is:
88D34888-8C43-4AD4-862A-E8F44BC0C32D.jpegDED9E5AE-2E50-41CB-913F-4FE0B2CF06B0.jpegFCF590C2-5AD0-408E-B4E8-F8D1F8E67D3B.jpeg
Fits nicely, and it’s a pretty fine mesh. I will let you know how it goes in operation. It looks like there might be a temperature window starting on Sunday, so I may go for it then.

If anyone else is interested, it’s a 29 cms Splatter Screen from “Handy Helpers”. You can find it on Amazon.
 

Derek Smalls

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Looks good, keep us posted
After doughing in, I vorlaufed about 6 litres, inserted the sparge plate, then placed the splatter guard on top of the malt pipe. After 20 minutes of recirculating this is what it looked like:
A516CE32-D216-4462-94E2-58995C42F8E6.jpeg
I had sprinklered the R-T tubing around somewhat in order to spread the debris, and the wort was beginning to clear, but at this point decided to bin the bits my splatter guard had collected. After that, following another 20 mins of recirculation, this is what it looked like:
6FA61EF3-6A6E-4667-9837-40525898D780.jpeg
Once I removed the splatter guard to commence sparging, I noticed some minor debris had got through and was clogging a few of the sparge plate slots. But I went ahead with the sparging anyway, and it worked smoothly.

Conclusions: I didn’t have to remove and clear the sparge plate at all during the brew. This was the main objective, so the splatter guard works!
However, the OG was a slightly disappointing 1.048 and, with the grain bill I used, I was expecting a bit higher. Could the filtering out of the diminutive grains at the start of recirculating have removed some of the necessary juices?

Actions: I will attempt to lever (gently) a few slots of the sparge plate into wider orifices, and try a brew with that and no splatter guard. Then decide how to proceed in future.
 
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Andrew Taylor

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Interesting, what og were you hoping to get, I wouldn't have thought that that amount of grain you removed would have changed it by more than 1 or 2 Points at the most.
 

Derek Smalls

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Interesting, what og were you hoping to get, I wouldn't have thought that that amount of grain you removed would have changed it by more than 1 or 2 Points at the most.
With the same weight of grain, water volumes, mashing time, temperatures and boil, I got 1.052 last time. However the make-up of my grain bill was slightly different, with some of it from a different supplier, so that might explain the difference. Not a huge fall, by any means, but worth noting.

If I get 5.0% or more, I won’t give a ****!
 

Andrew Taylor

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Cool, sounds like it worked OK, I think I'll give it a try for my next brew and increase the slot sizes on the sparge plate. Might be a few weeks though due to the high ambient temps at the minute
 

Derek Smalls

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Cool, sounds like it worked OK, I think I'll give it a try for my next brew and increase the slot sizes on the sparge plate. Might be a few weeks though due to the high ambient temps at the minute
Where do you live, Andrew? I’m in London (usually one of the warmest places in the UK), and we’re forecast to have sub-22 deg C temperatures until Sunday. Hence my brew just done. Fermentation takes place in the spare (North facing) bedroom with the door and blinds closed. If the room’s temp starts to edge up towards 22 then I open a window or two at night to bring it back down.

That said, I do have an ageing brew fridge lined up. It’s in the kitchen, and all I need to carry out its promotion to a fully beer-related role is to buy a new kitchen fridge. If nothing else, it will give me the capability of cold crashing.

Anyway, I’ve just widened the sparge plate slots. Turned out to be fairly easy; all I did was push a medium-sized screwdriver into all the slots. No levering required. No slots damaged.
4CB9E3C0-CF1A-462E-B8D2-804C762A881C.jpeg
 

Andrew Taylor

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Hi Derek, midlands here, it's much cooler this week, 8 just need to get organised before the warm weather comes back. I will try widening some of the slots to see how that goes for my next brew
 

Andrew Taylor

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just done a brew after widening the slots in the sparge plate, it worked a treat and didn't clog, got a decent continuous flow, the sparging with water also went much more smoothly to.
 

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