Robobrew stuck sparge

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by Stewart Brewing, Dec 9, 2019.

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  1. Dec 9, 2019 #1

    Stewart Brewing

    Stewart Brewing

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    Hi All,

    Hoping for some advice from a long term Robobrewer.
    Are you using the wire mesh in the bottom of the malt pipe?
    I am finding that my sparges are getting stuck, no flow through the malt. The only way to get it moving is to repeatedly twist a paddle at the bottom of the pipe on the top of the wire screen. i feel like the wire screen is getting clogged with small malt particles / sugars.
    Should I try a brew without the wire screen using only the punched hole base plate?

    Any one else experienced this with the Gen 3?
    Cheers
     
  2. Dec 9, 2019 #2

    cheeseyfeet

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    I use the fine mesh and have had very slow run offs but never stuck.

    I resolved this by starting to throw a couple of handfuls of rice or oat husks into the mash, works a treat!
     
    GerritT likes this.
  3. Dec 9, 2019 #3

    SteveH

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    I've found you need to mash fairly thin or the problems you describe are likely - I generally mash in with 20l water for grain bills of up to around 5kg and that seems to work well.
     
  4. Dec 9, 2019 #4

    Stewart Brewing

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    Thanks Cheesy and Steve, I'll look in to both.
     
  5. Dec 9, 2019 #5

    the baron

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    Stuck sparges are usually a sign of bad grain crush (too fine) or a large grainbill with a lot of wheat/rye porridge oats/and other grains. As said the best way to improve this is to mash with a higher amount of water 0f 4ltr per kilo up or down a bit, I usually mash for a standard 23ltr brew with 19ltrs and sparge to the pre boil amount I need. Another preventative is when using a larger amount of the suspect grains mentioned is to use Oat husks to give some separation in the mash also a stir or two helps say at 1/4 and 1/2 mash time but do not over stir as this can make the mash starchy and gloopy which will again accentuate the problem. I have found that it is usually the grain crush that causes the problem in ALL in one systems so not just the Robobrew but as you get to know your system you will work out the best way for yourself. Good Luck
     
  6. Dec 9, 2019 #6

    London

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    Do you use the oat husks whole or crushed?
     
  7. Dec 9, 2019 #7

    the baron

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    Hi Oat husks come as they are it is the outer husk off the grain so it is supplied as is neither crushed or crushed if that makes sense
     
  8. Dec 9, 2019 #8

    London

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    That's what i though but on the Malt Miller website that are options for uncrushed,crushed and fine crush
     
  9. Dec 9, 2019 #9

    the baron

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    Must be a technical hitch to do with general grain ordering as I have only ever bought it as is unless somebody knows different
     
  10. Dec 9, 2019 #10

    Keruso

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    MM does offer uncrushed, crushed and fine crush for all malts and adjuncts, just click uncrushed for the husks but I don’t think MM will crush them whichever option you choose.
     
  11. Dec 9, 2019 #11

    Keruso

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    I find it’s the grain crush and the amount of visible flour. Every sticky mash I’ve had is when you can see lots of flour. I did an experiment and sifted it out, and got the best circulation ever, and crystal clear wort. You need to add more grain or dextrose to compensate for flour removed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  12. Dec 9, 2019 #12

    Ghillie

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    In no particular order:

    18-20L strike water volume regardless.

    Give your grain 15 minutes to rest after doughing in, will allow the grain bed to settle evenly.

    When you turn your pump on, do it with the recirc arm valve closed, then gently throttle it open until you get a trickle. Build the flow up gradually until you're happy. Don't rush this part. Run the pump full chat straight away and you'll compact the grain bed to the point of it becoming a nightmare.

    Dump the fine mesh screen from the bottom of the malt pipe.

    Wet condition your grain (if crushing your own).

    Mash out to decrease grain bed viscosity which will help with sparging.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  13. Dec 9, 2019 #13

    London

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    Ghillie,
    Do you mean 18-20L strike?
     
  14. Dec 10, 2019 #14

    Ghillie

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    I certainly did, edited to correct. Thanks for pointing that one out!
     
  15. Dec 10, 2019 #15

    Stewart Brewing

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    Thanks all,
    I have noticed some flour in the malt, I have ordered rice hulls.
    I may have been over stirring the mash and turning it gloopy. I will watch out for this.
    Slow start to the re-circulation noted.
    Larger strike water volume.
    Will be a few weeks until I will be brewing but I'll post an update.
    Cheers
     
  16. Dec 10, 2019 #16

    the_quick

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    Had similar problem, stopped using the secondary fine mesh for the bottom and it stopped that. Don't use any husks.
     
  17. Dec 10, 2019 #17

    Stewart Brewing

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    Thanks Quick. Thinking about this option too.
     
  18. Jan 15, 2020 #18

    Alfie Noakes

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    I just had this exact problem today, some flour in the Pilsener malt crushed by MM, horrendous mash that I had to keep stirring to get any flow through. Think I'll try without the fine mesh screen next time, might also try sifting the flour out of the grain, thanks everyone for their help here, was tearing my hair out this morning!
     

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