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Simple Alternative To False Bottom For Mash

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Pumpy

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Alternative to a false bottom /manifold or bazooka .

I have been thinking about manifolds and I reckon I have come up with a revolutionary simple idea that will offer a simple low cost alternative for the need for manifolds , bazookas and false bottoms for mashing .!!!

I was driving to the asylum the other week and noticed those grey stones in wire baskets by the sides of the roads used for retaining walls.

So I thought if I used about 2kg of 2mm coarse gravel .
boil the gravel for a few minutes to sterilize and places in a nylon mesh bags.
Place the hot gravel filled nylon mesh bag in the bottom of the tun before placing the mash on top .

Mash as normal you may find the hot gravel base will help keep the mash warm,
When it comes to draining off the sweet wort the gravel bed will offer a nice even lauteur & sparge as there should be no channeling .and maybe no stuck sparges .

After wards there is a need to rinses the gravel of the remaining mash husks. I think they will separate easily .

I have not tested this idea but I will this weekend mash and report back any comments if Gravel is used in filtration systems .

Do you think this may be feasible idea ????

Your comment please .

Pumpy
 

Pumpy

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I think the gravel could be a bit bigger perhaps 2-5mm

Pumpy
 

kungy

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Why do you think there won't be any channelling?

Will
 

Darren

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You could use marbles. They would be a more uniform size too
 

Backlane Brewery

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Pumpy, as a non-AGer (who is planning to gut some SS braid this weekend) I don't quite see how boiling & bagging 2kg of hot gravel will make life any easier. :blink:
What size gravel? What about mineral leaching? How would you fix a stuck sparge? :(
The principle may be sound but...but...but...were you driving IN or OUT of the asylum? :)
 

Steve Lacey

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Pumpy said:
Alternative to a false bottom /manifold or bazooka .

So I thought if I used about 2kg of 2mm coarse gravel .
boil the gravel for a few minutes to sterilize and places in a nylon mesh bags.
Place the hot gravel filled nylon mesh bag in the bottom of the tun before placing the mash on top .

Your comment please .

[post="49635"][/post]​
I think it will work and possibly work quite well. The problem is you have to consider the shape of the flow net within the grain bed. If you look at John Palmer's appendix on experiments with manifolds you'll see what I'm talking about. If you only have the pickup at the wall of the mash tun, you will get inefficient rinsing of extract on the far side of the mash. To overcome this, you could have some perforated copper pipe as a pickup running around under the stones. So having done that, how much ahead are you? Maybe if it made the extraction better or the runoff smoother...you know, I'm not dismissing it at all. There may be advantages. I have read that in the old days, I mean the really old days, they use to use a filter bed of straw.

And on the straw note, you don't need to be anal about sterilizing the stones since you are going to boil the wort afterwards. They just need to be reasonably clean.

I also think larger stones, maybe 5 mm graded blue metal aggregate, would be better. And that sort of raises another parameter doesn't it? Would a pale ale taste better filtered through limestone or ademellite? Sandstone or quartz porphyry? Perhaps some gneiss would be nice :lol:

Steve
:ph34r:
 

MAH

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Or instead of phaffing about with gravel, how about a sheet of perforated stainless steel. You just pop this in the bottom of your mash tun and when your finished you take it out and rinse it off. Simple, effective and easy to use!......... No wait that's a false bottom, and this thread is about re-inventing the wheel ;) .


Cheers
MAH
 

Pumpy

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Kungy ,No Channelling is just my assumption as the filtering medium would be considtent density .

Darren I think marbles would be OK too.BB think I have lost my marbles !!

Steve I had thought of leaving the manifold in .One reason for boiling the stones was to give them heat to maitain the temperature in the Tun ,I did not want to use too porus a stone .

Backlane lane Brewer
I am on the eternal crusade to avoid the stuck sparge I was hoping that it would prevent the stuck sparge due to the better filtration of the gravel .

It is an idea which everyone has given me some food for thought .

Pumpy
 

Guest Lurker

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Hi Pumpy

Since in my real life I am hydrogeologist I have thought about gravel quite a lot. I have pallets of the stuff specially graded, sorted and washed for use as a gravel filter in production wells. It should work better than marbles, in marbles the grain size is too even, and will let fine husk material through the gaps. What you want is gravel with a range from about 2 to 6 mm in size, mixed up, so the smaller gravel sits in the gaps between the bigger gravel, and makes a filter, while still letting plenty of flow through. You also want something pretty siliceous, like quartz, which is inert, and wont leach heavy metals which are present in lots of rocks.

So I am pretty certain it would work. But Ive never done it. As MAH suggests there isnt really any point. And I brew to get away from my real job, not do more of it.
 

Sean

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Steve Lacey said:
I have read that in the old days, I mean the really old days, they use to use a filter bed of straw.
I've never heard this, and I'm not sure how straw would work for mashing.

Straw used to be widely used in building "cheeses" for cider pressing and, although it's almost entirely replaced by cloth now, a few traditionalists do it. It adds a VERY distinctive straw flavour to the cider.
 

Pumpy

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GL I am still excited that this may be a good idea and I have got some gravel within the range you recommend.

I am just goingwash it in hot water then add to the tun to cover my copper manifold with the gravel ,if worse comes to worse it and if it sticks I will just stir the gravel it into the mash it should add to the drainage to the mash if I have to stir it in anyway .

MAH I am hoping that it will be better than a false bottom .

my motto is we have to move backward I mean forward.

Pumpy
 

dreamboat

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Pumpy,
I reckon that what you are proposing will work well, with the only problem occuring if you need to or want to stir the mash. I work in the water treatment game, including design and construction of media filters. For a typical, but high quality sand filter, we use 5 layers of media. 4 of these layers are to support the uppermost layer which actually does the filtration work, and to stop the finer layer above from passing though. As long as whatever grading of media you use has a larger minimum grain size than the holes in your underdrain, you will be on the right track.


dreamboat
 

warrenlw63

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Pumpy,

If it doesn't work you can always put some potting mix on top and grow a few herbs. :p

Warren -
 

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Pumpy

Wouldn't it be easier to wrap the tun in a blanket or sleeping bag to retain heat?

It will be interesting to see your mash pH with the amount of salts leaching out of the stones for the first few mashes.

Cheers
Pedro
 

Batz

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What could be simpler than a braid manifold , sounds a lot more sanitary that a shovel a roadside gravel :huh:
 

Pumpy

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Dreamboat ,
Thanks for your encouragement

Pedro ,
The initial idea was that it may act as an even filter and may prevent a stuck sparge .

I never quite know how slow a sparge should take but mine seem about an hour I never really know if that is too slow
they use gravel in those water house filters in WA for the brackish water dont they


Warren your right there but I will still get the wort out I am sure .

Batz you may well be right but did you start brewing with a braided manifold !!!at a point in time you took a walk on the wild side uhh ! perhaps not, I mean you made a change .

Look it may not work but I dont see why it wont if id does work well why what wrong with a shovelful of 3mm coarse gravel .Pumpy
 

Vlad the Pale Aler

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How about the stuff in the bottom of aquariums, come in lots of pretty colours too.
 

Pumpy

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Hey Vlad, you may have been joking ,but you hit on something there people are not going to use crap gravel and put a thousand dolllars worth of Koi fish or Guppies in there .

If its good enough for the fish

Gee your a tough bunch for new ideas( whith exceptions ) good job we were not around two hundred years ago I would have had a difficult job convincing you I could fly .Pumpy
 

Pumpy

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If I drink much more of this Vienna lager, I made I reckon I will fly its a ripper , I get some things right

Pumpy
 

Batz

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[Gee your a tough bunch for new ideas( whith exceptions ) good job we were not around two hundred years ago I would have had a difficult job convincing you I could fly .Pumpy


We like too move ahead Pumpy , lots of new inventions about these days mate , if you were building planes they would still have two wings and be made out of timber and canvas (or gravel) :lol: :lol:

Batz
 

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