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Stuck Sparge

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dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Well I experienced my first stuck sparge yesterday.
I was doing a TDA's Oatmeal Stout and as it happened i had asked two blokes to come around to view how AG works. - These guys are "kits and bits".
Well we cracked the grain and hit the strike temp of 66 deg and did the thing for 90 mins and recirculated the wort through the march pump as I have allways done but about three quarters of the way through the first sparge or draining of the mash ,it stopped running.
Well I stirred it up and recirculated it and continued on and finished the sparge.
What I would like to know is:
Would the addition of the oatmeal cause the stuck sparge or would it have been that I recirculated with the pump for too long?
And, how the hell did Murphy know that I had an audience on the day?
Cheers
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
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I recently did an oatmeal stout with about 350g of oatmeal and had no problems at all. I don't have a pump however. Looking at it I would expect oatmeal to work against you in terms of not getting stuck.

I guess it may be down to how close your system is from being stuck without the oatmeal?
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Jason,
I have never had a stuck sparge until yesterday.
The flaked oats were 300 grams which was 4.9% of the grist.
After the stuck sparge I topped up with sparge water, stirred the mash and recirculated it with a jug by hand to clear the wort then carried on with the sparge and had no further problems with the second batch sparge.
The only thing i had done differently yesterday was introduced oatmeal, and of course had two blokes watching me.
I guess some others might have some comments as well.
Thanks Jason,
Cheers
 

Batz

Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav
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I would put it down to having a couple of others watching how you do it Geoff , something had to happen :D :p

Fill the HLT with the lid still on , we have seen that hey? :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Hopeye

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Hey BBB,

Same thing happens in quantum dynamics. The sheer act of watching changes the outcome.

Just my two bits

:chug: :chug: :chug:
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Well Batz,
I didnt fill the HLT with the lid still on, LOL!!!!
So I'm going for the Quantum Dynamics or in simple terms I am blaming the march pump and the two guys that were watching me.
Well today it is in the fermenter in the temp control and it has built a krausen of about three inches above the level in the fermenter and is bubbling away perfectly so I am very happy.
I'm sure that TDA would be proud of me, and if my stout turns out any way like his sample on the world tour visit to Goliaths I will be pretty happy.

PS I will do another stout of the same recipe one day and not use the pump to see how it goes.
Cheers,
 

Jazman

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well blame murphy then bloody Irish curse
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Hey Jazz,
And Irish yeast!!!!!
Cheers
 

jayse

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Did you actaully see that it was stuck dicko? ie unhook the pump and see if the wort would still run out the tap.
I have had my pump sometimes stop pumping and needing a bit of messing around to get it going again. That only really happens when someone else is around for some reason.
Anyway I haven't ever come close to any stuck sparges. I used 750g of oatmeal in one stout once and that was fine so maybe the pump was just not pumping properly.
I don't know iam just guessing.
Blame.... hmmmm i know...... the brewer. :lol: ;)


Jayse
 

dicko

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No Jayse !!! never blame the brewer.LOL!! :lol:

Yes mate it was definately a stuck sparge. :angry: :(

I could still see the wort on top of the grain bed and I was supposed to get about 10.5 litres and I got 7.5 litres.
I only used the pump to recirculate the wort for clearing it and then I just let it run out the tap into the kettle.

My gut feelings are that by using the pump to recirculate the wort and as well as talking to the two guys that were watching me I let the pump run for too long and it compacted the grain bed so much that it stopped the run-off.

Anyway Jayse that is my current theory on the stuck sparge and it caused no problem at all except some inconvenience and a little embarrasement. :ph34r:

If any one has thoughts on recirculating with a pump then give us your thoughts as this was the purpose of my original post.
Cheers
 

Batz

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That's the way I plan on doing it BBB , hope it turns out as good as TDA's sample we had
May give this one a go myself
 

dicko

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Hi Batz,
I took some pics tonite of the plumbing of my brewery for your info.
I need to edit them and email them to you but i have got to work tomorrow so i will try yo get them done when I get home.
The stout tasted great in the fermenter yesterday but as someone said once:
"Patience Grasshopper" or maybe that should have been "Glasshopper" :lol:
Cheers,
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Oats have gums (betaglucans aplenty) as well as proteins and fats and are pretty notorious for slow sparges, using the pump may have compacted the grain bed a bit which would really let those gums gum up the works.

Next time, try cereal mashing the oats: slowly bring to sach temp stirring all the time so it goes slowly through the betaglucanase rest, after 20 mins mashing bring it to the boil and boil for 10 mins, add to rest of mash. I think this kills a lot of the fasts and gums in the oats.

Jovial Monk
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Howdy JM.
Happy birthday for yesterday! :chug: :chug: :chug:
Bit too far for me to come to the pi$$ up but I'll try to call in on my next visit(the Big D Adelaide excersion)

I read in Palmers book that if the rolled oats are of the instant variety that they dont have to be gelatinised and for that reason I chose to use "instant".
Now having said that, I note what you say and I agree that the makeup of the mashed oats plus using the pump to recirculate has caused my problem.
What are your thoughts on the "instant" as opposed to the "non instant" oats?
Cheers
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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With a cereal mash use either

With just adding to mash always use the quick grits

That is what I get from my US Brewrat mates etc

I now use oatmalt and a step mash, f*cking terrific that way!

Jovial Monk
Thx for the birthday wishes
 

dicko

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JM,
Do you stock that oat malt?
If so I will get some when I come over.
Cheers
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Yup, barley rye wheat oat malts stocked

Jovial Monk
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

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BBB aka dicko, I don't use a pump, just rely on gravity for the time being. IIRC I sparged for 40 minutes at a trickle and checked the sparge water temp in my cooler and it was 77C. I reckon this stuff always happens when fellow brewers are around, it will turn out to be a beauty mate.

C&B
TDA
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Hi TDA,
I'm sure it will mate.
Had no other problems and it is fermenting nicely at the moment.
I have only been batch sparging with my new set up but I might try a fly sparge very slowly just for the sake of saying that I did one.
Anyway, thanks for the recipe and Ill let you know how it turns out.
Cheers
 

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