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STOUT Mash Tun False Bottom

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  • STOUT Mash Tun False Bottom

    I am brewing on a STOUT 3bbl system and have just started having problems with my false bottom.

    A little about my SOP. During my mash I gravity feed into a DIY wort grant, from the wort grant I pump back into a spraycone to recirculate the mash for the entire 60min. I normally have to throttle the valve from the MT to WG to slow the flow down. The last month or so I have been getting extremely slow runoffs. I have tried to start adding roughly 5gallons of rice hulls to all of my beers, this helps sometimes but not consistently. I really dont mind if my recirculation is slow but this causes the transfer to the BK to be 2-3 hours.

    Does anyone have any general insight or any STOUT owners out there that may have any suggestions.


  • #2
    This is a new problem? It may not be the equipment, but another variable that has changed. If it worked well before, and nothing about your sop or equipment was modified, then I would be looking at the raw ingredients to see what has changed, or at the mill to see if the gap has changed. I dont have a stout system, but from my experience, if I put rye or heavily roasted malts in even a bag too soon, there is a noticeably slower runnoff vs if I put them in late enough during the mash in. It could also be the false bottom has warped from use, so hearing from some other users would be good, you would see that though. I would point my investigation towards what could plug up the run off.


    • #3
      That's the thing is that nothing has changed, well except the slower runoff! These are the same recipes and the same ingredients. I do brew a rye stout and always add rice hulls to that beer due to the rye content.

      Mondays brew (IPA) was extremely slow. I ended up having to go back and stir the mash up again and vorlauf again in order to get it flowing again.
      Tuesdays brew (Red Ale) started out slow but I stirred the mash at 30 and 60 minutes and this seemed to help. I try not to open up and stir too much in an attempt to hold in temp, I do not have any heat to my MT.

      I am buying all my grains premilled by BSG, maybe I need to look into their mill specs?



      • #4
        I'm using the same 3bbl mash tun, although I don't recirculate during the mash we do vorlauf for 20 minutes at the end and occasionally we get a stuck mash but since we upped our rice hulls to two buckets instead of one we haven't had any problems.

        Curious, why do you recirculate during your mash?


        • #5
          I recirculation during the mash mainly because that's how I was initially demo's the system. I got to brew with an established brewery that has the same setup before I opened just to learn the system. They always recirculation their mash and I have just followed suit?


          • #6
            Hmm, well I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't, I really don't know one way or another. I can tell you though that we did get lots of stuck mashes when using a single 5 gallon bucket of rice hulls. Since we switched to two buckets we don't get any stuck mashes during our vorlauf and sparge.


            • #7
              Are you using rice hulls on all of your beers or just on wheat beers and beers with rye?


              • #8
                If it were me, I would skip the 60 min recirculation and do a short vorlauf at the very end of the mash. Just make sure your stirring your mash a few times during the mash. That should help alot.


                • #9
                  I will try to do without the recirculation, stir at a few intervals, and do a nice slow vorlauf. Thanks all


                  • #10
                    Stout 2bbl. Mash in, stir, break up any balls, check temp takes about 5 minutes. Then I don't do anything until vorlauf which I start about 15 minutes before end of planned mash time. Never had a slow or stuck mash and always hit 85-90% mash efficiency unless grind is off. I'd say check the grind.

                    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
                    Eric Brandjes
                    Cole Street Brewery
                    Enumclaw, WA


                    • #11

                      You needn't (and I'll say SHOULDN'T) recirculate any more than the time it takes to achieve a clear wort during vorlauf. You are otherwise just oxidizing your wort for no benefit. And I wouldn't use a spraycone, but instead recirculate my vorlauf at a level underneath the mash surface, but above the grain bed. With an all barley malt beer, you should not need rice hulls. Keep your grain bed differential pressure to around 2-5 cm--not much more! Stir gently during runoff. Buy some sieves and check the grind of your malt. Your mash tun false bottom doesn't have any real variables that would account for this. Best of luck!
                      Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


                      • #12
                        Def test this with a different mill and measure the gap just for future reference. Pretty sure you will get your answer there.

                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


                        • #13
                          I have a stout 1bbl and had similar problems until I reduced the recirc outlet to a 3/8 hose barb. Provides a consistent restriction during recirculation to prevent pump from compressing grain bed. You use a grant so I doubt that's an issue for you, but you may want to try restricting the gravity flow to the grant.

                          Don't mean to hijack the thread, but what is the fear against recirculation? We have a single walled mash tun and use a rims tub to maintain temperature. Are we worried about hot side aeration, because the way we do it is to recirc back to the top of the mash with a piece of tubing to prevent excessive aeration.