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Thread: Raking top layer of Mash during Lauter?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Manchester, CT USA
    Posts
    32

    Raking top layer of Mash during Lauter?

    Hello All,

    Curious if any one is occasionally raking the top layer of there mash during the lauter. I get a pretty "gummy" layer on top and it would be my guess that this is inhibiting the sparge liquid from penetrating the grain causing efficiency issues. I noticed that the top 3 inches of the circumference of my mash had pulled slightly away from the MLT side. I'm assuming that this is because the sparge water is flowing toward the path of least resistance. At no time is the top of my grain bed run dry. I always have approx 2-3 inches of water above the bed.

    Cheers and thanks!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Calmar Iowa U.S.A.
    Posts
    104
    Hard to tell from just a photo but it looks as if you also have quite a few un cracked kernels in there as well. Have you run a sieve crush test recently? If you are getting both a lot of flour and a lot of intact grains your mill might be out of spec. Or you may just be feeding the grain into the mill too fast. I would start by looking there.
    But to answer your question, yes, it's perfectly normal to rake the top of a grain bed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Palau
    Posts
    2,026

    Normal.

    If you don't rake, the malt cookie is likely to shrink as the 78% of mass converts to liquid. It's only then that the sparge seeks out cracks, which usually start at the periphery and then work toward the center. If the "uncracked" grain is actually that, then you should sieve test your crushed malt. If it's rice hulls, then it's normal.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Manchester, CT USA
    Posts
    32

    Thanks

    Thanks for the advice. Those are rice hulls on the top and I have a #14 sieve that I test the crush. Unfortunately we get our grains pre-crushed but so far they have been relatively consistent. CMG asks how you want them crushed. Appreciate you confirming my suspicion that I should rake. Cheers!

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