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$%$#@#$ stuck sparge, grrrrrr!

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Chugmonkey, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Chugmonkey

    Chugmonkey Initiate (0) Wisconsin Jan 11, 2008

    Brewin an oatmeal brown and I added a can 18oz of quick oats to my crusher on top of the grain. I stared at it and thought, "Hmmmm, that seems kind of like small flakes already and I prolly shouldn't even crush them. Oh wtf, I'm not going to dig them out now."

    Sure as $hit, stuck sparge. I've used oats before for oatmeal stouts and crushed them and never had any issues. Yet another lesson learned the hard way.

    Now, I've stirred this mash three times and can't get it to flow decent, just a trickle. Wow this is f'ing frustrating. Well hopefully a bunch of hot water will help when I start sparging. Otherwise I'm about to lose my patience with this stupid hobby, grrrrr.
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Do you have any rice hulls? Or a nearby LHBS?
  3. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (835) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Rice hulls are a good way to go. Backflush with a gallon or so of your sparge water first and see if that gets it going.

    Also, if you're using a manifold, make sure it's still connected.
  4. Chugmonkey

    Chugmonkey Initiate (0) Wisconsin Jan 11, 2008

    Thanks. I poked a coat hanger in with the valve wide open, stirred one more time and vorlaufed a bunch and now it's going.

    I know my crush is a little too fine, but can't seem to adjust this barly crusher very well. It's either to loose, barely crushing the grains or where I have it now, which is too dusty fine. I'm not impressed with this Barley Crusher. It is not very adjustable and I already broke off one of the wimpy soft screws and am afraid to mess with it anymore. Not a heavy duty piece of equipment that's for sure. I would recommend using the factory setting and not mess with it if anyone is going to get one. It works great, but don't mess with it too much. If you adjust, use a screwdriver very carefully and not a cordless drill. They could use some stronger screws instead of these cheap ass weak junk ones.
  5. Chugmonkey

    Chugmonkey Initiate (0) Wisconsin Jan 11, 2008

    Well enough ranting and drama. Just finished cleaning up and everything ended up pretty smooth. OG of 1.065 and smells quite heavenly. I bogarted this Surly Bender recipe off of NB site: http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/allgrain/AG-Bender_Pro_Surly.pdf

    I upped the oats a bit and subbed homegrown homegrown Cascades for the bittering, and used 05 instead of the British yeast. Did use homegrown Willamette for the FW and aroma hops.

    Anyone ever brew this? I've never even had it cuz you Minnesotans drink too damn much and they don't have enough to distribute over here. Sounds like a killer brown ale.
  6. Grohnke

    Grohnke Savant (380) Illinois Sep 15, 2009

    My one stuck lauter story and resolution: manifold came off at the bottom (likely from stirring the mash). After blowing through the valve for about 5 minutes, i realized nothing was stuck and it was a bigger issue. With that, I got my other brew kettle that i had on hand, put a kitchen strainer on it, and scooped out the entire hot mash, and placed it on the strainer. Oxidated the hell out of the wort. Fixed the manifold, dumped everything back in and sparged. Complete pain in the ass. I am now more careful when stirring my mash
  7. The trick that works for me with a stuck sparge is blowing through the tube back up into my mash tun. It loosens up the grains where it's stuck on your braid or manifold; it's worked every time.

    Edit: didn't read the post above mine. Apparently it doesn't work for everyone...
    Grohnke likes this.

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