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Grain Bed Floats While Preparing for Sparge

 
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Crazy Brewer



Joined: 12 Feb 2014
Posts: 61
Location: Houston area, Texas


PostLink    Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:44 pm    Post subject: Grain Bed Floats While Preparing for Sparge Reply with quote


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Howdy everyone. I have been out of business for quite a while and just did a batch of Blond ale yesterday. This isn't the first time I've had this problem. I have a Kal clone with virtually no differences. 20 gallon Blichmann with their perforated mash bottom. Anyway, I mash out then stop the circulation by slowly closing the valve going into the mash tun then stopped the pump. I then change the hoses around in prepararation for sparging. During this time my grain bed floats to the top. Is this normal and does anyone have any suggestions; what I did wrong or didn't do right?

I used my foop scoop to gently press down on the grain bed during sparging to get the sparge water on top of the bed. It wasn't fun and I was pretty frustrated. I did ok on the batch and got a good pre-fermentation gravity of 1.052. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 746
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri


PostLink    Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grain that floats is just grain thats dried out and lost its weight, its normal in small amounts and changes from bag to bag
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10737
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pushing down on the grain bed is going to disturb the natural filter that has formed over time. I wouldn't do it.

What sort of mash efficiency do you get when you do nothing?
What sort of mash efficiency do you get when you do push down on the grain bed?

My point being is that the only possible downside to floating is that you're maybe not rinsing the grains properly so that mash efficiency suffers slightly. If there's no difference, then don't worry about it.

I've seen mine float sometimes. Not really sure why. I just leave it alone. It's never caused any issues or missed gravities (ie. lower mash efficiency).

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 746
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri


PostLink    Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you talking about the whole grain bed? In my opinion its not done if that happens
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701pilot



Joined: 10 May 2016
Posts: 47
Location: northern california

Drinking: Bohemian Pilsner,Caribou Slobber, Munich Helles, Weissbier, Black Bute Porter, RIS, Irish Red Ale

Working on: Milk Chocolate Stout


PostLink    Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I brewed Kal's Citra Double IPA and had the same thing happen. I only had about and inch of wort over the top of the grain bed when I was mashing. The grain bed is compressed while mashing because the pump is sucking it down. When you release the suction the grain bed expands, making it look like it is floating. In fact it is just a much looser grain bed.

I just sparged as usual, and got my normal 85% mash efficiency.

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Crazy Brewer



Joined: 12 Feb 2014
Posts: 61
Location: Houston area, Texas


PostLink    Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice, y'all! I think 701pilot has a good point. My efficiency was normal so perhaps I worry too much.

Mug

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10737
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your efficiency wasn't affected then there's no need to worry! Cheers!

Kal

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