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Having an issue fly sparging
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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:37 am    Post subject: Having an issue fly sparging Reply with quote


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for the last 4 brews I've had this crazy thing happen, from my mash tun to my boil kettle the flow cuts off, I start with the perfect flow and I have a Blichmann auto sparge in the mash tun and a Blichmann whirlpool bullet valve in the boil kettle, the whole thing starts fine but half way through I check it and the boil kettle stops flowing, I always have more water than I need in the mash tun just to keep from running dry but I can't figure this out, anyone have the same vapor lock and bubble that I have?

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air getting in somewhere and pump losing prime? Or pump getting plugged? What false bottom? How fine do you mill? What pump? Got any pics?

Kal

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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the valve has been changed since this picture, I have the right crush, it's not getting stuck in the mash Im guessing its the pump. this just started happening and I've had this set up for years, so the mash has a bottom port that runs to the pump which is a 5 year old chugger with newer impellers then up through a three way valve to the boil kettle, I did shorten my hoses but never had an issue with priming since I changed impellers, the pump is very strong it can whirlpool a 15 gallon batch easily, so this may help when it happens and I try to slightly open the valve nothing happens, I have to open it full then back it down so it's like a vapor lock of some kind


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dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 598
Location: Midwest

Drinking: Belgian Waffle Strong Ale, Dry Barn Door #13, Bham Brown, White Shadow Stout, Rye Not Today

Working on: Maple Mead Barrel Aged


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I'm filling up my BK I transfer as slow as possible to get the best efficiency. I find that with the small opening I have in my ball valves the one transferring to the BK can sometimes get plugged with a husk or something. So I have to open it for a second than close back to where it was before. Frustrating but not sure how to get around that with the opening being so small.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dp Brewing Company wrote:
When I'm filling up my BK I transfer as slow as possible to get the best efficiency. I find that with the small opening I have in my ball valves the one transferring to the BK can sometimes get plugged with a husk or something. So I have to open it for a second than close back to where it was before. Frustrating but not sure how to get around that with the opening being so small.

Do you not recirculate while mashing? I recirc the whole time (basically a long vorlauf) with the valves all wide open and by the end of the 1-3+ hour mash the wort has been very filtered by the grain bed and is perfectly clear. So when I go to transfer to the BK at a slow rate (with the valve almost closed) there's no possibility of husks left.

A recent video of this super-clear wort going into the BK:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BneEan0hpD8/?taken-by=theelectricbrewery

Kal

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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might try removing the small site glass as a test this weekend, funny it doesn't happen with water just wort
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could be a loose/defective camlock seal somewhere. I've seen conditions where the suction pulls air in through a defective seal which causes flow to stall (loss of suction).

Kal

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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

now I hadn't thought of that thanks I do have some old lose seals, time to order
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dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 598
Location: Midwest

Drinking: Belgian Waffle Strong Ale, Dry Barn Door #13, Bham Brown, White Shadow Stout, Rye Not Today

Working on: Maple Mead Barrel Aged


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:

Do you not recirculate while mashing? I recirc the whole time (basically a long vorlauf) with the valves all wide open and by the end of the 1-3+ hour mash the wort has been very filtered by the grain bed and is perfectly clear. So when I go to transfer to the BK at a slow rate (with the valve almost closed) there's no possibility of husks left.

A recent video of this super-clear wort going into the BK:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BneEan0hpD8/?taken-by=theelectricbrewery

Kal


I do recirculate the whole time I'm mashing. I'm not saying with 100% that it is husk that blocks the hole. I've never seen any in my boil kettle but not sure what else would be the issue. All I can tell you is I open up the valve a bit, flow starts again, then I close the valve back to where it needs to be.

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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's the exact issue I'm having and it's frustrating because I leave and do other things expecting to have a full boil kettle and come back and its 1/4 full
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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so I made a change, I think it worked, before I was having issues with a natural vortex on my bottom mounted drain so I just added a 180 degree elbow to the bottom of the pot 1/2 half inch off the bottom, I took that off and added a very course screen (pizza screen) on top of the hole and that disrupts the vortex, I did a water test and worked perfectly
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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh and replace all of my hoses and seals
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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok I figured it out, I have a different false bottom and the mash is so soft and compacting so much it’s clogging up these holes, at 168 the grain is not letting the wort keep up with the pump, if I let it drain without the pump it works, if I run cold water it works, but at the fly sparge hot it's too compacted, if I take my paddle and push up the grain it works, simple logic the same volume going out must also come in, I think I can rig something up for an air vent


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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That shouldn't happen.

You never answered the question about how fine you mill... so how fine do you mill? (i.e. What mill gap do you use?). Do you have any closeup pictures of your crush?

My guess is that you're milling too fine. (There may be other issues too of course)

Kal

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dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 598
Location: Midwest

Drinking: Belgian Waffle Strong Ale, Dry Barn Door #13, Bham Brown, White Shadow Stout, Rye Not Today

Working on: Maple Mead Barrel Aged


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. I wonder with you having a center drain if you could place the filter in the photo above as shown. Meaning put it in upside down and put a courser false bottom on top of that one. The top filter would hold back almost all of the grain and the bottom one would restrict the rest without affecting flow...
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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's your recommended gap, pretty big too, it looks like some grains aren't even split sometimes, I also used rice hulls this batch, I might try sparging at mash temp next time as a test. I had to do a 3 fill batch sparge yesterday, recirculating each time to set the grain bed, tried a slow run and it still happened, I could also switch pumps, I do a whirlpool starting at 200F with that pump every batch, it could be wearing it down some
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ozarks Mountain Brew wrote:
it's your recommended gap, pretty big too, it looks like some grains aren't even split sometimes

Can you post a picture of the crush? Closeups are good.

Quote:
I also used rice hulls this batch, I might try sparging at mash temp next time as a test.

Higher temperatures usually flow better. It's one of the reasons why higher temps are used.

Kal

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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this isn't recent but I haven't changed my crush in years, I've narrowed it down to the mash tun, I can whirlpool at boiling temps at a trickle so it's not the pump but I just don't get how it suddenly changed over night with the same set up for many years, the only thing I've done different is use a lot of German Vienna, I bought bags of it and some times it's my base grain, I think the grain is smaller too


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"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ozarks Mountain Brew wrote:
this isn't recent but I haven't changed my crush in years

Mills do slip. You may not have changed it but it may be different. Now that said, normally if they slip they go looser, never tighter.

Hard to tell from the pic as it's not very closeup, but the crush seems pretty fine to me as you seem to have a lot of powder? Not sure. If you don't think it's the issue that's fine - just trying to reach out and think of other possibilities.

Good luck!

Kal

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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have a Blichmann false bottom, I'll test that next brew, I can just set it right on top of the NorCal and see if it changes anything
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