Clogging: flow problems


#1

Hello, I purchased a RoboBrew this year and brewed my first batch of beer (a Guinness clone). It took me all day and never turned out. I spent the whole day, trying to deal with flow problems. Needless to say, it was a terrible experience. I conducted some research and found this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6uYy-4gKEs

Does anyone know how I can brew a successful batch of beer without these problems?


#2

How fine was the your malt milled? I found that a coarse crush was better than a fine one (I have my grain mill set at 0.050) because while I got slightly more sugars from the fine crush (grain mill set at 0.025) the extra wait time and the clogging was not worth it. With the pump, I just have it recirculating at a low rate (trickle rather than a full flow) and I can still get it to run clear after 30mins or so. I have managed to avoid a stuck mash thus far by doing this


#3

They were .050 as well. I had it on trickle and had to watch it, it kept clogging and was a nightmare to keep from running dry. most of the time, it was dripping.


#4

You can try adding a few hundred grams of rice hulls to improve re-circulation.


#5

.050 here too. Plus I don’t use the fine screen either. Gash Slugg has a video on conditioning grain before milling, very effective.


#6

I had problems with most of my recipes until i started using rice hulls. Add 1/2 pound to each batch and mix them in well. No more problem.


#7

My first batch was a horrible experience, major stuck mash (and I had rice hulls in the mash).
Solution: Grain Conditioning! Spray your grains with 4% by (grain) weight of water ( i.e. 10lbs grain bill is 160oz, so use 160*0.04=6.4oz water), sit 15minutes then mill. OMG, what a difference.
Next batches went perfect. I my mill is set between “normal” and “slightly coarse”. I tried “slightly fine” and the sparge didn’t drain as fast as I wanted and the efficiency want any better.


#8

The last few brews I’ve done in my Robobrew, I milled my grain to about .040-.045. I used fast re-circulation during the mash, and a frequently and thoroughly stirred the entire grain bed with a mash paddle. (Main reason for doing that was for better control of mash temperature…that’s the biggest problem I had with previous brews).

Of course this approach meant that the wort didn’t get clarified at all during the mash. To address this, I did my last stir about 5 minutes before the end of the mash, and then I let the grain bed settle and I gradually turned the re-circulation rate down to keep the malt pipe from overflowing. I continued this clarifying re-circulation while heating the wort to start the boil. When the wort temperature at the top of the malt pipe reached 170F, I stopped the circulation and lifted the malt pipe up to sparge and drain it.

I ended up with wort that was just as clear as if I had never disturbed the grain bed, and I had better extraction efficiency, and the entire mash process was much easier.