What should I do if I have a slow or stuck sparge? How do I know which it is?
First things first - DO NOT stir the grain while the basket is in the sparge position.
If your sparge takes longer than 20-30 minutes for G30,G40, S40 or 30-40 Minutes for G70 due to very slow draining, this is called a 'Slow Sparge' and this is the result of a grain crush that is too fine for water to flow through the grains quickly.
If your sparge stops draining altogether, this is called a 'Stuck Sparge' and is also the result of a grain crush that is too fine that it stops the flow of liquid through the grain.
For both situations, see steps below;
- Lower the grain basket and remove the top plate
- Remove the top perforated plate and
slice the grain bed with a stainless paddle or similar.
- Cut through the stuck mash from the centre towards the outside repeatedly until it starts draining. This should keep the basket safely located on the support ring. Do not stir the grain bed as this could twist the basket off the support ring.
- Stir in some oat or rice hulls (1-2 handfuls) replace the top plate
- Pull the basket back up into the sparge position and continue sparging.
Next time decrease the grain crush.