Wednesday 3 November 2021

How to fix a stuck sparge or mash on a BrewZilla

Here's a quick list with a few things you can do/try if you encounter a stuck sparge (or mash) with your BrewZilla. Some of  these steps can also be applied if you have a similar problem with your mash being stuck and not recirculating freely.

  • Remove the fine mesh bottom screen if you're using it and give the grain bed a good stir with your mash paddle. This can be repeated several times during sparging if it helps
  • Did you mash out? If not, then lower the malt pipe back into the water, and set the temperature to 76C. Leave it for 10 minutes then try raising the malt pipe and sparging again. Raising the temperature of the grainbed by mashing out helps decrease the viscosity which aids with sparge water flow
  • If you have some rice hulls on hand, throw a handful or two into the grainbed and stir it through
  • Make sure your sparge water is hot enough - as close to 76C as possible (but not higher than 76). A separate sparge water heater can help with this
Prevention is often better than cure with these types of problems - so here are some preventative tips to help stop a stuck sparge occurring in the first place
  • Include a handful of rice hulls in your grain mixture, just in case. You should definitely do this if you're using a lot of adjuncts, such as oats and wheat that can lead to a thick, sticky mash which are more prone to becoming stuck
  • Forego using the fine mesh bottom screen that was included in some releases of the BrewZilla. This is known to clog easily and prevent water from flowing back through it
  • Let your grain bed settle for at least 10 minutes after doughing in before starting your pump to recirculate the wort

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