Beer keg false botten?

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

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drunk2much
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Post by drunk2much » Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:06 am

Does anyone have a good method for rigging up a false bottom in a beer keg for sparging grains? or at least knows a good one to buy with small enough holes to keep flour from running thru?
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Grayson_Stewart
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Post by Grayson_Stewart » Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:38 pm

A towel?
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theholymackerel
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Post by theholymackerel » Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:26 am

drunk2much wrote:
Does anyone have a good method for rigging up a false bottom in a beer keg for sparging grains? or at least knows a good one to buy with small enough holes to keep flour from running thru?
There is no false bottom that can handle flour. When brewers do a mash they aren't usin' flour, they are usin' milled barley. The barley mills are roller mills... they don't grind up the grain, they squeeze the grain and pop it out of it's husk without breakin' up the husk.

The husk is is the material that helps keep the grainbed from compactin' and allows the liquid to pass through.

If yer workin' with flour yer gonna get a stuck sparge every time. The flour forms up into a sticky thick mass that won't allow liquid to seep through.

So... If yer usin' flour it's impossible to sparge and ya MUST ferment on the grain/flour.

You can only sparge if yer usin' properly milled grain.

There are alot of false bottoms for doin' mashes on the market. The nicest I know of is manufactured by Sabco and is stainless steel, the cheapest I know of is made of plastic and is manufactured by Listermann Manufacturing, Inc. (Just because it's inexpensive doesn't mean it doesn't work... I know a guy that's been usin' one of Listermann's plastic "Phill's Phalse Bottoms" for years without a hitch.)


I wish ya luck.


PS: By the way... spargin' whiskey mashes isn't a very traditional way to make American whiskeys... try fermentin' on the grain for a more flavorful whiskey.

drunk2much
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Post by drunk2much » Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:21 pm

actually i was thinking if i pulled a vacum from the fermentor to draw the beer into the fermentor from the kettel that it would drain. Like a buchner funnel. dont know if it would work might just be as waste of time. but thanks for the advice i just hate thinking about all that beer stuck in the grains and am trired of squizing it out of a nylon bag not that i was going to add extra water to the beer to try to get what little starch left.
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muckanic
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Post by muckanic » Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:20 pm

="theholymackerel" If yer workin' with flour yer gonna get a stuck sparge every time. The flour forms up into a sticky thick mass that won't allow liquid to seep through..
Actually, if you try mashing something like cornflour in a saucepan with a bit of amylase, it dissolves away to almost nothing once the starch converts. Micronised particles aren't the main problem, proteins and gums are. Something like gluten is to be avoided at all costs.

My "false bottom" is a flat spiral of copper pipe which exits through the base, and which has numerous hacksaw-width slots cut half-way through the pipe, all pointing down of course. You could try drilling holes instead of cutting slots, but you would be there forever. Another tip (which I haven't tried): if your mash-tun isn't metallic, you can heat the goods and do step conversion rests with a shot of steam.
PS: By the way... spargin' whiskey mashes isn't a very traditional way to make American whiskeys... try fermentin' on the grain for a more flavorful whiskey.
The problem is, one person's flavour can be another person's tails. I don't recall the OP saying he necessarily wanted to make traditional bourbon. :)

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Post by theholymackerel » Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:58 am

I understand what yer usin' to drain yer mash tun... same principal as a "bazooka tube" just lots of small slots instead of a tubular screen.

It still doesn't matter. If you do a flour mash in yer mash tun and don't use rice hulls (or similar) yer gonna get a stuck sparge. The flour will clog yer system and the sparge will stick unless ya have mostly unbroken hulls to form a proper grain bed and the grains themselves are big enough pieces and not ground to flour.

Obviously yer a home brewer as am I. Then ya know how as we use our barley roller mills (not flour mills... they don't grind the grain but crush them and pop them out of their hulls without destroyin' the hulls... definately specialty mills) to get a finer and finer crush we can raise the efficiency of our systems and get more sugar out of our barley, but we also raise our chances of a stuck mash. Barley ground to flour is a guarenteed stuck mash unless ya add specialty hulls such as rice hulls. Even with rice hulls a flour mash is most likely gonna gum up the the hulls and compact them givin' a stuck mash.



As for yer problem with my PS... well... it was just that... a post script, an aside, a wee bit of knowledge that was on subject and I though might be well recieved. I wasn't tryin' to get anyone's pantys in a twist.

drunk2much
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Post by drunk2much » Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:48 am

no proplem about the PS. (things clear in my head aren't always as conveyed to the paper)thanks for the advice. I have tried using cracked corn and just dont have the patience to the added boil when i know how well mealed corn work. plus i think cracked corn burns easiesr than floured from experience. i guess ill just gravity flow my mash into my fermentor. since the addition of rice hulls would affect my bottom dollar and wouldn't be that effective. though just for giggles i might try the vacum on a smaller sacle.
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muckanic
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Post by muckanic » Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:41 pm

Drunk,

Are you trying to make beer or whiskey or both here? That affects any advice you might receive about boiler burning.

The quick 'n dirty method with mashing is to strain coarsely rather than sparge. You can always pour a couple of galls of hot water into the mash-tun, stir it up, then strain out the sugary solution. This is regardless of how stuck the sparge is, so is a useful approach when using hard wheat, big proportions of unmalted rye or, of course, when a proper malt crusher is not possessed. About 3 washes should get the lot, based upon the target boiler volume. The problem is you now have a highly turbid solution (well, maybe it's not considered to be such a problem if you're making bourbon). :P This may be partially overcome by letting the extract stand for half a day or so, then racking it off the sediment.

I have found that this method slightly affects the appearance but not the flavour of my beers, presumably due to the greater proportion of proteins and fatty acids affecting clarity and head retention. On the other hand, I have found that fermenting the mashing sediment just left behind, or the boiler trub, or the grains, also affects flavour - basically, more sulphides and more fusel oil. This not really acceptable in beer but can possibly be overcome with distilling. If you are making whiskey and you like this stuff then fine; otherwise, I would be inclined to use a column packed with copper wool rather than a pot-still, and to hell with tradition. Now, let the wrath of the collective descend. :wink:

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Post by theholymackerel » Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:47 pm

No-one here, even us rabid potstill users, are gonna give anyone hell for usin' a column still.

I say use the proper tool for the job. If the job is to make fuel or vodka the tool definately is a column still. If the job is to make whiskey, rum, fruit brandies, other strongly flavored hooches, etc, then the tool definately is a pot still.

To each his own taste, and to each his own choice of still. I just pity the potstill owner that wants vodka, and the column still owner that wants whiskey/rum/brandy.

The perfect answer is to have both a potstill and a column still.

drunk2much
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Post by drunk2much » Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:18 pm

The kettle right now is used for wiskey but i would like to be able to use it for beer as well later on but i might be dreaming and would be easier to get another keg. The 10galons of beer but you know just as well as i do that its just as easy to do ten than five gallons (time wise). i also thought of inserting a large sauce like pan (that has a handle to pull out of the keg) into the keg right before conversion when most of the grains are still floating and letting them settle into this pan but its still gunna get swished about during stiring. i think ill just get a large ball valve to let all the flour thru and forget about this removing of the grains.
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muckanic
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Post by muckanic » Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:47 pm

Whiskey can be had out of a reflux still, and in fact there is more precise control over which fraction of the cogeners are retained. I was advocating that approach as a remedy for "dirty" ferments. I am also sceptical that copper columns are enough to take out all the sulphides from such ferments.

drunk2much
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Post by drunk2much » Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:53 am

Its even hard to find a major distillire the uses a pot still they have all gone to colums
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theholymackerel
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Post by theholymackerel » Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:29 pm

There are tons of Pro's usin' potstills.

Hell, in yer home state of Texas there is a vodka 6X distilled in a potstill: Tito's.

The list of whisk(e)y distillers that use potstills is huge... it's only the crappy whiskeys that come outta a column.

drunk2much
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Post by drunk2much » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:13 pm

Crappy whiskey come out a colum hey. well i know for a fact that evan willaims comes off a modified column.Wild turkey a continous column and i am pertty sure jack comes off a column. i dont know about jim? (who have i forgot? ever one else is a subdivsion of these people or to small to be cpnsider big)The only people religiously using a pot are scotch and irish distillers. tito's original still is essintially homemade aswell and looks like crap i could have done a better job drunk than that. beside he is making a vodka from a pot still not a whiskey and having to distill it 6 time i have never distilled that manny times even with a pot still i think about 3 or 4 is the most for a vodka in a pot still
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theholymackerel
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Post by theholymackerel » Sat Aug 05, 2006 5:00 am

Yes, crappy whiskey comes outta a column.

While I admit to likin' Evan Williams, I also admit it's crappy whiskey. So are Jim, Jack, and Wild Turkey. Crappy whiskeys all. Anythin' that on the label says charcoal filtered, charcoal mellowed, or charcoal smoothed is crappy whiskey that required treatment to get it past yer nose.

Now you may not like the look of Tito's homemade still, and he may also be doin' more work than necessary to produce his vodka, ya gotta admit him and his homemade still are turnin' out a quality product. And it shows in his widenin' distribution and acceptance.

muckanic
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Post by muckanic » Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:16 pm

I would have been inclined to say that crappy whiskey comes from slack mashing & fermentation technique and from cutting corners with the maturation. The in-between bit regarding method of distillation is immaterial from a cost perspective. The easiest way for an industrial concern to make a quick buck would be to add flavouring to some vodka.

drunk2much
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Post by drunk2much » Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:21 am

I admire titos ability to gain entry into the market. His product in my opinion isnt the best aint the worst (its a hell of a lot better that mckormics, but i think radiator fluid would taste better that that) I think titos major push for his product would for all those people who cant digest wheat gultuen but i think wheat vodka is a lot better than corn.But thats just taste plus his is cornering a novelty. Not to mention Texans are notoriously proud of anything having to do with this great state helping him gain establishment in a high alcohol consuming state. Our national beer chains areall labeled "true to texas" and "lone star state". Corn in distillers beer is Notorious for leading to higher alcohols just as evident in regular beer. The only reason people use corn is to nock up the alcohol content. im with muchanic when you consider that most distillers distill thier beer in 5 day or earlier. Flavor is gunna get toned down anyhow due to the oak aging if done right since the charcoal of the barrel will adsorb a good bit of the flavor while contributing its own flavor.

and for your money versus quality evan willaims is the way to go.
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Post by absinthe » Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:35 am

most blended whiskeys come from a column still but a single malt will always come from a pot still
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sherriff Buffoerd pusser
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Post by sherriff Buffoerd pusser » Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:49 am

I 've got a large round stone wheel that has a square hole in the center.thought i might could fab it into a grain mill if I had another its an old grind stone neighbor gave me.Any ideas?
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oldpete
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Post by oldpete » Tue Nov 14, 2006 4:01 pm

i have a false bottom in my setup for beer and shine. got it at northerbrewer.com i see they are all sold out at the moment. made for exactly what you want.

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Post by hornedrhodent » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:17 am

"sherriff Buffoerd pusser"
I 've got a large round stone wheel that has a square hole in the center.thought i might could fab it into a grain mill if I had another its an old grind stone neighbor gave me.Any ideas?

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Enlikil
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Post by Enlikil » Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:21 am

I made my false botom out of 5/8 copper and just cut slits in it =) peice o cake.

Also, when you are talking about a column you mean a reflux column ?

I thought my rum from my pot still (22 inch column packed) Tasted great?

pintoshine
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Post by pintoshine » Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:28 pm

I use this method for a lauter tun, which is what you are describing. I make mostly malt syrup to sell but it would work for any mashing and brewing
http://www.realbeer.com/spencer/cooler- ... -mash.html
The flase bottoms come in several different sizes.
http://www.listermann.com/Store/products.asp?id=6

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