I've upgraded from a 20L homebrew system to a 200L system and used it for the first time the other day. I previously did boil-in-the-bag but for my new system I have a false bottom. For my first test I decided to try a half-batch. The problem was that several kilos of grain managed to get down beneath the false bottom, blocking the outlet and also clogging the pump with grain, preventing me from being about to recirculate or transfer to the boil kettle.
I've been thinking about what could have gone wrong and the possible solutions: - maybe I need a full batch so that there's enough grain weight to compact the grain bed above the false bottom so that the grain at the bottom doesn't fall through the holes or the small gaps around the side - maybe I turned on the pump before the grain had chance to settle which created a vacuum and sucked the grain down through the false bottom - maybe I knocked the false bottom when doughing in
I'm thinking of putting a roll of muslin cloth around the edge of the false bottom to get a better seal against the edge of the tun. Maybe also put a layer of muslin cloth over the false bottom itself to provide an extra layer of filtering. Another idea is to put a steel scourer (like for scouring dishes) in the tun outlet to filter out more grain - I'm worried though that it will still clog up the outlet and restrict flow to the point that my self-priming magnetic-drive pump won't work or might cavitate...
Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!