What's a wort fountain?

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What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby stevodevo » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:11 pm

Howdy,

I've seen the term "wort fountain" written here and there on various forums. I gather they are something to avoid, but try as I might I can't find any reading anywhere. Could someone please give a brief description, or point me in the right direction if my Google skills have just failed me?


Thanks
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby dinnerstick » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:31 pm

It's a Braumeister-specific term for when you get channeling through the grain bed, and the wort, under pressure from the pump, squirts through a channel and sprays out the top of the screen. In its smallest incarnation it is seen as a few spots on the surface of the wort where there is a gentle little mound of wort forming, if there is just a little more coming through that one place. At worst, all of the wort comes through one or two channels and it sprays up either against the lid or up and over the top of the kettle, kind of like when you pinch the end of a garden hose. Not nice.
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby BrauTim » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:51 pm

There are some examples on some youtube vids about the Braumeister.
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby 3LB » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:22 pm

Hm, I've only found one called 'Braumeister Mishap'.

This seems to be caused by the grain crush being too fine, no?
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby niels » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:31 pm

3LB wrote:This seems to be caused by the grain crush being too fine, no?

Yes, that's the main cause. I'm not 100% sure, but I also think it might happen when you overfill your malt pipe and you don't stir as the water will search for the way of least resistance.

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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby dinnerstick » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:37 pm

i have also had fountains twice when making (the same) very small beer. not sure exactly why, i guess the pump is too strong for the tiny grain bill, it forces it too solidly against the top screen, and then it has to channel to get through? i don't know, that's not a satisfying explanation, other interpretations welcome. both times i did this as an overnight mash, got perfectly high mash efficiency, just had to clean up a bit of puddle around the base as wort was hitting the lid and some was dripping down the outside.
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby Dicko » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:56 pm

niels wrote:
3LB wrote:This seems to be caused by the grain crush being too fine, no?

Yes, that's the main cause. I'm not 100% sure, but I also think it might happen when you overfill your malt pipe and you don't stir as the water will search for the way of least resistance.

- Niels


I have found it to be actually the opposite myself in relation to the amount of grain.

When I have done a mid strength beer with around 3 kg of grain in my 20 litre machine, I have seen some small little mounds of wort as dinnerstick describes above.
It has not actually squirted out of the kettle but I would imagine it could if my crush on the grain was incorrect.

On the other hand, when I am doing a normal brew around the 5 kilo amount I have never observed any small fountains and even when I did my experimental 7.7 kg mash last week there was no sign of a fountain although I did stir or at least stab the mash during each temp step.

When the braumeister first came out, the wort fountain complaint was common and there was examples on Utube, but when owners realised that they had to crush at the coarser setting on their mill the problem was solved.

1.2 mm gap on your mill seems to be the common setting and if you have your LHBS mill your grain for you, you will have to request a coarser crush than they would do for a standard mash tun or BIAB scenario.

:cheers:
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby McMullan » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:09 pm

I agree with Dinnerstick and Dicko. I only observe nascent fountains when mashing smaller grain bills. Never get them when the malt pipe is full.
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:12 pm

101% agreement
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby BrauTim » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:12 pm

If you google 'Braukaiser' and 'channeling' you get some info scattered across a few items :cheers:
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby ibbones » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:48 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY_2P7gv8w8

This guy has a good shot of Wort Fountains.
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby stevodevo » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:22 pm

Thanks everyone. That looks like something to avoid for sure.

I'm not 100% sure, but this may be something Speidel have addressed with the design of the new lid? I'll post some pics of mine if anyone is interested, but you can see it pretty well on the stock images on the Speidel site (http://speidels-braumeister.de/shop/med ... _liter.jpg). The lid domes down into the kettle lower than the top lip of the kettle, so if I'm looking at this correctly, any wort fountains should hit the lid and run back into the kettle instead of over the lip. That's seems right in theory, but not sure it's the case in practice. It's a bit hard to see in videos how the older lid sits, so I might be wrong.
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby stevodevo » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:26 pm

... unless of course the fountain were to shoot directly into the top corner of the lid, then wort would still find it's way onto the floor. That would be just my luck too :roll:
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby bruulog » Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:35 pm

McMullan wrote:I agree with Dinnerstick and Dicko. I only observe nascent fountains when mashing smaller grain bills. Never get them when the malt pipe is full.


I did 6,5 kg (OG 1036) in BM50 and did not see any fountains.
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Re: What's a wort fountain?

Unread postby 3LB » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:10 pm

I did a brew yesterday and had fountains.

Coarsest setting on my Eschenfelder malt mill, as usual (previous 6 brews: no problems).

4.6kg of grains in 25 l of water.

Next time I'll pack that pipe again...
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