I have never really experienced a stuck sparge before, well until tonight that is. It wasn’t really a stuck sparge though, it was down right broken. The one thing I like about the design of my mash tun is that the piping does cover a good amount of the bottom of the cooler. I also set it up so that I could easily break it down and clean it out with little trouble. That is the part that is now kicking my heiny. It seems that in a couple places the pipes seperated and so when I opened the valve to start the sparge grain was sucked into the valve and completely plugged it. I tried a few different approaches to get the sparge moving all to no avail. In the end I ended up sparging through a strainer. At that point I figure the wort was lost but I am just too stubborn to let it go.
I ran the wort through a full boil and didn’t add the special ingredient I was planning to add tonight. I will wait and see how this one turns out and brew it again the next time I brew making the changes that seem appropriate. As it is right now it appears like I have a milk chocolate wheat which was entirely what I was not going for appearance wise. So I have some reformulations to do to adjust the color.
I kegged the heather earlier today. I am happy with how that one sits currently. It is definately unlike beer as we have come to know it. I am anxious to see the affect that cold and carbonation have on it.
Hopefully I can pitch yeast soon cause its late and this wheat beer has fought me for way too long tonight.