False Bottom vs. Bazooka Screen

Question:

Can you tell me what the differences is between a false bottom for a mash tun and a bazooka screen?

Answer:

There is no right or wrong answer here as every batch you make will be different.  The purpose of the review is to call out the benefits of a false bottom and a bazooka screen.

The Benefits of Using a False Bottom

Brewing is a complex chemical process. The quality of your components, the methods you use during the process, and how efficiently you can move the process along determine the quality of your brew just as much as quality of the ingredients.One of the most vital parts of the brewing process is when you extract the sweet liquid from the grain bed after the mashing process. This process, commonly known as sparging or lautering, is influential in determining the quality of your end product.This is why many brewers decide to utilize stainless steel false bottoms in this part of the brewing process. They carry several advantages over the alternative method of wort extraction.

The largest advantage in using a false bottom with your kettle is that you will see more fermentable sugars extracted. This happens because stainless steel false bottoms allow for the liquid to drain out evenly while being extracted from the mashed grain.

False bottoms that drained through the center are considered optimal for this purpose. They are able to evenly extract the wort without having to worry about the mashed grain clumping up and reducing the amount of wort produced.

Another advantage is that false bottoms can utilize gravity during the sparging process. This allows for a more convenient process that can be done at home by the individual brewer without the need for complicated machinery or expensive tools. This applies to every type of sparging that utilizes false bottoms, which includes continuous and batch sparge methods.

The last major benefit that false bottoms hold over other methods of wort extraction is that they tend to allow significantly more liquid to flow through at one time. This is overall better for the wort, and it results in less time being needed during the sparging stage.

In addition to this, it also means that you will need to worry less about how much pressure is added to the kettle to force the wort free from the grain. This works with the amateur brewer, as it both simplifies the extraction process and makes it more cost-efficient over other sparging options.

While there are many ways to brew and just as many tools, the one thing that is clear is stainless steel false bottoms are one of the best options for brewers to use at home. You’ll get upwards of 100% efficiency and the improved quality of the wort extract will lead to a better brew with more flavor.

What is a bazooka screen?
A bazooka screen is essentially a long tube-shaped filter that offers a huge surface area for the wort to drain out through.

While stuck sparges can be more common with a bazooka screen, a bazooka screen works far better than a muslin bag. When the grains are confined in a bag during the boiling process, extraction can be very inefficient.Igloo coolers and any 1/2 inch ball valve fitting can easily be fitted with a bazooka screen.

Sometimes a connector piece will need to be purchased to attach the bazooka screen to the kettle’s drainage outlet device.An inexpensive bazooka tube can be certainly substituted for a false bottom. The lautering and sparging process will still proceed smoothly, with the wort draining out through the bazooka tube with little to no clogs and you’ll get 70+% efficiency.

Conclusion

Ultimately if you’re not as concerned with efficiency, a bazooka tube will be the cheaper option. If you’re looking to maximize your mash, then consider spending the extra money to get the false bottom.