SABCO False Bottom Review

by Karl | Updated: April 20, 2011

The SABCO false bottom has been one of the best additions to my homebrew setup, but let me explain why.

When I built my all-grain homebrewing system, I didn’t exactly know what I was doing. The new terms and processes were foreign to this extract brewer.

Sure I had a general idea of how my 3-tier gravity system would work, but with some of the equipment I just had to guess. One of these guesses was with the mash tun.

A mash tun is a confusing piece of equipment to someone new to all-grain. The configurations are endless. Searching for ideas online will yield pictures of tall coolers, short coolers, kettles, keggles, false bottoms, manifolds, braids, screens, pickup tubes, and all sorts of other gizmos and gadgets – all for the same piece of equipment.

I had a keggle (converted keg) and decided to go with a false bottom for filtering the wort from the grains. Thinking any false bottom would do the trick, I went for a domed 12″ false bottom.

This got the job done for a while, but one day I decided to scoop out the grains and see what was lurking below. To my horror, there was a pile of grain below the false bottom with about 1/2 gallon of wort caught up in it. I never knew about this deadspace and hadn’t been factoring it into my recipes. No wonder my numbers were always a little off.

Comparison of false bottoms for homebrewing
The 15″ false bottom fits a keggle much better than the 12″

Time for an Upgrade

It turns out the 12″ false bottom was too small for my keggle.The free space around it allowed the screen to slide and lift up, letting grain underneath.

The 15″ SABCO false bottom totally solved this problem. It fits the keggle like a glove. The sides of the screen reach all the way to the side of the keg. There are hinges which allow it to fold, making it easy to put it into the keggle. Then you unfold it and position it into place. It centers perfectly.

There are two metal pegs on the bottom which act as feet and lift the screen about an inch off the bottom, providing a good separation between the wort and grains. This is important because I plan to eventually direct-fire my mash tun and recirculate the wort in order to control temperatures and perform step mashes. With the 12″ false bottom, I could not direct fire because there was grain touching the bottom and it would scorch.

After the first brew with the SABCO piece I scooped out the malt and sure enough, there wasn’t a single grain below the false bottom. The result has been more accuracy and precision hitting my numbers, plus I can now move forward with my recirculation project.

The SABCO 15″ false bottom is a must for keggle owners. The $90 price tag is tough to swallow, but your mash is critical to your brew so it’s worth it. My only complaint is that it is tough to remove without pinching your fingers. One solution to this is to add a handle.

SABCO makes very high quality products and this is a gorgeous piece of equipment that will still work great when your grandchildren are using it.

Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy.