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Old 12-01-2012, 04:53 PM   #21
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Yep, $500 buys a lot of rice hulls.



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Old 12-01-2012, 07:13 PM   #22
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I think the whole point of the one included with the tower is that it has a sensor to alert you when the flow slows or stops. How much help is it to have a flow meter unless you are going to stare at it for the whole 60 minute mash, or at least check it constantly. It does not take that long for a stuck mash to ruin a batch when the burner is on.



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Old 12-02-2012, 02:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by kartracer View Post
dcbc, where is the measuring cup/flowmeter in this picture and how is it working for you? I'd like a less expensive alternative to the ToP tower myself.

Thanks,

MikeB
Sorry, that didn't make much sense. I stuck a measuring cup under the return flow and figured out how much time it took to recirculate 1 quart. Blichmann has a minimum/suggested flow rate. So I did that to figure out if I could get it flowing adequately.

I just let the mash settle for 10 minutes. Start the pump slow and get it to about 1/4 open on the ball valve. This is a pretty good flow rate and I have not had any trouble with losing prime or stuck mashes.

The flow meter is an added level of protection for sure, but not something I felt I had to have.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:43 PM   #24
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I think the whole point of the one included with the tower is that it has a sensor to alert you when the flow slows or stops. How much help is it to have a flow meter unless you are going to stare at it for the whole 60 minute mash, or at least check it constantly. It does not take that long for a stuck mash to ruin a batch when the burner is on.
I think there is a sensor that kills the flame if the flow drops below the set point, but I could have misunderstood that part.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:27 PM   #25
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I think there is a sensor that kills the flame if the flow drops below the set point, but I could have misunderstood that part.
i think it sets off that horrible alarm, it might do both.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:41 PM   #26
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i think it sets off that horrible alarm, it might do both.
It does that every time it lights. I can pretty much tune it out. Will investigate.

Edit: Okay, investigated. You're right. Just an alarm. If it killed the flame, it would be a worthwhile addition. One other thing I do is mash in pretty thin. With the false bottom on my kettle, I'm mashing in at close to 2 qts per lb. Easy to recirculate pretty fast without sticking.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #27
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I just wanted you guys to know I'm replacing this setup with a heated grant. Here are some of my experiences with this part of my setup over a dozen brews:

Flow Meter:
- Did exactly what I wanted and measured my GPM for my recirc
- I did take it apart and clean it a few times, sometimes chucks of grain dried on the inside and that didn’t work so hot.
- It adds unnecessary backpressure to the pumping setup
- Something extra to clean
- Now that I have a feel for recirc rates and sparge rates I don’t need this any more

RIMS Tube:
- I had it turned the wrong way, I would orient the tube so there is always wort in the tube and have wort enter and exit the top. When the flow rate slowed and the element got hot, steam was generated and left part of the element exposed. The site glass would empty out and it was no good.

Site Glass:
- Pretty cool at seeing your wort flowing through, I’m keeping this as a component by basically placing this inline in the hose leaving the heated grant.

3 Way Valve:
- Worked as expected and I didn’t have to move a hose full of hot wort
- I’m going to remove the 3 way and just move a hose full of hot wort
- Cleaning, disassembly and reassembly were just way more work than moving the hose

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I ran a wet test with this setup yesterday and added the new flow meter in on the left. So far so good, although the test was only with water.

By having the flow meter before the RIMS tube and part of the MLT wort out, I can attempt to dial in the sparge and recirc rates. Right now sometimes I sparge in 20 minutes, and other times 40 minutes or more. It will be nice to know how fast I'm really running.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:46 AM   #28
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Thanks for the update



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