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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Brew Kettle as an HLT?
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:26 AM   #1
zymurgy101
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Default Brew Kettle as an HLT?

Hello all,

I've done quite a bit of reading, but haven't seen where anyone has asked this question...but I have read so much my brain is full...perhaps a homebrew will help. I have a 15 gal brew kettle and a 10 gal Rubbermaid MLT with false bottom and AutoSparge. Until I purchase an HLT, does it make sense to do the following?

  • Assume 10 gallon batch and usually good size grain bill for IPA.
  • Fill the BK (brew kettle) with the necessary amount of water for the recipe and heat strike water to temp.
  • Fill the MLT with X amount of strike water from the BK and mash for desired time.
  • Increase temp of remaining (sparge) water in the BK to desired temp.
  • Recirculate (via March pump) the wort in the MLT back up to the AutoSparge to clear wort and set grain bed.
  • Begin adding sparge water from the BK to the MLT (the AutoSparge should be set to add as the wort level drops in the MLT and not to overflow).
  • Open the valve on the MLT and begin draining the wort into the BK.
  • Continue sparging for X amount of time or gallons.
  • Finally, turn off pump and allow all wort to drain from the MLT into the BK.

I'm using QD's on every connection and silicone tubing to make life easier for the above process. Obviously, there are small steps omitted like preheating the MLT, opening\closing valves, etc., but I just wondered if the basic approach was feasible.

Thanks for any insight!
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:30 AM   #2
mattd2
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Sounds like you got the basic Brutus 2.0 (or is it 20) concept there - recirculating sparge?
Just so i am sure you will have the gravity feed into from the MLT to the BK then the liqour from the BK will be pumped to the top of the MLT and recirculated for a set amount of time?

Edit: link => http://www.alenuts.com/Alenuts/brutus20.html

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Old 10-15-2010, 05:13 AM   #3
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The first problem I see will be the 10 gallon batch size. You'll be hard pressed to get all the grain in the 10 gallon cooler MT and you won't have much room for the AutoSparge thing to operate properly. Maybe consider a larger cooler for the MT. I'm having a problem visualizing draining sparge water from the BK while simultaneously filling the BK with the wort draining from the MT. Maybe collect the runoff in a separate vessel until the BK is empty, then pump from that into the BK. This problem is the reason that a RIMS typically uses three vessels. You may also find that your mash tmeps will drop substantially while you are circulating with the pump. Perhaps I'm not quite understanding the setup completely.

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Old 10-15-2010, 05:22 AM   #4
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USe the BK as the HLT and sparge into a food grade bucket, when the HLT is empty, transfer the wort back into the kettle and start heating while you collect the rest of the wort from the MLT in the empty bucket.

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:40 AM   #5
zymurgy101
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Matt - Yes, as you stated, but I just wasn't sure about using two vessels.

Catt22 - I knew there would probably be a limitation with the 10g MLT with a 10g batch size. However, I was comfortable relying upon a bit of DME\LME to compensate. A larger MLT will be in the future. The MLT will gravity feed into the top of the BK; from the BK, the sparge water will go to the March pump back up to the Blichmann AutoSparge. You are correct that the top of the MLT may interfere with the AutoSparge, depending upon the grain bill.

I had not thought about the temperture loss during recirculation...good call. Perhaps foregoing the recirculation and just start sparging from the BK?

JonK - I pondered that idea, but didn't have a food grade bucket\fermenter\suitable vessel...and if I have to buy that...well, you know how it happens.

Thanks for all the insight, guys! It will be a little while before I upgrade to an appropriate HLT, MLT and stand...the 15g B3 conical just shipped. I'll play around with the process bearing in mind all your suggestions. Next brew day, I'll snap a couple of pictures to illustrate the process and let you know the results.

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Old 11-21-2013, 12:28 AM   #6
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dead thread, I know. I collect my second running into my bottling bucket while the first runnings are heading up on the burner. I don't see why that wouldn't work here.

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Old 11-21-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosnhojm20 View Post
dead thread, I know. I collect my second running into my bottling bucket while the first runnings are heading up on the burner. I don't see why that wouldn't work here.
Yes that'll work just fine.
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