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Old 04-19-2013, 12:14 AM   #1
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Default Continuous sparging in a rectangular mash tun

I'm currently batch sparging in a rectangular 70 quart Coleman Xtreme cooler, but I'm designing a HERMS system to better control my mash temps. Most people with HERMS systems use cylindrical mash tuns with false bottoms and simply place a tube or hose on top of the grain bed to recirculate. I would like to use my rectangular cooler if possible, but I'm not sure how well it will work as most people don't use them. I have a pretty well designed manifold that I'll use in the mash tun, but again, I'm not sure how well it will work when continuously sparging in this type of mash tun.

So, I would like to hear from anyone who continuously sparges with a rectangular mash tun. Do you have a false bottom or a manifold? How exactly do you add wort back to the top of the grain bed? What efficiencies are you getting?

Thanks a lot!

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Old 04-19-2013, 12:23 AM   #2
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I use a rectangular mash tun with a manifold. I don't have any kind of advanced system and just recirc and sparge manually. When sparging, I start my runoff then slowly pour hot liquor over a wooden spoon until I have a couple inches of water above the grain bed then speed it up. Get all my water into the tun in about 10-15 minutes then let the runoff continue for another 45-50 minutes. I consistently get 80% efficiencies. I can see no reason why a herms system wouldn't work well with a rectangular tun.

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Old 04-21-2013, 04:47 AM   #3
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The reason I'm wondering is because the top of the grain bed in a rectangular mash tun has a much larger surface area than the top of the grain bed in a vertical, cylindrical cooler or keg as a lot of people use. It doesn't seem like the recirculated wort will mix well enough with the wort on top of the grain bed in a rectangular cooler due to the larger surface area.

Does anyone continuously recirculate with a rectangular mash tun?

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Old 04-21-2013, 07:50 PM   #4
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I do and I use the same cooler. I just lay my silicon hose on top of the grainbed as it exits the herms coil. I mash at about 1.33 qt/pound for a slightly more liquidy mash.

I was initially concerned about uneven draining/chanelling but after 6 or so batches, the grain bed is pretty flat once the runnings drain all the way out (I pressure can the end runnings for starters).

I haven't had any problems with stuck mash or anything.

Simple copper manifold attached to stainless bulkhead and ball valve.

Good luck.

Cheers.

BSD

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Old 01-29-2014, 10:02 PM   #5
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Reviving this thread as I'm just about to sweat the copper for my manifold. Currently I've got the manifold just about butted up to the walls of the cooler.

Do I need to cut some of the piece in between the tee's in half so that the 20+ inch pieces of copper with cuts in them for draining are away from the wall? After reading it seems that I do. I'd like to get in the high 70's or even 80% range for efficiency.

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Old 01-29-2014, 10:12 PM   #6
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http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-1.html
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:29 PM   #7
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So I read through that and I get that there is supposed to be half the width to the wall as in between the copper piping. That lead me to another question. When I put the tape measure in the cooler I get varying distances from wall to wall. Towards the ends it's closer to 11 3/8 inch wide but in the middle it's 11 5/8 inch wide. Looking at Palmer's diagrams it basically assumes a 90 degree angle. However for this cooler it's a 45 degree angle. Because of this the end of the 45 degree angle makes the distance ranges 10 3/8 to 10 5/8's.

So my new question is do I make it an inch away from where the 45 degree angle ends or and inch in from the wall? My thought is to have 1 inch distance from the walls then a 4 pipe manifold with 2.25 inches in between each pipe and then the final inch to the other wall.

1 inch from 2 walls = 2 inches
0.5 inch pipe x 4 = 2 inches
2.25 inches in between pipes x 3 = 6.75 inches

That'd make it 10.75 inches which would leave me with a little over half an inch remaining. I really want to make sure this MLT is done right so I'll get good efficiency's so any and all help is welcomed!

Thoughts?

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