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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Direct fire mash without control?
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:00 AM   #1
Jdk261
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Default Direct fire mash without control?

For the past couple years I have been using my converted cooler for mashing.

Slowly, but surely, my single tier rig is coming together and I am anxious to give it a go, but I don't have my valves/controller/temp probes yet to control the burner for mash temps...so here is my question...does anyone direct fire their mash without fancy controllers/probes? If so, how do you maintain temps?

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:16 AM   #2
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My dad and I do that on his system; however, we recirculate the whole time and have a T with a thermometer right after the drain. That lets us know how hot the wort is at the bottom (closest to the flame). We have a distributer where the wort is put back into the mash to (hopefully) keep it all fairly close to the same temp. We also take the lid off, stir it up, and then take a temp reading just to make sure about every 15 minutes. It has worked well so far. More problems with airlocks and grain in the pump than temperature control.

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:41 AM   #3
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Plenty of people do this. The president of my local brewing club has a direct fire system. Keep your pump running at a good flow (without sticking your mash of course), and put a temp sensor somewhere in the line to monitor the things. The temp of the whole system will stabilize very quickly. According to the pres of my local club, within a few minutes. So you can find tune your flame adjustments to maintain temp.

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:55 AM   #4
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Sounds doable...thanks guys

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Old 08-23-2012, 11:39 PM   #5
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I can't help but lob out the primitive's response: I use a cooler mash tun most of the time. It maintains temperature within 1 degree for a 60-90 minute mash. I do throw a couple of coats over the top while mashing. I just heat the strike water in a kettle until it's about 13* above my desired mash temp, then transfer quickly to the cooler using a plastic 2 quart pitcher, and pouring the last quart or so. I hang a long stem thermometer on the kettle using a piece of copper wire, and just keep checking until it's time to turn the burner off. It's a bit more labor intensive, but it works -- without electricity.

I have the ASCO valves and Auber PIDs to do this automatically, but it takes some time to get that set up, time that I just have not spent on the task yet. So many toys, so little time....

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Old 08-27-2012, 12:22 AM   #6
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I do it this way, direct fire with manual control. I recirculate the mash and just turn the burner on / off based on the temperature. I monitor the temperature by sticking a digital probe in the mash.

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