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Old 05-05-2009, 09:58 PM   #1
stoutaholic
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Default how quickly should I step temperature with a HERMS

I'm building an electric HERMS and am in the design stage of my heat exchanger. This is a system that is going to have an HLT for doughing in and batch sparging, as well as a separate kettle with copper coil to be used as a heat exchanger.

The heat exchanger will be used to maintain the temperature in the mash tun, as well as to step temperatures when adding hot water from the HLT is not an option (for instance, when I want to do a step while keeping the mash thickness the same).

My question is what kind of performance should I shoot for when attempting to step from one temperature to the next when using a heat exchanger? For instance, if I wanted to step 10 gallons of mash from 122 degrees to 150 degrees. Does anyone have any data on how long this takes in their system? How many degrees per minute should I shoot for? If I heated the water in my heat exchanger to boiling, I could increase the mash temperature very quickly, but the wort going through the heat exchanger would undergo serious temperature fluctuations. So I assume that there is some ideal rate of increase.

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Old 05-05-2009, 11:45 PM   #2
HomebrewJeff
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From what I've read, look for about 1-2 degrees per minute. As you mentioned, you could increase the temp of the water in the heat exchanger, but then "some" of the wort will over shoot your temp. Another option is to use a larger hex or pump faster, but then you'll risk compacting the grain bed too much.

Instead of saying you'll rest at 120 for x minutes, 142 for x minutes, etc, you are better of simply starting at a temp, and then immediately (depending on the how big the next jump is) start recirculating in preparation for your next temp target.

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Old 05-06-2009, 01:48 AM   #3
The Pol
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Step it as fast as you can.

Id be very surprised to see you getting more than 1-2F per minute rise in the MLT.

99% of HERMS users, dont step mash with them Id guess.

I use my HLT HERMS water to infuse for steps.

Build it, try it... let us know how it goes.

To step from 122 to 150 in my system will take 20-30 minutes. Too long IMHO.

I'd shoot for 3F/minute in the MLT, and that aint easy.

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Old 05-06-2009, 02:30 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, that's good to know. So it sounds like will plan on using infusions from the HLT to step, and use the heat exchanger to maintain temps in the mash tun.

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