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Old 03-07-2007, 09:10 AM   #1
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Default Let's talk direct fired MLTs....

I don't think I can pass up that NB deal on the 10 gallon pot. Just too tempting. So if I set my stand up to allow a direct fired MLT (easy project), am I looking at more headache than it is worth? I've researched it a little bit--some of the problems I've seen are scorching.

I think this has a bunch of advantages to it though, but I don't have a pump so I won't be able to enable recirculation into the picture for a while. I'm mainly interested in being able to have the capability of making step mashes (not decoctions!) and F'ed up strike temp/mash-ins easier. I hate futzing with boiling water and adding it and getting up to temp and all that. I'd love to be able to fire up the burner and get up to temp that way.

Just looking for opinions on if this is worth it--not necessarily how to build the tun--I'll cross that bridge a little later. I have some solid ideas already planned from other threads.

So, those with experience, will this be beneficial for me, or am I looking at a lost cause?

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Old 03-07-2007, 09:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude
(not decoctions!)

Yeah right!

Have you thought of going the steam-injection route? I've been giving some thought to that method for the same reasons you're thinking of a heated tun. Maybe a little more finicky, but no chance of scorching, and not as much thermal inertia to deal with either - although a small burner wouldn't be too difficult to handle.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:22 AM   #3
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Go to bed foo!!!!

I wouldn't know where to begin with steam. Any links?

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Old 03-07-2007, 09:30 AM   #4
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Dude, do a search on this site for steam mash/mashing. Read the threads about the "Mash Monitor" and brewman's steam mash system. It sounds quite do-able...even a manually controlled system should be pretty simple, really. I'm seriously considering another crazy project this summer...complete with automation (I'm actually messing with control software right now...before anything is built).

I'm also considering a direct fired mash tun, not to maintain mash temps, but to bring the strike water up to temperature without having to transfer it to a cooler or other vessel. Once I dough-in, I'll be using HERMS or steam to maintain/raise the temperature as required.

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Old 03-07-2007, 09:46 AM   #5
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Thanks Yuri...

Okay, after reading that, I'm positive I'm going to do a burner fired MLT, not steam. Maybe down the road, but that is too much hassle for my purposes right now--plus I don't have the fancy skillz.

So....let's talk flame fired MLTs for now...advantages, disadvantages, etc....

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Old 03-07-2007, 09:53 AM   #6
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Are you brewing indoors or out? Propane or NatGas?

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Old 03-07-2007, 11:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
Are you brewing indoors or out? Propane or NatGas?
Out. Propane, maybe eventually NG.

Isn't all of this kind of a given?
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude
Out. Propane, maybe eventually NG.

Isn't all of this kind of a given?

Well I didn't know if you had some greater masterplan or something that I missed....

You know, you can always just heat stones to get your mash temps up...


You can also use a diffuser underneath the brewkettle- that might help with the scorching issue. I wonder why more people (especially extract brewers who want a lighter colored beer) don't use them. They're probably less than 20 bucks at a kitchen store. You know what I'm talking about? Those little hollow aluminum plates that go between the kettle and the flame and help to ensure the heat is applied evenly? I would think that would help with the scorching issue.
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:51 AM   #9
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One more plug for steam mashing:

Ignore all the geek talk about automation. Get a pressure cooker (preferably a large one). Fit a ball valve to the lid with a bulkhead fitting. Plumb the ball valve to a manifold in the bottom of your mash tun. Fill the pressure cooker with water and heat. Every time you want to increase your mash temperature, open the ball valve.

Wikipedia on pressure cookers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_cooker

Otherwise, the diffuser sounds like good insurance against scorching.

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Old 03-07-2007, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude
I don't think I can pass up that NB deal on the 10 gallon pot. Just too tempting.
Please post before and after pics. I'd do it too, but I've got my Keggles waiting on my brew rig some day.
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