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Old 10-07-2012, 07:25 PM   #1
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Default Seperate Mash & Lauter tuns?

I want a direct fire keggle mash tun for step mashing. I don't want to use a pump to recirculate wort from below a false bottom. I'm guessing stirring will not go well with a bazooka tube, so I'm thinking about mashing in one keggle and lautering in another. Anyone else dumb enough to do this? Will a ball valve work to transfer? I realize a 2" 3 piece stainless valve will cost more than a March pump but will it work? I'm thinking I might be better off rigging the mash tun to tilt and dump into the lauter. I know this isn't what most people are looking for in a system, but if you've got seperate mash and lauter tuns, please let me know how you do it.

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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Many of the big breweries use separate mash and lauter tuns, but most homebrewers don't bother just because the motivations have to do with keeping efficiency. At the scales we're dealing with, those costs aren't a huge consideration. German breweries in particular will pump the mash from one location to another, but they are using plumbing much larger than 2". I can't imagine that flowing.

I gather you're fly sparging? What's the problem with using a false bottom in a single vessel?

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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Right now, I'm still batch sparging in a cooler MLT. I've gathered the impession that I can't get by with a direct fired MLT unless I pump the hot wort from the below the false bottom to prevent scorching.

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:49 PM   #4
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Right now, I'm still batch sparging in a cooler MLT. I've gathered the impession that I can't get by with a direct fired MLT unless I pump the hot wort from the below the false bottom to prevent scorching.
Have you given any thought to stirring instead of recirculating?
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:52 PM   #5
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Right now, I'm still batch sparging in a cooler MLT. I've gathered the impession that I can't get by with a direct fired MLT unless I pump the hot wort from the below the false bottom to prevent scorching.
I doubt you'd get scorching exactly, but you might indeed get heat stratification. Why would having a separate lauter tun help with that though? (Sorry if I'm being dense...I'm just trying to make sure I understand your goals.)

In any case, you could always just manually recirculate with a bucket and stir a bit to keep your temps even.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:03 PM   #6
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All the RIMS/HERMS gidgets and gizmos threads had given me the idea plain old stirring my mash over a flame would lead to the end of times, or at least burnt wort under the false bottom. Did I let the internet scare me again?I thought i'd have to stir the mash in a vessel without a false bottom and than transfer to lauter in another.

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Old 10-07-2012, 08:09 PM   #7
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All the RIMS/HERMS gidgets and gizmos threads had given me the idea plain old stirring my mash over a flame would lead to the end of times, or at least burnt wort under the false bottom. Did I let the internet scare me again?I thought i'd have to stir the mash in a vessel without a false bottom and than transfer to lauter in another.
Ah, I get what you're saying.

The risk with RIMS tubes, generally, is with a very small volume of liquid trapped against an extremely hot element. If the water starts boiling, it evaporates and leaves the element burning dry. That's a big problem. That's not really a risk in a big pot at sub-boiling temperatures.

With a false bottom, what you'd be looking at is temperature stratification...the liquid in the bottom reach 160ºF before the grain bed is still at your protein rest temps. Continuous pumping is one way to resolve this, but stirring and manually recirculating would work too. How aggressive you need to be will depend on your set up, but that's fine. If you can get one thermometer in the space below the false bottom and another in the grain bed, you can watch to make sure that you're not getting too much of a spread.

Either a false bottom or a bazooka will work fine, though they give you slightly different things to watch out for.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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False bottom: watch out for stratification? One thermo below false bottom and one above near top?

Bazooka: watch out for dislodging or crushing bazooka tube?

At first, I figured that I could just stir the mash with a gentle flame to raise mash temps - heat rises and stirring will help help, right? But that seemed too simple and I thought there must be problem for everyone to build such complicated systems when they could spend that time brewing....

So you just stir MalFet or you have an automated rig?

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Old 10-07-2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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False bottom: watch out for stratification? One thermo below false bottom and one above near top?

Bazooka: watch out for dislodging or crushing bazooka tube?
Exactly. You'll still have to watch for stratification without a false bottom, but you'll be able to access the whole volume with stirring.

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At first, I figured that I could just stir the mash with a gentle flame to raise mash temps - heat rises and stirring will help help, right? But that seemed too simple and I thought there must be problem for everyone to build such complicated systems when they could spend that time brewing....

So you just stir MalFet or you have an automated rig?
If you go slow enough, the temperatures will even out on their own, but that gets tedious. I have a pump, but that's mostly just because I'm lazy. Stirring accomplishes the same thing. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably stick with a bazooka or build a slotted manifold. Stirring seems simpler that way.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:35 PM   #10
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Exactly. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably stick with a bazooka or build a slotted manifold. Stirring seems simpler that way.
And cheaper, too. I can't believe I let the interwebs scare me away from common sense. Thanks!
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