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Old 10-01-2008, 06:45 PM   #1
sleepystevenson
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Default Single tier system users: ?'s in preperation for first use

Hey everybody. Getting ready to use the new one barrel system for the first time, and I have a few questions for you guys using a single tier system. (See thread here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/one-...m-build-81057/ )

We are gonna do a double batch sparge, as we only have one pump at the present time, and double batch sparging is what we have always done anyway. Going with a derivative of Ed's Haus Pale Ale.

My plan is to heat the water for the initial mash infusion in the HLT and pump it over to the Mash Tun. I would heat it all in the mash tun, however I have about half the jets blocked with bolts in order to not scorch the wort there, so it will heat a LOT faster in the HLT. Any thoughts?

First question....what kind of water / grain ratio are you guys finding works best with a direct fired recirculating type setup (full false bottom)?? In the past (ice cube cooler MLT) I have always used 1 - 1.25 quarts water per pound of grain.

Second problem:

My Brew kettle is currently setup with a dip tube and hop screen close to the side of the kettle, in order to facilitate whirlpooling. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...bkinterior.jpg)

My thoughts when building were that I would have to recirculate the hot wort through my chiller and back to the brew kettle for awhile in order to bring the temp down to pitching levels. This recirculation would then hopefully create the whirlpool and trub cone in the center.

However, after a trial run with the chiller using boiling water, I found that ONE single pass through will adequately cool the wort. Therefore, I could just pump hot wort through the chiller directly into the fermenter.

Do you see any issues here? Do I need to worry about the cold break ending up in my fermenter? (I assume that all you guys using counterflow chillers are doing just that.)

I can always tilt the BK to get out the last gallon or so that won't be picked up by the dip tube?

I am gonna have to recirculate boiling wort through the chiller for a bit during the boil to sanitize it anyway before chilling, so maybe that will be enough whirlpooling to create the hop cone?

Perhaps its a RDWHAHB type of nervous nancy question... but, hey, it will be my first time using the new system, and I would really like to have a smooth experience.

THANKS!!!!

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Old 10-01-2008, 08:15 PM   #2
Gordie
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Hey there. Here's what I do, but its mostly based on either superstition, illogical preference or whatever feels appropriate at the time...

I generally heat my strike water in my MLT and simultaneously heat sparge water in my HLT. You're going to have a much larger volume of sparge water and that’s going to take more time anyway. I'm starting to move towards shorter mash times, when possible, and relying on conversion tests rather than my stopwatch so having my sparge water ready and waiting makes me feel better.

I usually default to 1.25 qt/lb for my direct fire and I haven't had any problems recirculating.

In terms of your wort cooling, I always get a little nervous out putting anything into a fermenter until I'm pitching so I generally recirculate back into my BK until I get the temp down, then switch hoses and pump into fermenter. I figure if my temp is off a bit its easier to cool the wort before it hits the fermenter. If you have your return off to the side and gently reintroduce it to the wort, you can avoid returning the cold break to suspension and probably even skim it off easily.

Sounds like you're in great shape if this is all you're worried about... my biggest problem is that my fly-sparge setup is too efficient and I keep oversparging because it looks all slick and effective and I kinda stare at it wondering how it got like that because I certainly didn't do it on purpose and before I know it I've got an extra 2 gal of wort and my gravity is heading downhill...

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Old 10-01-2008, 09:46 PM   #3
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What you should be doing is figuring out how much water it takes to reach the false bottom. That's basically outside of the normal mash thickness. In my 1/2bbl MLT, it takes 7/8ths of a gallon. So, I figure out my strike volume based on 1.25qts/lb and then add a gallon. It usually falls around 1.4 qts/lb and it only hurt my efficiency by 2-3%.

If my strike is 6 gallons, I put three in my MLT and 3 in my HLT and fire them both hardcore. Once I reach strike temp (very quickly due to double the BTUs being used), I pump the three gallons over to the MLT. If you're mashing for 60 minutes, starting to heat your sparge water at about the 20 minute mark sounds about right. Adjust later based on how long it really takes to heat that much sparge water.

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Old 10-02-2008, 07:16 PM   #4
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Good points, guys, thanks.

I did measure and record the amount of water it takes to hit my false bottom, while I was calibrating the sight glasses. Don't have it here at the office with me, but I believe it was somewhere around 1.5 gals. So, definitely makes sense to add that to the strike water.

Also, nice thinking on using both the MLT / HLT to heat water. That will nicely preheat the mashtun.


What do you think about the chilling method, Bobby?
Also, you are still having good luck with the double batch sparge method, eh ?
Thanks again.

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Old 10-02-2008, 09:48 PM   #5
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If you can run your wort through the chiller at full speed and still get a favorable output temp, I would think you'd get it all chilled before DMS production became a problem. If you have to throttle it back to get the right output temp, I'd rather run it full speed and recirc back into the kettle until the whole wort volume is 140F. THen redirect to the fermenter.

Yes, double batch sparging is still my prefered method.

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Old 10-03-2008, 01:20 AM   #6
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Thanks! Sounds good. I just added another 20+ feet of copper to the chiller, so it's now close to 50'. I hope that will do it. Gonna have to check it with a test run, i suppose.. .

Later!

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