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Old 08-30-2011, 04:22 PM   #871
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Thanks I guess I should have rephrased my questions. As for concentrated brew....I thought they mentioned that because there was not enough room to do a full boil. but it looks like there is enough room to do a full boil on the 20l system. I assume its at least 9G in the boil kettle? Not sure why they said that in the video. As for Grain ratio I always do the 1.25 to 1 lb, I didn't know if this system required a much higher ratio to allow the upwards flow......Meaning always fill to this line.

PS a little about me - I have always been a lurker on here with very few posts. I have about 20 AG batches under my belt (batch Sparge method) but have been on hiadus the last 8 months due to work and a new home build. But I am very excited as my new home has a separate detached garage which will be my BrewShed!!!!!!Looking for a new way to AG and I love the look of the system

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Old 08-30-2011, 04:41 PM   #872
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I must admit his point has me curious also. It appears the system requires one place a minimum of water in the pot to satisfy the flow mechanics. I think I understand the pipe must overflow sufficiently enough to fill the pot to the pump pick up point. So you must add enough water to fill the pipe and part of the pot.

Can anyone tell me how much water it takes to overflow the pipe in a 20L system?

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Old 08-30-2011, 04:51 PM   #873
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Originally Posted by SanMarzano View Post
Thanks I guess I should have rephrased my questions. As for concentrated brew....I thought they mentioned that because there was not enough room to do a full boil. but it looks like there is enough room to do a full boil on the 20l system. I assume its at least 9G in the boil kettle? Not sure why they said that in the video. As for Grain ratio I always do the 1.25 to 1 lb, I didn't know if this system required a much higher ratio to allow the upwards flow......Meaning always fill to this line.

PS a little about me - I have always been a lurker on here with very few posts. I have about 20 AG batches under my belt (batch Sparge method) but have been on hiadus the last 8 months due to work and a new home build. But I am very excited as my new home has a separate detached garage which will be my BrewShed!!!!!!Looking for a new way to AG and I love the look of the system
I've experimented with water to grain ratios and have never personally noticed a substantial difference in my beers going from 1 to 3 per 1lb. My Citra Pale Ale was right at a 2 to 1 ratio and turned out fine. I believe I've read somewhere that this is more critical when you approach closer to a 4 to 1 ratio, but may be wrong there - and probably comes down to water/mash PH.

What I can tell you is that this machine can/does support full volume boils. I've got roughly 7 to 7.25 in the kettle at start of boils for a 5 gallon batch.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:53 PM   #874
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I must admit his point has me curious also. It appears the system requires one place a minimum of water in the pot to satisfy the flow mechanics. I think I understand the pipe must overflow sufficiently enough to fill the pot to the pump pick up point. So you must add enough water to fill the pipe and part of the pot.

Can anyone tell me how much water it takes to overflow the pipe in a 20L system?
That's not a fixed number as it must be offset by how much grain you have displacing the water. You also need to cover your elements completely - not just run to the pickup point.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:35 PM   #875
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That's not a fixed number as it must be offset by how much grain you have displacing the water. You also need to cover your elements completely - not just run to the pickup point.
Good point on the elements. I guess what I'm asking is what is the minimum amount of water you can brew with on the BM?

From what I read 9 gallons is an acceptable volume for the BM. 9 gallons should be adequate for a 20lb grain bill and you should be able to get a good 5 gallons in the fermenter without difficulty. But what if the bill is 8 lbs? You wouldn't want to brew with 9 gallons so how far can you reduce the volume and still satisfy the BM mechanism?
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:44 PM   #876
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Good point on the elements. I guess what I'm asking is what is the minimum amount of water you can brew with on the BM?

From what I read 9 gallons is an acceptable volume for the BM. 9 gallons should be adequate for a 20lb grain bill and you should be able to get a good 5 gallons in the fermenter without difficulty. But what if the bill is 8 lbs? You wouldn't want to brew with 9 gallons so how far can you reduce the volume and still satisfy the BM mechanism?
I don't have the 20L but I would say the short answer is no. I do not believe 3 gallons of water would be adequate (at a ratio of 1.5qt/pound of grain). The grain is going to absorb 1 gallon leaving only 2. Therefore the pumps would indeed run dry before the cycle of pumping up thru the grain and down to the bottom of the kettle completes itself. Just my theory YMMV.

Just out of curiosity, why the concern with making such a small grain bill?
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:14 PM   #877
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I don't have the 20L but I would say the short answer is no. I do not believe 3 gallons of water would be adequate (at a ratio of 1.5qt/pound of grain). The grain is going to absorb 1 gallon leaving only 2. Therefore the pumps would indeed run dry before the cycle of pumping up thru the grain and down to the bottom of the kettle completes itself. Just my theory YMMV.

Just out of curiosity, why the concern with making such a small grain bill?
I understand 3 gallons wouldn't work. I also understand that the traditional ratios are not necessary applicable the BM brewing. I haven't made any but there are light brews out there with 8 lb grain bills.

My question stems aroung the BM system. Simply put, how much water does it (20L) require for circulation? Can someone with a 20L tell me?
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:52 PM   #878
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Simply put, how much water does it (20L) require for circulation? Can someone with a 20L tell me?
As per post #874, "That's not a fixed number as it must be offset by how much grain you have displacing the water. "
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:51 PM   #879
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I appreciate everyones patience, but I'm still struggling with how one actually uses this thing.

For example, if you want to make a 5 gallon brew and there's 10 lb of grain in the bill. If you go with a 1.25 ratio then you would need to include 12.5 qts of water for the mash, or 3+ gallons. I'm fairly certain the BM will not function with 3+ gallons of water. I assume you add enough water at the start to make up for grain losses, pot losses, and boil losses. Roughly 1.2 gal for grain loss, 1 gal for pot loss?, 1.2 gal for boil loss, or 3.4 gal total.

If I add this to the start we're talking about 6.5-7.0 gallons in the system with 10 lbs of grain to yield 5 gallons of wort.

I assume the 20L BM will circulate with this amount of water and 10 lbs of grain? Is this a valid assumption?

At 7 gallons in the system, it's interesting to note actual mashing will occur at a ratio of 2.8 which I guess is not an issue as stated by BIAB guys and the BM crowd.

If the ratio is no longer a key factor, then all one needs to know is how much water to add when you brew ..as long as the grain bill is covered. I assume in practice you just fill the thing to some mark on the center post and go for it???

Have I got it?

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Old 08-30-2011, 09:04 PM   #880
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If the ratio is no longer a key factor, then all one needs to know is how much water to add when you brew ..as long as the grain bill is covered. I assume in practice you just fill the thing to some mark on the center post and go for it???

Have I got it?
You are really close.

You basically need to figure out how much to add to account for grain loss, either via the sparge which most perform, or just topping off prior to boil. On the 20L version, I add 6 gallons to start my mash as I use bottled spring water - and then sparge with 1.25 to 1.75 gallons based on the amount of grain in my mash. After a 90 minute boil, I have 5.25 gallons for the fermenter. I believe Chris says one liter per kg of malt in the bill is what he uses, which seems right to me based on my experience and how I come out in old school gallon measurements.
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