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Old 01-21-2008, 12:17 AM   #1
The Pol
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Default Where is your thermowell?

If you are using a march pump for a HERMS system, where do you read your temperature? I would love to use a Love controller, but shouldnt I be reading my temp in the MLT outflow? Say in the tubing itself? When that temp reaches my set temp, my grain bed is the correct temp. Is this what you do?

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Old 01-21-2008, 03:20 AM   #2
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When I began to plan my HERMS I had the same exact thought. However, if you place your thermocouple at the MLT outflow, you will overshoot your grain bed temps. I actually place my thermocouple at the MLT inflow. I have found thru trial and error that if I set my controller at 2F above my desired mash temp, that I will hit my mash temps dead on every time (in my system).

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Old 01-21-2008, 04:06 AM   #3
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how will you overshoot your temps if your HERMS heat exchanger is set to your set mash temp? If my water is 152F... I wont overshoot, and when my outlet wort reaches 152F, then my mash is heated thoroughly... right? Heating my keggle and my heat exchanger to the proper temp is my only reason for buying an LP gas solenoid to turn on and off my burner, to maintain that water temp.

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Old 01-21-2008, 04:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol
how will you overshoot your temps if your HERMS heat exchanger is set to your set mash temp? If my water is 152F... I wont overshoot, and when my outlet wort reaches 152F, then my mash is heated thoroughly... right? Heating my keggle and my heat exchanger to the proper temp is my only reason for buying an LP gas solenoid to turn on and off my burner, to maintain that water temp.
I found that this method takes roughly FOREVER when doing a HERMS step mash. I usually heated the water in the heat exchanger to around 160-170 for most steps, then increased to 180 for the mash out. My efficiency was usually pretty good, but I saw a marked increase when I went to steam infusion.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:33 PM   #5
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So, let me get this accurate. I OVERHEAT my exchanger and overshoot my temps going into the mash to heat up the mash more quickly. SO the top of my mash is 165F and the bottom is 152F. Wouldnt this cause much more severe stratification in my mash? Because if I implement some sort of strirring mechanism to eliminate the stratification, I am now eliminating one of the purposes to using a HERMS.... clearer wort...

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Old 01-21-2008, 02:30 PM   #6
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Hello, can anyone explain to me how I can avoid serious heat stratification in my mash if I overshoot my mash temp in my HERMS oulet temp??

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Old 01-21-2008, 03:49 PM   #7
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IMHO, it all depends on your set-up. I measure the temp as it exits the HERMS coil. However, I don't use my HLT for the HERMS, I have a dedicated vessel that houses the HERMS coil. I use a small round cooler that maybe holds a few gallons. I then use a bucket heater to heat the water. So basically the wort exiting the coil is the temperature I want the mash.

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Old 01-21-2008, 03:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol
I am now eliminating one of the purposes to using a HERMS.... clearer wort...
I always stirred when stepping up the temp. Between steps, I would occasionally recirculate through the heat exchanger to maintain the temp, avoiding any stirring at that point. I never stirred during the mash out, and the wort was amazingly clear due to the long period of recirculation at the end of the mash.
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:35 PM   #9
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If you place your thermocouple at the heat exchange coil exit (or MLT inlet), your wort will never exceed the "dialed in" temperature. Your "dialed in" temp will need to be slightly higher than your desired grain bed temp; how much higher will depend on the recirculation flow rate and heat loss from your MLT.
I recirculate constantly and I only stir at mash in. My heat exchange coil is in my HLT but I have two 4500 watt, 240 vac heating elements in my HLT so I can ramp up temps pretty quickly. Recirculation flow rate has been my rate limiting factor for ramping up mash temperatures.

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Old 01-22-2008, 07:00 PM   #10
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I think you've just touched on the dilemma with HERMS/RIMS/Direct-fire solutions. Maintaining consistent temps throughout the mash and temp steps do not have the same goals. When you want to step the temps, then the wort has to be overheated at least a little. The closer you keep the wort to your target step temp the longer your step is going to take. The faster you want to heat your wort, the more you have to overheat the wort, the more stratification you have, and the higher the chance for overshooting your step.

I haven't studied steam, but it may side-step this problem to a "degree". (pardon the pun )

Anyway, I don't think there's a perfect solution. You gotta try it, play with it, and live with it or change it.

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