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Old 05-12-2008, 03:04 PM   #21
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No but I will soon. Im not expecting the temps to match up with my very accurate glass lab thermometer Ive always used, but I will be able to tell very quickly where I am and adjust accordingly. If I need to bump up the LOVE controllers two degrees or whatever to compensate well so be it.
More than likely, you will have to lower the LOVE setting a few degrees. I had my inaugural run yesterday and found that my thermowell temp was lower than actual mash temps and I was overshooting my Mash temp cause the external thermowell/couple location wasn't accurately reading the mash.

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On a side note, the thermowells were rather long, and I had to cut them down and re weld them so they would fit in the T fitting. Not sure how that is going to come into play yet either.
I had this problem too, and ended up created an extension from my "Tee" fitting that would accommodate my thermowell. I am still trying to figure out the best way to remedy this.

My first idea was to remove the bi-metal Brewmometer that is in the side of my mash tun and just place my thermowell in there. That would put my probe right in the middle of the mash and in theory should provide the best reading.

I plan on brewing again this weekend after some design changes and Ill keep you posted.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:12 PM   #22
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i guess its the same with every rig you may have throughout your brewing career. You need to learn your rig inside and out. And just brew alot to get to the point where you just know where you're temps are going to be.

Keep me posted as from the sound of it Im right behind you. I should be doing test runs this coming weekend.

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:28 PM   #23
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I cut my thermowell's and used JB Weld to seal them back up. I am considering a weldless thermowell directly in the mash as well.

KD

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Old 05-12-2008, 04:32 PM   #24
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I am considering a weldless thermowell directly in the mash as well.

KD
I will be testing this on Saturday. I will let you know the results.
Here is the thermowell(s)I ended up buying. I have a 9" one in the lids of the MT and the HLT. The HLT is perfect. The MT is a little short for my 15G. I had a grain bill of just less than 19 lbs and the thermowell just barely in the top of the mash. I considered getting a 12" for the lid, but instead I'm opting for the sidewall thermowell.

I also have a couple 4" wells that are 1'2" NPT, I am going to remove the brewmometer in my Blichmann and put this in its place and try a mash that way. The location is about perfect. It will stick in the middle of the mash about 3.5" -4" from the side of the MT.

This was the solution I came up with after yesterday's session. Either that, or just brew larger batches so I have more grist and my lid placed thermowell will then be in the heart of the Mash. I bought a 15G MT and 20G Boil kettle for a 10G batch based on the fact that I had a 14G boil kettle and routinely had near boil overs for 10G batches.

I really think though with 15GMT and 20G BK, I could do 15G batches just fine. Not only would my lid thermowell reach into the mash, but I'd get more beer. Is that not just the perfect solution ?
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:34 PM   #25
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So I've had two batches now on the new brew stand.

Some findings on my thermowells, thermometers, and temp readings.

I mashed at 152 last night and In my mash tun I discovered three different temperature readings.

I had a thermowell on the exiting wort during a recirculation, a bi-metal Brewmometer mid-kettle about mid-grain bed height, and a 9" lid thermowell that reached about 1.5-2" into the top of the mash. Maybe only an inch inthe actual grain.

So right at mash in, I noticed about a 13-14 degree difference form exiting wort to top of the grain bed, with the brewmometer somewhere in the middle. Sorta made sense, hottest at the bottom where the dip tub was pulling wort from the bottom as its getting direct fired.

As the recirc went on, the lid thermowell and the exiting wort thermowell started to equalize. Once things stablized, I found the perfect location to take my temps for my LOVE controller to manage temps.

The existing wort read 154-156, the lid thermowell read 150-152. These would fluctated based on if the burner was on or not.

But the bi metal brewmometer directly in the middle of the mash read 150-152 nearly the whole time. I am going to replace the brewomemter with the thermowell and use that location for the LOVE controller probe to control temperatures. I feel this is the best location as the desired mash temp is the temperature of the grain to produce the conversation of starch to sugar.

I think I'm getting a feel for this new system, but will have to brew again on Saturday to make sure.

I learn something new each time and hope to have this thing dialed in shortly.
Now i need to make a hop bag, I struggle with the hops clogging my brew screen on the Boilermaker kettle.

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Old 05-16-2008, 04:41 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by MNBugeater View Post
So I've had two batches now on the new brew stand.

Some findings on my thermowells, thermometers, and temp readings.

I mashed at 152 last night and In my mash tun I discovered three different temperature readings.

I had a thermowell on the exiting wort during a recirculation, a bi-metal Brewmometer mid-kettle about mid-grain bed height, and a 9" lid thermowell that reached about 1.5-2" into the top of the mash. Maybe only an inch inthe actual grain.

So right at mash in, I noticed about a 13-14 degree difference form exiting wort to top of the grain bed, with the brewmometer somewhere in the middle. Sorta made sense, hottest at the bottom where the dip tub was pulling wort from the bottom as its getting direct fired.

As the recirc went on, the lid thermowell and the exiting wort thermowell started to equalize. Once things stablized, I found the perfect location to take my temps for my LOVE controller to manage temps.

The existing wort read 154-156, the lid thermowell read 150-152. These would fluctated based on if the burner was on or not.

But the bi metal brewmometer directly in the middle of the mash read 150-152 nearly the whole time. I am going to replace the brewomemter with the thermowell and use that location for the LOVE controller probe to control temperatures. I feel this is the best location as the desired mash temp is the temperature of the grain to produce the conversation of starch to sugar.

I think I'm getting a feel for this new system, but will have to brew again on Saturday to make sure.

I learn something new each time and hope to have this thing dialed in shortly.
Now i need to make a hop bag, I struggle with the hops clogging my brew screen on the Boilermaker kettle.
Thanks Warren. I have been going back and forth with this. The guy who built our brew club system feels pretty strongly that the probe should be in the mash as you describe for a few reasons. This also allows you to set up your pumps on "Auto" if you don't want to continuously recirculate while the burner is off.

KD
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:02 PM   #27
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Thanks Warren. I have been going back and forth with this. The guy who built our brew club system feels pretty strongly that the probe should be in the mash as you describe for a few reasons. This also allows you to set up your pumps on "Auto" if you don't want to continuously recirculate while the burner is off.

KD
Ironic you mention the pumps on auto idea. As soon as I realized I was going to move the probe to the middle of the mash, it hit me that if i do so rewiring I could have the pump stop when the burner does. And likewise, turn on when the burner does. NO need to conitnue recircing if the fire isnt on...
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:12 PM   #28
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Ironic you mention the pumps on auto idea. As soon as I realized I was going to move the probe to the middle of the mash, it hit me that if i do so rewiring I could have the pump stop when the burner does. And likewise, turn on when the burner does. NO need to conitnue recircing if the fire isnt on...
Yep, I already have the three position switches mounted in the panel. I still want manual control of the pump(s).
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:36 PM   #29
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I have a slightly different set-up than you guys, I'm using electric heating in a seperate heat exchanger. My controller probe is after the heat exchanger so I know what temp is being dumped on top of the mash. After doing this I realized I really have no idea what my mash temp is when doing a step, all I can see is that the heat exchanger is putting out wort at my set temp. I added a compression fitting with a probe for an electronic thermostat to the output of my mash tun and I find that they do equalize about 10 minutes after mash in.

The only problem with putting the controller probe mid mash is that your burner could overheat the wort before it gets to the probe.

Let's say you get your system set up, you mash in and things are chugging along at 152. 10 minutes in to the mash, the burner kicks on to add some heat and blows some carmalized sugar or rust out of some of the holes and suddenly is putting out a bit more heat. If it is heating faster than your pump is pumping, it will quickly get the wort over170 before it gets to the probe to shut the burner off.

I know this is theoretical, but the best way to insure you never overheat your mash is by monitoring the outlet of the mash tun.

My first try at my electric experiment, I had the controller at the output. Everything was fine until the system called for more heat. The heating element was able to heat much faster than the wort was moving through the system. When the probe finally reached set temp, the mash temp continued to rise to 13 degrees over my set temp due to the much hotter wort being dumped on top.

Anyway, that's been my experience so far.

Linc

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Old 05-16-2008, 05:45 PM   #30
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i don't really have much of a problem leaving the pumps on. It's not going to hurt it, and have you seen how clear your runnings get after 20 minutes or so? Holy Cow!

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