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Old 11-17-2008, 07:04 PM   #1
Phideaoux44
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Default Will this work? Designing single tier AG setup

Alright, so after brewing for years, I am FINALLY getting into All Grain brewing and have fabricated a one tier three burner set up with converted Sanke kegs. I have yet to get the pump and therminator mounted, but in the meantime I am deciding on how I want to sparge before I get too far along. I have seen a lot of debate over which is better, fly or batch and I won’t trouble anyone with another thread regarding that. However, I would like for you experts (or at least the biggest experts I know) to critique my set-up. I am leaning away from a fly sparge because I don’t want to have a second pump. And the design I came up with is part batch, part HERMS (If I understand this all correctly). I made up a rudimentary design utilizing state of the art computer software (paint) and cutting edge artistic ability (the kind of ugly stuff you wouldn’t hang on a fridge even if your kid drew) so that hopefully you guys can see what I’m trying. Again, I know this isn’t an entirely unique or novel solution, but I am hoping that you can critique it or tear it apart before I build it and waste money and time.


Ultimate outline: Mash tun drains into manifold and is pumped through heat exchanger coil in hot liquor tank (fired or not fired depending on water temp) and then be pumped back through the sparge arm on top of the grains. Hopefully then I can get the bed filtering properly, the clear runnings, and a decently steady mash temp without having to fire the MT and risk grain scorch. I would run this during the appropriate amount of mash time and when it’s time to dump the first batch, I would switch hoses around (and if I understand correctly) drain the MT into the brew kettle, fill the MT back up and continue the circulation again for one more cycle before final drain and boil. Shouldn’t this insure a good clean and decently efficient mash? Sorry for the long-winded life-story-length post, but I would owe you my first born if you guys could help me make sure this idea works before I put too much more time and effort into an idea that won’t float. Thanks ahead of time.





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Old 11-17-2008, 07:10 PM   #2
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I think your design looks good.

Two points:

1) When pumping into the MLT for your batch sparge, runt he sparge water through the HERMS coil to clear those extra runnings that were hiding in there.

2) I would suggest a false bottom over a manifold, but others will disagree. I think it gives the best result (i.e., most consistent drainage, good flow rate) and it allows you to directly heat you MLT in the future without the worry of scorching your mash.



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Old 11-17-2008, 07:51 PM   #3
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I'd agree w/ B-K. I have a full false bottom in my sanke MLT. I can recirculate at full flow without any problems. Also, the grain is raised up sufficiently off the bottom that direct-fire heats the wort, not the grain bed, just like the HERMS system you're suggesting. 6 one way, 1/2 doz. the other as far as heat transfer, but a large FB will give you the best filtering mechanism in a sanke MLT.

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Old 11-17-2008, 08:25 PM   #4
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I'm going to build a single tier as well.

Why do you want a HERMS if you are direct firing the MLT anyway? You could just heat the MLT and recirculate or simply stir while heating if you are trying to step mash.

My plan is to keep my MLT cooler and do a decoction if I need to step up my heat (I tend to do single infusion mashes, no stepping)

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Old 11-17-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
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My setup has direct fire and HERMS as well. I like it because I do my step mashes with flame and circulation and use the HERMS for maintaining temperature rests.



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