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Old 03-24-2012, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default Mash Temp Control

I converted a sanke keg into my mash tun but have had problems having a uniform mash temp (i.e. if my temp was to low, then I would turn on the burner, but this would cause the lower part to have a much higher temp than the top of the grain bed, even with lots of stirring). So I decided to purchase a march pump to help out with this issue and thought that I would recirculate my mash under low flame to lead to a more uniform temp. My question for yall, is what is the technique here? (e.g. I'm assuming you dont want to pump grain so do you vorlauf before pumping? do you open your ball valve on the outlet of the pump to match the rate coming out of the tun? How high of a vol/rate do you recirculate?)

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Old 03-25-2012, 01:41 AM   #2
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any help?

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Old 03-25-2012, 01:49 AM   #3
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You want to keep the rate low to prevent compaction of the grain bed. You can open the input full just shutdown the output valve to keep the flow gentle.

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Old 03-25-2012, 01:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
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any help?
You will need some type of manifold or false bottom in the MLT.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:51 AM   #5
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You want to keep the rate low to prevent compaction of the grain bed. You can open the input full just shutdown the output valve to keep the flow gentle.
thanks for the input. do you vorlauf before hand, or just open the valve from the keg full throttle, grain and all?
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:58 AM   #6
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You will need a false-bottom in a direct-fired sanke MLT or you will scorch the grist. And recirculating and returning to the top gently is vorlaufing for all practical purposes. You'll get a little bit of grain that falls through the false-bottom initially, but nothing the pump can't handle. And it will eventually clear up after recirculation through the grain bed.

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Old 03-25-2012, 04:34 AM   #7
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Cool, this clears things up. Thanks for the input!

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Old 03-27-2012, 11:25 AM   #8
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Check out RIMS systems. Thats basicly what your describing.
You can let wort recirrulate the whole time but you don't want to leave flame on
unless your boosting temperatures because even at a really low flame, the
temperature will creep up.

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Old 03-29-2012, 06:59 PM   #9
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We (My Dad / Who I Brew With) just built a HERMS with a march pump and two sanke's / We had a mesh false bottom and opened the valves fully and did not experience any compaction of the grains. We noticed without a good flowing circulation it was difficult to maintain temperatures. Once we opened it we noticed nice circulation on the top of the grain bed. This produced some of the clearest wort we've seen and we hit the highest efficiencies to date. We've brewed 3 batches with this system and will do two more this weekend.

Also - We insulated the kegs and wrapped aluminum shielding around the insulation to minimize the amount of times we would have to flame on. Also in the HLT we put a motorized stir stick to evenly distribute heat to the coil. It was very easy to control and during these three batches we were constantly measuring temperatures with a secondary thermometer and all was well.

Our next project is going to be a heat stick for the HLT with RTD/Controller so we'll be able to walk away with confidence. The only time we'll use the flame is during the initial heating of the water in the HLT.

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