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Old 11-07-2007, 09:14 PM   #1
glorifiedbusdriver
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Default recirculating mash with direct heat

So I was thinking today (dangerous) and I was wandering how hard it would be to make a system of mashing using direct heat and a pump to recirculate the mash. I got this idea from reading about the Brutus 10 in BYO.
I've tried direct heat mashes before and I had a big problem with scorching. I already have a 10 gallon polarware pot and the false bottom, so do I just need to buy a pump? It sounds too easy. I must be missing something. I do understand it would require constant monitoring since I'm not rich and can't afford one of them temp controllers. So how far off am I?

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Old 11-08-2007, 04:01 AM   #2
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You would need a pump and an inline thermometer to monitor wort temperature as you operate the pump and the burner. A needle valve in the fuel line to the burner would make it easier to turn down the flame as the wort temperature goes up, and a thermometer in the mash would help to determine when to shut the burner down and just recirculate. Start the circulation and ramp up the flame to reach the temperatures desired and then decrease the flame to maintain temperature, continue circulation to distribute heat through mash.

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Old 11-08-2007, 03:28 PM   #3
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It's perfectly doable, I recirculate during the entirety of my mash with direct heat every brew I do. A false bottom is paramount to keep the grains off the bottom of the mash tun. I use a converted keg with false bottom, a pump, and recirculation arm to return the wort back to the tun (this also my sparge arm). Inline thermometers, needle valves, float switches, and temp controller could all be employed as you see fit - but none are necessary (I don't use any of them). Just keep your flame low, recirculate your wort and keep an eye on temperature of the mash. Remember low flame is best here.

It takes some fiddling and experience with your set up, but once you do a few brews it becomes quite simple. When I first started this type of mash I would baby sit the mash and adjust the flame every 5 minutes. Now, I rarely touch it unless I'm stepping up or mashing out.

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Old 11-08-2007, 03:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glorifiedbusdriver
So I was thinking today (dangerous) and I was wandering how hard it would be to make a system of mashing using direct heat and a pump to recirculate the mash. I got this idea from reading about the Brutus 10 in BYO.
I've tried direct heat mashes before and I had a big problem with scorching. I already have a 10 gallon polarware pot and the false bottom, so do I just need to buy a pump? It sounds too easy. I must be missing something. I do understand it would require constant monitoring since I'm not rich and can't afford one of them temp controllers. So how far off am I?
Maybe think of using steam as the heat source and use a heat exchanger. I am working on this myself, just need some spare time to put it together.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:56 PM   #5
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I tried it on my last brew. I was VERY careful to keep the flame low, and recirc quickly enough that the wort didn't stay on the bottom too long. I sampled the wort, and I noticed no charred/burnt/bitter flavors other than the roasted barley in my stout. A pale ale might be a better indicator. I think it can be done without problems, in spite of the urban legends about scorching. You just have to be cautious, and not crank your burner up. You're only trying to achieve a 10-20F change!

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Old 09-25-2010, 02:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Maybe think of using steam as the heat source and use a heat exchanger
how are you doing this?
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