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Old 07-18-2012, 01:49 AM   #1
bloodonblood
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Default Is there a better way to heat strike and sparge water?

I’ve read that breweries sometimes use something that I guess is like a tankless water heater to instantly heat strike and sparge water. I even know that a couple of the Psycho Brew systems are designed with the use of their kind of water heaters in mind. My question is, are they using a piece of equipment that specifically designed to heat water to a selected temperature and if so can anyone show an example of this kind of equipment? Or are they just using a number of tankless water heaters run in sequence, and if so, how do they regulate the temperature to an exact enough number to strike with?

Thanks in advance for helping me out guys.

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Old 07-18-2012, 01:53 AM   #2
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There are some folks with 4500 and 5500w elements in RIMS tubes that are able to use them for 'on demand' sparge and strike water heaters.

Personally, I just heat my sparge water during the mash. My strike water takes around 15min to heat. I'm ok with that

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Old 07-18-2012, 01:54 AM   #3
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Larger places have custom equipment. I know of several small breweries that really do use 3-4 tankless water heaters in series. The one I know best has four heaters. The first three just run full blast (or just two for strike water), the last one regulates the flame to control the output temperature.

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Old 07-18-2012, 05:14 PM   #4
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Scottland: do they adjust the temperature by controlling the flow to the element?

David: that's awesome! Do you know if they use commercial units, or home units?

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Old 07-18-2012, 06:04 PM   #5
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The PID will fire the element on and off to control the element. As long as the PID is tuned with a consistent flow rate, it tends to work.

Here's one: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-6...s-tube-217754/

I know there's a few other threads on it, but you'll have to search. 'on demand sparge' are good keyboards.

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Old 07-18-2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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My club uses a tankless water heater for our 1bbl system. It was around 1500 bucks though. We can adjust the water temp from 120-185° by touching a digital screen. The sensors and digital screen are homeade.

I know how to use it but I definitely couldn't build it myself. The guy that built/designed it is an electrical engineer. It sure is handy though.

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Old 07-18-2012, 10:34 PM   #7
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Now we're getting somewhere! Both of those are great ideas. Do you have possibly anymore information on the tankless water heater Diaperload?

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:15 AM   #8
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OK, blood. I'll try to describe it more. Keep in mind that I didn't design or build this thing. I've had it explained to me a few times though.

I don't think the tankless water heater was 1500 bucks. 1500 is the total cost with the circuitry stuff also.

First, the tankless water heater was made for natural gas so they switched over to propane use. Not sure how that was done.

The tankless water heater puts out pretty much boiling water on demand. How the temp is adjusted is by how much cold water is added to it. So there is a temp sensor somewhere in the line.

For our system, the increments go by 5 for a bit, then 20. So you can have 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, then 160, 180. It might go to 200 but we have never gone that far. We use the 120° for our pressure washer and stuff like soaking bottles. We preheat our mash tun with 150° (we can't use super hot water or it will deform the plastic cooler mash tun). Now to get lets say we need 175 water for mashing we have to do a little combining. Say 4 gallons @ 180 then a gallon @ 160...or something like that. It's not that big of deal since you just open a control panel and push the arrow button up or down to change temp.

The water does have to be completely off before you can make the change though.

Overall, it takes less than 5 min to get strike water. That's including hooking up the water hose, propane hose, turning on valves, control panel, filling up water.

I can't give any details on the control panel though. The guy at the club that built it is an electrical engineer at Intel.

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Old 07-19-2012, 02:04 AM   #9
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You will notice all the "guru" type folk have said this is a waste and will not work. I am still using this system and am here in defiance saying it does work...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ebay...-build-316093/

YMMV but I have reduced my heating times AND propane use by 50%...

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Old 07-19-2012, 02:06 AM   #10
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Awesome, thanks a lot Diaperload! That is the proof of concept that I needed to see that something like a tankless water heater was plausible. Does anyone know of other solutions?

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