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Old 02-08-2012, 01:19 PM   #31
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Okay. Lets go with Kal's much more scientific reason than mine.

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Old 02-12-2012, 09:17 PM   #32
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Kal,

We ran the system for the first time yesterday and things went really well for our first run. I did have one idea. What if you put a dpdt selector switch off of the SSR outs from the HLT and MLT PIDs. That way when you are mashing, you could control the heating element in the HLT tank from the RTD in the MLT tank. The output side of the switch would continue to go to the HLT SSR. Let me know if you need more info here.

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Old 02-12-2012, 10:07 PM   #33
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Kal,

We ran the system for the first time yesterday and things went really well for our first run. I did have one idea. What if you put a dpdt selector switch off of the SSR outs from the HLT and MLT PIDs. That way when you are mashing, you could control the heating element in the HLT tank from the RTD in the MLT tank. The output side of the switch would continue to go to the HLT SSR. Let me know if you need more info here.
I'm not sure why you'd want to do this.

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Old 02-13-2012, 02:10 AM   #34
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So you could set the temp on the mlt tank pid and not to have guess at the heat lose through the hoses and pumps.

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Old 02-13-2012, 02:20 AM   #35
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So you could set the temp on the mlt tank pid and not to have guess at the heat lose through the hoses and pumps.
I don't have any heat loss on my system during mashing, or nothing that is measurable. I recirc during mashing to keep the mash temp up. The mash temp exactly matches what I set on the HLT temp. Both temp probes have been calibrated. Both PIDs measure the same. The HLT PID shows the HLT tempature at the output valve. The MLT PID shows the MLT temp at the output valve. See my Brew Day Step by Step for more info and videos on this. One of the videos shows how the temps are exactly equal after they equalize after the first ~5 mins.

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Old 02-13-2012, 02:35 AM   #36
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What would you say if the garage was at 35 F when we started on Saturday.

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Old 02-13-2012, 01:24 PM   #37
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What would you say if the garage was at 35 F when we started on Saturday.
I don't know. I've never brewed at 35F. Too cold for me. My brew room's always near room temp.

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Old 02-13-2012, 01:50 PM   #38
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If you're recirculating constantly you shouldn't be dropping temps at all. Your pot won't be pouring off heat that much.

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Old 02-13-2012, 06:03 PM   #39
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From Michigan here where the outside temp was 6 degrees F on Saturday morning and my garage was about 35 degrees before I turned the heater up to about 50 degrees, there is a much longer lag in the time it takes the temps to equalize. I measure and control the temp at the output of the HLT/HERMS. I have to initially overshoot the target temp by 2 degrees in order to maintain my target temp within the MT at the output initially. It takes a good 20 - 30 minutes to equalize, so I manually adjust the target temp for the first 30 minutes or so to compensate. I have also noticed that if I want to maintain 150 on the mash, and I shoot for 152 on the output of the HERMS, my HLT water heater kicks on when the HLT water is at about 155 and turns off when the HLT water reaches about 160. I imagine flow rate and overall size of HERMS coil are a factor as well. I think the trick is to experiment with your equipment under your specific conditions. I watch the mash temp in 3 different places to see how it reacts. The cold definitely seems to have an impact in keeping a steady and uniform temp throughout the mash and throughout the entire mash process. I am also using A419 controllers, which are probably not as precise or as fast reacting as yours or Kal's.

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Old 06-23-2012, 09:05 PM   #40
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i plan on starting a new thread on this when i get home (with pictures), but i want to discuss our improvements.

1. when we built our panel, we used wire and relays big enough to handle running both elements at the same time. 50 or 60 amp stuff.
2. we switched out the three position element selector switch for a four way switch and wired up a four dpdt relay so we could run both elements
3. we switched out the counter flow chiller for a plate chiller. this reduced our cool down time from 40 minutes to about 12.
4. we added a third pump (yes we have 3 pumps on a 3 tier system) just to pump water from the bv though the plate chiller
5. we added a water manifold so that the house that connects to the house tees into the filters, a hose nozzle to spray out the bv and mlt tank and a line direct to the plate chiller.
6. I have a little garden trailer that we back up to the system to dump the mlt tank. sure is better than caring 30 lbs of wet grain out to the garden.

We are not able to run 4 batches in 12 hours. Not bad to get 60 gallons of beer out of a half barrel system in half a day.

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