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Old 06-22-2012, 02:08 AM   #11
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I guess my concern was running the pump less meant less chance of disturbing the grain bed. Admittedly I'm new, so new I haven't done it yet, to all grain so I've just been looking at other people's designs.

My plan was to run 3 PIDs. One for HLT element, one for kettle element, and one for MT pump. I'm using a 10 gallon igloo cooler for MT so it should hold temp well enough not to need an element. So if I just have an on off for the boil element and the mash pump and kettle pump do I only need one PID and therefore one thermocouple? That seems weird. Am I forgetting something?
You don't really need an MT pump unless you are going to run a HERMs or RIMS system. In fact, it's probably counter-productive to your mass temps.

A PID with thermocouple/RTD for the HLT makes sense as you would expect.

A PID for the boil is also useful though you don't need the thermocouple. Water/wort boils at a constant temperature so it doesn't make sense to control the heater based on temperature. It's not going to change as long as you keep it boiling. That said, you don't want to leave the heating element on at 100% throughout the boil since that would lead to excessive boil-off and/or scorching. Instead, you can use a PID in manual mode to cycle the heater on and off based on duty cycle. Duty cycle is the ratio of time the heater is on versus time elapsed. 100% duty cycle means the heater is on all the time. As an example, 50% duty cycle means it cycles on for 10s then off for 10s (the durations could be longer or shorter based on your PID settings).
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I had no problems whatsoever getting my pee to ferment.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:29 AM   #12
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Without a pump for the mt how would I cycle through the heat exchange? Or move the wort to the kettle?

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Old 06-22-2012, 03:57 AM   #13
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I wasn't saying you don't need a pump ( though I'm not using one). Rather, you don't need to control it with a PID.

I assume you mean a chiller when you say " heat exchange(r)". If so, you don't need a PID to control the pump. Just turn it on and let it go, same thing for moving the wort to the kettle. The only time you need temp control (ie a PID) associated with a pump is if you are doing a HERMS/RIMS setup and even then you don't need to control the pump with the PID.

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Old 06-23-2012, 01:34 AM   #14
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Okay, I got my TD4 series PID today. Unfortunately it came with a TA sries instruction sheet. How do I put it in manual mode?

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Old 06-23-2012, 02:15 AM   #15
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Answering my own question.
http://flextronicbg.com/TD.pdf

However, I'm still not sure how to set my duty cycle. Any help out there?

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Old 06-27-2012, 12:05 AM   #16
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well, I suppose technically there are two heat exchangers in my rig. One to keep the mash at a constant temp and the one to cool the wort. The one I was talking about using a PID to control the pump for was the mash one. I'm not certain it's nesc but I don't imagine it hurts anything.

Or does it?

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Old 06-27-2012, 04:53 AM   #17
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A pid that controls a pump is not necessary and could actually cause more problems than it's worth.

The pump constantly recirculates the wort from the MLT to the heat source and back. The amount of heat loss in the lines and pump is going to be a lot more than in the MLT. Where is your thermometer going to be placed? One of the main objectives to heating mash with a RIMS or HERMS is to keep it at the correct temp for the enzymes in the mash to convert the starches to sugar. Those enzymes and starches are in the wort that's in the pump and your lines. Cooler temps will mean that some of the enzymes won't do their job and you will have a reduced efficiency.

Another thing recirculating does for you is to filter some of the larger proteins from the wort and leave them in the MLT. The types of pumps used for the mash (at least the Chugger and March pumps) are meant for continuous duty. So long as you keep them lubricated as required by the manufacturer you're ok.

In my opinion, a pump controlled by a PID is unnecessary and will add to the complexity of your build with no gain and potentially cause a loss of efficiency.

Just my 0.02.

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Old 06-27-2012, 05:25 AM   #18
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Where is your thermometer going to be placed?
I had figured on placing it a few inches above the drain valve. Is there a better place?
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:40 PM   #19
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I've reread this thread twice now and I still don't have a clear sense of what it is you're trying to accomplish.

If you could give us a complete run down of how you are planning to brew then you will likely get more assistance on how to accomplish your goal. Something like this:

1. Heat strike water to temp using 5500w 240v water heater element in HLT. Using PID to reach/maintain temps.
2. Mash in Igloo cooler for appropriate time. Cooler will hold temps. Recirculating through heat exchange only when temps drop x degrees below set point. Thermometer is in MLT.
3. Heat sparge water in HLT.
4. Pump first runnings wort from MLT to BK
5. Add sparge water to MLT
6. Pump second runnings wort from MLT to BK
7. Boil wort - using manual mode on PID
8. Recirculate wort via ??? to chill

Right now your use of "heat exchange" has been used in 2 different contexts (to heat up and chill down wort). These require further explanation.

Or I'm completely wrong.

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Old 06-27-2012, 06:44 PM   #20
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I believe that he is setting up either a HERM or RIM heating system whereby the wort is constantly recirculated during the mash and the heater is used to control mash temperature. This has the added benefit of being able to precisely control mash temperatures and with the added ability to do stepped mashes and mash-out without adding additional water. Quite popular actually.

I ordered a Mypin TA4 for my univessel eBIAB setup and then figured out that I'd need another way to control boil. I ended up making a PWM circuit to drive the SSR to control the boil and use a switch to select the input for the SSR. This system works quite well. For a dedicated boil kettle, a PWM would be all that you needed since that is what the manual mode is doing on the controller.

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