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Old 10-01-2012, 02:17 AM   #1
Dgonza9
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Default RIMS Scorching...change element or go herms?

First off, GRRRRRRRRRRRR! Was making a pilsner today. I was planning on brewing at a buddy's place on his outdoor propane system. Well, he tripped heading outside and rolled his ankle pretty badly. I had already crushed all the grain so the brewing moved to my indoor electric.

Long story short, I forewent the decoction and just did a step mash, resting for about 30 minutes at 122 degrees. Then I ramped up to 150 with the RIMS tube, recirculated at 150 for an hour, then started to ramp up to mash out. This was when I sensed/smelled the scorching. I shut it off right away. I'd had this issue once before and had since gotten a LWD element. My previous element I'd gotten on amazon.com, had claimed to be LWD, but clearly wasn't. I think the protein rest created a ton of gelatinous protein spooge.

So I'm deciding on what to do. I had a 120V, 1500W, LWD element in the RIMS. It was a foldback, about 9" long. I can buy a 240V 4500W, ULWD foldback element (about 18" long) and a longer RIMS tube. It'll run at 1150W and should be pretty low density.

Or, I can put this $50 towards a Herms system. My initial feeling is that this element should solve the issue, even with a protein rest. Herms would cost more and be more work, but I don't want to waste money on something that is ultimately doomed.

Anyone been down this road before who can offer some advice?

Cheers.

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Old 10-01-2012, 02:40 AM   #2
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There might be more going on here. Lots of RIMS systems out there, including my own, are just as you described yours. However, I could never do a real step mash, I could probably only gain 1 degree per minute. Scorching hasn't been a problem. Mine contains a 220V 1500W element. Just an off the shelf from the local hardware store, certainly not LWD. I am very happy with it.

I wonder if you have a sufficient flow rate to keep the wort moving, rather than sitting in the tube too long.

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Old 10-01-2012, 03:45 AM   #3
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I'm willing to bet that your pump does not have a high enough flow rate or you had a stuck mash that slowed down flow through your RIMS tube.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:27 AM   #4
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Interesting. I have the upgraded impeller for the March pump, but I usually throttle it down a bit so as not to compact the grain bed too much. I also recirculate through a sparge arm that probably limits flow a bit.

Still, it's been fine for simple recirculation during a mash. Do you guys ever use the RIMS to ramp from a protein rest or to ramp temps to mash out? This is much different than maintaining temp.

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Old 10-02-2012, 03:34 AM   #5
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I have a 3000 watt element running at 240v. It is a foldback, but only 10" long, so It is probable a medium density? I do run a high flow rate over it. Easily goes from 152 or so to 168 in about 7 minutes or so for a 13 pound, 5 gallon batch grain bill. I have never done a step mash, but I'm sure the system is capable of it. My false bottom is a DIY special, it does not fit the outside of the mash tun perfectly, but is pretty nice overall. I tend to scrape the grain bed clear down to the false bottom. I don't get to close to the edge, so that I don't disturb the grain bed on the edge. I have noticed a high flow rate combined with a finer crush for efficiency can really compact the grain bed and slow down the flow, hence a lot of stirring in order to keep the flow rate high.

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