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Old 09-08-2011, 08:29 PM   #1
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Default RIMs system with a wort grant?

So I was doing some research and investigating for building my all electric system and came across a wort grant and it gave me an idea.

Has anyone ever tried to use a wort grant with a heating element in the grant to maintain mash temperatures? Might not have to be very big maybe 1500W.

Concerns I have:
- Would this interrupt the whirlpool effect?
- Not provide enough heating?

I am guessing you would need some kind of level sensor so the pump doesn’t overpower the gravity mash draining and fry the element/ kill the whirlpool.



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Old 09-09-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jtsims21 View Post
So I was doing some research and investigating for building my all electric system and came across a wort grant and it gave me an idea.

Has anyone ever tried to use a wort grant with a heating element in the grant to maintain mash temperatures? Might not have to be very big maybe 1500W.

Concerns I have:
- Would this interrupt the whirlpool effect?
- Not provide enough heating?

I am guessing you would need some kind of level sensor so the pump doesn’t overpower the gravity mash draining and fry the element/ kill the whirlpool.
Not sure what type of setup you have in mind. Do you intend to use the grant for mashing? As far as I know grants are used during the sparge process and there would be no need to maintain mash temperatures in the grant. The grant empties into the BK where the wort is heated to near-boiling during the sparge.

I have a RIMS system with a grant and it is working great. I don't have pictures, but I have some images from a Sketchup model. Here's the grants position in the system, located below the MLT for collecting the runoff during sparging.


Here's a see-through shot of the grant, showing the two float switches that start and stop the pump, and the drain in the bottom.


During the mash I connect the suction side of the pump directly to the MLT drain and establish a rather vigorous recirculation flow through he RIMS and back into the MLT. I am not worried about channeling during the mash, just maintaining temperature. Then, before sparge, I stir the mash and then start a slow gravity drain into the grant. Now I do worry about channeling and having a slow runoff so to rinse out all the sugars. That is why I use a grant so that the pump is not sucking directly from the MLT drain, potentially setting the grain bed and creating channels.

As far as the whirlpool effect, it occurs in the BK and the grant is not involved in this part of the system. The chiller may or may not be part of this circulation flow which could affect the whirlpool.

Grants are not very common among home brewers. I am interested in other viewpoints on this.


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Old 09-10-2011, 12:25 AM   #3
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sounds like you have a nice setup.

What I am thinking would be the grant below the mash tun as you describe but using it during mashing to not channel the grain bed so as to get a more even temperature throughout the mash, would this not be true?

The whirlpool effect I am referring to will be in the grant to help separate any particles that get out of the mash tun before they reach the brew kettle. basically the input to the grant is at an angle and will be hard plumbed into the mash tun. Does that make sense?

similar in design to this but with a heating element: http://conical-fermenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/WG9-wort-grant-35L.jpg

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Old 09-10-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jtsims21 View Post
sounds like you have a nice setup.

What I am thinking would be the grant below the mash tun as you describe but using it during mashing to not channel the grain bed so as to get a more even temperature throughout the mash, would this not be true?

The whirlpool effect I am referring to will be in the grant to help separate any particles that get out of the mash tun before they reach the brew kettle. basically the input to the grant is at an angle and will be hard plumbed into the mash tun. Does that make sense?

similar in design to this but with a heating element: http://conical-fermenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/WG9-wort-grant-35L.jpg
I see what you mean now. I think you mean using a heater in the grant instead of a RIMS tube. That would work. I suppose you could have the drain at the top of the grant so that it is full all the time during the mash. I think it would need a smaller vessel then the 9.2 gallon pot shown in your link, but in principle it sounds like it would work.

The grain bed in the MLT is pretty effective in filtering out the particles, given we recirculate some of the runoff at the beginning of the sparge (vorlauf). I suppose you could eliminate the vorlauf with your method though. There is certainly room for innovation and experimentation here. If you try it, it will be interesting to see what you come up with.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:33 PM   #5
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If I put the outlet towards the top I wouldn't be able to completely drain it when running the wort off into the brew kettle, that's why I was thinking having a fluid level sensor to turn the pump on and one to turn it off. The element would be turned off when running the wort into the brew kettle, or maybe I could use that to pre-heat and speed up the boil and use the lower sensor to turn the element off also?

Thanks for the input! it will be a little while before that system is up and running to try out but I will sure post the build on here. At the moment I am working through the design to get just what I want before I start building and change my mind.

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Old 09-12-2011, 05:23 PM   #6
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what you are talking about has been done in other equvalent forms many times. you dont specifically need to (or perhapse, shouldnt) use a "grant", or if you do use a "grant" you shouldnt call it that anymore because it will no longer be used in that fashon.

all you are talking about is a HERMS or RIMS setup with a dedicated device for heating (instead of using the HLT like many people do). weather you directly heat the wort with an immersion heater element (RIMS) or run the wort thru a copper coil in a heated water bath (HERMS), the end result is the same.

also- if you are recirculating your mash (like you would be with any of these heater designs), you dont need to whirlpool as the grainbed filters out almost everything by the time you sparge.

this is what I use for HERMS, a $7 walmart steel container, a free copper coil i found, and a $15 element...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/ghost6303/beer/815d8e29.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/ghost6303/beer/4032eac7.jpg

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Old 09-12-2011, 05:27 PM   #7
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it would still be a grant durring runnoff and sparge... maybe ill have to give it a new name, call it the hot moma.

If thats not a problem for the recirculation the only concern i would have is the effect of an element on the whirlpool in the grant (when it is used as a grant)

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Old 09-12-2011, 05:59 PM   #8
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my thinking was that if you are putting an element (that must always be submerged or else you risk damage) in it, you now must always keep it full of liquid, and it will no longer be able to serve the function of a grant. or else you would need some fancy interlock setup so that it would not alow you to run the element if the "grant" wasnt completely full. and an electrical element is going to interfere with any whirlpool you try to make, and you need to keep the liquid flow over the surface of the element up or else you risk denaturing mash protiens or carmelizing sugars. this is why i would never install a heating element directly into the side of a mash tun, or have a large resevoir of mash wort (like in a grant) that would sit in prolonged contact with the heater. RIMS systems are very small and compact and change out the volume of fluid they contain very rapidly, and with HERMS there is no direct contact with the heater.

also my understanding is that a grant in systems like most people use around here is largely unnecessary, so if you are designing such a system, you might as well just focus on the heating of the wort, instead of also incorperating the function of a "grant".

i certainly dont want to discourage any experimentation though, im just telling you the same things that went thru my head when i was designing my HERMS setup. im just not convinced that A) you need a grant, or B) that a grant and a heater should be combined

edit---

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Originally Posted by Quaffer View Post
That is why I use a grant so that the pump is not sucking directly from the MLT drain, potentially setting the grain bed and creating channels.
unless the grant is vented to atmosphere and is breaking the vacuum produced by the pump, i dont see how its any different than having the pump suck directly from the mash tun. its true that having a small amount of air in the grant would buffer a small amount of pressure (or vacuum), but thats all it would do, is buffer. once the pressure change caught up (think: a second or two on the scales we are talking) the same pressure change would be felt in the mash pickup tube.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:16 PM   #9
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unless the grant is vented to atmosphere and is breaking the vacuum produced by the pump, i dont see how its any different than having the pump suck directly from the mash tun. its true that having a small amount of air in the grant would buffer a small amount of pressure (or vacuum), but thats all it would do, is buffer. once the pressure change caught up (think: a second or two on the scales we are talking) the same pressure change would be felt in the mash pickup tube.
A grant dosent have an air tight lid so yes it would be vented to the atmosphere, the only change in pressure from a grant would be when the pump kicks on and lowers the wort column in the grant thus increasing slightly the pressure differential at the inlet to the grant. Key word being slightly there will not be that much height change in the grant.
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:01 PM   #10
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A grant dosent have an air tight lid so yes it would be vented to the atmosphere
interesting... ive only seen people build them out of containers with mason jar-like lids that sealed so i wondered exactly what the purpose was. i guess it would help you dial in the proper flow rate of the pump if you didnt already know it. i still wont recomend putting a heating element in a container with a non-static water level though, but that doesnt mean it cant be made to work.


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