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Old 05-14-2008, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default Direct Fire Mash vs. HERMS etc. - again

As I near completion of my rig, I am giving some final thought to the topic of scorching, etc. I have setup a HERMS option for mashing and cooling operations in addition to the direct MLT burner on the advice of a friend and because I thought it would be cool to have options.

Can someone definitively say that direct-fire mash, where the grain is completely off the bottom has any higher risk of reaction than other method? Isn't the boil kettle or decoction kettle much more problematic than a gentle DFM with recirculation? Is the risk only to the grain or are people afraid of a Maillard reaction to suspended proteins?

Thanks
KD

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Old 05-14-2008, 06:18 PM   #2
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Hey korndog---

I can chime in on my experience with DFM. I had some temp control issues with my new stand and had the burner on too long and got too hot in my mash tun.
I was worried that something might have burned in that process.

I expected to see some scorching on the inside bottom of my MT, but when I cleaned it there wasn't anything. It was fine. I'm sure I created flavors I wont be happy with, but that has to do with my temps being screwed up.

Bottom line is that I was direct firing the mash tun much longer that I wanted with a false bottom (Blichmann) and I didn't experience any scorching. I was recirculating the entire time and I truly believe thats what 'saved' me. If I hadn't the wort would been just sitting there burning.

Warren

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Old 05-14-2008, 06:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBugeater View Post
Hey korndog---

I can chime in on my experience with DFM. I had some temp control issues with my new stand and had the burner on too long and got too hot in my mash tun.
I was worried that something might have burned in that process.

I expected to see some scorching on the inside bottom of my MT, but when I cleaned it there wasn't anything. It was fine. I'm sure I created flavors I wont be happy with, but that has to do with my temps being screwed up.

Bottom line is that I was direct firing the mash tun much longer that I wanted with a false bottom (Blichmann) and I didn't experience any scorching. I was recirculating the entire time and I truly believe thats what 'saved' me. If I hadn't the wort would been just sitting there burning.

Warren
Thanks Warren
It seems that this happens in the normal course of a session in the boil kettle as well, so it's hard to imagine any ill effects.

KD
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:38 PM   #4
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what exactly is a malliard reaction?

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Old 05-14-2008, 07:06 PM   #5
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what exactly is a malliard reaction?
Loosely, browning. Similar to carmelization.
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:08 PM   #6
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The ONLY time I've had any scorching in the MLT is when the mash stuck a little and my "recirculating mash" stopped recirculating. It was a big grain bill that I crushed too fine and my water to grain ratio was too low because the keg MLT was nearly full. I haven't set my mill that tight again, and I keep my water to grain ratio higher and haven't had a problem since. With 1/2" ID hoses I get a really good flow rate during recirculation. This prevents any scorching and also helps with not overshooting my target temps.

BTW - the beer with a little scorching in the MLT turned out fantastic.

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Old 05-14-2008, 07:25 PM   #7
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Here's where I look at my 23 tip 100kBTU or so burner and go HMMMMM. Flame control is in order for a direct fire mash.

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Old 05-14-2008, 07:29 PM   #8
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Here's where I look at my 23 tip 100kBTU or so burner and go HMMMMM. Flame control is in order for a direct fire mash.


Hopefully test runs start soon. Ill let you know how it works out

*edit
as soon as those small ones that were used in the original Brutus become available again at B3 Im getting two of those
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:36 PM   #9
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I should import a gross of those bastids and make a mint. You know they're like $5 each in Hong Kong right?

There are two basic problems I have with my plugged burner. First is that it's impossible to run a pilot light because the flame doesn't migrate to all the other tips. The other is that I want to heat my strike water in the MLT because it seems intuitive; it preheats the tun of course and doesn't require moving water later. So, I want a raging flame for step one, then a docile flame for temp control.

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Last edited by Bobby_M; 05-14-2008 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:03 PM   #10
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and have you seen that B3 just bumped their price of them up to 59 bucks? They were 39 a few weeks back.

I have a feeling I may have to one of those long lighters until I can get a small burner to replace these with

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