||01-14-2008 03:34 PM
I really do like the dough in and walk away nature of a cooler. With a keg MLT I don't lose much heat on a warm/hot day, but I have had problems maintaining temp when it's cold and windy. I haven't insulated it, but I think it would be a worthwhile addition.
I like being able to heat the strike water in the MLT with a direct-fired setup. I think that's convenient.
I haven't mastered the direct-fired recirculation steps with my setup. I've had 2 times when I had a little scorching, but it was because the mash started to stick or my pump started to cavitate and I didn't know it. I use a partial false bottom and I think I may either try a full false bottom or a dual SS braid like this to see if I can get better flow with a finer crush and eliminate stuck sparges.
With any setup, you're making trade offs, but I think cooler MLT + HERMS may be the best compromise (of course I've never tried that setup).
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