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Old 12-18-2012, 02:58 AM   #1
jcw203
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Default Mash tun temperature control

I want to build a simple mash tun temp controller. I really looked and couldn't find a simple build list and instructions. I would just like to have my keggle mash tun with false bottom recirculating and my propane turning on and off for temperature. Any help would be awesome everyone thank you!!

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Old 12-18-2012, 06:12 AM   #2
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I thought I wanted the same then I read the "rims for dummies" thread. Search it. Electric heater element way cheaper overall than propane waste IMO at least. It's simple too!

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Old 12-18-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help there and now I am understanding a little better. I still don't know if I trust my wiring skills is there anywhere to buy a ready rims setup to adapt to my keggle?

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Old 12-18-2012, 04:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw203 View Post
Thanks for the help there and now I am understanding a little better. I still don't know if I trust my wiring skills is there anywhere to buy a ready rims setup to adapt to my keggle?
It's not cheap, but it works perfectly. Like you, I didn't trust my wiring abilities.

Of course, if you are going electric, this isn't for you. I run natural gas. So this was easy.

Blichmann Tower of Power

I just run the controllers. No tower. Mounted them to my stand using a CRT TV mount. The HLT controller is not exactly necessary, but it's nice to have.



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Old 12-19-2012, 12:28 AM   #5
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I know I might be in the minority here.....but do you really need that level of automation to make great beer? I have a direct fired RIMS with no automation other than pumps. I hit my mash temps and monitor it with a handheld digital thermometer. I might have to manually fire up the burner once or twice during a 60 minute mash to maintain the correct temperature. Not a big deal.....especially when you look at the cost of something like the Tower of Power.

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Old 12-19-2012, 02:31 PM   #6
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No, you absolutely don't. My friend just won a gold medal at GABF this year for his English Pale Ale, and his 15 bbl mash tun has no temperature control. I did it with a cooler and a screen for years before having this stand built and going with a kettle, which, initially, I wrapped with gym mats and metal tape. That worked fine, but mash temps dropped, especially when I began a recirculation.

All of my upgrades to my system since I got my process dialed in on the first system years ago have been about convenience and making the process move more quickly (shorter brew day). While the bells and whistles of automation aren't necessary, they don't stink, and I enjoy not worrying about hitting my dough in temp precisely (I shoot a little low now). I also don't miss the times I would forget to turn off my HLT and boil my sparge water. Seeing how many times the TOP cycles to maintain precise mash temps, I don't think I have the patience to babysit it. On my system, it would definitely require more than two cycles in the hour.

But your point is well taken. You can make great beers without it. However, the beers you can make with it are pretty amazing, too.

My first brew stand. I look at that picture fondly, but I don't miss the process.

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Old 12-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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If preheated and kept somewhere that it is not too cold, a keggle mash tun will hold temperature surprisingly well.

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