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Old 12-14-2009, 10:25 PM   #1
Duncan
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Default AG in one E-keggle?

I liked Sawdustguy's DIY RIMS, and combined with the compact two keg system Sizz built. I live in an apartment so space is of the premium and SWMBO doesn't want my hobby taking up much more than it already does. It is easy enough to have a single infusion one keg brewing RIMS - is it possible to do step brewing with an efficient RIMS in one Keggle?

I am hoping (because I already happen to have the supplies to try this with no cost outlay) to have the line out the bottom of my keggle through my heating core, then the pump pushes it through the coil of my CFC (all conveniently wrapped around my keggle and through the manifold at the top of the Keg into my 1/2 bbl keg. To hold the grain in place I have a large grain bag. I guess this is a combination of Grain Bag brewing like extract brewing but on an AG grain bases. I am also aware that I will have no sparge water but I should be able to extract the majority of the sugars from the grain through re-circulation and what will be left with in the grain shouldn't be enough to concern anyone.

Thought I would ask as I am new to AG have done a couple of extract batches - but mostly I have done traditional Mead which needs little more than the standard primary/secondary combo - no pots, etc.

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:31 PM   #2
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This will probably work best with thin, 5:1 to 7:1 by weight, long mashes.

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply David - and just to verify that 5:1 or 7:1 ratio is a water to grain ratio, or is it something entirely different. If it is the water to grain ratio than that would compare to what ratios?

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:46 PM   #4
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I'd go with the BIAB approach. Would only work for single infusion mashes (no steps) but would simplify the system. Just an element in the kettle to heat up the water, mash in the bag, pull out the bag and boil in the same kettle. If you are always going to do 5 gallon batches you could add two elements and use both to get to temp (or boil) and then leave one on to maintain the boil.

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Old 12-14-2009, 11:05 PM   #5
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I thought a problem with having elements in the BIAB system was risk of melting the bag? I also was under the impression that the bigger the bag the better - is this incorrect?

Also wouldn't re-circulating increase the efficiency - and if it does that can't be a problem but what is the advantage of not re-circulating over re-circulating? I guess the same question goes for having the heater in the kettle rather than out of it. Isn't it more efficient for the heater to have a smaller heating container. I know I am limiting my first few until SWMBO starts to enjoy even more of the products I am making and I expand the system, but with that in mind I would still like to try to keep the systems power consumption as low as possible, and the systems efficiency as high as possible.

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Old 12-14-2009, 11:28 PM   #6
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Well it seems that either way you are doing no-sparge, so I don't see how either way is more efficient, you can get up to 80% with a BIAB system.

I've thought about setting up a system as I've described so that it is easier for me to brew at a friends house. Basically only using the element when heating up the water, not during the mash (you'll want some insulation on the keg).

Yes as big a bag as possible, basically one big enough that you could theoretically fit the pot in it.

An element directly in the wort is the most efficient electric system I can think of.

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Old 12-14-2009, 11:35 PM   #7
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hmm. I am by no means an engineer but I thought that having the element in the wort was inefficient because of hotspots and potential wort burning - as well as it needing to draw more power longer to heat up a larger amount of water rather than quickly and constantly heating up small amount of water that slowly heat up the main batch.

Thanks for the input so far conpewter.

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Old 12-15-2009, 03:03 AM   #8
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FWIW, I BIAB using something like this:


With a 4500W element. The basket is about 3 inches from bottom of pot and about 3/4" from element. The element does not really get hotter than the surrounding water. I just put the bag in the basket. You can "step" by using them element (PID controlled) and stirring. Use a LWD element and you should be fine - lots of us doing that.

I average 75-80% efficiency. I raise the mash up to 170 for a mash-out. I drain by pulling the basket from the pot, putting a new clean BBQ grill on top of pot, and placing basket on it. I let it drain as I bring wort to a boil.

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Old 12-15-2009, 03:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan View Post
hmm. I am by no means an engineer but I thought that having the element in the wort was inefficient because of hotspots and potential wort burning - as well as it needing to draw more power longer to heat up a larger amount of water rather than quickly and constantly heating up small amount of water that slowly heat up the main batch.

Thanks for the input so far conpewter.
No, putting an electrical element in a tank is as efficient as you can get. Period.

Some elements are termed ULWD (ultra low watt density). Mine, for example, was 50Watts / sq.in. These won't come close to affecting your wort. I have reached into my keggle and touched my 5500W element without a problem.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:06 AM   #10
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Well that is all great news. I guess my final concern is that I do not have a 240v in my apartment just the 120. I was hoping on using the 1500W LWD - after hearing about the use of 5500W elements though I am thinking that this will not be possible - or will it just take 5x longer? As any amount of electricity should boil given enough time right? Or should I be looking at adding a few elements to the sanke? Is the 1500W going to have a problem bringing the wort to a boil?

I also have no false bottom, or colander for my sanke - is the colander a must for BIAB?

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