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Old 08-09-2009, 03:54 PM   #11
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:35 PM   #12
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JKarp -
2 Questions for you....
In your kettle, do you see much grain left from the initial circulations until the recirc clears it up? I ask because your BK is your RIMS heater. Other systems don't dump to the BK until after it is all running clear already.
Would mashing thicker and heating the extra water on the side in the BK affect your efficiency? I mean not circulating until after conversion. So in total your system is holding the full boil - but you start with a thicker mash and not circulate. (I know it's a RIMS as in recirculating; just wondering.

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Old 08-09-2009, 05:19 PM   #13
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Cool design, I like the compactness of it all, but I have a couple questions.

How do you drain the cfc after mash and before boil, or do you recirc during boiling? For that matter, why have the cfc inline during mashing? Is that so you don't have to swap hoses?

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Old 08-09-2009, 05:20 PM   #14
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Do you ever recirculate just to main temps? I guess the cooler eliminates the need for that.
Not unless I'm ramping to a new temp. Cooler holds temp great.

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I found your other thread, so you recirculate before doughing in?
Well, the strike water needs to be pumped up to the MLT, of course. I recirculate as the strike temp approaches to warm up the MLT. Once strike temp is reached, I close the MLT valve and allow it to fill to the desired infusion amount.

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Also, you ever have any problems with the grain sticking and the recirculation going very slow?
Actually, the number of problematic mashes I've had has dropped to zero since I built this. I guess it's because there's always plenty of water in the MLT so the risk of compaction is reduced. Even if I did have a stuck mash, I'd just reach in and stir it up and reduce the recirculation rate.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by beerocd View Post
In your kettle, do you see much grain left from the initial circulations until the recirc clears it up? I ask because your BK is your RIMS heater. Other systems don't dump to the BK until after it is all running clear already.
I've never seen actual grain get past the braid, but runoff does start very cloudy. After 30-45 minutes of recirculation, the wort in the kettle is so clear I can see the bottom.

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Would mashing thicker and heating the extra water on the side in the BK affect your efficiency? I mean not circulating until after conversion. So in total your system is holding the full boil - but you start with a thicker mash and not circulate. (I know it's a RIMS as in recirculating; just wondering.
Not sure I fully understand, but there's any number of ways you could play with mash thickness and infusions really. Maybe start with a 1:1 mash and then heat and pump up additional infusions as desired w/o recirculation. You'd have to take into account a little heat loss from the CFC but that shouldn't be a big deal.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:42 PM   #16
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How do you drain the cfc after mash and before boil, or do you recirc during boiling? For that matter, why have the cfc inline during mashing? Is that so you don't have to swap hoses?
No need to drain the CFC. By design the wort is the same throughout the system after mash recirculation. When the boil is done, I make the single plumbing change necessary by routing the CFC-out to the lid of the kettle. Then I recirculate the boiling wort to sterilize the pump and CFC.

Not swapping hoses is exactly my reason. Plumbing changes can get messy and being indoors, I wanted to minimize spills.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:43 AM   #17
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JK, how long is your brew day?

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Old 08-10-2009, 01:01 AM   #18
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JK, how long is your brew day?
Varies a bit with recipe, but it basically goes like this:

30 min heating to strike temp
60 min mash
30 min recirculation
60 min boil
20 min chill
40 min cleanup

So it's 4-5 hours, depending on boil time and how efficient I am at multitasking. I will say ANY system that uses PIDs is a lot more hands-off as you're not worried about checking temps all the time.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:02 AM   #19
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Hey Lonnie! I definitely owe you a beer sometime for your design.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:07 AM   #20
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What is the insulation around the E-Kettle?

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