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Old 10-06-2010, 12:54 AM   #11
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These are what I use... http://cgi.ebay.com/1-2-Electric-Sol...#ht_2102wt_905

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Old 10-06-2010, 02:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by kegtoe View Post
I'd love to automate something but i dont understand electrical instrumentation for nothing. I dont know what SSRs do, i dont know how to program PIDs and i don't even know how wire all that **** together.

Also can someone recomend a solenoid for propane?
I bought a gas solenoid valve from these guys:

http://www.valves4projects.com/servlet/StoreFront

Email them and ask them to recommend a specific valve. Their technical assistance is excellent and their prices are very good too.

FWIW, I'm getting excellent results with my direct fired RIMS. I have a solenoid valve (110v AC) operating a low pressure burner under the MT controlled with a Johnson A419. I monitor the mash temperature with a digital thermocouple thermometer. The thermometer probe is positioned in the grain bed. I circulate the wort as fast as possible using a full width false bottom. This setup is quite simple and straight forward. It didn't require a great deal of technical expertise to build. It basically operates much like a Brutus, but with only a single pump and an elevated HLT for a gravity fed sparge. The burner ignition is a standing Honeywell pilot burner (the dangerous kind without the thermocouple shut off).

I don't find operating my RIMS extremely difficult at all. Quite the contrary, but only after I automated the burner. Operating the burner manually was a major PIA.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:55 AM   #13
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I use that same valve in the 3/8" version. It's been operating flawlessly for quite some time.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:12 AM   #14
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From experience: a mash temp is extremely difficult to maintain through direct fired recirculation. I just ruined 10 gallons of stout because my thermometer didn't pick up the fact that my mash temp hit 180! I'm now going RIMS with a tube, PID, etc.
So, if your thermometer didn't register the 180 F, how did you know what the temp was? Were you operating the system completely manually?
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:36 AM   #15
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I bought a gas solenoid valve from these guys:

http://www.valves4projects.com/servlet/StoreFront

Email them and ask them to recommend a specific valve. Their technical assistance is excellent and their prices are very good too.

FWIW, I'm getting excellent results with my direct fired RIMS. I have a solenoid valve (110v AC) operating a low pressure burner under the MT controlled with a Johnson A419. I monitor the mash temperature with a digital thermocouple thermometer. The thermometer probe is positioned in the grain bed. I circulate the wort as fast as possible using a full width false bottom. This setup is quite simple and straight forward. It didn't require a great deal of technical expertise to build. It basically operates much like a Brutus, but with only a single pump and an elevated HLT for a gravity fed sparge. The burner ignition is a standing Honeywell pilot burner (the dangerous kind without the thermocouple shut off).

I don't find operating my RIMS extremely difficult at all. Quite the contrary, but only after I automated the burner. Operating the burner manually was a major PIA.
I like the thought of using the A419. I have an extra one that i need to put to good use. I will try using mine with my electric turnkey fryer to control the heater in it. I have 2 wire mesh screens over the heater and then a bag in the whole unit so i dont have grains sitting directly on the heating element.

Is the temp probe on the A419 water tight? Do you have any issue using it in the mash??
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:54 AM   #16
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I like the thought of using the A419. I have an extra one that i need to put to good use. I will try using mine with my electric turnkey fryer to control the heater in it. I have 2 wire mesh screens over the heater and then a bag in the whole unit so i dont have grains sitting directly on the heating element.

Is the temp probe on the A419 water tight? Do you have any issue using it in the mash??
I have the A419 probe mounted in a tee on the outlet side of my pump. The metal tip of the probe is in the wort stream flow, but not the junction of the lead wire and the probe tip. The probe tip is waterproof, but I'm not sure if the lead is. I highly doubt that it is. I used a 1/4" compression fitting to hold the probe tip. Instead of the metal ferrule, I used two small O-rings to make the seal. This works well and the probe is easily removed when not in use. I have the digital thermometer "k" type thermocouple in a thermowell mounted vertically in the grain bed. I let the thermometer govern as that is the actual grain bed temperature and adjust the A419 accordingly. I think you may have problems using your electric turkey fryer unless you can figure out a way to recirculate or continuously stir the mash. Otherwise the heat will not be unform throughout the grain bed. You are also likely to overshoot and undershoot the mash temps. It will probably be all over the place especially if you attempt step mashes or when ramping up temps for the mashout.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:02 AM   #17
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recirculating though my turkey fryer is not an issue

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Old 10-07-2010, 03:19 AM   #18
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recirculating though my turkey fryer is not an issue

I like it. Looks like you are good to go. I do think that the platform on the left side is unnecessary, but maybe maybe I'm not understanding the setup completely. Now, get on with it!
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:11 AM   #19
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It eliminates a little extra bending. i'm 6'7"

As you can see i have a really good blichman thermometer at the outlet of my pump but i find i have several degrees difference between the outlet of the pump and the mash.

Would you think a a419 would work or should i just watch my mash temps closeley? I have done a few AG batches through it and it has worked OK, but i need to get my effeciency better.

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Old 10-07-2010, 04:23 AM   #20
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It eliminates a little extra bending. i'm 6'7"

As you can see i have a really good blichman thermometer at the outlet of my pump but i find i have several degrees difference between the outlet of the pump and the mash.

Would you think a a419 would work or should i just watch my mash temps closeley? I have done a few AG batches through it and it has worked OK, but i need to get my effeciency better.

IIRC, we had this exact same conversation somewhere in the recent past. You will always have some difference between the pump outlet temp and the mash temp. I do too. I don't have a clue about whether the A419 would work well with the electric kettle, but I don't see why it would not. It's certainly worth a try and you could always switch back to manual operation if necessary.

I would not be much concerned about efficiency. I generally get an honest 75%. It fluctuates some depending on how big the beer is, but I'm perfectly happy with it. You can get any efficiency you desire if you know how to manipulate the numbers properly. I see it done all the time.
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