Originally Posted by strumke
How much additional temp control did you get by using the rod & spring? It would be one less thing to clean if I were to leave it out.
(not sure if you clean in place, but I was thinking of using tri-clamps to connect everything so I can easily disassemble for scrubbing)
Sorry, work has been getting in the way. I do have to adjust my priorities :-)
It increased the ramp, by about 1/2 to 1 degree. It is a bit hard to judge, because the losses in the system depends on the surrounding temp. But, the rate of increase by adding the spring was significant!! I think you could also narrow the tube but, the heated surface area would decrease, and you might still have laminar flow, which reduces heat transfer. Anyway, I am keeping the spring.
After the mashing is done,
1) Dump the grains
2) I fill with cold water, cycle a minute or two which I put the wort on to boil
3) Dump the water. Refill with water, and cycle some PBW though the system.
I pulled and inspected the spring after 3 batches, and with the above proceedure it was like new.
Before a batch, I simply rinse (fill with a little water, and cycle for a minute) to make sure all of the connections are tight etc... And dump the water.
Then I put in the mash water for the desired thickness, wait till it hits temp. Then I add the grain, while the system is cycling. This prevents dough balls and I have yet to clog the system even when I am mashing for 10 gallons (22lbs of grain, but, it is really full).
I think it is a great little system (I am biased). Sorry for the delay.