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Old 10-08-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default Heating element below false bottom

I'm considering making a mlt from a keg with a 1500 watt heating element below a false bottom from adventures in home brewing. It seems that this is not a popular option but it seems to me it would be less likely to burn or scortch or carmelize than rims. If necessary I woukd set it up to recirc with a pump while the element was on. Does this seem feasible? What problems will I run into.

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Old 10-08-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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I was thinking the same thing. A element from a dish washer looks perfect. If it would seal properly.

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Old 10-08-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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I could see it being practical in a flat bottom pot like the Bayou 1316 but in a keg you will have way too much liquid below the FB.

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Old 10-08-2012, 04:21 PM   #4
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I could see it being practical in a flat bottom pot like the Bayou 1316 but in a keg you will have way too much liquid below the FB.
Too much liquid for what? The false bottom wouldnt be any higher than it normally is, I think this fb has a little more dead space at the bottom than most. I can sneak the element in there without raising it.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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you pretty much have to recirculate or constantly stir to avoid stratification / overheating the bottom of the mash. and even if you constantly stirred with a spoon, you arent going to be moving much of the liquid below the FB.

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It seems that this is not a popular option but it seems to me it would be less likely to burn or scortch or carmelize than rims
why do you think that? to me, it sounds like its more likely to scorch than RIMS. with RIMS, you have nice, fast and even flow rate over the entire surface of the heater, which you will not have in a setup like you describe, even if you constantly recirculate it.

there are good reasons why this method is not popular (and not just unpopular- but ive never seen it attempted even once, although the idea has been brought up before). not to discourage innovation or anything, but i think your time and money would be better spent some other way.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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My logic was that with rims the heat is applied to a small sample of wort, albeit moving, in the tube. Where as with the element in the vessel there is a larger volume of wort surrounding the element, still moving from recirculation.

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Old 10-21-2012, 03:10 PM   #7
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Just to throw another option on the table, the scorching issue is the reason why a lot of us went HERMS. If you're going to get a pump anyway it not a big deal to recirc your wort through a coil (an existing IC works great for this) sitting in your HLT (that you already have). The only negative is that it takes a while to change temperature if you do multiple steps.

If you do decide to go the direct fire method, try to get an Ultra-Low Watt Density (ULWD) one. They're less likely to scorch though they can be hard to find in a 1500W model.

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Old 10-21-2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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There are a number of eBIAB guys that do this with larger elements. Not sure if they run into scorching issues or if they have to do anything special to prevent it.

I don't quite agree with your argument against RIMS. With RIMS you will get even flow across the entire element and if your flow is high enough you will need a very high watt element to heat the water to the point of scorching in the little time it contacts the element. In a RIMS tube the temp probe is placed at the exit of the tube so the water passing over the element should never be significantly hotter than the setpoint.

With the element in the mash tun you are only going to get a high amount flow near your dip tube. As you move from the dip tube out to the edges of the vessel the flow rate will decrease proportionally to the increase in the circumference giving a lot higher chance of scorching near the ends of the element.

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Old 10-23-2012, 08:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
With the element in the mash tun you are only going to get a high amount flow near your dip tube. As you move from the dip tube out to the edges of the vessel the flow rate will decrease proportionally to the increase in the circumference giving a lot higher chance of scorching near the ends of the element.
correct. the flow rate anywhere besides right around the dip tube is much lower than you are imagining, fork.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:54 PM   #10
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Ok I guess I'm convinced, I'm glad I asked. I was trying to figured out a relatively easy way to brew in my basement in the winter but i dont think that will happen. I don't think propane burners inside are a good idea..

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