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Old 12-15-2009, 06:39 PM   #1
Hoosierbilly
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Default This is my "different" brewing set up, hope it works!

After searching around, I only found people asking questions about whether or not the blichmann therminator will work as a heat exchanger for a herms system so im going to try it...and i like doing things differently I guess. So i have 1 pump circulating the wort constantly, and the other pump will pump heated water through the heat exchanger when the wort temp gets down to a certain point...im not sure what temp im going to have the hot water at for adding heat to the wort, but the plan is to have 1 pump constantly recirculating the wort, and one pump for the hot water into the thermintor turn on and off as needed

Just got by BCS-460 in yesterday, ordered 2 brew-magic universal kettles today, and my brew-magic fermentor should be here anyday!

I havent seen anyone else doing this so i thought id just try it out and let anyone who was wondering know how it works out...ill post some pictures in just a bit...

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Old 12-15-2009, 07:00 PM   #2
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ok, i think im a total idiot, how do i post pictures? ha sorry

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Old 12-15-2009, 07:16 PM   #3
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heat exchangers only care that there a temp difference, not which way the gradient is. should be just fine, just need to experiment on what temperature you need. might help to rig a thermometer into the outlet side of both fluids, to see what kind of transfer you're getting. if you aren't getting the heat out of the heating water it might help to be able to restrict the hot water flow, without starving the pump. the longer the water stays in the therminator, the more heat will be transferred to the wort. sounds like a good idea though, looking forward to updates and pics.

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Old 12-15-2009, 07:25 PM   #4
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thanks, many people have said that the therminator clogs easily, so i am going to vorlauf for 5 to 10 minutes or until the wort is clear, then turn off the wort pump and route the wort back through the HE, then turn the pump back on

I am thinking that the water used to heat the wort wont have to be extremely precise, because when the wort gets to the desired temp, the pump will shut off and stop the flow of the heating water through the HE, and will stop any further heating (even though the wort is continuously flowing)...when the temp gets a degree or two below the desired temp, the pump will turn back on and send the heating water back through the HE again untill it the wort raises back up a couple degrees to the desired temp...thats the plan at least! I should be able to give it a test try as soon as my SSR's come in (should be a few days hopefully)

worst case senario, i use the therminator for cooling only and i add a copper coil for a HE

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Old 12-15-2009, 07:45 PM   #5
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wood mock up


steel frame

inlets, pumps, and therminator
http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/a...g?t=1260909910
aluminum pots will be replaced by 2 of the brewmagic universal kegs
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:47 PM   #6
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going to mount the 2 smaller burners tomorrow (1 will be on each side), 3 burners total

also, everything that touches water, wort, or beer that will be consumed is SS or the silicone hoses (brass fittings on the hot water for the HE, but that water will not be consumed and is a separate system), but my new temp probes have a brass fitting, so i guess i will have a little brass but i think ill be ok (i dont really want to have any brass or copper in the system, but lets not go there haha)...and no more plastic buckets for me (i sure got my use out of them though) as soon as i get my brew-magic fermentor in (anyday now)

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Old 12-15-2009, 07:57 PM   #7
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i am also slightly concerned about the pump, with the different inlets it seems as though the pump could possibly have issues with getting primed, but all three lines going into the inlet will always be filled with some type of liquid (hot water or wort) and the two vessels that arent being pumped from will have the valves closed at the tanks so no (or minimal) air should be able to make it to the pump...so that was one of my other concerns but i think that should be ok

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Old 12-15-2009, 09:09 PM   #8
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Neat idea but unless you have the hot water presurized you're not going to be able to get the wort upto a boil. You temperature delta between the wort and the hot water won't be large enough for effective heat transfer. Something to think about. You need superheated water (steam) to transfer the heat into your wort and those open top kettles aren't going to generate any pressure.

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Old 12-15-2009, 09:15 PM   #9
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i think he was planning on the therminator for mashing temps. i hope so anyway, i just thought that the middle kettle with the banjo burner would do the boiling. now that theres pics, HOLY CRAP you have a lot to work with there. i'm a little jealous, i just wished for two ss kettles and a pump, i have a little equipment envy now.

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Old 12-15-2009, 09:17 PM   #10
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The HE is only for maintaining mash temps.

What are the two vessels on the bottom level for? Is that where you will ferment?

I would hold the mash temp within one degree. Else, why have a control system? I can maintain a 3º band with nothing but a blanket over my mash tun.

Cool looking system!

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