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Old 08-14-2011, 05:34 PM   #1
HossTheGreat
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Default Need some help with recirculation setup

I have an electric keggle that I use for BIAB. I am looking into installing a pump so that I can recirculate during my mash and chilling. I'm not sure of the best way to bring the wort back into the keg. Below are some pictures of other people's builds.

Should I bring it in on the side like this:



Or through some sort of sparge arm that sits below the lid like this:



I would prefer the first option, through the side. But since I do BIAB and a bag will be lining the pot is there any cons to not having the wort pass directly over top the grains? I know this would be necessary if I was sparging, but I'm not. I'm simply trying to keep the wort in constant motion to eliminate my need for constant stirring to maintain mash temps.

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Old 08-14-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
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However you want to do it will be fine. Mine comes through some plastic-loc stuff at the top, but I have a friend who runs his HERMS with just a piece of plastic tubing lying on top of the grainbed.

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Old 08-14-2011, 07:43 PM   #3
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I have used both and suggest #1 because it can be used for whirlpool chilling. #2 doesn't work well for chilling because it is connected to the lid of the pot.

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Old 08-14-2011, 07:52 PM   #4
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i would just lie a piece of high temp tubing on the grain bed. that way the return is at or below the liquid's surface minimizing hot side aeration.

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Old 08-15-2011, 12:48 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input everyone. I think, for the first couple brews at least, that I'll just run a piece of tubing into the kettle to get a feel for how it woks.

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Old 08-15-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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remember if you are doing different sized batches you will need to adjust this so that it remains just above the grain bed. if you are using converted half-keg kettles like i do, and you want to only do a 5gallon batch, you have to lower it down.

i have used both methods- the sparge arm like in the second pic, and the "just lay a piece of tubing on the top of the grain" as Atl300zx suggested. either will work. i spent the time to build a nice copper manifold, so thats what i use. however if i had not done that yet, i might just use the rubber tube method.

you do have to be more careful with the rubber tube, as you can agitate the grain bed if you move it around or if it gets pointed down it will easily cut a channel thru the bed which you want to avoid. it also isnt distributing hte wort back on the top evenly, so there *could* be pockets of stagnant wort, though i dont know how much of a problem that would be.

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Old 08-15-2011, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audger View Post
remember if you are doing different sized batches you will need to adjust this so that it remains just above the grain bed. if you are using converted half-keg kettles like i do, and you want to only do a 5gallon batch, you have to lower it down.

i have used both methods- the sparge arm like in the second pic, and the "just lay a piece of tubing on the top of the grain" as Atl300zx suggested. either will work. i spent the time to build a nice copper manifold, so thats what i use. however if i had not done that yet, i might just use the rubber tube method.

you do have to be more careful with the rubber tube, as you can agitate the grain bed if you move it around or if it gets pointed down it will easily cut a channel thru the bed which you want to avoid. it also isnt distributing hte wort back on the top evenly, so there *could* be pockets of stagnant wort, though i dont know how much of a problem that would be.
With BIAB, you don't need to worry about channeling. Although if you want to recirculate during the boil, you should probably either go through the side or with a high-temp rated tubing set on top. You want some bad tasting compounds to evaporate during the boil.

I'm not sure if there's an advantage of recirculating during the boil...but just in case.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:03 PM   #8
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One to two feet of 1/2" Silicone hose coming off an elbow (kind of like your first picture, but a longer silicone hose rather than a short piece of copper). The silicone will sit on top of the grain bed, and create a nice little whirlpool no matter how much grain you have. I believe it's the cheapest and best option.

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