I brewed with my local homebrew club yesterdat for the National Homebrew day. My system is finally getting dialed in.
I'm now using 2 coolers heated with electric elements. The HLT has an element in the cooler itself and the MLT drains into a heat exchanger and gets pumped back up.
A friend and I did a 10 gallon batch of Pale Ale. We pre-heated water using propane to get to 130 degrees or so, set the love control on the heat exchanger to 131 and waited 10 minutes or so for the cooler to heat and for the recirulating water to stabalize. I then adjusted the set temp to 122 and doughed in, we hit 122 and the system held that perfectly for 30 minutes.
Using beer smith we calculated how much boiling water to add to hit 150 and nailed that and the system held 150 for 60 minutes.
I fly sparged with 168 degree water but should have used 180.
We got 91% efficiency so our pre-boil gravity was 10 points high and the boil off percentage I used was to high based on how much I boiled off.
My sample for pre-boil gravity was crystal clear and a wonderful amber color.
I posted some pics in my gallery I think. Unfourtunately I had things all temporarily mounted so it looks pretty goofy.
Now that it worked so well I need to make some things more permanent.
When I brew 5 gallons at home, I fill my tuns with hot water and use electricity to raise it up to my temps, with 10 gallons and cold water, I used propane to speed things up.
Now I'm stoked to brew again.