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Old 09-11-2010, 07:18 PM   #1
Haggismaximus
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Default RIMS Flow Rate

So we finally got around to doing a test run on the Brewatron and everything seemed to work out great accept a high amount of heat loss in the RIMS cycle.

What type of flow-rate are you guys using for your when in RIMS recirculation? For our initial test we had it restricted out pretty low, not quit a trickle, but a gallon every few minutes or so. We have a lot of stainless line in our system, so I'm thinking pushing it through so slow is letting it radiate a lot of heat.

Them temp differential between the bottom of the Mash and in input to the RIMS tube was about 4-5 degrees. I just checked out the video of the Sabco Brew Magic and and our recirculation is no where near that fast.

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Old 09-11-2010, 07:26 PM   #2
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I target 0.5 gal/min. The grain bed tends to compact at faster flow rates.

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Old 09-11-2010, 07:27 PM   #3
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Try for a 1 GPM rate, faster and you risk grain bed compaction, slower is not a problem but limits heating input rate.

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Old 09-11-2010, 07:42 PM   #4
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I circulate as fast as possible. I haven't actually measured the flow rate, but I would estimate that it's probably about 1-1/2 gpm or so, maybe a little more. Fast circulation will allow you to apply more heat when ramping up the temperature, however, there's a fine line between fast and too fast. Too fast and you risk compacting the grain bed as someone previously mentioned. Not fast enough and it will take forever to raise the grain bed temp.

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Old 09-11-2010, 11:30 PM   #5
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Thinner mash = faster flow. I can run mine all out with no issues. Using 1.5q/lb.

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Old 09-12-2010, 03:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc View Post
Thinner mash = faster flow. I can run mine all out with no issues. Using 1.5q/lb.
IMO, if you pump fast enough you can compact the grain bed regardless of how thin the mash is. The "all out" term will vary radically depending on system design. My "all out" rate would probably be close to 5 gpm and maybe more. I'm not sure as I've never actually measured it, but also it's pretty much irrelevant as I could never pump that fast anyway. If you are pumping "all out", you must have a lot of resistance in the circuit. Pumping through small hoses and long hex coils can reduce the flow rate substantially. Running "all out" might be the only way to get a reasonable flow if there's a lot of resistance in the circuit.
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:58 PM   #7
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Does anyone use an in-line flow rate meter?

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Old 09-12-2010, 06:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tolip_ck1 View Post
Does anyone use an in-line flow rate meter?
I am not aware of anyone who uses in in-line flow meter. The ultra sonic type would be expensive and the propeller type would probably be susceptible to plugging. That, and they would not be all that useful IMO. It's not hard to just eyeball the flow rate and make adjustments as needed.
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tolip_ck1 View Post
Does anyone use an in-line flow rate meter?
I use an analog flow switch I purchased on eBay for $25. Switching range is 0.25 gal/min - 16 gal/min. No plugging issues.

It's set to open the RIMS PID circuit when the flow drops below 0.25 gal/min.

I acquired a digital flow switch/meter for free a while back, but it's BSP thread and the BSP-to-NPT adapters are $$$.
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:19 PM   #10
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I use a Dwyer VFB 81 (6- 60GPH) flow meter in the old R&D unit and an electronic flow meter in the newer automated system. Wort pump discharge goes through flow meter for flow and color/clarity monitoring while mashing on old system. Here is a picture http://picasaweb.google.com/kevin.ladue/Flowmeters#, left hand flowmeter is water flow to boiler, right hand meter is wort flow from pump. This picture was taken during a superheated steam injection heating test with water a couple years ago to demonstrate wort heating ability to brew club members, 36 degree rise at 50 GPH/.83 GPM.

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