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Old 10-01-2012, 12:54 AM   #1
Dgonza9
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Default RIMS Scorching... need help finding right element...

I recently did a protein rest for a pilsner. The gelatinous spooge from the rest and the ramp from 122 degrees to 150 degrees left me with some scorching.

I have 1500 LWD element. I was hoping that a 220V element, run on 120V would help me avoid this issue. Is the 5500W 220V element run at 120V lower watt density than a LWD 120V element?

Thanks.

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Old 10-01-2012, 11:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dgonza9 View Post
I recently did a protein rest for a pilsner. The gelatinous spooge from the rest and the ramp from 122 degrees to 150 degrees left me with some scorching.

I have 1500 LWD element. I was hoping that a 220V element, run on 120V would help me avoid this issue. Is the 5500W 220V element run at 120V lower watt density than a LWD 120V element?

Thanks.
I have some success using the following approach:

A Heat-tape based RIMS/HERMS tube. There is no hot electric heating element in direct contact with the mash liquid, rather heat tape is applied to the outside of a stainless steel pipe.

A significant rework, but it is really low density.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:54 AM   #3
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A 5500w 240v element run at 120v will have 1/4 the power, or 1375 watts.

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Old 10-02-2012, 11:07 PM   #4
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The heat tape idea is very interesting. For now, I upgraded my element. 18", 4500w at 220V, so only 1150V. I'm hoping this will meet my needs and be exceptionally low density. At 220v the element is ULWD. So we'll see. If not, heat tape or HERMS

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Old 10-09-2012, 01:28 AM   #5
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So, I got the element in the mail. It's only 10" long. The element in my BK is 13" long and was LWD. Hard to believe this one is ULWD.

It might be fine, but I'm very suspicious. When I first built the RIMS I ordered what was supposed to be a ULWD element. It was like 4" long. When that scorched I heard that CAMCO has a tendency to change watt densities and call them "improvements." Might be the same situation here. I can't see how it could be anything else. BOTH elements are 240V, 4500W.

GRRRRRRR! I think I'm going to return it to amazon.com.

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #6
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FWIW - VLB was pretty against the use of direct wort contact heat elements (RIM tubes included). Main reason being you have no way of controlling the temperature at the element and if it's over 80C you're completely deactivating the enzymes in the grain. So the idea of the externally heating the tube is pretty nice.

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Old 10-10-2012, 12:16 AM   #7
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FWIW - VLB was pretty against the use of direct wort contact heat elements (RIM tubes included). Main reason being you have no way of controlling the temperature at the element and if it's over 80C you're completely deactivating the enzymes in the grain. So the idea of the externally heating the tube is pretty nice.
Who is VLB?

It's a good point, but I routinely get 80% efficiency so I don't think that's an issue. I wound up getting a longer element with less foldback. It just makes sense to buy a $20 element over the investment in the heat tape. This is LWD 220V element running at 120V. It calculates to 57 watts per inch.

Basically, if this don't work, I'm going external heat tape or HERMS.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:54 AM   #8
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VLB is one of the three big brewing universities in Germany.

You have no way of knowing the exact repercussions. It could be that only a small portion of the mash is affected and thus lowers your efficiency. It could be you extract more fermentable and little unfermentable sugar thus making the beer taste less sweet - perhaps drier, less complex or even more bitter.

And it could be you're not hitting temps in excess of 80 but that seems unlikely. It's all just food for thought.

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Old 10-10-2012, 10:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jcaudill View Post
FWIW - VLB was pretty against the use of direct wort contact heat elements (RIM tubes included). Main reason being you have no way of controlling the temperature at the element and if it's over 80C you're completely deactivating the enzymes in the grain. So the idea of the externally heating the tube is pretty nice.
Interesting. I tend to think the effect is pretty small, if at all. Plus, if you don't like a feature of your beer, you can tweak the recipe. Beyond certain obvious no no's, I don't think there is a"right" way to do this. After all, a decoction is adding boiling mash to the mash tun. The enzymes the boiling mash touches must get above 176 degrees for a time before stirring. Even the external RIMS tape system has to heat the pipes up higher than your mash temp if you are ramping from 120 degrees.

It's an interesting concept though and may have some merits. Kind of like sous vide cooking, where you attempt to cook food using the temperature you would like to eat it at, and hence cook it for days.

I'm not knocking the science here. But in an operation this complex, I'm not sure that it matters or that I could isolate the variables involved in producing a beer to this one thing. I certainly don't think my beer has suffered (other than the one scorching incident) since I went to an electric system.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:59 PM   #10
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Interesting. I tend to think the effect is pretty small, if at all. Plus, if you don't like a feature of your beer, you can tweak the recipe. Beyond certain obvious no no's, I don't think there is a"right" way to do this. After all, a decoction is added boiling mash to the mash tun. The enzymes the boiling mash touches must get above 176 degrees for a time before stirring. Even the external RIMS tape system has to heat the pipes up higher than your mash temp if you are ramping from 120 degrees.

It's an interesting concept though and may have some merits. Kind of like sous vide cooking, where you attempt to cook food using the temperature you would like to eat it at, and hence cook it for days.

I'm not knocking the science here. But in an operation this complex, I'm not sure that it matters or that I could isolate the variables involved in producing a beer to this one thing. I certainly don't think my beer has suffered (other than the one scorching incident) since I went to an electric system.
I agree. The thing I didn't like about the element in the RIMS tube is the potential modes of failure. For example, if fluid flow stops.

If the entire system is insulated well, and there is turbulent flow down the pipe, the temp gain of the fluid through the length of the heated pipe for a given flow rate and for a unit time, and the system, can be calculated. In the current system, with high rate of flow through the pipes, and turbulent flow, I think the max (overshoot) temp of the tubes is bounded (I will measure the outside of the tubes and give you a number).

I am running a couple of brews through the system this weekend, so I will post pictures in another thread, and document the process.
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