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Old 03-03-2010, 05:00 PM   #21
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Ok so if you have your wort drained into your bucket, and your sparge water transferred over to your mash tun. Then pour your wort into the BK I don't think there would be a great lose of heat. Think I can live with this for now at least. It is a improvement for my system.

Why not just add a 3rd kettle. That is an easy one for me. My brew table was given to me. It is very similar to the Little Giant Stock Picking Truck, just better tires and heavier built. I can only fit 2 kettles on top of it, and all of my brew stuff goes on the bottom shelf.

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Old 05-08-2010, 05:39 AM   #22
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What you guys are describing is basically my setup: One burner under BK, cooler MLT, and cooler HLT to briefly hold sparge water while collecting first runnings in BK. I'm thinking about adding a HERMS recirculation during mash rest in order to keep my mash temps spot on, but I can't help wondering if it isn't easier just to improve the insulation of the MLT somehow in order to keep the temp super constant? HERMS makes a lot of sense when your MLT isn't perfectly insulated. But an Xtreme cooler? How much temp are you folks losing in your coolers during your mash rests? (I seem to lose about 1-2 degrees but need to conduct more careful tests)

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Old 05-10-2010, 03:05 AM   #23
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Just to follow up on this - I brewed today with my newly installed thermometer in my MLT. Lost 4-5 degrees in the MLT during a 75 minute mash. I'm starting to see the benefit of HERMS!

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Old 05-10-2010, 03:31 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickfogler View Post
Just to follow up on this - I brewed today with my newly installed thermometer in my MLT. Lost 4-5 degrees in the MLT during a 75 minute mash. I'm starting to see the benefit of HERMS!

4-5*F seems excessive. If I avoid opening my cooler, I lose just a couple of degrees during a 60-70 minute mash.

Where is your thermometer installed in your TUN? I put a thermowell in mine so that I could monitor temps without opening the thing, but I made the mistake of installing the thing too high up the wall of the MLT. For a 5 gallon batch, my probe is monitoring the liquid above the grain bed rather than the temp if the grain bed directly. This results in my thermometer reading temps that are about 5*F lower than the actual mash temp.

If I shake the cooler up then the temp on the thermometer rises and gives me a better reading, but as the grain settles back down below the probe, the temp on the display starts to fall.

Dumb mistake on my part with the location of the probe. It does read accurately on 10 gallon batches, though.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickfogler View Post
Just to follow up on this - I brewed today with my newly installed thermometer in my MLT. Lost 4-5 degrees in the MLT during a 75 minute mash. I'm starting to see the benefit of HERMS!
You can do a mashout as well, which is very difficult to do in most mash tuns with an infusion, you would need a very large one.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:49 PM   #26
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I installed my thermowell low in the cooler, and my probe extends about 4" into the mash. Doing 10 gallon batches also. In the past, I had checked the temp of the Mash at the end of the 60 minute rest, and it seemed like 1-2 degrees loss was average. I'm wondering if the steel bulkhead going through the cooler wall is acting as a heat sink and allowing more heat loss?

My beer is generally extremely tasty, but I'm looking for more repeatability and control of the variables. I've read various posts where people have discussed the possibility of overshooting temps using HERMS due to a large thermal mass (HLT water) not responding quickly to temp changes. Is that a common problem? It seems like using low heat on the HLT and insulating the MLT and lines pretty well should prevent the need for large spikes in temperature?

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