I live in an appartment in the city, so when brewing everything takes place in the kitchen. At the same time, I'm a bit of a tech freak, so I have decided to automate as much of the brewing process as possible - without creating a fixed rig (I need to be able to move everything from our basement up the stairs to the 2nd floor by myself).
I already have a 2KW / 30 L (8 gal) heavily insulated electric kettle with a false bottom that i use for both mashing and boiling. I also have a 24L (6.3 gal) cooler box with a slotted copper manifold that i use for lautering. It works, but involves a lot of manual labour.
I've been playing with the thought of creating "single container RIMS", but I could use some advice from other RIMS users.
My false bottom for the kettle is made from a plastic bucket with a SS mesh bottom. The deadspace between the kettle and the bucket is effecively isolated with regards to temperature. It's almost impossible to change the temperature of the mash by turning on the heater.
I was thinking that this deadspace might be used as the HLT and the false bottom bucket the MLT.
I would then use a pump to pump the liquid from the deadspace to the top of the mash, thereby circulating the worth through the mash and hopefully achieving pretty much the same temperature everywhere in the mash.
Finally I'd stick the thermocouple from my PID controller in the deadspace and use that for controlling the temperature.
I've tried to do a small drawing - click here.
One problem I can imagine is stuck mash - but how do other RIMS brewers avoid this?
I also think that I might have to distribute the wort somewhat equally across the mash, but I guess this could be achieved using the manifold from my lautering bucket.
Do you think this would work?
Please, any input will be greatly appreciated.