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Old 02-22-2011, 11:23 PM   #41
RegionalChaos
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I've been thinking a lot about going two vessel for a 10 gallon setup, with basically the same plumbing (I think) that you are using. I have a question about your mash. How much water are you mashing with? When your mash is done, you are moving the wort from the MT to BK, and at that time it is combining with the left over brewing water that was used to apply heat to your herms? I wasn't sure if you were mashing with your full volume, or mashing with a smaller volume then topping off with water. Also, how does the bags affect hop utilization? I like having leaf hops loose in my boil, makes me think the utilization is applied easily etc, and I've heard utilization will go down if you have your hops in a bag (not as much circulation going through the bag)...

Anyway, I like this setup, it's very similar to what I've been kicking around in my head..


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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:21 PM   #42
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Alot of questions in there. I think describing the process a bit might clear things up.

I fill my BK up with about 6 gallons of water and heat it to my strike temp. I then put my grains in my grain bag and put them in the MT. I use a calculator to determine the proper grain/water ratio. I only drain in that amount of water to my MT, and recirc with only that amount of water. The remaining water stays in my BK to keep the HERMS coil submerged. When my mash is done I turn off the element momentarily, drain the remaining BK water into a holding bucket. Flip the valve on my MT so that it changes from recirc to BK fill. When that is done, I just use the hot water in the bucket to get up to my desired BK volume. Any extra hot water gets dumped.

I haven't noticed any ill effects from using the hop bags or the grain bags. I have used pellet and whole hops in my bags. I'd recommend trying them, they sure make cleanup a lot easier!

Ultimately I designed this setup to minimize the parts of my brewday that I disliked so that I can maximize the parts I do. The parts I didn't like were setup and cleaning, so I do things to make those tasks easier. If that means I need to buy an extra 1 lb of grain for $1.00 or adjust my hops a little, I'm fine with that.


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Old 02-23-2011, 04:47 PM   #43
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So you are just topping off, that makes sense, I've thought about that too. Dumping grains seems easy enough clean up wise, but the BK will have the coil in it, and I don't want to have to chase loose hops around the coil... Maybe I should try a hop sack kinda thing I see people doing with it. Thanks for describing this, it clears up the process a bit. I need to decide if I'm OK with not sparging I guess.. That seems to be the big factor for me.
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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:57 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by resslerk View Post
Alot of questions in there. I think describing the process a bit might clear things up.

I fill my BK up with about 6 gallons of water and heat it to my strike temp. I then put my grains in my grain bag and put them in the MT. I use a calculator to determine the proper grain/water ratio. I only drain in that amount of water to my MT, and recirc with only that amount of water. The remaining water stays in my BK to keep the HERMS coil submerged. When my mash is done I turn off the element momentarily, drain the remaining BK water into a holding bucket. Flip the valve on my MT so that it changes from recirc to BK fill. When that is done, I just use the hot water in the bucket to get up to my desired BK volume. Any extra hot water gets dumped.

I haven't noticed any ill effects from using the hop bags or the grain bags. I have used pellet and whole hops in my bags. I'd recommend trying them, they sure make cleanup a lot easier!

Ultimately I designed this setup to minimize the parts of my brewday that I disliked so that I can maximize the parts I do. The parts I didn't like were setup and cleaning, so I do things to make those tasks easier. If that means I need to buy an extra 1 lb of grain for $1.00 or adjust my hops a little, I'm fine with that.
I'm asking this without having read the entire thread thouroughly, so you may have already answered it.

Instead of adding your "top off" water to the BK, couldn't you add it to the MT and continue to drain from the MT to the BK to get a few extra points?

Ed
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:02 PM   #45
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Ed, thats where I'm at now I think. Planning to try and get 1 batch sparge out of the final top off water. Loving this concept brewery though. Looking forward to getting mine going
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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:09 PM   #46
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Res, with it hard plumbed, you must be doing CIP? Does that mean your break material and everything is just getting rinsed down and pumped out?
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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:19 PM   #47
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How long does it take to heat your strike water with a 2000W element?
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:27 AM   #48
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How long does it take to heat your strike water with a 2000W element?
My system is no-sparge so I'm heating the full water volume of about 5 gallons. From tap temp to the 160s is about 45 minutes.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:09 AM   #49
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How long does it take to heat your strike water with a 2000W element?
30-40 minutes.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:15 AM   #50
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Quote:
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Res, with it hard plumbed, you must be doing CIP? Does that mean your break material and everything is just getting rinsed down and pumped out?
Yes, I do clean in place. I put all additions in bags, mash grain in a bag, and also have strainers over the kettle drains to help out with large material. I can remove my pump from the system for deep cleaning. In general though I use PBW, boiling water, and sanitizer (at different points of course) to keep it clean. I also have long pipe cleaner type brushes to get into the valves. My dedicated shop vac also helps the CIP.


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