Thanks for the quick answers last time. Sorry but it's long winded, I'm going into my 4th brew and this has bothered me.
First of all. Maybe it's just me, but most descriptions and videos make it seem like you should be running a fly sparge arm for the duration of your sparge. This doesn't seem to be the case. If the arm is spinning, it's flowing too fast for a 45-60min sparge. So I've decided that it should only be turned on to keep that water above the grain. I will get into this on my 2nd question. So here's my questions:
I'm running a HERMS system. While heating the HLT, I have the Mash tun recirculating to increase in temp. This pretty much requires the HLT to be about 10-15 degrees hotter than the Mash Tun (at least when starting up). I'm forced to make a decision between taking the HLT to 175 in order to get my Mash to 162 for mash in. Or waiting a long time for the Mash Tun to catch up.
Ok, if you're with me so far, when I mash in, my temp drops to 154 (good). I stop the recirculating at this point to halt the temp from increasing. When I do this the water in the chiller/heater coils stops moving and heats up to 175. Then when I start the vorlauf, the mash spikes to 175 due to the hot water in the coils. I've countered this by tossing ice into the HLT to drop it right back down to the correct temp.
Any suggestions on managing this? Don't turn off the pump when mashing?
Ok back to this fly sparge arm. So running this thing so that it spins constantly is too fast. So, we've been turning it on and off as needed to keep the water level correct and the flow into the boil kettle slow. Even when the HLT water is near boiling, the intermittent sparge water isn't hot enough to keep the mash from steadily dropping in temp. This is because it's small in amount and a decent amount of water remains stuck in transit, cooling down in the hoses. Part of the problem is that we need to take the lid off the mash to put that whirligig sparge arm on. What can be done?
and for the record, the beers have all been pretty good considering.
-I keep trying to get a picture of a full beer, but I only remember after drinking half. That's how it goes I guess.