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Old 12-01-2012, 01:58 PM   #1
NMG318
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Aug 2011
Winchester, VA
Posts: 51
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Thought I would just share my experience with the TOP (7 brews). Overall I have been very happy with the system and have had only a couple of issues to work out.

I double checked my thermometers and know the thermapen and the TOP sensor agree within a couple of tenths of a degree with each other and the brewmometer reads about 1 degree high. For MY system, it appears when I brew a big beer (the mash tun is very full) the temp on the TOP controller is within a degree of the mash temperature when checked with my thermapen. When the mash tun is 1/2 - 3/4 full, the difference has been as much as 5 degrees and I have had to adjust my temperature on the controller to achieve the correct mash temp. I think the reason for this is the outside air temp for my brews have been in the 50s/60s. It will be interesting to see what the difference is when brewing at higher outside temps.

I've actually brewed 8 batches but one of the mashes became hopelessly stuck (and one other close one) because I did not follow Blichmanns instructions. You have to wait 10 minutes AFTER doughing in before you start recirculating. I also took their advice and have now been using rice hulls with every batch. In the last 5 batches I have had no problems.

Here is a YouTube of my system:

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Old 12-01-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
SavoryChef
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Feb 2012
Sparks, NV
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Thanks for the info. I've been considering a module but not sure about the tower, if its worth it. I already have a direct fire Rims with one pump, but looking to automate.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
NMG318
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Aug 2011
Winchester, VA
Posts: 51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SavoryChef View Post
Thanks for the info. I've been considering a module but not sure about the tower, if its worth it. I already have a direct fire Rims with one pump, but looking to automate.
I give the system 5 stars. Very well thought out. It is a little pricey but I think well worth it. The flow meter and low flow switch (in conjunction with the site gauge on the mash tun) really help manage the recirculation rate to avoid a stuck mash. As I mentioned this was a problem with me at first because i was not waiting 10 minutes after doughing in before starting recirculation. The really cool thing about this system is how easy it is to clean up. I have it cleaned and put away before the end of the boil.

 
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
dcbc
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Feb 2012
Tyler, TX
Posts: 325
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I think it's an excellent controller. The only issue I have had is keeping the spark ignitor gap perfect with my wok jet burners. If I could have done it again, I'd have gotten another set of cast iron hurricane burners. But this issue is pretty minor. Holds temperatures within 0.5 degrees and worked great with my non-Blichmann stand. I'd say try skipping the tower if you want to save some money. You can always add it later. I mash in a bit thin and have no trouble running my high flow march pump at about half way open on the valve with no stuck mash issues.



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Old 12-02-2012, 11:12 PM   #5
SavoryChef
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Feb 2012
Sparks, NV
Posts: 1,013
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Great thanks for the positive advice. Looks like its on the list of things to have.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:22 AM   #6
eastoak
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Jan 2011
oakland, california
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i love mine too, went with just a mash module and the computer interface. with so many people havig some trouble with the ignitor gap i was worried but mine worked great right out of the gate.

 
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:50 PM   #7
archer75
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Sep 2007
Gresham, Oregon
Posts: 134
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why no ball valves on the inputs on the sparge arm? Wouldn't the flow from the HLT just drain down into the tube below that you're recirculating with? Or the recirculating wort shoot up into the HLT?

I am waiting on my blichmann MLT and auto sparge to arrive and i'm trying to determine the best fittings.

 
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:58 PM   #8
NMG318
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Aug 2011
Winchester, VA
Posts: 51
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Don't need them. The valve on the HLT prevents recirculating up the tube to the HLT. The Tower of Power stays hooked up during sparging so the 3 way valve on the Tower of Power prevents HLT water from flowing down the tube.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:30 PM   #9
Tuckerl
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Oct 2010
Kailua, Hawaii
Posts: 64
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Any thoughts on how well this would work with a BIAB setup? It seems like it would be a great controller out of the box to work with my system.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:45 PM   #10
rwinzing
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Jun 2009
Bordentown, NJ
Posts: 453
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I hooked mine up and used it over the weekend and it worked great. I currently have the mash module and the tower itself. I am going to ivest in the other module very soon. I had no issues with the ignition no fails at all. It is a great out of the box system.
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