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Old 07-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #1
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Default HERMS recirc rate, mash out, and grain bed compaction

I haven't really been able to find a clear answer on this by searching, so I'm starting a new thread.

Step mashing seems to be a debate amoung many on whether or not you are really "step" mashing, and I get that. I'm more interested in what is possible for temperature ramp up rates in a herms system.

What I did find in searching, is that many run their recirc pump wide up when attempting to increase temperature. I also found several threads concerns about grain bed compaction and flow rate, which appears to be recommended at no more that 1GPM in most cases - so, is wide open a bad idea?

So, let's here it? Can you safely run wide open? Are there parameters around when and how? My mash tun will be running 9000W of heating juice, so I should have the power needed, it is now a matter of concerning myself with getting high flow rates, and if high flow is even possible. (The whole system is built with 15G keggles)
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
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I have compacted the grain bed before from pumping too fast. It's really not a big deal, just lost time. Stir the grain bed up again and reset it. What you can get away with will depend on your system and the grist. Installing a vacuum gauge on the outlet of the mash tun would help you see how fast you can pump. Or 2 sight glasses...one with the inlet above the false bottom and one below, then compare the levels while you're recirculating. Rice hulls and malt conditioning will also help you get a higher flow rate before compaction happens.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:54 PM   #3
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I've had compaction issues previously, however, I've not had it occur since I started wet milling, and installed a new 'gentler' return on my MLT. (last beer was 50/50 wheat/barley)
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