Rims tube vs element under the false bottom? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:17 AM   #1
RadicalEd
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I've basically only seen RIMS systems with the heating element in the tube, or direct gas fired. Why not have the element under the false bottom? That would seem to cut down considerably on hardware costs, and allow a greater similarity between your typical 3 vessels. Is it a dead space in the mash tun issue?

 
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:53 AM   #2
BurgBrewer
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I imagine it is to reduce the risk of scorched wort in the mash tun but I am all ears on this. Curiosity captivates.

 
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:42 AM   #3
noizex
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I think he means that the wort would be recirculated from under the false bottom while being heated by heating element. No scorching should happen there, or at least not more than with any other RIMS approach.

I'm doing similar thing but with direct heating the wort underneath the false bottom (I have pretty big dead space there, about 7l / 1.8 gal) while recirculating it with a pump on top of the mash tun.

Only concern I have for now is how the "drainage flow" looks like. I have just a valve under the false bottom so it drains from the area nearby, and I'm a bit worried about wort area thats far from valve - is it drained too or stays there for a long time. This could lead to overheating.

 
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:14 PM   #4
mjohnson
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When a stuck sparge happens, the grain is effectively keeping the liquor above the false bottom. I'd worry about firing the element dry (or semi dry) in that scenario.

 
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:27 PM   #5
RadicalEd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noizex View Post
I think he means that the wort would be recirculated from under the false bottom while being heated by heating element. No scorching should happen there, or at least not more than with any other RIMS approach.
Bingo! My thoughts exactly.

Quote:
Only concern I have for now is how the "drainage flow" looks like. I have just a valve under the false bottom so it drains from the area nearby, and I'm a bit worried about wort area thats far from valve - is it drained too or stays there for a long time. This could lead to overheating.
Well, at this point of the mash you'd be filling with very warm water as you sparge, no? I think the element would be doing fairly little by that point, so one could turn it off at mash out .

Quote:
When a stuck sparge happens, the grain is effectively keeping the liquor above the false bottom. I'd worry about firing the element dry (or semi dry) in that scenario.
Yes, but how is this any different than when using a RIMS tube? And due to the nature of an element, this setup would basically require a full size false bottom, so while a stuck sparge is conceivable, it's not terribly likely.

 
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:33 PM   #6
NervousDad
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I think it would be way too much contact time with the wort. You have no way to gauge how much wort is in contact with the element. Sure the wort is circulating, but wort can sit against the element and never be circulated through, especially if you have channeling in your grain bed.

 
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:55 PM   #7
mjohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadicalEd View Post
Yes, but how is this any different than when using a RIMS tube? And due to the nature of an element, this setup would basically require a full size false bottom, so while a stuck sparge is conceivable, it's not terribly likely.
I haven't used a rims tube, but I would think that if there is a stuck sparge, the tube would remain filled with liquor even though its not moving. I suppose the problem would be boiling in the tube, then. I haven't used one, so maybe I'm wrong.

Full size false bottoms don't eliminate stuck sparges. I think lauter tun geometry (Tall skinny tuns have more weight per inch) and recipe/mash schedule (rye, pumpkin, wheat) often play more of a role.

I'm not saying this is a bad idea, just trying to think of gotchas. I'd probably want to run a batch or two through the system before I start using an element in this way. It'd just kinda stink to be halfway through and fry the element.

I also think you are right in thinking that the dead space under the false bottom might be an issue for folks. It would need to taller than most people probably want.

 
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:05 PM   #8
RadicalEd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NervousDad View Post
I think it would be way too much contact time with the wort. You have no way to gauge how much wort is in contact with the element. Sure the wort is circulating, but wort can sit against the element and never be circulated through, especially if you have channeling in your grain bed.
But how then is that any different for folks using a direct fire gas heat source for the MLT?

Quote:
I haven't used a rims tube, but I would think that if there is a stuck sparge, the tube would remain filled with liquor even though its not moving. I suppose the problem would be boiling in the tube, then. I haven't used one, so maybe I'm wrong.
There's some truth to this; the pump would maintain some pressure on the liquid in a RIMS tube and result in keeping some liquid in the tube. But either way, your pump is basically running dry at that point, so you can probably kiss that good-bye, and I'm more worried about the loss of a pump than an element .

And I'll partly agree with you on geometry--once you have a full size false bottom, the other factors (geometry, mash schedule, etc) certainly come center stage. But a 10" screen on a 20" MLT is just begging for trouble.

And I appreciate the critical Gotcha thinking! My job is basically to provide Gotcha thinking (I work in nuclear) so I certainly appreciate it's value .

 
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:15 PM   #9
MindenMan
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So, it is new-clee-err, or nuke-lee-er?
G H W Bush

 
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadicalEd View Post
But how then is that any different for folks using a direct fire gas heat source for the MLT?
You stir the entire mash while applying heat.

 
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