I'm Albert F.
I am VP of the newly formed Coachella Valley Homebrew Club located in the sunny Southern California Desert.
I've been brewing with three converted kegs on a three-tier gravity fed system for four years now. I've been really pleased with the results except:
I lose a lot of heat when I mash.
So I thought I would convert my system into a HERMS or RIMS for temp. control. But, I read many posts on other web sites about the cons of these types of systems pertaining to the movement of the wort and mash being recircualted.
On a RIMS there is potential of scorching the wort because it is in direct contact to the heat source. On a HERMS, this is not the case, because of indirect heat exchange, but there is the possibility of a compacted mash bed and a stuck cycle.
All this IMHO is due to mash/wort movement or recirculation. What if instead of recirculating the wort, one recirculates hot water through the mash tun to heat the grain bed thus keeping the grain at a constant temp without having to recirculate it? The water would cycle through copper tubing just like an immersion chiller after the boil, but instead of cold water one uses hot water pumped from a hot water reservoir into the mash tun.
The mash bed could be stirred periodically during the mashing time to distribute the heat all around the tun and it eliminates scorching or a compacted grain bed.
The pumps then no longer have to be the expensive food grade pumps that I've seen at the homebrew shops. Instead they can be regular cheapy water pumps. They do not come in contact with the wort. It only recycles the hot water and you can use the same pump to chill the wort after the boil for the cold water flowing through an immersion wort chiller.
I haven't seen anybody come up with this idea. Any suggestions or opinions?
I do have a picture drawn out for a mash tun with this configuration but I couldn't figure out how to paste it to this post.
Thank you in Advance.