Thanks for checking out my brew rig. Please feel free to help out with any suggestions. Here is my process: I fill my BK with the total volume I calculated I will use. I have an icemaker line from my OR tanks with a quick connect and heat the water as the BK is filling. Once I have adjusted the PH and added water treatments and hit my target temp I pump my strike water to the MLT. I mash in at my target temp and then bring it back up to the target with the HERMS coil. One pump circulates the wort through the built-in coil in BK and the other whirlpools the BK. The MLT holds two degrees under the BK temp.
On mash out I pump the sparge water through the coil to the HLT and drain the coil to the HLT. I pump from the HLT to an auto-sparge in the MLT and pump from the MLT to the BK and control the sparge speed with just the one BK valve.
Once the HLT is empty I turn off the first pump and once the MLT is empty turn off the second pump and clean and put away the MLT. I then fill the HLT with ice and tap water. To chill the wort I put the lid on the BK and whirlpool with one pump and drain about 4 gallons of the icewater from the HLT through the coil into a bucket. This brings the wort down to about 140. I then use the 2nd pump to run the ice water through the coil back to the HLT. It takes 17 min to cool 5.5 gallons and uses almost no water as I refreeze the cold water left in HLT and use the bucket of hot water for cleaning. I blast the wort from the BK pump to the side of the fermenter to aerate it before pitching my starter.
The only downside I can see with only having one burner is the three extra minutes it takes to pump the sparge water over from the BK to the HLT. The biggest advantage for me is not having to sterilize or clean up a second chilling coil. The inside of my BK coil is cleaned when the sparge water is pumped over and the outside is cleaned when wash out my BK or soak Brew Clean in it. The coil doesn't get in the way of the hop spider or make it hard to clean as its only about 8" diameter in a 13.5" diameter ten gallon kettle.
I prefer doing only five gallon batches on my brew rig as I enjoy brewing more often with more variety. If I was doing ten gallon or larger batches I would likely go with a Kal clone set up. I really like Kal's system, especially the control panel with automatic temp control, but to be practical, my set up is less then 1/3 the cost. I haven't had too much trouble keeping my temps on with just the 3,500 watt induction burner. I don't overshoot temps because
I know the MLT will settle a degree or two below my BK temps. If the volume of each is about the same, when I turn off the burner any temperature difference more then two degrees will settle in the center of the two temps.For example, if I want to step from 104 to 148 I will fire up the induction burner on full. The BK will shoot up to 155 but the MLT will still only be at 143. I then turn off the burner and the BK drops 5 to 150 and the MLT rises up 5 degrees and holds at the 148. I then turn the burner on low to hold my temp.
Thanks in advance for any system or process suggestions.Happy brewing!
Boiling Equipment: Bayou Classic 1310 Stainless Tri-Ply 10-Gallon kettles & Avantco IC3500 Countertop Induction Range
Beer Bottling Gear: 10 corny kegs
Fermentation Vessels and Equipment: 4 Speidel 30l, 4 better bottle six gallon & 1 glass carboy
Wort Chillers: 20' coil of 1/2" copper built in to bk
Plumbing, Pumps, and Hardware: 2 stainless chugger pumps
Measuring, Testing,& Stirring Devices: PH meter, Refractometer
Yeast Equipment: DIY stir plate from a broken stir plate and a computer fan
Cleansers and Sanitizers: Brew clean & Sanstar