building my first mash tun.

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RobbyBeer

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I want to incorporate a heat stick or a hot water heating element with temp control. Any ideas on how to do this.
I feel like it will give me amazing control over temperature rests.
I'm using a rectangular cooler with 3/4" pvc for drainage... That's all worked out.. It's just the heating I'm struggling with.
Any help is appreciated.
Thanks.
 

postal_penguin

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Just sticking a heating element into the cooler wont work unless you have some method of distributing that heat(stirring or a pump). Otherwise the stick will just heat the grains in the vicinity while having little impact on the rest of the grain. I believe you will also need to use a false bottom with a pump since if the grain bed channels you will get poor circulation of all that heat.
 
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RobbyBeer

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Yes, I thought of incorporating some sort of mixer or pump to keep everything moving.
My idea is to have all electronics hooked to thermometer, and when desired temperature is reached, all electronics will shut off.. The opposite would happen if temp drops below desired temp, all electronics would engage.
There is a false bottom and pvc to capture wort and it is sent to a hose bib, so I can control the out flow during sparging.

I also want to know if any one knows where I can find plans to make a fly spare rig. I like the ones that have rotating arms.
 
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RobbyBeer

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I also have a idea for my chiller..
I built a standard wort chiller today, I'm thinking of taking apart an old stand mixer and putting it on top of my kettle. This way it can whirlpool while it is cooling.
Does this sound cool, or is it just silly?
 
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RobbyBeer

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Anyone out there care to comment? I could really use the opinions of more experienced brewers.
 

cl330b

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I use a 3000 watt heating element in my 10 gallon stainless steel mash tun. The element sits very close to the bottom, I have a false bottom above the element and the dip tube and I recirculate using a pump. I use an A419 to pick a contactor that fires the element, and the thermowell is mounted dead center of the mash. I stir occasionally. This type of mash tun takes some planning and a lot of drilling. Good luck.

I mounted a heating element in a cooler a while back and I ruined my cooler. Its easier to make this work with stainless steel. The knock out punch required to do it right is sort of pricey but is a great investment if you plan on mounting elements in your gear.

Check out this guys set up:

http://www.tracezero.net/Beer/setup/electric-hlt/

This closer to what I tried:

http://www.tracezero.net/Beer/setup/electric-hlt-v1/

Or this...

http://www.wortomatic.com/articles/The-Electric-HLT-(or-how-I-built-a-water-heater-in-a-cooler)

As far as the whirlpool, if you were to get a pump, you could also whirlpool and have more versatility. With the mixer motor idea I'm picturing the motor mounted to the lid of your boil kettle and that seems cumbersome and dangerous to me. Don't forget proper grounding and GFCI!
 

helibrewer

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I use a March pump to circulate my grist through a heat exchanger that is heated with steam from a pressure cooker. The heat exchanger is just 3/4" copper pipe with the steam injected using 3/8" copper tubing inserted through a "T" with a compression fitting.

My cooler manifold is a copper loop with slots cut in it, covered with SS braid
 

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