Direct fire mash vs. rims tube vs two kettle rims

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Well-Known Member
Jan 29, 2014
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I am thinking about different all grain mash techniques. I’m in propane. I have the equipment to do the following setups except for the rims tube. What are pros and cons of:
Direct fire
Direct fire with circulation
Rims tube
Two kettle rims


Supporting Member
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Dec 5, 2012
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Long Island
I do direct fire with recirculation and am really happy with it.

But it probably matters that my brewstand is hooked up to my natural gas supply. I mention this because key to getting it to work well for me is being able to run a low flame on the mash tun. I also have 15 gallon mash tun and run it nearly full. Between the two I get pretty long heating cycles. I'd not extrapolate my experience to say trying to hold 7 gallons of mash over propane.

Also controlling gas is more work than controlling electricity. I needed solenoid valve, pilot light, thermocouple. All that runs on 24v so needed a transformer. Look at difference between Blichmann's brew commander 120v and brew commander gas. $374 vs $574 for the gas model. And PIDs controlling gas run in control mode only not PID. Gas is either on or off, not 50% on...

So even though my systems works great I'd strongly consider electric RIMS tube if I were building again.