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CodeRage

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I am planning on building a Brutus 20 type system but all electric. My question is the element placement in the MLT. I am thinking I need to raise the false bottom a couple of inches and place the element under it.
How has every one else done theirs?
 

WortMonger

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I thought about doing this at first, when I had an idea about a mash stirrer that was heated, and the research said a low density water heater element wouldn't scorch if it the mash was stirred constantly, or would darken vary little like a decoction type of thing. They used high wattage but low density 240V elements at 120V. I did a ton of searching a while back, can't remember where now. I will try to look up some info and holler back.
 
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CodeRage

CodeRage

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wortmonger said:
I thought about doing this at first, when I had an idea about a mash stirrer that was heated, and the research said a low density water heater element wouldn't scorch if it the mash was stirred constantly, or would darken vary little like a decoction type of thing. They used high wattage but low density 240V elements at 120V. I did a ton of searching a while back, can't remember where now. I will try to look up some info and holler back.
Thanks man.

I am looking at doing an all electric Brutus 20 which just recirculates the mash so I cant leave the element in contact with the grain. I was thinking of mounting the element horizontally and as close to the bottom as possible. Build some kind of standoff to hold the false bottom above the element. It would have to be pretty darn sturdy to support the wieght of the grain.
 

WortMonger

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I don't see any problem with the element under the false bottom, other than you don't want to large a false bottom space. Since you aren't stirring while you heat, but recirculating, I think you will have fast enough movement around the elements to prevent scorching/help with thermal barrier, and the very little amount of grain that touches the elements should be fine under the false bottom. I couldn't find anything after an hour of searching about heating elements in the mash tun.
 

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Perhaps it may not be ideal, but I would hesitate at getting a "permanent decoction" effect (darkening brew) in every batch I make... especially when trying for a nice pale..... so what about using a good element in the HLT, and using a HERMS setup to heat your mash? Then you could buy 1 less element, too, but you'd have to buy 1 more copper coil instead?
 

jbreiding

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chriso said:
Perhaps it may not be ideal, but I would hesitate at getting a "permanent decoction" effect (darkening brew) in every batch I make... especially when trying for a nice pale..... so what about using a good element in the HLT, and using a HERMS setup to heat your mash? Then you could buy 1 less element, too, but you'd have to buy 1 more copper coil instead?
mainly because he is looking at the brutus 20 approach which only calls for 2 vessels.

i do like wortmongers idea and think that using steam for the mlt would be the safest bet.

my ideal setup for the brutus 20, which i hope to start in the summer time would be the hlt/boil kettle will be direct fired lp and the mlt will be temp controlled by a pressure cooker direct fired by lp or electric.

not to hijack as this should also be a consideration for this thread, has anyone looked at creating their own steam generator using an electric heating element?
 

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WHOOPS, sorry, I didn't catch that part. My bad, I'll let ya "big boys" get back to "real work".... I'll come back once I know somethin' about these fancy systems.

And Yuri's steam generator uses an electric element in a corny keg, BTW.

But what about the part where the "hot liquor gradually becomes one with the wort" and the two vessels equalize and such...... First, it seems it's time prohibitive, because even a long fly sparge shouldn't be more than 45 minutes, and this is talking about a total hour of sparge/recirculation/equalization.... Secondly, I wouldn't think it'd be good for your efficiency at all, because the concept is to rinse the sugars out of the grain, not repeatedly through the grain, innit? Not trying to nay-say, I'm just trying to understand WHAT the B-20 is about and how it actually works, not just how I think it should work.
 

WortMonger

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I feel creating something isn't for a novice. Adding a valve to a P-cooker is one thing, the other....... well..... Also, my pressure cooker holds more than a 5 gallon corny would like Yuri made and it doesn't have to be laid down sideways (his is awesome by the way, just a little out of "everyones" realm of manufacture), so I am confident about it being up to the task. If you have good insulation you shouldn't need to really automate so much, I mean a simple temperature alarm is good enough to get you back to the MT to shoot it with more steam manually. As far as the Brutus ten goes, I think it looks interesting , it is just not for me. I do feel like a heating element below the false bottom would work, but why not just make a heating chamber on the worts way back into the tun? All the exterior type plumbing would be easier than installing a couple (it would take more than one at lower density and wattages) of heating elements inside the MT. All, the direct fired bottom of the Brutus is doing is the same thing right before the wort gets picked up and sent to the top. If you don't want to direct fire from the bottom this external idea could maybe work for you.
 

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Yep, that's where I'm reading, too.... Looks very interesting, I'm just having a problem with the concept *specifically* in relation to sparge + drain.

The 10 looks cool too! I'm reading through how he went about building it.
 
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CodeRage

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Wow, glad to see some folks interested now.
As far as I see it, having a direct heating element isnt any different than direct fire. The element output will be adjustable. With the Wort circulating through the mash it should keep from developing a hot pocket around the element. I dont see why direct firing will havea darkening affect though, unless constant sparging causes it and in my noobness I dont understand how. Regarding efficiency, it is said to be 1-2 points less, doesnt botther me a bit.
I kind of like the idea of using it for reiterated mashing. I can mash, move the wort over to the kettle, empty the mash tun and reload it and restart the cycle.

The plan is to automate this thing too and Id rather not mess with gas, pilot lights, and all that other good stuff and using an electric heat source is cheaper and easier, for me at least.
 

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Say, why don't you do steam? Kladue and I have been talking about such a system that uses steam infusion in a RIMS set up where the steam is infused in a mixer outside of the mash tun. This would mean that you could set up an electric boiler and if you set the mixer up right and sized the boiler right you could heat the HLT and control your mash at the same time. The system that he has out lined is fairly simple, so execution would not be beyond the bonds of normal brewers and you get the benefit of steam. Just an Idea!
 

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I know my simple little steam mash system isn't much of an engineering feat, and can't really stand in the same league as the monster systems by Yuri and Kladue. But this is a good idea that I think I can really benefit from. I just bought a March pump for my system for whirlpool chilling, and it never even dawned on me to use it for recirculating the mash. My steam system is simple and efficient, but requires a lot of stirring. I think this solves the problem -- thanks for the idea! I'll try it on my next step-mash and report back on how it works.
 

neo82087

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Just a thought... if you're going to put a pump in the system with an electric element you might consider a float switch to ensure the element doesn't burn out.
 

slnies

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FlyGuy said:
I know my simple little steam mash system isn't much of an engineering feat, and can't really stand in the same league as the monster systems by Yuri and Kladue. But this is a good idea that I think I can really benefit from. I just bought a March pump for my system for whirlpool chilling, and it never even dawned on me to use it for recirculating the mash. My steam system is simple and efficient, but requires a lot of stirring. I think this solves the problem -- thanks for the idea! I'll try it on my next step-mash and report back on how it works.
So you like the recirculation idea. That one is completely Kladue's idea, I am just useing the steam manifold because it is very cool. I think that in this fashion you do not need as much steam cappacity, it just seems more effective. You must admit there is definite advantage to steam. S.
 

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chriso said:
But what about the part where the "hot liquor gradually becomes one with the wort" and the two vessels equalize and such...... First, it seems it's time prohibitive, because even a long fly sparge shouldn't be more than 45 minutes, and this is talking about a total hour of sparge/recirculation/equalization.... Secondly, I wouldn't think it'd be good for your efficiency at all, because the concept is to rinse the sugars out of the grain, not repeatedly through the grain, innit? Not trying to nay-say, I'm just trying to understand WHAT the B-20 is about and how it actually works, not just how I think it should work.
Think of the B-20 as a no sparge system with much lower volume required in the MLT. This is equivalent to what is being accomplished. Some theoretical calculations recently put into the wiki recently suggests that you would lose about 7% from your efficiency with this method.

Craig
 
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CodeRage

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neo82087 said:
Just a thought... if you're going to put a pump in the system with an electric element you might consider a float switch to ensure the element doesn't burn out.
I was thinking of how to put in an interposing relay on the elements. Dont really want to use a float though. Maybe a small set of probes above the heating element.
 
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