Quantcast

New 3v System - A Problem.

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

iralosavic

Well-Known Member
Joined
17/10/11
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
21
Half way through my first brew on my new system.

As per beersmith I transferred 12L of water @ 75c expecting to dough into 65c. Instead the resultant temp was 44c and has thrown the whole brewday out the window. I had to crank the HLT to boiling and double the desired volume in the mash just to get to 65c.

The instruments I use for temperature measurement and control are all calibrated to a lab thermometer, so all I can think is that

1. The grain was cooler than the 18c BS was based on
2. The mash tun was also cooler than the imported 20c
3. The mash tun absorbed a lot of the heat.
4. The HLT runnings lost a lot of heat through the 20c hose connecting it to the MLT.
5. But 21c out?!

Any ideas? I'm about to sparge, but almost have the full preboil volume sitting in the MLT! I'm enjoying the challenge, but the fact that the dough in was so far out has brought up a lot of doubts.​
 

AndrewQLD

RED ON WHITE IPA
Joined
12/3/04
Messages
4,149
Reaction score
306
Half way through my first brew on my new system.

As per beersmith I transferred 12L of water @ 75c expecting to dough into 65c. Instead the resultant temp was 44c and has thrown the whole brewday out the window. I had to crank the HLT to boiling and double the desired volume in the mash just to get to 65c.

The instruments I use for temperature measurement and control are all calibrated to a lab thermometer, so all I can think is that

1. The grain was cooler than the 18c BS was based on
2. The mash tun was also cooler than the imported 20c
3. The mash tun absorbed a lot of the heat.
4. The HLT runnings lost a lot of heat through the 20c hose connecting it to the MLT.
5. But 21c out?!

Any ideas? I'm about to sparge, but almost have the full preboil volume sitting in the MLT! I'm enjoying the challenge, but the fact that the dough in was so far out has brought up a lot of doubts.​
Sounds like you need to set up your equipement profile in beersmith, that will take into account your heat losses via the mash tun
 

manticle

Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
Joined
27/9/08
Messages
25,707
Reaction score
6,120
Location
Glenorchy, TAS
With any new equipment you need to work out actual, rather than presumed figures, then tailor software/calculations accordingly.

Also try pre-heating your tun with some boiling water next time.

First run is always going to be a bit hit and miss while you dial in.
 

glenwal

aus Bier hergestellt
Joined
8/12/10
Messages
812
Reaction score
29
If you end up with more volume into the kettle than you want, you can increase the length of the boil to compensate. Just boil for an extra period of time before you add your first hop addition.
 

white.grant

tum te tum
Joined
12/3/08
Messages
3,440
Reaction score
239
Had a similar though less extreme problem when I went to an electric HLT run off a STC1000 temp probe, the liquor temp into the mash tun was 10 degrees under what the probe was reading. I had synchronised my thermometers but I had not accounted for the strike water not heating evenly.

On my set up with a 50L keg for HLT there's 9L under the element, and the temp probe is at the 16L mark and I typically prepare 40L of liquor. As heat rises, the top layers of the strike water were near or on temp, but turns out that the bottom 9L were nowhere near it so I was potentially mashing at less than ideal temperatures. It's nothing that a good stir and a short wait won't fix.

cheers

grant
 

iralosavic

Well-Known Member
Joined
17/10/11
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
21
Thanks for all the pointers. There wasnt really much calibrTing to do with BIAB, so I really wasn't expecting such a dramatic discrepancy when switching to 3v. Next time I will put half the strike water in and have a 1.7L kettle on the ready to compensate for heat losses to the MLT before i put the rest in. I guess ill heat the HLT to more like 80c too. I don't have any way to directly heat the MLT, as this is just a temporary setup until I can upgrade to HERMS.

I didn't really get a chance to sparge properly, which I was looking forward to, but I did run about 5L through and muck around with matching in/out flows. I ended up with 30L @ 1.035 instead of 25L @ 1.037. So I guess when I sparge effectively, my efficiency will be even higher.

I ended up having to bail out on the brewday pre boil, so I've kept the wort for starters. It's currently in the fridge. Not a total waste of a day, but a little disappointing. Lots of lessons learnt.

Cheers
 

JDW81

I make wort, the yeast make it beer.
Joined
19/1/11
Messages
2,232
Reaction score
857
Thanks for all the pointers. There wasnt really much calibrTing to do with BIAB, so I really wasn't expecting such a dramatic discrepancy when switching to 3v. Next time I will put half the strike water in and have a 1.7L kettle on the ready to compensate for heat losses to the MLT before i put the rest in. I guess ill heat the HLT to more like 80c too. I don't have any way to directly heat the MLT, as this is just a temporary setup until I can upgrade to HERMS.

I didn't really get a chance to sparge properly, which I was looking forward to, but I did run about 5L through and muck around with matching in/out flows. I ended up with 30L @ 1.035 instead of 25L @ 1.037. So I guess when I sparge effectively, my efficiency will be even higher.

I ended up having to bail out on the brewday pre boil, so I've kept the wort for starters. It's currently in the fridge. Not a total waste of a day, but a little disappointing. Lots of lessons learnt.

Cheers
Cock-ups are the best way to learn.

I always have boiling and cold water on hand just in case my strike water doesn't give me the desired mash temp.
 

iralosavic

Well-Known Member
Joined
17/10/11
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
21
When calibrating "Mash Tun Specific Heat", should I use a higher figure for a well insulated keggle? Not that I can see any changes to volume/heat calculations when I play around with it.
 

QldKev

Brew Dude
Joined
21/6/05
Messages
7,471
Reaction score
1,031
Location
Bundy
Are you using beersmith? It's been a while since I looked in there, but I thought it was just weight the vessel and put in the type of material, ie S/S. I weighed mine without the insulation. Beersmith got the numbers correct for everyone I know so far.

QldKev
 

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
I had a very similar experience on my first run with the 3V. Definitely take good notes recording volume and temperatures so you can reference back on later brews, it takes a couple of brews to dial in your system.

Is your HLT electric? The issue I found on my first brew was that I didnt recirculate the HLT before adding the strike water. As it turns out the thermal currents in the HLT weren't enough to mix the water up completely so I was getting a pool of cooler water sitting in the bottom below my thermometer/sensor. I now start recirculating in the HLT once I get near to strike temp to ensure I have an even temp and all the transfer lines/pump are up to temperature. This plus pre-heating the MT with ~1L of boiling water gets me pretty close to Beersmith predicted temperatures.
 

iralosavic

Well-Known Member
Joined
17/10/11
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
21
Kev: yep, beersmith. In my custom equipment profile I didn't see anywhere I could specify the material, but it does suggest a value for SS, which is what I used on my first run.

Frothie: yep my HLT is my electric keggle that i was previously using to BIAB in. I really should have taken a temp reading of the strike water, rather than relying on the reading within the HLT. I'm going to insulate the tube between the HLT and the MLT for a start. And I'll definitely stir the crap out of the HLT (I'm pumpless atm). You're probably right that the convection currents at 75c weren't strong enough to stabilize the temp throughout the entire tun.

Any tips on calibrating a dipstick? I've found it impossible to read the level as the water is so transparent. Chalk on the ruler?! Ideas? Cheers
 

np1962

It's all about the Beer
Joined
21/10/08
Messages
1,618
Reaction score
10
Location
Blakeview, SA
Not sure of your location Iralosavic but your grain temp and tun temp could be quite a bit lower than the default.
Mine today was around 12C so even when I did some quick calcs and added a few degrees to the mash in water I was lower than expected.
Roll on summer I say.
Having said that, it will take a few brews to gat a handle on your new system and to tweak BS to just how you want it.
Nige
 

Malted

Humdinger
Joined
15/5/10
Messages
2,301
Reaction score
115
+1 for what Grantw and Frothie have said.
My electric, keg based HLT used to have cold water sitting under the stick element. The temp probe was in the heated water section but the pickup was in the cold water. The temp could read 85oC etc but the water drawn out would be luke warm. I used to have to give the water in the HLT a stir to be sure of the temperature of the water that would come out. Perhaps a little brown pump would also be effective for circulating the HLT water (because I can't see what else they could be good for :ph34r: ).

From what you have said it smells like this is an issue for you too.

edit: Dipstick - sounds like you're talking about the HLT. An unsealed timber dipstick might work better? Or a sightglass/sight tube.
 

iralosavic

Well-Known Member
Joined
17/10/11
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
21
I'm in VIC and it has been pretty cold. So 12c might've been more accurate.

Regarding the dipstick, I've got a 600mm steel ruler ready to mark out in 5 L increments.
It's for the boiler to measure pre and post boil volumes. The HLT has a sight glass. The issue when marking the ruler is that it's very hard to detect the point at which the water is level on the ruler because it's transparent and you have to look down from an awkward angle. I'm sure there must be an easier way to mark it out, like putting chalk on the ruler so you can see where the water level was at. Etc
 

white.grant

tum te tum
Joined
12/3/08
Messages
3,440
Reaction score
239
Remember too that all volumes measured are going to be temperature effected. I calibrated my measuring stick with tap water at about 13c but on the runnings out of the mash it is no longer accurate, more so during the boil. The scum ring on the kettle is my best indicator!
 

iralosavic

Well-Known Member
Joined
17/10/11
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
21
Howdy. I get that the thermodynamics affect the volumes (perhaps by up to 5%), but I bet my ability to Guesstimate based on a visual observation would be out by a lot more than that! I could use the HLT to supply 5L shots of hot water to base my ruler on, but I'll still need something like dye or chalk to be able to note the level prior to marking it. I just thought that thus would be a common task with a simple workaround, but I guess a lot of people have straight walled pots and can just use math...

I think what I might do is chuck the unboiled wort in my ekeggle to boil until it's concentrated back to 25L, then transfer to the gas powered keggle to hop and finish, rather than keep all 30L for starters!
 

hsb

Worth waiting for
Joined
6/7/10
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
49
I believe the OP said that water is transparent, making it hard to read where it aligns on the ruler.

One solution is to stick a finger in, when it burns, you have your level. Or a food-safe floating rubber duckie?

You could just use something else to square off from the water surface, like a metal stirrer...
 

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
Wood is better to use for seeing the level. Something like a cut off broom stick. I used a slat from an old busted door for a while before fitting sight gauges. Site gauges are 1000000x better though.

 

Latest posts

Top