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Moad

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Yeah BCS mate, it is worth the price for it...outstanding bit of kit.

I'm really surprised at the performance of the march 809.

I've just ramped from 66 to 77 (measured in the MT) in 30 minutes.

Good to know I can still brew with a backup pump if any of the others kark it.

Time for the sparge!
 

mb-squared

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Moad said:
This is with a March 809 for the pump recirculating the mash. I am getting about 3.5L / min... half of the chugger.

Ramp-Small Pump.JPG
that's too bad. either the 809 is underpowered or your tubing is way too restrictive. but hey, at least you're brewing!
 

Moad

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I'm not dissapointed in it, the opposite actually. As an interim pump its doing the job for me.

I've got it sitting quite low as well, didn't want to mount it for only a few weeks so its on the ground.
 

Moad

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12 hours 200L later, what did I learn.

85% mash efficiency.
Make sure to put hoses back on before pumping (lost 10L).
Trust sober Moads programming of the controller.
Summer tap temps don't chill the same as winter.
 

Moad

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The other thing I learned... make sure you clean everything cold side before brew day. I've missed something somewhere and infected the first batch.

I suspect the plate chiller or the fermenter tap. nooooooo!

Problem with some large batches is the $ lost. I had written off the first batch as I thought something would go wrong anyway... but still $120 sacrificed to the beer gods
 

SBOB

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Or on the other hand, you made a sour for your first batch ;)
 

mb-squared

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what was it that let you know just 24 hours in?
 

Moad

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Some kind of DMS smelling bacteria. Very strange clumps of what looks like break material at the top and a grey/white foam. I've actually had this before a long time ago.

For a few reasons the wort was still 40 degrees into fermenter and took 10 hours to pitch, I could actually smell the vegetal cabbage smell prior to pitching

I've done thorough clean of chillers today as well as a soak of other fermenter and pulled taps out etc.

I'm waiting on my sparky mate to hook up a little pond pump that I'll use to recirc iced water in a second chiller.

Its been a while since I brewed and I got lazy
 

mb-squared

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hmm, that does sound bad. just surprised that it got that much traction within such a short amount of time. on a slightly different note, can't you recirculate your boiling wort through the chillers during the last 15 mins of your boil?
 

Moad

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I did that...

edit: Although in thinking back I only circulated for 10 minutes not 15, I had some programming issues with the controller I was looking at and forgot.

I am going to do another test run before the next brew to iron out some process issues and let me focus on brew day. I think I was just a little rusty.

My main suspect is fermenter taps though.

I was shocked I could smell it after 12 hours and thought it must have been me being paranoid so pitched anyway. I suspect the high temperature had alot to do with the rapid growth
 

osprey brewday

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Hi moad
Regarding the ice water for recirculating I found best to run tap water through a spare immersion chiller in a large tub of ice slurry and then to the wort chiller then to waste. You will be surprised how much ice u go through. I chill down 60 lts of water in a drum in the fridge day before and add ice to it and drop the immersion chiller in it This method gets me 50 lts to fermenter at 17 deg with kettle tap wide open through a keg king plate chiller.
 

Moad

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I've got two plate chillers so was planning to run hose water through the first and then ice water through the second. Maybe what I should do is run the tap water through the iced chiller as a pre chiller. Not sure which would be more effective/efficient
 

osprey brewday

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Pre chill the go, you can even submerged the whole pre plate chiller in the slurry while recirculating. The commercial lancer font chillers are designed that way.
 

Moad

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So tap water goes through the wort in/out of the pre chiller and the iced water recircs through the other pipe is what you are saying?

chilling.png
 

osprey brewday

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Yes I find to get best results is to get max temp diff,as the plate chillers are so efficient u can utilise the whole exchanger and have a high flow of product if your inlet temp is low enough.
I have a plan to convert a heat pump hws into a chilled water tank for this purpose.
Just need to find a discarded heat pump hws that needs a new life.
 

Moad

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Just pitched the second batch I had cubed. Smells fantastic. I had fermenters full of starsan overnight, not that any additional time is needed but I left it anyway. Soaked the taps too...

Ive got a list of things to sort for the next brew. Some valves for dumping out of the bottom of MT and kettle and also for the return on the chiller circuit.

I might need a valve to restrict flow through the chillers too
 

Moad

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Update and musings:

The brewery has not missed a beat. I brew about once a month, sometimes a double brew day. I can knock out 8 x 15L cubes (per batch) and dilute in to the fermenter, I don't really chill as it wastes too much water for my liking.

The only painful thing with the setup is cleaning, if I was to rebuild I would get cone bottom pots and look at a tipping mash tun to empty the grain. I also have some lines where liquid will sit. If I don't flush at the end of brew day with perc then clean water... it stinks. I could definitely add more disconnects to make cleaning easier but it works well and I don't want to restrict flow anywhere.

There is a limit on how much automation is worthwhile... I was going down the path of float switches and automating the entire process from filling the brewery to chilling however it definitely takes the joy out of it.

The heat exchange diameter is about as small as I would want to go on this setup as well. It takes about 30 minutes for mash temp to match the hex return temp, I think this is because of the flow rate coming through the coil. I have a bigger pump I can try to address this but with 3 kids now it makes it tough to find the time to play.

When setting strike temp, I have to set quite low as the heat exchange will be much hotter than target mash temp because of the volume of water in the mash tun + HLT (where the HEX is).

All in all, very happy with the build, I have only had to replace one heating element I blew up by dry firing. It has had 4 homes and I just moved it back to my place after an 18 month holiday at a mates place.

The kegland fill o meter is also an excellent addition to the brew day.
 

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