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Path Of Least Resistance

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Dan Pratt

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i have had some trouble during the last three brews and that is with my 1v setup and the recirculation. I have a 40lt urn with a 20 litre bucket inside to replace the bag. the bucket has 100's of 5mm holes through out and i use a cheap splatter guard with what looks like 1mm holes to cover the base of the bucket. With the bucket about 75mm above the exposed element with a steam rake, I can not get the wort to recirc through the grain bed.

My system is pumped with a brown pump and returned to the mash through a spiralled copper pipe. On each brew since making this system the path of least resistance has been for the water/wort to fill the bucket and overflow back into the urn. This may appear ok but the temperature of the grain bed doesnt increase when going from 50-66-72-78. See i mash in at 50 and aim to step mash throughout.

I have tried reducing the flow and what appears to be the problem is 2 things....1st the splatter guard is blocking up and yes i have it milled at 1.5mm at MHB which is great, i know it blocking up as i lift the bucket out the drainage is very slow. 2nd thing is i feel the suction of wort from the valve is drawing water/wort from around the urn element and this is not creating a downward suction to draw the wort through the grain bed.

Should i get a 9inch false bottom and do away with the splatter gaurd or is the suction factor even with a false bottom no going to change it??

any help or idea's would be great.

picture was taken before i drilled as many holes as possible
home_brew_1V_012.jpg

home_brew_1V_006.jpg
 

Fat Bastard

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Hi Pratty,

I can't see from your photo, but do you have a valve on the outlet side of your pump to slow the flowrate down? From reading, you said you slowed it down, but how did you do it?

On my system I've found that flowrate is absolutely critical or you get a burnt element when it sucks the wort from around it. I've found with small (4-5kg/36 litre tun) grain bills, it's much less of a problem and I can run the pump flat out, but the larger they get, the more problems you have. I've solved most of mine on the last few big, 9-10kg brews by using a larger mesh size, slowing the flow right down and using some rice hulls to keep things flowing. Even then, after the mash was drained, the bed set hard and took ages to drain the sparge.

Oh, a word of explanation about my system, I do a hybrid 2v BIAB with a solid sided bag (like a canvas bucket) where I don't lift the bag, but drain the wort and sparge to a holding tank before returning it for the boil.

How fine is the mesh on that screen?
 

Dan Pratt

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Hi Pratty,

I can't see from your photo, but do you have a valve on the outlet side of your pump to slow the flowrate down? From reading, you said you slowed it down, but how did you do it?

On my system I've found that flowrate is absolutely critical or you get a burnt element when it sucks the wort from around it. I've found with small (4-5kg/36 litre tun) grain bills, it's much less of a problem and I can run the pump flat out, but the larger they get, the more problems you have. I've solved most of mine on the last few big, 9-10kg brews by using a larger mesh size, slowing the flow right down and using some rice hulls to keep things flowing. Even then, after the mash was drained, the bed set hard and took ages to drain the sparge.

Oh, a word of explanation about my system, I do a hybrid 2v BIAB with a solid sided bag (like a canvas bucket) where I don't lift the bag, but drain the wort and sparge to a holding tank before returning it for the boil.

How fine is the mesh on that screen?
There is a 1/2inch ball valve on the outlet of the urn' I was using that at less than a quarter turn and it still overflowed. The splatter screen has very small 1mm holes which I think contributes to the issue. I had tried rice hulls before I went to a recirculation system and that could help.
I think I may of burnt the element on the last run as it appears blackened like scorched. Do you have a photo of your 2v system? I have considered extending mine with another vessel.
 

Fat Bastard

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There is a 1/2inch ball valve on the outlet of the urn' I was using that at less than a quarter turn and it still overflowed. The splatter screen has very small 1mm holes which I think contributes to the issue. I had tried rice hulls before I went to a recirculation system and that could help.
I think I may of burnt the element on the last run as it appears blackened like scorched. Do you have a photo of your 2v system? I have considered extending mine with another vessel.
It's probably not the best practice to throttle the pump on the inlet side, I've found it causes cavitation and unwanted aeration on the wort. Big Nath found some plastic inline valves at the green shed he uses to throttle his system down, and I've used a 2pc ball valve on mine.
Basic overview of my system during wort transfer. I've since got a hold of a larger 20l urn for sparge water and added a shower head for sparge distribution. You can also see the reason for not lifting the bag. There's not enough room over the MLT!


More infohere

How big are your grain bills?

Oh, give your urn a soak in a citric acid solution to shift the burnt crud off the element. I've found through hard experience that if you leave it for a few days It'll come off with a nylon pot brush.
 

Dan Pratt

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It's probably not the best practice to throttle the pump on the inlet side, I've found it causes cavitation and unwanted aeration on the wort. Big Nath found some plastic inline valves at the green shed he uses to throttle his system down, and I've used a 2pc ball valve on mine.
Basic overview of my system during wort transfer. I've since got a hold of a larger 20l urn for sparge water and added a shower head for sparge distribution. You can also see the reason for not lifting the bag. There's not enough room over the MLT!


More infohere

How big are your grain bills?

Oh, give your urn a soak in a citric acid solution to shift the burnt crud off the element. I've found through hard experience that if you leave it for a few days It'll come off with a nylon pot brush.
Hi FB,

i will look at getting a 2way valve the control the flow coming out of the brown pump and see what that does. Im still wondering if the domes false bottom will allow for the wort to flow through.

My grain bills are genearlly 4.8 - 5.4 kg.

The thing im finding is that there is alot of people doing single vessel but only single infusions and alot of stirring to get to mashout temps. My aim is to create a step mash system and this is proving harder than i thought, all part of learning though.

do you know anyone that has a single vessel or even 2v like yourself that is getting a 4 or 5 step schedule with the wort recirculating system?

Dan
 

Thirsty Boy

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Hi FB,

i will look at getting a 2way valve the control the flow coming out of the brown pump and see what that does. Im still wondering if the domes false bottom will allow for the wort to flow through.

My grain bills are genearlly 4.8 - 5.4 kg.

The thing im finding is that there is alot of people doing single vessel but only single infusions and alot of stirring to get to mashout temps. My aim is to create a step mash system and this is proving harder than i thought, all part of learning though.

do you know anyone that has a single vessel or even 2v like yourself that is getting a 4 or 5 step schedule with the wort recirculating system?

Dan
Buy a proper false bottom Dan, the biggest one that will fit in your vessel - and definately flow control for your pump.

Look up a few of the RIMS/HERMS threads about recirculating vessels, yours is no different from them, all the same rules, hints, tips and techniques will apply. Its not a single vessel until you pull the bucket out... till then its just a rims.

Actualy, if you want to google - yours probably bears the most similarity to an electric "Brutus" style system.

Ricircing your game..... dont cheap out on the FB, crush more coarsley, throw in some rice hulls, start your recirculation off nice and slow, i mean really slow and build up your recirculation over 5 or 10 minutes, maybe consider not turning on the heating element until your wort is visibly celaring up, especially at temps below normal gelatinisation temps.

Often in re-circulating systems, its as much aout technique as it is anout equipment.

TB
 

Dan Pratt

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Buy a proper false bottom Dan, the biggest one that will fit in your vessel - and definately flow control for your pump.

Look up a few of the RIMS/HERMS threads about recirculating vessels, yours is no different from them, all the same rules, hints, tips and techniques will apply. Its not a single vessel until you pull the bucket out... till then its just a rims.

Actualy, if you want to google - yours probably bears the most similarity to an electric "Brutus" style system.

Ricircing your game..... dont cheap out on the FB, crush more coarsley, throw in some rice hulls, start your recirculation off nice and slow, i mean really slow and build up your recirculation over 5 or 10 minutes, maybe consider not turning on the heating element until your wort is visibly celaring up, especially at temps below normal gelatinisation temps.

Often in re-circulating systems, its as much aout technique as it is anout equipment.

TB


Hi TB,

I went and ordered my FB from G&G today. always intended to and im glad you gave me the knudge :). Looks like a trip to the hardware store to find a suitable control valve for the outlet of the pump> with some luck i can get it right and run this system with step mashes. I have read all the herms/rims guides but will be sure to check out the brutus style.


Thanks TB
 

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