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Asher

Junctyard Brewing
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Recirculating mashers

I'm back into construction of my next brewery after a looong wait for some burners from the US. anyway I'm going to be able to recirculate wort using the pump (for stepping a mash etc.). I'm interested in finding out how others use their pumps and at what times during the mash.

Is it beneficial to recirculate constantly during the mash, or just shortly before a step is required?
At dough in, should you wait any length of time before recirculating?

Asher for now.
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Hi Asher,
My brewery is fairly new and i have built mine so that I can recirculate wort from the mash tun through a coil in the hlt and back.
Now there is a few problems that I have noticed.
First up I haven't tried any stepped mashes yet so I cant help with that one, however, if I mash for 90 mins and want to increase the temp for mash out I find that when I start recirculating the wort through the hlt it seems to take a long time to go from say 66 deg to 74 deg and I have to have the temp of the HLT at 78 deg to achieve this.
I also found that I got a stuck sparge on one brew and I put this down to over recirculation.
Now, I have got 5 metres of 3/8" id copper pipe to form my herms coil and just maybe this is not long enough.
I could of course, increase the temp of my hlt but then it is too hot for sparging.
I am now forming the opinion that it is quicker to mash out by infusion rather than increasing the temp by the herms.
I have also found that with my system I tend to drop somewhere between 5 and 10 points by batch sparging, so what i am noting is that for time and efficiencies sake I am better off to mash for 90 mins then add infusion water to raise temp for mash out, then use the pump to recirculate the wort till clear, begin the run off and fly sparge the rest until i have the quantity required.
Although my tower is high, it means that i have taken full advantage of gravity for sparging and run off so that I only need the pump to recirculate the wort and to pump from the kettle to the CFWC and into the fermenter.
If I were to build another one I would consider running the wort from the mash tun through another small tank or vessel that could be heated by gas flame or by an electric element as I have seen the yanks do, and this way you could raise your mash temps a lot quicker without getting too hot in your HLT. I wold also include another pick up pipe in the mash tun so that you are not compacting the grain bed while you are recirculating.
I hope I haven't rambled on and I hope I have covered som of the info you were after.
Cheers
 

Hopeye

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That's a damn good idea there Dicko, to have a separate HERMS unit from your HLT. I hadn't thought of that, but, reckon i'll incorporate that into my design as I've got space on the brury.


Cheers
 

Asher

Junctyard Brewing
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dicko
No you haven't rambled on too much.... That the sort of stuff I'm looking for.

I've done a fair bit of research and have an idea of how I'm planning on doing it. I'm looking forward to commissioning my set-up and will surely encounter the same problems as everyone else ;-)

My set-up sounds very similar to yours. I'll be re-circulating through my HLT too. I've git 10m of 1/2" copper pipe in mine c/w a bypass so I can recirculate without going through the HLT coil. having looked at other systems my coil may end up being too short also. I've seen them up to 18m in length!

As for your problem with HLT (hopey, heres another idea!) water being too high for sparging. I've thought about that and have put the coil in the bottom half of my HLT. thus once I've reached my mashout temp I'll just top up my sparge water with cold water to lower the temp. As for what temp my HLT will need to be to reach the new rest tem quickly, that depends on how fast I pump and how hot the HLT is. I've got a thermometer in-line where the heat exchanger leaves the HLT so will be able to adjust flow to hopefully hit a specific temp....

Back to re-circulating.....
I'm planning on doughing in. resting for 5mins or so, then re-circulating for a few minutes without the heat exchanger (HX). to hopefully achieve a more constant temp in mash tunn and reduce ant thermal layering that may take place. Probably repeat this at thirty minutes for the same reason you may stir to increase efficiency/conversion. Then increase temp for mash out through my HX. cool my HLT water to sparg temp. swap the pump from the mash tun to HLT. gravity feed run-off to my boiler and pump sparge water. I'll be flood sparging with the same manifold I use for recirculating (submerged under liquid level in mash tunn)

Now that's a ramble.....
Asher for now.....
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
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with the seperate heating element from the HLT - you guys a refering to a RIMS setup - rather than a Hermes setup.
Note that you will need more initial strike water for these setups to account for the volume in the pipes etc.
Depending upon how you get the liquid around - copper pipe or hoses - might find taht some of taht black water pipe insulation would help reduce heat loss therefore HLT would not have to be set so high.
 

Asher

Junctyard Brewing
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I would still call it a HERMS

H - Heat
E - Exchange
R - Recirculating
M - Mash
S - System

Its just that the heat exchanger is not the HLT but its still a heat exchanger. A RIMS uses an electric element to directly heat the wort (caramalisation problems? IMO)

Asher for now
 

GMK

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that is right asher...


But in one of the posts they were talking about heating witha a seperate electric element.
 

Wax

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caramalisation problems... I've already bought equipment to make a RIMS setup where the heating element is exposed directly to the wort.

Now you've got me scared.

I'm going to have to rethink this whole thing.
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Sounds like you are on top of it Asher,
I find it is good to talk honestly amongst people who have got various set ups and find all the small problems that each person encounters.

Hopeye,
I dont think I could really claim that as my idea as I recon I read about it on a forum here or while looking at an American site.
I used 5 metres of pipe in my HERMS only because I read a post that said that is what the author used but in hindsite for it to work reasonably quickly I feel it should be a lot longer.

GMK,
I have got clear plastic lines on my brewery and at this stage I like to be able to see the wort flowing from one spot to the other and by being able to see it you can flush the wort from each part of the system with clean water and stop the pump just at the correct time so as to get all the wort from the various areas and eventually into the kettle where it belongs. Of course this negates the need for more strike water.

I hope your systems all work as you hoped and expected,

Cheers
 

Asher

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Wax - dont let me put you off ;)

I recon I could find just as many web sites that hail a RIMS as a HERMS..... :lol:
I just choose to take notice of the ones that agree with me

Personal preference is all it comes down too...
Unless youve got awards to prove it.... whens the mash paddle judged again ....

Asher for now
 

jayse

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Hi guys,
I have been using a herms system for many brews. So i have tried most of the different things you can do with it.
You guys have discused a few of the things you can do.
Anyway I use the HERMS for almost all of the sacc rest ie running almost all the time during the mash. The only reason it would stop is if it got to hot as it is temp controlled. This is wear getting the right temp in the HLT for your system becomes very important.
You can either have it much higher temp so you can raise it up higher when you need or want to, which is a great thing with it.
Or you can try recycling the mash the whole time with practice getting your HLT at the right temp to beable to pump the whole time. With solienoids valves to switch to bypass the hlt when it got to hot would be cool.
I just ussually use ten degrees above what ever temp iam after. My coil is only short, shorter than you guys have and it works well but you do need the HLT to be very hot to do a mash out temp.
The idea of a seperate Hlt is great. What I do if I have the HLT too hot to get to mash out and then use as sparge water also I just add cold water into the hlt to bring it back down.
I don't measure water before it goes into the HLT as i have a sight glass so i can measure it as it comes out.

Anyway i reckon to perfect you herms system it will take practice and trying different things you can do with it, as far as building it you can do what ever you can.
For mash out wit herms I have the HLT set at as high as 85-100c. You can have it this hot with no probs at all as it is just the wort your going boil that its getting that hot going through the lines, the mash bed never gets above 78c if it does stop running. Even so with the low ph of the mash tannin extraction is no problem at all.
What iam now doing is the mash out with infusion with 90-99c water as is takes much less time to bring it up with infusion(as quick as you get the water in there).
One thing i also do is after recycling the mash with the pump i just take the hose entering the mash tun and place it in the kettle and pump it in there it still goes through the HLT at 90-99c on its way to the kettle.

Anyway jist of the ramble on is build it and use it, you'll soon find out what can be down with it.

In answer to your original question asher the bennefits in using herms during the mash are proberly not much if your mashing for ninety minutes anway.
But it is suppose to shorten the length of time it takes for conversion.
I just do it for fun,I have a 50litre S/S mash tun and i just leave the lid off and maintain temp while recycling the whole time.

I do wait about 5 mintues before starting it up just so I get a correct temp reading first.

Cheers Jayse
 

Batz

Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav
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Thanks for the info guys,

My system is so close , work is getting in my way , but my HLT , powered by an eletric element 2400w , controled by a thermostat , temperture gauge mid way and next to the coil , 12 meters of 1/2" copper tube.
I will be using a March pump same as dicko

I can dial up a temperture within a degree or two at present , I have not plumbed it up as yet , but I believe it will work well

pic show inside of the HLT
 

Asher

Junctyard Brewing
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niiice!

Batz,
Is that just a Stainless steel flared connection where the copper pipe goes out of the tank? looks very neat

Asher for now
 

Batz

Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav
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Asher,
Beautiful fitting arn'nt they?
They have one fixed nut the other on a thread , I just drilled through the keg , made two rubber washers and used a couple of stainless washer on top of that
Both end have 1/2" compressoin fittings

See piccy
 

MAH

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Batz

What did you use for the thermostat?

Cheers

MAH
 

Batz

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I have a 240v thermostat , cost me around $30
It has a bulb sensor that goes into the HLT , hard wired straight to the element

You making something up similar MAH?

PM me with your email I you need and info or pics

Cheers Batz
 

Batz

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I am at the point of plumbing up this system , I have found some food grade reiforced plastic tubing the other day , the only thing wrong with it is it is not clear.

I don't think this will be a big problem , I have also found a clear filter ( like retric ones ) I intend to take out the screen and use this as a sight glass.

What do you guys use?
 

Asher

Junctyard Brewing
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On my old system I used food safe hose I got from Marlows (now Supercheap Auto) I'ts clear with a white nylon braid moulded in it.

I'm using a soft silicon rubber tubeing and plastic quick disconnects I got from morebeer.com for my pumped brewery. Its opaque, but I can still see bubbles in it!

I'm a bit worried about the silicon stuff. in that it may collapse on the suction side of the pump. It seems to be working fine in trials so far...

I plumbed in my burners. the 200,000 btu mongolian ones... bit of overkill. I've blocked off half the jets (unscrewed them and pluged the holes with UNF bolts) and they work great now. At least I've got room for upgrading in the future :)

Pics to come once I've wired in the pump and float switch..

Asher for now...
 

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