Sparge ring

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stilvia

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I know Andrew from Full Pint said the distributor was getting them in, and thought they'd be in about mid may..
 

VP Brewing

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This is my very basic return in my 1V setup.
It's just a length of copper left over from my ghetto HERMS that I have crimped at one end and drilled 4 holes right through. Should get the idea from the pic. Works really well and I only have to leave the grain settle a couple of min before I can fully recirculate.
ImageUploadedByAussie Home Brewer1469493900.123041.jpg
 

Screwtop

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mofox1 said:


Seriously... where can I get one of these?!
Haha, makes them to order, price depends upon size. His new model has 16mm arms, mine's an earlier model (12mm arms).

Screwy
 

Screwtop

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technobabble66 said:
A really cheap option is to simply mould a piece of aluminum foil over a shallow bowl, scrunch down the edges and use a fork/etc to punch holes across the new tin bowl to allow extra drainage. Clamp the hose to the side of the mashtun with the end sitting in the mainly-submerged "bowl". The wort/sparge can flow over the top and thru the holes.
Since doing this, I have a nice even mash bed top, and great efficiency. Takes ~5mins to organize. Costs ~$0.10.

ImageUploadedByAussie Home Brewer1469493260.011975.jpg
Holee Shite that tun is full!!!!!! Yesh have done this in the past, but when I removed it to stir before mash out is got all out of shape, PITA haha

Screwy
 

technobabble66

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Yeah, i have 30L urns and prefer to turn out 25L batches - so it makes for fairly full mashes :lol:

I should've mentioned - i normally use the tin foil "bowl" when i recirc at mashout and prepare to sparge.
Prior to that prefer to have the top free for stirring - similar to you, screwtop.

FWIW, i'd suggest a smooth, even grain-bed *should* be important just at the mashout & sparge, rather than during the mash steps.
During the main mash(/steps) you should just need a reasonable flow of liquid through the whole bed to achieve the temp changes - slightly uneven flow dynamics through the bed should make reasonably little difference. It'll equate to some parts getting warmer a few minutes faster than others but overall it'll gradually achieve the desired uniform temp change. Aside from the 50-55°C protease step, which is generally very quick (~5mins), the difference in a few minutes here or there would/should make ~no difference. And if you're stirring anyway, this'll be irrelevant - it'll all change temp at the same time.
Whereas the mash out step & sparge is flushing the sugars out in a single pass (& no stirring!), so you'd want it to be as even as possible.
Hence, i just do the flow-catcher thingy at the mashout.
 

mofox1

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Screwtop said:
Haha, makes them to order, price depends upon size. His new model has 16mm arms, mine's an earlier model (12mm arms).

Screwy
Mind sharing how much yours set you back? I feel a ka-ching moment approaching..
 

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TidalPete

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That's an interesting sparge setup you've got these days Screwy & I agree with your comments about the similar HEX return stilvia showed us in Post 15.

What sort of mash eff are you getting if you don't mind my asking?
 

DJ_L3ThAL

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Screwtop said:
I have seen this on my system before, mostly due to too much stirring of the grist. With HERMS/RIMS its best to stir gently and only at the mash in, and again once the temp has been raised to mash out. At the higher temp (Mash Out 77c) the mash is far more open due to lower viscosity and much of the grist floats at this stage. During the Mash Out Stand it settles back with good even distribution.

Too much stirring during and not stirring after the ramp to Mash Out temp results in flour and small particulate matter being stirred into suspension which settles on top of the grainbed forming an impervious layer, the liquid then takes the path of least resistance - usually down the sides of the tun due to this muddy layer across the top of the grain bed. This seems to be more of a problem with smaller domed false bottoms.

The basic principals of mash separation are that wort is strained through a filter bed made up of the husk and solid material (Grist) which is held on a screen or filter. The important issue is flow rate, which depends upon a combination of filter surface area, pressure differential across filter, and wort viscosity. For the best flow rate we need a large filter surface area, a shallow filter bed, equal differential pressure across the filter bed and low wort viscosity.

Have a look at the pic in my post you will see the false bottom in the bottom of my mate Liam's Mash Tun. He made this one from SS Mesh and I am fitting one when I upgrade to a 70L tun.

Screwy
I don't normally stir after the initial dough in unless I can't get a recirc happening, as in zero flow. So doubt it was anything to do with stirring during the mash.

You say stirring at Mash Out. As in stirring between the mash and sparging? Is that actually done as normal practice? I always thought to not disturb the bed at all to ensure the most clear wort and that a properly settled bed, correct mill gap and good false bottom design would mean no need to do any stirring as the flow distribution being even does all the work for you?


technobabble66 said:
A really cheap option is to simply mould a piece of aluminum foil over a shallow bowl, scrunch down the edges and use a fork/etc to punch holes across the new tin bowl to allow extra drainage. Clamp the hose to the side of the mashtun with the end sitting in the mainly-submerged "bowl". The wort/sparge can flow over the top and thru the holes.
Since doing this, I have a nice even mash bed top, and great efficiency. Takes ~5mins to organize. Costs ~$0.10.

ImageUploadedByAussie Home Brewer1469493260.011975.jpg
I will give this or the soup ladle return a go next brew day. Does it not cause some channeling having the bowl concentric to the pot?

technobabble66 said:
Yeah, i have 30L urns and prefer to turn out 25L batches - so it makes for fairly full mashes :lol:

I should've mentioned - i normally use the tin foil "bowl" when i recirc at mashout and prepare to sparge.
Prior to that prefer to have the top free for stirring - similar to you, screwtop.

FWIW, i'd suggest a smooth, even grain-bed *should* be important just at the mashout & sparge, rather than during the mash steps.
During the main mash(/steps) you should just need a reasonable flow of liquid through the whole bed to achieve the temp changes - slightly uneven flow dynamics through the bed should make reasonably little difference. It'll equate to some parts getting warmer a few minutes faster than others but overall it'll gradually achieve the desired uniform temp change. Aside from the 50-55°C protease step, which is generally very quick (~5mins), the difference in a few minutes here or there would/should make ~no difference. And if you're stirring anyway, this'll be irrelevant - it'll all change temp at the same time.
Whereas the mash out step & sparge is flushing the sugars out in a single pass (& no stirring!), so you'd want it to be as even as possible.
Hence, i just do the flow-catcher thingy at the mashout.
When you say top free for stirring, do you stir the entire mash or just a 'portion' of it around the top section?

I was under impression the more recirculation the clearer the wort, so by settling the grain bed as quickly as possible allowed me to

a. recirculate at a decent flow to ensure RIMS effectiveness and ramp ability.
b. allowed more time throughout mash steps to clear up the wort.

Your wort looks super clear in that pic, is that stirred up around mash out and only recirced for 15mins or so to clear up that well?
 

technobabble66

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Ermm, i think i'll try to answer everything you ask :p
It's not instantly failsafe - you need to set it up so the flow of wort is not too strong in a particular direction. If the wort is swirling in a circle around the pot, it'll be digging out the bed and channeling. So you need to jiggle the "bowl" around a little to get the flow out of the 2 sides nearest the edge of the urn/pot to be roughly even and not too strong, and then allow some flow to escape in other sections (you may need to tap some divots into the edge to do this) to help negate a circular flow around the pot. Dunno if that makes sense or sounds complicated? It's not - takes ~1min to arrange it &/or correct it to ensure fairly even flow.
TBH, i'm curious as to whether the soup ladle would be as easy to use to achieve this. It may be, but i've found the ability to easily manipulate the pliable foil very convenient. Maybe the rigid but uniform edge of the ladle would make it just as easy.

When i stir the mash, i stir the whole lot. It's to allow rapid dispersion of the ramping heat, as i use an urn and i've had issues with using solely recirculation to achieve this - i know that should work fine. It doesn't. And my current method works nicely. Plus i believe stirring the crap out of the grain on the few ramping steps i do helps free up more starch for greater efficiency. FWIW, i think i've nailed a few minor issues with my processes so it's probably about time to have another go at the 100% recirc gig.
Anyway, those shenanigans aside, the basic concept should still be solid - when you're ready to recirculate, set up your little foil bowl, make your adjustments, and let it work its magic!

Yeah, you need a decent amount of time to recirculate to get the clear wort. I've found 20mins is minimum, 30 mins is best. Obviously if you're recirc'ing throughout the mash schedule, it'll be plenty of time.
These days, i normally set up my recirc in the 72°C-to-78°C ramp. That makes for ~10-15mins of time, plus another 5-10mins of recirc'ing to clear it, plus ensure most/all of the mash bed is getting to 78°C by the time i start draining and sparging.
As always, there's a bit of a trick to getting the flow rate right - a balance between getting a fast flow to stop the element overheating the wort & to distribute the heat steadily through the mash bed, but not too fast that it sucks down the mash bed and compacts it (Rice Hulls FTW!).

The wort in that pic would've been as above, stirred regularly throughout the mash schedule until the 72->78°C ramp. Then recirc'ed (break/cut up the protein sediment slightly across the top ~1cm of the bed) during the ramp and for another 10mins or so.

I hope that explains it (& you haven't fallen asleep!) :unsure: :lol:
 

stilvia

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I ended up emailing New Era Brewing (Aust dist for SS Brewtech) and querying if they were getting stock. They said they had just got some in and weren't on the site yet. All ordered and received this morning.

Got to say quality is awesome. Going to give it a test run Tuesday and will report back then.

IMG_2449.JPG
 

stilvia

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Dae Tripper said:
What is the diameter?
The diameter is 320mm. I was thinking I'd have some issues as I have a 300mm hole in the top of my keggle. Luckily, the gaps in the sparge ring allows it to slot between the top when putting it in/out.

IMG_2452.JPG
 

mofox1

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Mine arrived the other day. Can't wait to try it out... Unfortunately I don't think I'll get a brew day for a few weeks.

Going with barbs on the inside of the esky for now. I think I've got a few spare cam locks lying around which will make it more easily removable later on.

1470463932268.jpg 1470463947667.jpg
 

breakbeer

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This is exactly what I need, without previously knowing I needed it

Is it just New Era who have them in stock? Now that Full Pint is closed, who is the Victorian SS Brewtech distributor?
 

mofox1

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New Era certainly had them in stock... not sure if he still has them or not. They may not have even been listed yet (max of 4 left after Stilvia & myself).

Failing that CleverBrewing sells SS Brewtech gear, you could give them a hollar & see if they want to pull an order with first dibs to you? Full Pint listed they were "partnering" with Clever Brewing, so you might find them as the next Vic distributor.

Good luck. FYI - the ring has a 3/8" barb, so you will need to downgrade you tubing if you were previously using 1/2". Hopefully for the relatively short distance it is used for it won't make too much difference.
 

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