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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * April 3, 2004 * Mash temps uneven < Previous Next >

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Richard Nye (24.34.142.13)
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 12:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was brewin up a 5g batch of Chimay Grande Reserve clone yesterday with 16.25 lbs of grain in my 10g Polarware/false bottom MLT. I was recircing the wort at a moderate pace with a pump and maintaining temp with direct heat from the stove. Temperature was stable at the prescribed 149F using the 3" probe mounted in the kettle halfway in the mash collumn. About 45 min into it I started to measure mash temps with another thermometer and found the mash temp varied from 149 (lowest) to 160 (highest)!! That explains some of the high FGs I've been getting.

I immediately lowered the temp with ice, stirred the mash and mashed for another 1/2 hour at about 145.

After I mash in, I stir the mash again 5-10 minutes later because it really gets compacted. After that I pretty much leave it alone.

Question is: How do I get more even mash temperatures throughout the mash? I'd rather not insulate the MLT because I also use it to boil.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 03:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A moderate recirculation rate (about 0.75 to 1.0 gallon per minute) should eliminate most of the temperature differences. With an uninsulated mash tun, however, you will have to apply direct heat and stir a couple of times during conversion in order to maintain the temperature. Have you considered a HERMS with a coil in the HLT?
 

Richard Nye (24.34.142.13)
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 05:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill - Yes I have. I could do that pretty easily since I have a immersion chiller I'm not using. It just makes things a little more complicated and another thing to clean. I was thinking about using a picnic cooler for a MLT, and use my pump to recirc to clear the wort. I could set up a HERMS system with that as well. I think the real problem is my MLT kettle isn't insulated and it has hot/cold spots.
 

robert rulmyr (63.156.128.16)
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 05:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm thinking of going back to a picnic cooler (60 qt). Stir it once after mash-in and leave it for 60 minutes. SS hose in the cooler. I partial mashed for about 4 years...works extremely well, extremely easy!
For the past 8 months, I have been mashing in a converted kegs with a FB. Even with keg and recirculating, I have temperature concerns.

WacoBob
 

Richard Nye (24.34.142.13)
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 05:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm with you, Bob. I do all my brewin in the kitchen and the manual direct heat method doesn't give me much time to multitask. Brew days are too long. I just want to "set it and forget it".
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 05:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Richard, I don't think a HERMS has to be that complex. A manual HERMS without automatic control is not difficult to construct or operate, especially if you already have a pump. As for cleaning, the runoff is going to be boiled anyway. The coil doesn't need to be sanitized; a good flush with hot water is sufficient.

Bob, in my experience the recirculating mash liquid does a rather good job of equalizing the temperature.

I don't mean to suggest that an insulated cooler doesn't do a perfectly good job of mashing, merely that recirculation is effective and has certain advantages in terms of temperature control. Remember that you can make this process of brewing as simple or as complex as you wish. There's not one way or a single best solution.
 

Richard Nye (24.34.142.13)
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 10:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill - the way I would picture a manual HERMS is to have a Y on the output side of the pump. One leg going thru the heat exchanger then into the MLT, the other leg just goes straight to the MLT. I would manually open/close the valves whether or not I need more heat. Is that how you would do it? Thanks for the help.

BTW, I used to do a lot of bike riding and a friend of mine did the RAGBRAI several years. His favorite story was an 80 year old guy that had a 1 speed bike with a sign that said, "gears are for whimps!"
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 11:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Richard, you can install a bypass valve and manually recirculate either through or around the HERMS coil.

Actually, the guy on the "gears are for wimps" single-speed bike is about 65. My wife and I happily ride our recumbent tandem with 24 gears. I hope to be doing it well past that age.

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