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HLT/Mash Tun temp discrepancy
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Boogie




Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject: HLT/Mash Tun temp discrepancy Reply with quote


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During my first brew session, I noticed that in order to maintain my desired mash temp, I had to set my HLT temp to 3 degrees higher. I'm using 30 gallon tanks and my recipe called for a little over 50 lbs of grain. Mash thickness was nominal.

I have not actually calibrated my temp sensors yet, but an initial dry run using plain water before brew day indicated they were registering the same temp or perhaps within one degree of one another. If my sensors are measuring accurately, then I must be losing heat somewhere in the transfer between the mash tun and the HLT heat exchange. I'm using a March nano brewery pump to move my mash through the HLT heat exchanger, but flow rate was throttled back to about 70% or so. Next batch I may experiment using a lower flow rate to see if I'm simply not giving the fluid enough contact time with the exchanger to fully heat up.

Also, my hoses are standard length, silicone.

Anyone else witnessed this discrepancy in temperature between HLT & MT?
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 11037
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't get it myself but I don't know what sort of setup you have. Some things that could affect this:

- What kettles you use
- What the ambient temp is when you brew
- Hose types
- Hose lengths (standard means the lengths I mention?)
- How fast you recirc compared to what I do (I run a March 809 100% open, you run a different pump 70% open)
- Where your temp probes are
- Any other differences to your setup.

Got any pictures?

Kal

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Boogie




Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kal,

My setup is identical to yours with the exception that I'm using 30-Gal Blichmann's and the March Nanobrewery pump which has a higher flow rate than the standard 809 model (17 vs. 7 GPM). Ambient temp was about 70F, so that shouldn't have been much of a factor. I'm leaning toward flow rate being too high for the liquid to heat adequately, similar to running a CF chiller too quickly to get the desired effect.

Beyond this issue, the system works flawlessly and I couldn't be more pleased. Great design and construction documentation!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 11037
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a test you can do: Move the MLT temp probe from the MLT output to the HERMS coil output temporarily to see what you get there. It should match the temp of the HLT. If it doesn't your flow rate is too high as you're not getting the wort heated enough while recircing in the HERMS coil.

WHen I first built my setup that's where I had my MLT temp probe. It turned out to be completely redundant as the temp at the HERMS coil output always exactly matched the HLT temp even with the pump valve set to 100% open.

So I moved the probe to the MLT output so that it tells me how far behind my mash temp is lagging the HLT temp when I raise the temp in the HLT. That was a more useful place.

The other minor difference is that my silicone hose tubing is 0.187" wall thickness instead of the usual 0.125" that is readily available. (The slightly thicker walled stuff I use is harder to find). I doubt that makes a difference given the really short run from the HLT to the MLT.

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Boogie




Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you sir. I opted for the larger pump hoping to really churn up the grain bed (without HS aeration of course) and get the best conversion possible, but it may be overkill. Still, it's an impressive beast. Throttling it back more may be what I need. I'll let you know what I discover.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 11037
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking it's probably the pump too. I get really good flow rate with my 3/4" front inlet March pumps on my 20 gallon kettles. Your 30's aren't that much bigger so the same pumps would have worked fine. In fact, other than very large (2bbl+) setups I'm not sure you'd need a much larger pump. I get a consistently high 95% efficency so I don't think it can go much higher.

Good luck! Please post and let us know how it works out. I'm curious. You could even just test it with water after your move the probe.

Kal

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Boogie




Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I think I figured this out. The behavior I described was during my first time brewing with the new setup. I've completed a test using 20 gals of water in the HLT and also in the MT and I moved the temp sensor from the MT output to the MT input. I set the temp on the HLT to 152 and noticed it heated to 154. I circulated the MT through the heat exchanger with the pump valve fully open and after 75 minutes the temps on both the HLT and MT settled at 152. I've concluded the HLT PID had not had a chance to fully learn about the system and thus overshot the set temp as described in the auto tuning section. Since the temps between the two tanks stabilized during the test, I've determined all is well. If I see a discrepancy with my next batch, I will throttle back my mash pump to get better heat exchange. And if I still cannot get them to balance, I'll just set my HLT a little hotter and call it good.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 11037
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you not do the PID auto-tuning before using them the first time? See: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel-setup


Kal

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Last edited by kal on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Boogie




Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course not! That would imply that I actually read the instructions before using the system. Wink This one was definitely my mistake. I've not completed the auto tuning successfully and don't expect to see this again. Thanks for your help, Kal!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 11037
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a lot of instructions... it's an easy miss! In fact, I should probably move all of the 'tuning/setup' things to a separate article at the end called something more obvious like "first time setup" or something. (EDIT: Done!)

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Boogie




Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops. Check that. I should have said I've NOW completed the auto tuning. And yes, I was thinking the same thing about a first-time setup section (for dummies like me).

Cheers!
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perogi




Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 850
Location: NH

Drinking: Perogi Pale, NEIPA, Nutter's Crossing Nut Brown Ale, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Clone

Working on: Max's Maibock


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
There are a lot of instructions... it's an easy miss! In fact, I should probably move all of the 'tuning/setup' things to a separate article at the end called something more obvious like "first time setup" or something.

Kal


+1 on this idea Smile
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studio1




Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 1



PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kal for the tip on checking the HLT output coil temp to check it matches the HLT temp and therefore adjust the flow rate if necessary. I have a connection for my thermapen which makes this a breeze - also perfect for calibrating sensors and keeping a close eye on chilller output temps. Pic attached.

Edit> can't seem to get the pic up - but its an inline adapter for the thermapen which consists of a 3 way tee with a male and female disconnect on either end and a mounting port for the thermapen on the side.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 11037
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's inline adapters for Thermapens? I didn't know that. Got a link? Can't seem to find anything.

EDIT: I've attached the picture you sent me.

To quote you:

Chris at http://banksbrewing.blogspot.co.nz/ came up with the idea and created it for me - pretty simple really - though a touch of welding involved. There are a couple of O rings under the nut.



Kal



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Last edited by kal on Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:04 pm; edited 2 times in total
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jbsengineer




Joined: 19 Jan 2012
Posts: 49



PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
There's inline adapters for Thermapens? I didn't know that. Got a link? Can't seem to find anything.

EDIT: I've attached the picture you sent me.

To quote you:

Chris at http://banksbrewing.blogspot.co.nz/ came up with the idea and created it for me - pretty simple really - though a touch of welding involved. There are a couple of O rings under the nut.



Kal



Any directions on how to build one? I wasn't able to locate it on his blog.

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 11037
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I'd be interested too. Assuming your Thermapen is accurate (pretty much a given), it's then an easy way to calibrate the RTD probes without having to remove them. I'm due... it's been 2 years since I checked mine.

Kal

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Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
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My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0


Last edited by kal on Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:05 pm; edited 2 times in total
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jbsengineer




Joined: 19 Jan 2012
Posts: 49



PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Actually I'd be interested too. Assuming your Thermapen is accurate (pretty much a given), it's then an easy way to calibrate the RTD probes without having to remove them. I'm due... it's been 2 years since I checked mine.

Kal


Exactly what I was thinking!

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perogi




Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 850
Location: NH

Drinking: Perogi Pale, NEIPA, Nutter's Crossing Nut Brown Ale, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Clone

Working on: Max's Maibock


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbsengineer wrote:
kal wrote:
Actually I'd be interested too. Assuming your Thermapen is accurate, it's then an easy way to calibrate the RTD probes without having to remove them. I'm due... it's been 2 years since I checked mine.

Kal


Exactly what I was thinking!


Ditto!
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jbsengineer




Joined: 19 Jan 2012
Posts: 49



PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to email Chris and see if he would be interested in making a few of them for those that are interested.
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Banks Brewing Hardware




Joined: 09 Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Location: New Zealand


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys

Thanks Josh for your email!

I have found the Electric Brewery site a great source of inspriration - just discovered there was a forum!

I am running a brewing hardware business in New Zealand and making more of these would be no issue if required.

The majority of the Thermapen tee is very simple (Tee,Male Q/D,Female Q/D)and probably DIY'able the only part I found tricky was to find was a compression fitting to suit the Thermapen probe - in the end I fabricated one from scratch.

Open to any thoughts or questions people have.

Cheers
Chris[/img]



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