Return to TheElectricBrewery.com
  [ Shop ]   [ Building ]   [ Using ]   [ Recipes ]   [ Testimonials ]   [ Gallery ]   [ FAQ ]   [ About Us ]   [ Contact Us ]   [ Newsletter ]

Log inLog in   RegisterRegister   User Control PanelUser Control Panel   Private MessagesPrivate Messages   MembershipClub Memberships   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   Photo AlbumsPhoto Albums   Forum FAQForum FAQ

Need help figuring out MLT temp. issues, please.

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic   Printer-friendly view    TheElectricBrewery.com Forum Index -> Brewing Equipment and Setups
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
deprecated




Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 4



PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:53 pm    Post subject: Need help figuring out MLT temp. issues, please. Reply with quote


        Register to remove this ad. It's free!
I'm having a terrible time maintaining mash temperatures where I would like them to be. Mashing with PID set to 153, the majority of my mash sits at 145 except for area immediately around HERMs return.

My setup:

Approx. 32G kettles (19.5" diameter by 26" H)
- HLT is setup identical to Kal's guide but does use center/bottom drain.
- MLT:
False bottom is made from SS - 0.06" Thick / 0.09375" dia. holes / 0.15625" stagger.
I do have 3G of deadspace below false bottom and uses a center/bottom drain.
The return from HLT HERMs coil passes through an analog temp. gauge (outside HLT wall)
which is attached to street elbow (inside HLT wall) then silicone return hose inside MLT.
- Using 2 809 pumps.

Things I've noticed:
- PID temperature always matches analog temp. gauge on MLT return.
- Wort temperature coming out of silicone hose in MLT is within a degree of PID and
analog gauge, as would be expected.
- Grain bed seems to compact often and slow down recirculation quite a bit.
- With 32 lbs grain (2-Row, Crystal, Munich) and a few handfuls of rice hulls this still occurs.
Frequent stirring does help.

I'm guessing at this point....
Maybe I'm losing too much temperature through 3G of deadspace?
Perhaps I need to more evening distribute wort back into MLT (rather than just return hose as in guide)?

Any ideas???
Back to top
skelley




Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 210
Location: brookfield, wisconsin


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you know the temperature of the mash?

If you have to slow ciruclation you most likely have a partially stuck mash maybe even with some channelling. I had a lot of trouble with this until I fixed my grind. Take a look at the ground grain and make sure husks are largely intact and that you don't have a bunch of flower. I think the grind is the single most important piece of this set up.

Not sure if this helps?
Back to top
deprecated




Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 4



PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How do you know the temperature of the mash?


I used 2 different digital thermometers and sampled in different spots. On average 7 degrees off from my PID setting and intended mash temp.

Local homebrew shop crushes the grain as I don't have a mill but there isn't much flour in there. They've been in business since 1984 and I'd be surprised if they weren't crushing it as good as a person could.

One thing I left out is that I am averaging 73-75% efficiency which has caused me to wonder about channeling and if I shouldn't find a way to more evening return the wort into the MLT. My efficiency is consistent which is great but I've always thought that to be low for HERMs.

Another thought was maybe to let the grain bed settle for 10-15 minutes before starting recirculation through the HERMs.

I appreciate the suggestions. If nothing else you've reminded me that I'd like to get a mill and be in control of the crushed grain variable Smile
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator



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 Oct 11, 2013 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you pumping with the pumps 100% open?

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
kal
Forum Administrator



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 Oct 11, 2013 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deprecated wrote:
Local homebrew shop crushes the grain as I don't have a mill but there isn't much flour in there. They've been in business since 1984 and I'd be surprised if they weren't crushing it as good as a person could.

It's not about how 'good', it's that they're probably crushing a lot finer since most of their clients do batch sparging and crushing stuff a lot finer gives them better efficiency but does the OPPOSITE for recirculating fly sparging setups like this one as it impedes flow.

You need to crush a lot rougher probably, in the 0.040" to - 0.060" range or so (see the grain mill instructions or the Brew Day Step by Step instructions).

Your false bottom could be causing issues. Not seeing it or using it, it's hard to tell.

Quote:
Another thought was maybe to let the grain bed settle for 10-15 minutes before starting recirculation through the HERMs.

No, I don't see how that has any benefit. I dump the grain in, add any salts, stir for ~5 mins so that I can take an accurate pH reading and then open up the pump 100% right away. If you don't use salts, you could just dump in and not even bother stirring and open the pump to 100% as it'll self mix. Doughballs aren't really possible with recirculating systems.

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
deprecated




Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 4



PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked

Ok, I didn't even think about benefits of mill settings being different between batch and fly sparging...

Thank you both (Kal and Skelley) for pointing this out. Sounds like Skelley was spot on but sometimes I have to have things spelled out like you did, Kal.

Guess I do have a grain mill in my future Mug
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator



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 Oct 11, 2013 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give this article a read:

http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/grain-mill

Good luck!

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
g8tors




Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 211



PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things I have learned over that past year of using my system:
1. Like everyone else has said, a coarser grind on the grain is better
2. Slowly increase the recirculating mash flow over a few minutes . I have chugger pumps and usually open the valve no more the 75%. My temp rise times are right on with kals.
3. Do not let the water level fall below the grain bed. This compacts the grain bed and will lower your efficiency.

Scott
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic   Printer-friendly view    TheElectricBrewery.com Forum Index -> Brewing Equipment and Setups All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Support our site by purchasing through this link. We thank you!

Forum powered by phpBB © phpBB Group