Still ironing out my HERMS set up, tell me what you think!

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by KevinsKilt, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. KevinsKilt

    KevinsKilt New Member

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    Hello brewers!

    Let me know what you think about my mashing setup, and if it needs to be improved or can be. I am very open to suggestions.

    So i recently upgraded to a all grain gas HERMS, and I am using a continuous recirculating fly-sparge for my mash. I generally keep about 1-2 inches of mash "run off" above the grain bed and countinously recirculate. I made the mistake last time of not stirring the grains at the end to properly wash all the grains and get all the starches out, but other then that, I should be yielding high efficiency right? Also I would like to hear about how much water I should use to run over the mash the first run and second. What I did last time was only gathered about 7 gallons of wort (10 gallon set up with 16 gallon pots), and just added more water to recirculate/rinse the grains again until I got 10 gallons of wort. I feel like I lost about 4 gallons of water to the grains alone. Is there a way to better calculate how much water I need to have for mashing that much grain? I normally use the 1.5 qt/lb, but I think I am falling short. Can this be done all in one sweep?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    ok all I can say is how I brew, first off throw the exact water amounts out the door, you do not need to know it

    fill the hlt to as close to the top as possible and heat to around 165, when done fill the mash tun to the correct level and recirculate until the water is about 2 to 3 inches on top, now fill the hlt back up above the coils, it doesn't matter how much, the temperature should drop to your 152ish range, stir several times and check the ph, when correct cover and leave

    after the mash is correct and done set the ball valve to trickle into the boil kettle and raise the hlt to 170ish while setting the same trickle to the mash, dont worry about how much water you add to the hlt the more the better because you need to fill the boil kettle to the mark you need to start the boil, all other water can be discarded in the mash tun and the hlt, if you really want to you can save whats left in the mash tun to add to starters for the future, I hope this helps
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    #3 Ozarks Mountain Brew, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
    watch this
     
  4. KevinsKilt

    KevinsKilt New Member

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    Yeah, it gives me some insight. I normally empty the mash water into the boil kettle, it normally yielded about 7 gallons of wort. Then I ran the water through the mash again, to grab whatever extra fermentables I could and add that to the boil kettle. So in this case it would be about an additional 3 gallons of water through the mash, and then into the boil kettle, so I would have a total of 10 gallons of wort. When I did this it seemed as if I watered down the wort and it provided me with a lower SG if that makes sense.

    I would assume that if I used 12 gallons of water in my mash, and I got 10 gallons into the wort that it would be a better pay off, and I would be getting a more accurate SG from the mash/boil kettle without adding water. I just don't know if all 30 pounds of grain with 12 gallons of water would fit into a 16 gallon pot.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you only target is your preboil amount in the kettle that should be defined by your boil off rate, say your starting boil is 8 gallons then you stop it no matter how much is left
     
  6. KevinsKilt

    KevinsKilt New Member

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    Great video, I see exactly what you are talking about. I need to get my flow rates down and not worry as much for the water amounts. Thanks a lot for the video
     
  7. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    There's an Infusion Mash Calculator on this site that I plan on using for my first All Grain brew this weekend. To me, the key in water calculations is knowing your Boil off rate so you can hit your target volume from the boil kettle. I plan on using the calculator to determine my initial strike water, then after first runnings I will know how much wort is in my Boil Kettle, and thus how much more I need to get to my target Boil volume. The remaining sparge water will be run until I fill my boil kettle to target preboil volume.
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    after a couple of brews its best to do a real world test a couple of times to get your losses figured out, you can play with your profile settings and when done every recipe will calculate the correct water if needed in the quick water report
     
  9. KevinsKilt

    KevinsKilt New Member

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    I have an amber London ESB that I am going to brew here in a few weeks. I think I figured out where I can improve and hopefully this one will turn out great!
     
  10. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    To fully understand how your rig works for you the best way to learn it is by repeating recipes. Brew your pale ale at least a couple more times in a row so if something is different it is easier to find what went right or wrong. This advice helped me step up from making beer to making very good beer in short order. Water volumes will be easier to understand and correct if the anticipated end result stays the same.
     
  11. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Single vessel brewing seems quite a lot easier ! lift and drain my bag while running the heat for a boil ...i can even get a few cheeky beers in while i do it
    I ran a test run with just water to learn my boil off rates and deadspace and used default grain absorption losses and managed to hit all my numbers first time out .
    Granted i had been brewing a little while so already had some experience with the calculations
    You'll get it all dialed in Kevin , running same brew a few times isn't bad advice but can get monotonous
     
  12. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    In the beginning, I brewed a pale ale kit over and over again because I really liked it. I also brewed other kits occasionally, and recipes from Charlie P.'s book. If you really want to get into the intricacies of brewing, it'd be good to see what little changes do. Or to try for consistency across multiple batches. I'm much more of a casual brewer. I use a simple process that works for me. I may never win any awards, but I like what I brew and my friends do, too!
     
  13. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Nothing wrong with simple Jeff , Awards don't matter much either .
    I will be entering more comps but more for unbiased and educated advice on how to further improve my brews but the gains now will be incremental
     
  14. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    To be clear, in 20+ years of brewing, I've never entered a beer into any competition. ;)
     
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  15. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Well how about that but now I think about it I've been making tea and coffee for a long time and never entered that into a comp either:).
     
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