To recirculate the mash or not?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Stephen P, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Stephen P

    Stephen P New Member

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    I just got a 16 gallon ss mash tun that I plan on using as direct fire mash tun. I thinking about adding a pump to recirculate the mash. Is it worth it?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    defiantly, your beer and brewing knowledge will improve after mastering recirculation, but its not plug it in and it works kind of thing, it takes some practice and a theirs quite a few things to know before getting it right
     
  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Can you expand a bit on that Ozarks pls.
    Has it got to do with where you draw your mash water from how fast your flow rate is how you deliver your wort back to your tun ect ect?
     
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  4. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I have a RIMS system and I recirculate the entire mash. I have been doing it for 6 years that way and I would never do it any other way. The flow rate will depend on the false bottom. The more surface area, the faster it can be recirculated. I use a March pump and recirculate at full volume, I'm guessing @ 1.5-2.5 gallons a minute. I have a Sabco mash tun, which is basically a converted keggle.

    I'm convinced it's makes better beer than a static mash. It has better, more complete conversions, there is very little temperature stratification and the beers turn out clearer. Some have said you will extract more tannins, but that's plain B.S.

    I'm not sure how you are going to control the mash temperature, but you will have to figure that out regardless of circulating or not.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    one thing to remember every set up is different so just because some person says do it this way doesn't mean it will work for you, you have to go about a trial and error for a few brews, and yes like above you have to base your recirculation speed on the grain bill and your false bottom, some grains are just plain sticky and will get stuck every time, for those I use rice hulls and it works great, also you want to keep the wort above the grain bed by at least 2 inches for best saturation

    issues but not very common that need to be looked at are grain blocking the path and all of the water collects on top then the grain is dry and gets scorched, so its best to have a site glass for seeing where the liquid level is and changing the speed based on that level

    the grain is channeling your wort through it instead of saturating and you get a poor efficiency, simple fix stop the heat and stop the pump and stir stir and stir

    you should always have a ball valve on the out of the kettle and on the out side of the pump and I have one on the in hose to my mash just for reverse siphoning which can happen when you turn everything off

    many things to learn to get it right, most are from stupid mistakes thinking its automatic but no you have to watch it and learn what not to do for a while, I'm to the point where i can leave and not worry about it but I'm very experienced and nobody should really mimic me right off the bat

    here's an old set up I had years ago but it shows the valves and the site glass, I just looped it over the top then, I don't now

    WP_20140623_002.jpg
     
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  6. Stephen P

    Stephen P New Member

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    I just ordered a pump. I will be setting it up next week. The mush tun has a false bottom that is about 2 inches above the bottom of the tun with a drain about 1 inch up from the bottom. I plan on notching the cover and running the hose in the top with a manifold sitting on top of the wort. I am planning on a simple single infusion mash to hopefully start to get a routine down.
     
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  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    @Ozarks Mountain Brew I see you have/had a plate chiller mounted to the side of that brew rig there mate what was your experiences with this? Do you still use plate chiller to chill wort or have moved on from there?

    Thanks I've been uming and ahing about weather it's worth going this recirculation route I wanna keep it simple;).
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    plate chillers are great if you have cold water running through the other ports, if not don't bother it equalizes from water temp to wart temp roughly 50%, also if you make hoppy beers forget it , it clogs, I don't use mine any more but recently was experimenting with a stainless filter before it like this

    WP_20170803_15_13_00_Pro.jpg
     
  9. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    I've been dreaming of upgrading to a HERMS system for a little while now , my electric urn would make a great hlt that I could still use for single batch pilot brews .

    Birthday is coming up so I'll keep dropping hints like " I want this one "
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    the most expensive part is probably the control panel but be prepared to lay down some cash and hire a guy that knows electricity to beef up your house wiring, its not as easy as you think if you use US electrical codes today, not sure about your AU codes but its a 30 amp dedicated circuit with all 10 gage outdoor wiring and twist plugs
     
  11. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Our mains supply here is 240 v 15 amp with 415 v 20 amp to run the AC , the single phase will run the hlt and pumps easily with mains natural gas for the kettle .
     
  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Bloody hell ozarks that is one wild looking contraption dont want too many homebrews under the belt at the helm:p. Well ill keep using me dodgy fiy copper imersion chiller wirh half hour chill times for now...
     
  13. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    and the brains of the operation

    WP_20161008_001.jpg

    WP_20150916_005.jpg
     
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  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    OMG :eek: what are we driving a rocket to space:p! Yep a lot of buttons and lights pretty cool OZ..i suppose keep it simple dont apply to that setup:).
     
  15. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you might say I like building things lol
     
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  16. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    The brains behind my operation are a little more ummm " organic " deeply flawed of course but it rarely lets me down despite the abuse brain.jpg
     
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