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Recirculating in the mash tun! For my home brewing mash tun I use a Blichmann 20 Gallon Boiler Maker Brew Kettle with the Blichmann false bottom. I use a home brewing march pump that then recirculates my wort through a digital RIMS unit that I made which maintain the mash temp for me. Since I am brewing in a stainless steel kettle and not an insulated cooler, I need to regulate the mash temperature. During the 60 minute mash process I constantly have the wort circulating which helps clear it as well as boosts efficiency by circulating the hot wort (typically at 151F ) over the grain bed. I use the MoreBeer Ultimate Sparge Arm for my wort recirculation . Is is the best sparge arm that I have ever used and never jams up!
Filling the mash tun with the grains and hot water for the coffee milk stout. I mashed this batch at 154 degrees. Can use a blichmann 20 gallon mash tun with a blichmann false bottom. I used the more beer ultimate sparge arm and I’m constantly recirculating with a rims heating element to maintain my Mash temp.
Recently I had the pleasure of brewing up a batch of beer on one of my friends home brewing setups. It is always nice to get another home brewers perspective on home brewing. I find that I learn a lot about the home brewing craft from examining other home brewers methods and practices. Even better, both of us use similar home brewing hardware and like similar styles of home brew.
One of the biggest differences in our home brewing systems and our beer brewing practices is when it comes to the mash. Where I have made my mashing process complicated (possibly over complicated) over time, doing my best to make sure my mash is at a specific temperature for the entire 60 minutes, he sets his mash temp, closes the lid and does not attempt to correct for any temperature loss over time. By the time his mash has completed, the temperature in his tun has only dropped by approximately 6 to 8 degrees F.
My concern with a drop in mash temp would be that perhaps the finished beer would come out too dry or thin due to the lower average mash temp, the starches would only be converted to very simple sugars. Yet after sampling several of his beers, that did not turn out to be the case. I sampled 4 of his beers that day, varying from stouts to IPA’s and all of them were fantastic. I would not describe any of his beers as too thin or too dry.
The image above is of my Blichmann BrewMomerter. I hi-lighted the segment that pertains to the mash conversion. As all grain home brewers, for the most part we mash at between 150-152 F to get a well rounded mash conversion. When I asked my friend if he was concerned with the temp dropping, he said that he felt that most of the starch conversion was occurring early in the mash process while his temperature was on target and that he had never noticed a degradation in the quality of his finished beer since he started conducting his mash in this manner. I am inclined to agree with him based on the high quality beer that he produces.
I think that sometimes as home brewers, out of our desire to brew “perfect” beer, sometimes we go too far and over complicate things (or at least I do). I am not saying to ignore your mash temperature or to only mash for 10 minutes. My point is more that modern varieties of beer have been produced for over 600 years, well before yeast was even discovered in 1857. Considering that our ancestors created beer without having the benefit of such instruments as a BrewMometer, perhaps there can be some flexibility when it comes to brewing.
One of the home brewing items that he possesses that I am pretty envious of is a large sized stainless steel hop spider. When I say large sized, I mean large sized, this thing is giant as you can see from the animated image. The photos were taken during the whirlpool process after the boil had completed. I have been trying to get a hop filtering system to work out on my home brew system for the last few batches without a great deal of success. I have been trying to overcome some challenges with clogging issues in my hop filter and he shared some great advice with me. He said that in order for a hop filter to work properly and to get similar hop utilization compared to not using one, you need to have a hop filter that is at least half the diameter of your home brewing kettle. The size of the filter made a dramatic difference. I could see the wort moving around inside of his filter and he had hardly any clogging issues.
Recirculating the Mash tun and bringing it up to the right temperature for appropriate starch conversion. This is a Dark Mexican Lager and I set the RIMS system to mash the grains at 152 F. This is a 5 gallon batch. The sweet wort is drained from the bottom of the mash tun as it passes through a stainless steel false bottom. The wort is then pumped into an electric stainless steel heating tube with a sight glass. At the end of the heating tube I have a thermowell and a probe that leads back to a Ranco digital temperature controller. The temperature controller reads the passing worts temperature and activates the stainless steel heating bar inside the heating tube when the wort falls below the desired mash temperature. After the wort passes the thermowell it is pumped back into the kettle via a stainless steel sparge arm.
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Limited Time Sale Coupon For Homebrew Supply
Promo Code for the Month of September 2016
Homebrew Promo Code Date: 9-25-2016
Coupon Details: Dual Stage Digital Temperature Controller for $37
Homebrewing Supply Coupon Code: TWENTY
Product User Rating: 5/5
Availability: In Stock
Coupon Description: Homebrew Supply has a deal of that day promotion going on for home brewers. Today only you can Get a Homebrewing Dual Stage Digital Temperature Controller for just $37. That saves you $10 off the regular price. This is a dual relay, programmable outlet thermostat. In fact it can auto execute to control 6 times with different temperatures based on its timer function. This digital home brewing temperature controller is mainly used to control temperature during the fermentation process of beer brewing but it can also be used in home brewing mash temperature regulation. This homebrewing thermostat is plug and play and supports dual relay. This home brew digital temp controller is equipped with a dual LED display and offers display options for both Centigrade and Fahrenheit. With large output power 1,200W (110V) /2,200W (220V), it’s suitable for most applications. ITC-310T is designed with compressor delay protection for refrigeration, high and low temperature alarm, and sensor fault alarm, which makes the temperature controller more safe and reliable. Functions such as temperature calibration, separately set differential for refrigeration and heating, enable more accurate temperature control.
Homebrew Supply Promo Code found at: https://www.homebrewingcoupon.com