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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:48 pm 
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Pint Glass

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:56 pm
Posts: 65
Question: I have been dialing in my efficiency, finally leveling out about 85% the last few brews. Today on the BrewMagic Facebook site, Bob waded in extolling using their recommended method with VERY coarse grind, a 'soak' before recirculation.

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Well men.. pull out those manuals. Here at SABCO we have to prove and follow our own suggestions. Of course you can stir your hearts out if you wish but you inflict a variable that we like to eliminate. Use a course crush (.050-.060) to allow easy flow of liquid through a bed that has not been pulverized into flour, then stirred into paste. This restricts correct flow and drops efficiency. Yes we stir... but only enough to remove dry spots and bubbles. Fill from the bottom at first to cover the false bottom. Add grain with water and stir briefly and very slowly as you go. Open valve 5 enough to gain best RIMS. Sparge very slowly and stop when you have enough in the mash to meet your pre-boil volume. Do it by the book and you'll get 85-92% or even better. We do all the time. Stirring is the opposite of RIMS and can add tannins and astringency. Plus, you can't do it the same way twice.


How many of you actually use this method with success?

I am happy to give this a go once again, but really NOT happy about waiting 15 minutes to start circulation, which by their definition is the start of the mashing cycle. Conversion happens so quickly - I prefer to flood the available starches with enzymes and getting things rolling as quickly as possible. Agree completely on sparge very slowly... that has helped quite a bit.

Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:42 pm 
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Pint Glass
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:26 pm
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Location: Stamford, CT
The manual says to wait 15 to 20 minutes before recirculating to settle the grains. I've always done this, but I must admit that I cheat a little. I preheat my water the night before in the HLT using one of these.

Image

It's plugged into a thermometer override, preset to +15ºF my mash temp. It never comes close, because the bucket heater isn't designed for temp above 150ºF. And in the morning I'm in the 130s usually and ready to mash in.

Image

My other variation is that I calculate my sparge water, and I use a sparge arm during the lautering phase.

But if you're getting great efficiency, why mess with it... ;)

-Hooch

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:47 pm 
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Pint Glass

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:56 pm
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Well, being a water chem freak... I carefully measure and manage strike and sparge seperately. So MLT is just above strike temp when I add the grist to the water, stirring along the way. That water is treated carefully with minerals and acid to achieve a target mash pH. Very anal about this...

If the system can achieve high efficiency with a large gap, that would eliminate another variable... However, I have been trained to crush to a good product, and not to a specific gap... 0.05 will pass a lot of whole kernels of two-row, where it might be a great setting for some fat Maris Otter Floor Malt.




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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:10 pm 
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Hydrometer Jar

Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:52 pm
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Its all about the crush..... coarse is key.

I find 10 mins is ok on settling though I am confident I could recirc pretty much immediately (slowly) though not tried it yet. After 10 mins I recirc at say 30% of max flow for 3 to 4 mins then crank up to 100% for the rest of the mash cycle with no issues.

Its imperative to max the recirc rate to capability of the pump for a few reasons, but most importantly to enhance temperature control response and to shorten the mashout time when raising from mash temp to 76 deg C.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:58 pm 
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Hydrometer Jar

Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:49 pm
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so do you start the timer for mash at the beginning of the settling part before recirc?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:22 pm 
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Pint Glass

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:56 pm
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I start the timer after the little rest graining in.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:02 am 
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Hydrometer Jar

Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:52 pm
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whamolagan wrote:
so do you start the timer for mash at the beginning of the settling part before recirc?



well i dont think that to mash a bit longer than an hour can do conversion any harm so I start it when I commence recirc...


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:52 pm 
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Hydrometer Jar

Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:49 pm
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Cool thanks, that was something my wife and I were wondering. We were getting some stratification in temps and the rest should take care of that. We ordered the bucket heater, so I can't wait to get that unit going.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:27 am 
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Hydrometer Jar

Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:52 pm
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whamolagan wrote:
Cool thanks, that was something my wife and I were wondering. We were getting some stratification in temps and the rest should take care of that. We ordered the bucket heater, so I can't wait to get that unit going.


yep... though I'm quite happy to weigh out grains and crush while I heat manually up to strike, but dont get me wrong I do like the idea. !


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:39 pm 
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Hydrometer Jar

Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:49 pm
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I have decided to dump this machine. Way too many headaches, and lame excuses from them.


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