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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: marcopolo on June 11, 2011, 01:04:37 AM

Title: direct fire mash tun
Post by: marcopolo on June 11, 2011, 01:04:37 AM
Has anyone had success doing step mashes using a direct fire mash tun WITHOUT using a pump for recirculation.  I understand the danger of scorching, but I was wondering if there is a low tech method (stirring, manual recirculation etc...) that may be used to do direct fire step mashing.  I just built a keggle with a false bottom, but I don't want to do a HERMS/RIMS system, so I'm thinking about options....Thanks !
Title: Re: direct fire mash tun
Post by: andrew on June 11, 2011, 02:37:03 AM
I have a direct fire mash tun, and I just recirculate manually. Some people put a plate on top of the grain bed to not disturb the mash or cut channels.   
Title: Re: direct fire mash tun
Post by: Kirk on June 11, 2011, 03:37:26 AM
I have a direct fire mash tun, and I just recirculate manually. Some people put a plate on top of the grain bed to not disturb the mash or cut channels.   
That sounds like it would work.  I just tried using a pump and it compacted the grain bed, cavitated the pump action, and pulled fine grain residue through the false bottom.  Not a good thing.

I have had good success just stirring, but I mash on the thin side.
Title: Re: direct fire mash tun
Post by: tschmidlin on June 11, 2011, 06:36:50 AM
I do some combination of manual recirc and infusion with boiling water.  Sometimes it's all of one or the other, sometimes it is some of each.
Title: Re: direct fire mash tun
Post by: andrew on June 11, 2011, 12:18:09 PM
I do some combination of manual recirc and infusion with boiling water.  Sometimes it's all of one or the other, sometimes it is some of each.

Guess I should have said that too... I do a combo of both as well.
Title: Re: direct fire mash tun
Post by: narcout on June 11, 2011, 11:54:24 PM
Has anyone had success doing step mashes using a direct fire mash tun WITHOUT using a pump for recirculation.

I've done it a couple of times; it worked fine, but I stirred constantly (I don't utilize a false bottom).
Title: Re: direct fire mash tun
Post by: MDixon on June 12, 2011, 02:57:32 PM
It's what I do, stir anytime you are adding heat and then a few minutes after you turn off the heat. Works great for me.
Title: Re: direct fire mash tun
Post by: dbeechum on June 12, 2011, 04:31:13 PM
It's what I do, stir anytime you are adding head...

Mike, are you sure you're on the right forum? :o
Title: Re: direct fire mash tun
Post by: MDixon on June 12, 2011, 09:02:41 PM
Woops. Edited for your protection ;)
Title: Re: direct fire mash tun
Post by: gsandel on June 13, 2011, 03:12:04 AM
before I went to a herms system, I ran a RIMS with direct firing of the mash tun....I was never satisfied with the results.  I had temp gauges on the outlet and at the top of the mash, but could never get the two to diverge at a set temp....I would wildly overshoot.  I would suggest decoction for more control (like adding boiling water, but instead boiling some of the mash).
Title: Re: direct fire mash tun
Post by: darren on June 24, 2011, 12:49:21 AM
I've always direct fired and just stirred.  It works great and gives me a huge amount of flexibility--if I miss my temp targets, I just heat for a minute or two.  Very little heat loss from the kettle.  Since I'm an old school guy who still likes to fool around with step mashes, decoctions, thin mashes, thick mashes, etc., mashing in a kettle is the best possible solution for me.