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Messages - boozebag

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Equipment and Software / Re: Installing valve on Blichmann kettle
« on: July 03, 2014, 06:58:06 PM »
Cool, thanks Jeff.  Although the tools required are pricey!  Maybe I'll ask around a couple clubs if anyone already has a similar set.  Good luck with the electric brewery, I love that set-up.


Equipment and Software / Installing valve on Blichmann kettle
« on: June 29, 2014, 03:43:08 PM »
Hello all,

I have been contemplating installing a second valve on my Blichmann boil kettle for a while now with the goal of having the capability to recirculate with my pump during the chill and create a whirlpool inside the kettle prior to running off into the fermenters.  Has this been discussed previously?  Or does anyone have experience with doing this or advice on whether or not this is a good idea, or what height would be optimal, etc.?



All Grain Brewing / stuck mash on Blichmann Top Tier system
« on: August 25, 2013, 05:17:30 PM »
I have a question that may be somewhat specific to my equipment, but will start polling a larger audience here first...

I have a Top Tier system and have been using it for over a year, I love it with one exception: I get stuck mashes nearly every time I use my March pump (model 815PL).  I can't be the only one experiencing this with the popularity of this system, so I hope someone can help!  Here is my mash system:

20 gal Blichmann kettle with false bottom/screen (also from Blichmann)
Auto-sparge arm
Out valve is the 90 degree elbow as it came from the factory (I have no filter or tubing attached in the tun)

I have had no issues whatsoever with runoff and recirculating by hand with a Pyrex container, but that's not why I got this system, I want the ability to have a RIMS: re-circ with the pump with heat on for mash out and step mashing.  I have tried modifying my malt crush (husks remain intact after my crush), I also tried conditioning the malt with some water, and also have tried adding a generous amount of rice hulls.  I do not use a lot of adjuncts like oats or wheat.  I get stuck mashes with any style, including straightforward pale ales that only occupy 1/2 of the mash tun volume. 

After much tinkering with every aspect I can think of, I think it is related to the strength of the pull from the pump.  It will routinely create a vacuum effect and drop the fluid level in my sight glass (indicating negative pressure below the grain bed, then it gets compacted, then stuck.  I tried manipulating the flow with a valve on the out flow end of the pump, too: doesn't help.

Could it be the physics/mechanics of the way the wort is being pulled from the out valve in the kettle?  The only thing i have left to try is create a copper arm to place in the bed of the kettle to more evenly collect my wort at runoff.

Any insight is welcome!


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