Author Topic: Kettle Mashing Question  (Read 7115 times)

Offline smkranz

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Re: Kettle Mashing Question
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2012, 09:32:42 PM »
With my Blichmann gear (15 and 20-gal kettles and false bottoms), it took me a good 6-8-10 batches (I'm a slow learner!) before I figgered out what others here recommend, i.e. use a constant and fairly healthy flow rate, and constant but very low heat.  Blichmann button-louvered false bottoms seem to take a good bit of flow without getting stuck.

I was constantly messing with the pump flow, thinking slower was better, and actually created stuck sparges because (I theorize) if there is heat underneath the FB but little to no wort movement, that wort will boil, bubble up, let grain under the FB, and air/grain will get trapped in the pump.  When you see the pump sputtering and seizing with trapped air and grain (as I have through numerous frustrating batches), it leads to a stressful afternoon debating whether you need to get all that mash out of there and start over...ugh.

Now, I mash in a little low, turn on the pump, stir thoroughly at the beginning while the mash temp is rising, and then leave it alone.  Make sure there are a couple inches of wort above the grain bed during constant recirc.  Very low flame on a Blichmann burner.  My return is a silicone tube that rests just below the liquid surface with the help of a couple of floats (from the Blichmann Autosparge without the Auto  ::) ).  When I make temp adjustments, I also tend to open the pump a scooch as well just to bump up the flow rate across the heat source.  The hotter wort comes from underneath the false bottom and is deposited onto the top of the mash.  It takes a little time to make its way through the bed, and then I back off the burner (or shut it off) when I'm actually a few degrees short of target...the heat at the top will make its way through the bed to even out.  I would rather under-shoot and come up gradually.  If it starts to drop a degree or two, turn the heat back on, but leave the pump run continuously.

A pair of Blichmann control modules on a Tower of Power is a couple of Christmases away, it seems.  Until then, I think I've got my stuff dialed in fairly well.
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Offline dcbc

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Re: Kettle Mashing Question
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2012, 08:45:38 AM »
What size of tubing are you using for recirculating?  3/8" , 1/2" ?   

When I was using a cooler for my mashtun, I was using 3/8" tubing... When I switched to using Blichmann's I had to go to 1/2" tubing to get a better flow rate coming out of the kettle, which meant the pump wasn't having problems...

I use 1/2" high-temp silicone for my RIMS.

That's what I'm using as well. 


A pair of Blichmann control modules on a Tower of Power is a couple of Christmases away, it seems.  Until then, I think I've got my stuff dialed in fairly well.

These are among my favorite purchases.  They do a fantastic job.  I'm running the modules without the tower, flow meter, pump mount, etc.  I already had my pump mounted and, the flow meter with auto shutoff, while nice, wasn't worth the extra $500 to me.  I mounted mine on an articulating CRT TV wall mount that is bolted to my stand.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 08:50:02 AM by dcbc »
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Kettle Mashing Question
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2012, 10:28:46 AM »
With my Blichmann gear (15 and 20-gal kettles and false bottoms), it took me a good 6-8-10 batches (I'm a slow learner!) before I figgered out what others here recommend, i.e. use a constant and fairly healthy flow rate, and constant but very low heat.  Blichmann button-louvered false bottoms seem to take a good bit of flow without getting stuck.

+1

I also went through several batches before I started to gain some confidence with my Blichmann equipment. Steady flow and low heat are recommended. I have to say that once you master this process, it allows one to manipulate the mash much easier and it's so much fun and easy to use.
Ron Price

Offline dean_palmer

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Re: Kettle Mashing Question
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2012, 11:00:54 AM »
1/2" ID silicone for everything. If you are using a March pump you should be using at least the ID of the pump inlet, and that's 1/2".

Offline bluesman

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Kettle Mashing Question
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2012, 09:28:33 PM »
+1

This will allow for less restriction and overall better flow through the pumps and hoses.
Ron Price

Offline ckpash88

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Kettle Mashing Question
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2012, 02:00:11 PM »
Well I took my first reading of the batch made on the new equipment the OG was 1.076 and the final was 1.034 should have been 1.012-1.018. So I missed my target I think I was on the hot side. I sampled it and it was a little thick but tasty.


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Offline oly

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Re: Kettle Mashing Question
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2013, 08:14:16 PM »
Reviving an old thread here, didn't see this particular question so here goes.

I wish to direct-fire kettle mash a wit (50% unmalted wheat, 50% pale malt) while recirculating with march pump. I have two choices for kettle: a polarware with false bottom, or a smaller kettle that has only a bazooka screen.

I gather from the posts above that false bottom works for this (does not get clogged).  I'd prefer to instead use the small kettle with bazooka screen (and keep the bigger one for my boil). Does anyone here have experience recirculating kettle mash using only bazooka screen? Will it clog?

Offline a witty man

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Kettle Mashing Question
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2013, 04:54:03 AM »
Reviving an old thread here, didn't see this particular question so here goes.

I wish to direct-fire kettle mash a wit (50% unmalted wheat, 50% pale malt) while recirculating with march pump. I have two choices for kettle: a polarware with false bottom, or a smaller kettle that has only a bazooka screen.

I gather from the posts above that false bottom works for this (does not get clogged).  I'd prefer to instead use the small kettle with bazooka screen (and keep the bigger one for my boil). Does anyone here have experience recirculating kettle mash using only bazooka screen? Will it clog?
I think direct firing with a bazooka tube is a bad idea. With a false bottom you have the flame heating liquid, with a bazooka tube I think you'd have a greater chance of scorching the grain that is sitting on the bottom of the   kettle.

I'd go with the polarware, and definitely throw some rice hulls in this one. All that wheat will get real gummy.

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Offline oly

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Re: Kettle Mashing Question
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2013, 05:40:34 PM »
Good point, hadn't thought about that. I guess it's the polarware. thanks.