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Author Topic: Brew Easy  (Read 1328 times)

Offline PANDREWS

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Brew Easy
« on: January 31, 2019, 04:40:46 pm »
Anyone out there using a Blichmann Brew Easy system, especially one without a tower of power?  I have some questions about temperature control and efficiency.  Thanks.
"Knowing ignorance is strength; ignoring knowledge is sickness."    Lao Tzu

Offline smkranz

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Re: Brew Easy
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2019, 08:33:34 am »
My system is a 10 gallon (15 gallon mash tun on top of a 20 gallon kettle) BrewEasy gas system.  I already had the kettles, so I bought the adapter lid kit which has the tubing and fittings.  Been using it for about 5 years.  I currently have a Tower of Power to control the burner, but didn't for the first couple of years.

Efficiency is in the mid-60's.  I personally don't care about the number because the cost difference between 64 and 74% efficiency is peanuts with homebrew batch sizes as far as I'm concerned.  The bigger thing is predictability so that when I build a recipe in BeerSmith using the BrewEasy equipment profile, I can rely on those predictions.  And once you get the hang of how the BrewEasy works, then predictability is not a problem.

Temperature control just requires more hands-on attention than if you add a Tower of Power.  The only heat in the system is added to the kettle where about half the wort volume is.  After you mash in, and let the mash rest for the first 15 minutes, you open the valves, and turn on the pump.  During those 15 minutes, the mash temperature will drop a couple degrees, depending on the size and ambient temperature.  If you're anal about that, you could try fitting the mash tun with some insulation.  Just monitor the temperature of the wort in the kettle and keep it five or six degrees warmer than your target mash temperature.  Once you start recirculating, the mash temp will recover with new hotter wort making its way through the mash.  Once your mash starts receiving hotter wort from the kettle, you can also carefully stir it to help even out the temperature.  But I avoid stirring much past the depth of the thermometer, and I try to avoid stirring after about 20 minutes of recirculation.  During recirculation, you will still notice a 3-5ã‚œdifferential between the kettle (hotter) and mash.  Depending on your burner, you might be able to just keep it on as low as it will go without blowing out, but chances are you'll over-heat the wort which will over-heat the mash.  Mash temperature changes occur very gradually, but it's easier to go up than down.

One thing that helps with maintaining the mash temperature, is to maximize the rate of recirculation, while avoiding a stuck mash.  The BrewEasy comes with a set of flow control orifices which are basically rubber washers that fit inside the tube that comes out of the mash tun, which have different sized holes to let wort through.  They are marked for different flow rates (from .5 up to 2.0 gallons/minute) so that all you do is use the one you want, and open the valve fully so that the orifice controls the flow rate, not the valve.  The manual has recommended flow rates for different sized systems.  I'm using one size larger than the one recommended for my 10 gallon system (I think I'm using the 1.5 gal/min orifice), and I've not had a stuck mash.  If your crush is not too fine, the Blichmann false bottoms can take a pretty high flow rate.  So that's a little bit of trial and error, and having your own mill set to your own preferred gap.

Hope that helps.
Steve K.
BJCP Beer & Mead Certified
Midnight Homebrewers' League
http://www.midnighthomebrewers.org