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Experience with steam jacketed mash tun or mash in kettle systems

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  • dick murton
    replied
    fair enough. Just thought I would ask if different temperatures are really required.

    its just that some people get hung up about the necessity to use step temperature mashes when they are using perfectly good malt for 100 % of the grist - often because they want to brew a lager, and think single temperature mashes can only be used for ales.

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  • pbraul
    replied
    Dick, we're not doing decoctions but step mashes. Our flagship beer consists of 40% raw unmalted wheat, which requires a step mash to achieve good efficiency.

    Originally posted by dick murton View Post
    The real question has to be - why do you want to have the faff of using decoction mashes in the first place?

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  • dick murton
    replied
    The real question has to be - why do you want to have the faff of using decoction mashes in the first place?

    Leave a comment:


  • pbraul
    replied
    We are looking for a new brewhouse and the folks at Prospero are recommending step mashes in their MLT with the rakes on and vorlaufing continually. They say they have run tests and found that there is less than 1 degree temp difference throughout the mash with this system. Have any of you had any attempts at anything like this? I'm nervous to omit the paddle in the kettle, just in case I find step mashing in the MLT ineffective, but they have assured me it is now tested and proven, and they are discouraging customers from installing paddles in their kettles for this reason.

    Originally posted by Hoodbridge Brew View Post
    That was our idea. Run off as in a normal vorlauf, back onto the top of the grain bed through the sparge ring, slowly recirculating till you hit the target temp. Other than additional oxygen pickup, which would be my main concern, there's no scorching risk because the temp in the MLT never exceeds the mash temp. It's a pretty typical homebrewing technique, which we use on our pilot system, but wanted to see what folks thought about it at scale.

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  • Ajchocholousek
    replied
    Originally posted by Brewstin View Post
    That's Awesome! What a slick schedule! Are you over at Bent Paddle? I almost applied for a head brewing position over there...
    I was actually at Canal Park Brewery when I posted this. Haha, moved a couple times since then. Castle Danger for a while and now currently brewing at Fitger's Brewhouse. Bent Paddle has about the same DME system as Canal Park, though, in 30bbl (CPB is 15).

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  • Brewstin
    replied
    Originally posted by Ajchocholousek View Post
    Just wanted to chime in again and say we do, in fact, do decoctions right in our mash mixer. Like I said above, we pump roughly 2/3 of the mash in to our lauter tun and bring the remaining 1/3 up to boiling via our two steam jackets in the mash mixer. We then pump that portion to the lauter tun to join the rest and bring up our temp. We haven't done a double decoction, but I don't see why we couldn't then just grab another portion from the lauter tun and send it back to the mash tun to be boiled.

    Probably should be noted that we have a very strong boiler and pretty great plumbing between our mash mixer and lauter tun. We also have paddles in our mash mixer. (hence "mixer")

    Just $.02

    Cheers
    That's Awesome! What a slick schedule! Are you over at Bent Paddle? I almost applied for a head brewing position over there...

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  • Hoodbridge Brew
    replied
    Originally posted by dick murton View Post
    transfer from the MLT runoff to the distribution system above the grain bed. I've never tried this, but.......
    That was our idea. Run off as in a normal vorlauf, back onto the top of the grain bed through the sparge ring, slowly recirculating till you hit the target temp. Other than additional oxygen pickup, which would be my main concern, there's no scorching risk because the temp in the MLT never exceeds the mash temp. It's a pretty typical homebrewing technique, which we use on our pilot system, but wanted to see what folks thought about it at scale.

    Leave a comment:


  • dick murton
    replied
    The problem with type of setup is that only the wort running down the surfaces of the heating jacket panels of the MLT is heated, and this will run at very slow flow rate, with poor heat transfer, and the possibility of burning on. The lauter rakes if you have any shouldn't help, as if correctly designed they cut the grain bed and don't mix.

    Whilst not impossible, I would never try a rising temperature infusion mash with this setup - you need proper mixers, in a separate vessel with heating, and a proper, separate lauter tun, with rakes to compensate for having knocked all the air out of the grain whilst mixing and heating. More efficient heat transfer, more consistent temperature throughout the mash, and less risk of oxygen pickup during the extended wort recirculation.

    If I had to use this system, I would consider in-line heating the wort (with a PHE) on transfer from the MLT runoff to the distribution system above the grain bed. I've never tried this, but.......

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  • Hoodbridge Brew
    replied
    We're ordering a steam heated 20 bbl mash lauter tun, and wondered similar to the OP, how best to do step mashes in the MLT without having to use a mixer. The rakes don't "mix" the mash and we don't want to beat up the malt, so we were debating vorlaufing during the temp step up to evenly, and gently, heat the entire mash while we raised the temp on the tun. Thoughts?

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  • VABrewDude
    replied
    Thank you all for your input. Doesn't seem to be a clear preference for one or the other, but it does ease my mind to know that both will work. Cheers!

    Leave a comment:


  • gitchegumee
    replied
    Typical German setup....

    I like the three vessel systems of Germany. They are efficient, compact and flexible. Heated mash mixer/kettle, Lauter, Whirlpool. Besides the HLT, you only heat the one brewhouse vessel. If you pipe them correctly, you can do just about any mashing regime imaginable. Personally, I like intensive mashing schedules to get the most out of my raw materials. I haven't seen a "fold-up" option, but it doesn't sound bulletproof. Jacketed mash tun? Not really a fan of rakes/plows/paddles in my lauter tun. Little return for the hassle of cleaning them and around them. Let alone the price premium. The three vessel system is ideal if you don't have a manic schedule of brewing 3 times a day. Best of luck!

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  • Ajchocholousek
    replied
    Originally posted by mmussen View Post
    If the mash tun is heated you can't do a decoction or cereal mash, just step mashes.
    Just wanted to chime in again and say we do, in fact, do decoctions right in our mash mixer. Like I said above, we pump roughly 2/3 of the mash in to our lauter tun and bring the remaining 1/3 up to boiling via our two steam jackets in the mash mixer. We then pump that portion to the lauter tun to join the rest and bring up our temp. We haven't done a double decoction, but I don't see why we couldn't then just grab another portion from the lauter tun and send it back to the mash tun to be boiled.

    Probably should be noted that we have a very strong boiler and pretty great plumbing between our mash mixer and lauter tun. We also have paddles in our mash mixer. (hence "mixer")

    Just $.02

    Cheers

    Leave a comment:


  • mmussen
    replied
    Just based on what you'd said I'd go for the kettle with the mixer. If you're heating a mash it needs to mixed very very well for even heating. And you don't want to be doing that by hand. Plus, having a separate tank to heat the mash in allows you to do more things with your mash regime. If the mash tun is heated you can't do a decoction or cereal mash, just step mashes. I don't know what you'd like to do in the long run, but more options are always better in my mind.
    Plus the mixer in the kettle may allow for a very quick stir to get the whirlpool up to speed.

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  • Ajchocholousek
    replied
    Hello! I'm fairly new to the pro-brewing world, so I haven't brewed on a large variety of systems, but currently I'm on a 15 bbl DME with a two-zone steam-jacketed mash mixer, and we love it. We do step mashes on nearly all of our beers, and the steam is quite efficient and quick for heating it up. It really allows us to use some different grains (partially, or unmodified), and brew styles that we would have trouble really nailing down with single infusion.

    We also do decoctions on a few lagers, and we can perform the decoction right in the mash tun. Our lauter tun is insulated, so we pump over about 2/3 of the mash and boil the remaining 1/3 (ish) in the mash mixer. This fairly consistently gets us up to our decoction temperature, and we don't even need to bother with different plumbing or getting crafty to get that mash into the kettle.

    Basically the heated mash tun is the shit. I would/will try to have one in any future brewery where I were a part of the design process.

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  • Experience with steam jacketed mash tun or mash in kettle systems

    Greetings good people of probrewer! I am seeking some advice from those with experience using either a steam jacketed mash tun or a mash in kettle option. Our brewery will produce many single infusion ales but I want the flexibility to do some step mashes. Of the reputable manufacturers that we have selected, one has offered a mash in kettle option where the mixing paddles fold up to not disrupt the whirlpool function and the other a jacketed mash tun. I have only brewed on systems doing single infusion so I am unsure which direction to go. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I searched for threads before posting this but couldn't quite find what I was looking for. Cheers!
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