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Heated vs Insulated MLT

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  • Heated vs Insulated MLT


    I'm pretty new at this so if you are one that is upset at that please stop reading now.

    I'm starting a 5bbl and we are getting a steam brewhouse. The seller of the equipment suggested that we not get a steam jacketed MT cause it could cause tannins and he recommends putting a coil in the HLT to stabilize temps and step up temps.

    I've never worked on a steam system and just always assumed that they were steam jacketed MTs, and I couldn't find any info about tannins. I looked online and saw conflicting things, some people said not to use a steam jacketed MT because it just heats the outside layer of grains (of course I would stir it) and some said that you need the steam jacket to do proper step mashs.

    Any clarification would help,

  • #2
    Total over kill. If you are doing standard single infusion mashing-(with the way malt is processed nowadays it is modified enough for single infusion mashing. To me, step mashing is obsolete and a waste of time/utilities IMHO)-than an uninsulated open top tank without a lid will be fine. The volume and density of a 5bbl mash grain bed holds temp fine. After doing several iodine tests on your mashes you will most likely find that you only need to mash for about 30 mins. You probably won’t even lose 1 Fahrenheit degree point during that time. Personally, a HERMS coil in the HLT is just a pain in the you know what and an extra expense that is also overkill. You can literally put a 5bbl mash in a large plastic bin that is rated food safe and for high temps like this

    One of the best ways I’ve seen to fail in the brewing business is to over spend ;-)
    Last edited by Catfish002; 06-19-2018, 06:38 PM.


    • #3
      For my 3 bbl system I build a rims myself using 2 long stainless cartridge heaters that keep the watt density exposed to the wort extremely low giving me the benefits of a herms but with the flexibility and speed of a rims. I realize as catfish pointed out that temps with the larger mass will be more stable either way but I feel efficiency goes up when either

      A} the mash is being stirred
      B} the wort is traveling through the mash at a slow speed.

      I have been using a smaller homebrewing scale version of this for a about 4-5 years and average 90% efficiency this way with slow recirculation and the extra long super low ULWD elements in my rims.

      This way I can correct any minor strike temp miscalculations as well. Also there will be no need to vorlouf since the wort is totally clear going into the boil kettle.