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Re: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

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  • Henk Stuurman
    No he was talking about draining off the grain AND the yeast trub. And the yeast is the one thing you DON T wanna have in youre boiler! Henk
    Message 1 of 25 , Apr 17, 2012
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      No he was talking about draining off the grain AND the yeast trub. And the yeast is the one thing you DON'T wanna have in youre boiler!

      Henk


      From: Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...>
      To: distillers@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 5:53 PM
      Subject: RE: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

       
      Shotman I think he is talking about the wort draining off the grain before the ferment. So the particles would be the barley flour, not any yeast.


      To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
      From: shotman@...
      Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 10:33:46 -0400
      Subject: Re: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

       

      Good morning Chris.
      My first Rum I read to dump it all in the still. I did and it was terrible. Even after 2 runs thru my pot all I could taste and smell was yeast. I let what ever I'm fermenting settle and siphon it off just short of the stuff in the bottom now. Much , much better. I reuse a little bit of the sediment to help start the next Corn or Rum.
      Have a good one,
      shotman
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 11:40 AM
      Subject: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

       
      Hi All
      Long time beer brewer here. In beer brewing the sparge is damn important, helps to determine how clear your end result will be. With distillation, only the vapors of the wash make it to the final product. I cant imagine that the small grain dust particles, that the beer sparge filters out, are transferred to the final product via the vapors. Presently, once the mash is complete, I simply drain the wash from my mash tun. I am just wondering if this is good practice.
      Additionally, if we carry this logic even further, can the Trub (the baby poop looking stuff in the bottom of the fermenter) be added to the still and not effect the final product? Presently I throw that bottom 5-10% out. I feel this may be a waste of perfectly good alcohol.
      Thanks in advance.
      Chris





    • Gavin Flett
      Henk, Doesn t the sparing happen before the ferment? To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com From: hstuurman@yahoo.com Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 09:01:27 -0700 Subject:
      Message 2 of 25 , Apr 17, 2012
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        Henk, 

        Doesn't the sparing happen before the ferment?


        To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
        From: hstuurman@...
        Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 09:01:27 -0700
        Subject: Re: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

         

        No he was talking about draining off the grain AND the yeast trub. And the yeast is the one thing you DON'T wanna have in youre boiler!

        Henk


        From: Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...>
        To: distillers@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 5:53 PM
        Subject: RE: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

         
        Shotman I think he is talking about the wort draining off the grain before the ferment. So the particles would be the barley flour, not any yeast.


        To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
        From: shotman@...
        Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 10:33:46 -0400
        Subject: Re: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

         

        Good morning Chris.
        My first Rum I read to dump it all in the still. I did and it was terrible. Even after 2 runs thru my pot all I could taste and smell was yeast. I let what ever I'm fermenting settle and siphon it off just short of the stuff in the bottom now. Much , much better. I reuse a little bit of the sediment to help start the next Corn or Rum.
        Have a good one,
        shotman
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 11:40 AM
        Subject: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

         
        Hi All
        Long time beer brewer here. In beer brewing the sparge is damn important, helps to determine how clear your end result will be. With distillation, only the vapors of the wash make it to the final product. I cant imagine that the small grain dust particles, that the beer sparge filters out, are transferred to the final product via the vapors. Presently, once the mash is complete, I simply drain the wash from my mash tun. I am just wondering if this is good practice.
        Additionally, if we carry this logic even further, can the Trub (the baby poop looking stuff in the bottom of the fermenter) be added to the still and not effect the final product? Presently I throw that bottom 5-10% out. I feel this may be a waste of perfectly good alcohol.
        Thanks in advance.
        Chris






      • Henk Stuurman
        Yes true, but Chris was talking about 2 subjects, first the sparging. For distillation sparging isn t that important, you can also ferment on the grain, but
        Message 3 of 25 , Apr 17, 2012
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          Yes true, but Chris was talking about 2 subjects, first the sparging. For distillation sparging isn't that important, you can also ferment on the grain, but not to long, because that will give off taste. I prever sparging before fermentation.
          Additionally Chris asked if he could use the trub on the bottom of the fermenter in his boiler, that is a no do. The yeast wil give a bat taste, like shotman already wrote

          Henk 


          From: Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...>
          To: distillers@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:35 PM
          Subject: RE: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

           
          Henk, 

          Doesn't the sparing happen before the ferment?


          To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
          From: hstuurman@...
          Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 09:01:27 -0700
          Subject: Re: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

           

          No he was talking about draining off the grain AND the yeast trub. And the yeast is the one thing you DON'T wanna have in youre boiler!

          Henk


          From: Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...>
          To: distillers@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 5:53 PM
          Subject: RE: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

           
          Shotman I think he is talking about the wort draining off the grain before the ferment. So the particles would be the barley flour, not any yeast.


          To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
          From: shotman@...
          Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 10:33:46 -0400
          Subject: Re: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

           

          Good morning Chris.
          My first Rum I read to dump it all in the still. I did and it was terrible. Even after 2 runs thru my pot all I could taste and smell was yeast. I let what ever I'm fermenting settle and siphon it off just short of the stuff in the bottom now. Much , much better. I reuse a little bit of the sediment to help start the next Corn or Rum.
          Have a good one,
          shotman
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 11:40 AM
          Subject: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

           
          Hi All
          Long time beer brewer here. In beer brewing the sparge is damn important, helps to determine how clear your end result will be. With distillation, only the vapors of the wash make it to the final product. I cant imagine that the small grain dust particles, that the beer sparge filters out, are transferred to the final product via the vapors. Presently, once the mash is complete, I simply drain the wash from my mash tun. I am just wondering if this is good practice.
          Additionally, if we carry this logic even further, can the Trub (the baby poop looking stuff in the bottom of the fermenter) be added to the still and not effect the final product? Presently I throw that bottom 5-10% out. I feel this may be a waste of perfectly good alcohol.
          Thanks in advance.
          Chris








        • Gavin Flett
          Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler. I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go
          Message 4 of 25 , Apr 17, 2012
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            Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.

            I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.


            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
            From: hstuurman@...
            Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 22:03:20 -0700
            Subject: Re: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

             

            Yes true, but Chris was talking about 2 subjects, first the sparging. For distillation sparging isn't that important, you can also ferment on the grain, but not to long, because that will give off taste. I prever sparging before fermentation.
            Additionally Chris asked if he could use the trub on the bottom of the fermenter in his boiler, that is a no do. The yeast wil give a bat taste, like shotman already wrote

            Henk 


            From: Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...>
            To: distillers@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:35 PM
            Subject: RE: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

             
            Henk, 

            Doesn't the sparing happen before the ferment?


            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
            From: hstuurman@...
            Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 09:01:27 -0700
            Subject: Re: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

             

            No he was talking about draining off the grain AND the yeast trub. And the yeast is the one thing you DON'T wanna have in youre boiler!

            Henk


            From: Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...>
            To: distillers@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 5:53 PM
            Subject: RE: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

             
            Shotman I think he is talking about the wort draining off the grain before the ferment. So the particles would be the barley flour, not any yeast.


            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
            From: shotman@...
            Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 10:33:46 -0400
            Subject: Re: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

             

            Good morning Chris.
            My first Rum I read to dump it all in the still. I did and it was terrible. Even after 2 runs thru my pot all I could taste and smell was yeast. I let what ever I'm fermenting settle and siphon it off just short of the stuff in the bottom now. Much , much better. I reuse a little bit of the sediment to help start the next Corn or Rum.
            Have a good one,
            shotman
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 11:40 AM
            Subject: [Distillers] How important is the sparge?

             
            Hi All
            Long time beer brewer here. In beer brewing the sparge is damn important, helps to determine how clear your end result will be. With distillation, only the vapors of the wash make it to the final product. I cant imagine that the small grain dust particles, that the beer sparge filters out, are transferred to the final product via the vapors. Presently, once the mash is complete, I simply drain the wash from my mash tun. I am just wondering if this is good practice.
            Additionally, if we carry this logic even further, can the Trub (the baby poop looking stuff in the bottom of the fermenter) be added to the still and not effect the final product? Presently I throw that bottom 5-10% out. I feel this may be a waste of perfectly good alcohol.
            Thanks in advance.
            Chris









          • John Foster
            Thanks everybody for your help.     Basicly what your combine advise is The cleaner the process, the better the booze .   Make complete sense. Thanks
            Message 5 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
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              Thanks everybody for your help.  
               
              Basicly what your combine advise is "The cleaner the process, the better the booze".   Make complete sense.
            • tgfoitwoods
              Gavin, I don t sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I m heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I d be concerned is
              Message 6 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
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                Gavin,

                I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.

                Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.

                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
                >

              • Gavin Flett
                Bob, I do use an electric element, but it s external (a hotplate), so I am assuming that it will be the same effect that a flame heat source will deliver. Is
                Message 7 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
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                  Bob, I do use an electric element, but it's external (a hotplate), so I am assuming that it will be the same effect that a flame heat source will deliver. Is my assumption correct?

                  Also, I use a 2000 W immersion heater in my HERMS set up. This definitely gets some flour particles in direct contact with it. Hopefully I don't have to go back to the drawing board with this.


                  To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                  From: zymurgybob@...
                  Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:26 +0000
                  Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?

                   
                  Gavin,

                  I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.

                  Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                  To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.

                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                  > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
                  >


                • tgfoitwoods
                  Gavin, You ve caught me in an ignorance. Although I m an allgrain brewer, and use what is technically a HERMS system, it s a propane-heated false-bottomed brew
                  Message 8 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
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                    Gavin,

                    You've caught me in an ignorance. Although I'm an allgrain brewer, and use what is technically a HERMS system, it's a propane-heated false-bottomed brew kettle, with a pump from the bottom to a sparge arm on top. Because I never get to brew with any allgrain brewing buddies, I don't know all the different ways brewers heat the wort in their particular HERMS system.

                    Do you control the heat output of that 2kW element with some sort of proportional control, or do you use a binary thermostat-type of control? If you use a proportional control, I think your element would look like a very low density element, and scorching should not be an issue. If, however, the element is turned on full with little or no wort flow over it, I'd think scorching would be a real problem.

                    How does the heater in your HERMS system work?

                    (As for the email link, I just learned that under some conditions, this mailer editor can strip HTML tags out of the reply. I'm going to try again this time. Bear with me?)

                    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                    Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Bob, I do use an electric element, but it's external (a hotplate), so I am assuming that it will be the same effect that a flame heat source will deliver. Is my assumption correct?
                    > Also, I use a 2000 W immersion heater in my HERMS set up. This definitely gets some flour particles in direct contact with it. Hopefully I don't have to go back to the drawing board with this.
                    >
                    > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    > From: zymurgybob@...
                    > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:26 +0000
                    > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
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                    > Gavin,
                    >
                    > I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.
                    >
                    > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                    >
                    > To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                    >
                    > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                    > > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
                    > >
                    >
                  • Gavin Flett
                    My element is just an on/off, hot water tank element screwed into a 12 X 2 copper tube for the heat exchange chamber (this is of course connected to the pump
                    Message 9 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
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                      My element is just an on/off, hot water tank element screwed into a 12" X 2" copper tube for the heat exchange chamber (this is of course connected to the pump by intake line and the mash tun by outake line). I use a digital Johnson A419 thermostat control for the element. I just leave the pump on all the time during mashing, it has a flow rate of about 6L a minute and I only turn it off to lauter and sparge.

                      I have only just built this system and have used it once, so I am assuming that the flow rate is adequate to prevent scorching flavour transferring through. I did however have a healthy coat of flour stuck to the element after use (scorched underneath layer touching the element, then the top layer of flour was just stuck on, no scorching).

                      An aquaintance who brews beer professionally told me that it's ok for wort to come into direct contact an element, as he is a pro brewer I imagine he assumes there is no flour particles (as this is how he does it).

                      Maybe I'll post some pics of the system, it's very simple and doesn't involve a 3 tub system as others I have seen. Other than the mash tun, the whole thing goes nicely into a portable plastic case.

                      To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      From: zymurgybob@...
                      Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:55:14 +0000
                      Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?

                       
                      Gavin,

                      You've caught me in an ignorance. Although I'm an allgrain brewer, and use what is technically a HERMS system, it's a propane-heated false-bottomed brew kettle, with a pump from the bottom to a sparge arm on top. Because I never get to brew with any allgrain brewing buddies, I don't know all the different ways brewers heat the wort in their particular HERMS system.

                      Do you control the heat output of that 2kW element with some sort of proportional control, or do you use a binary thermostat-type of control? If you use a proportional control, I think your element would look like a very low density element, and scorching should not be an issue. If, however, the element is turned on full with little or no wort flow over it, I'd think scorching would be a real problem.

                      How does the heater in your HERMS system work?

                      (As for the email link, I just learned that under some conditions, this mailer editor can strip HTML tags out of the reply. I'm going to try again this time. Bear with me?)

                      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                      Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Bob, I do use an electric element, but it's external (a hotplate), so I am assuming that it will be the same effect that a flame heat source will deliver. Is my assumption correct?
                      > Also, I use a 2000 W immersion heater in my HERMS set up. This definitely gets some flour particles in direct contact with it. Hopefully I don't have to go back to the drawing board with this.
                      >
                      > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      > From: zymurgybob@...
                      > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:26 +0000
                      > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
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                      > Gavin,
                      >
                      > I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.
                      >
                      > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                      >
                      > To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                      >
                      > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                      > > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
                      > >
                      >

                    • tgfoitwoods
                      Gavin, After some more testing, it seems that the Yahoo mailer will not pass the mailto: HTML tag. It works while viewing the message, but does not after the
                      Message 10 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
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                        Gavin,

                        After some more testing, it seems that the Yahoo mailer will not pass the "mailto:" HTML tag. It works while viewing the message, but does not after the message is sent. Interestingly, it does pass the "href" tag, which correctly tells you that the blog page has not been created yet. I'll still be using your message (with name redacted), and thanks for your patience. I'll be doing it this way, as a workaround.

                        Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                        To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.

                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > In response to your question about the blog, yes you do have my permission, but please remove my name. You can replace it with anything you like (tasteful of course :). i tried to email you at the link provided, however it did not sam to work.
                        >
                        > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        > From: zymurgybob@...
                        > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:26 +0000
                        > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
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                        > Gavin,
                        >
                        > I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.
                        >
                        > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                        >
                        > To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                        >
                        > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                        > > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
                        > >
                        >
                      • tgfoitwoods
                        Gavin, I can t say for sure, but the fact that you ve seen some scorching of flour on the element, sounds like you re flirting with a problem. I got looking
                        Message 11 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
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                          Gavin,

                          I can't say for sure, but the fact that you've seen some scorching of flour on the element, sounds like you're flirting with a problem. I got looking for proportional controllers for that element, and found that PID's, a very sophisticated type of controller, can be had for about 20 USD.
                          http://tinyurl.com/7k3dd8q
                          I couldn't find a data sheet for this controller, but it may require a Solid State Relay in addition to the controller (if the SSR is not contained in the controller). Such a controller should reduce the tendency to scorch greatly.

                          I think I may get one of these for my proposed fermentation cabinet. My garage is a pretty chilly place, except during the summer when it's too warm to lager :(.

                          Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                          To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.
                          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > My element is just an on/off, hot water tank element screwed into a 12" X 2" copper tube for the heat exchange chamber (this is of course connected to the pump by intake line and the mash tun by outake line). I use a digital Johnson A419 thermostat control for the element. I just leave the pump on all the time during mashing, it has a flow rate of about 6L a minute and I only turn it off to lauter and sparge.
                          > I have only just built this system and have used it once, so I am assuming that the flow rate is adequate to prevent scorching flavour transferring through. I did however have a healthy coat of flour stuck to the element after use (scorched underneath layer touching the element, then the top layer of flour was just stuck on, no scorching).
                          > An aquaintance who brews beer professionally told me that it's ok for wort to come into direct contact an element, as he is a pro brewer I imagine he assumes there is no flour particles (as this is how he does it).
                          > Maybe I'll post some pics of the system, it's very simple and doesn't involve a 3 tub system as others I have seen. Other than the mash tun, the whole thing goes nicely into a portable plastic case.
                          > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          > From: zymurgybob@...
                          > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:55:14 +0000
                          > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                          >
                          >
                          >
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                          >
                          > Gavin,
                          >
                          > You've caught me in an ignorance. Although I'm an allgrain brewer, and use what is technically a HERMS system, it's a propane-heated false-bottomed brew kettle, with a pump from the bottom to a sparge arm on top. Because I never get to brew with any allgrain brewing buddies, I don't know all the different ways brewers heat the wort in their particular HERMS system.
                          >
                          > Do you control the heat output of that 2kW element with some sort of proportional control, or do you use a binary thermostat-type of control? If you use a proportional control, I think your element would look like a very low density element, and scorching should not be an issue. If, however, the element is turned on full with little or no wort flow over it, I'd think scorching would be a real problem.
                          >
                          > How does the heater in your HERMS system work?
                          >
                          > (As for the email link, I just learned that under some conditions, this mailer editor can strip HTML tags out of the reply. I'm going to try again this time. Bear with me?)
                          >
                          > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                          >
                          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Bob, I do use an electric element, but it's external (a hotplate), so I am assuming that it will be the same effect that a flame heat source will deliver. Is my assumption correct?
                          > > Also, I use a 2000 W immersion heater in my HERMS set up. This definitely gets some flour particles in direct contact with it. Hopefully I don't have to go back to the drawing board with this.
                          > >
                          > > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          > > From: zymurgybob@
                          > > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:26 +0000
                          > > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
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                          > > Gavin,
                          > >
                          > > I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.
                          > >
                          > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                          > >
                          > > To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                          > >
                          > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                          > > > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • Gavin Flett
                          Most of those terms are definitely above my head. But I will begin the research on them (I have heard a lot of brewers use the PID term). I m guessing this is
                          Message 12 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Most of those terms are definitely above my head. But I will begin the research on them (I have heard a lot of brewers use the PID term). I'm guessing this is something that makes the elements heat increase as the desired temperature increases (as opposed to just blaring hot for a bit, then cool down to temp etc...).


                            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                            From: zymurgybob@...
                            Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 22:55:18 +0000
                            Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?

                             
                            Gavin,

                            I can't say for sure, but the fact that you've seen some scorching of flour on the element, sounds like you're flirting with a problem. I got looking for proportional controllers for that element, and found that PID's, a very sophisticated type of controller, can be had for about 20 USD.
                            http://tinyurl.com/7k3dd8q
                            I couldn't find a data sheet for this controller, but it may require a Solid State Relay in addition to the controller (if the SSR is not contained in the controller). Such a controller should reduce the tendency to scorch greatly.

                            I think I may get one of these for my proposed fermentation cabinet. My garage is a pretty chilly place, except during the summer when it's too warm to lager :(.

                            Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                            To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.
                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > My element is just an on/off, hot water tank element screwed into a 12" X 2" copper tube for the heat exchange chamber (this is of course connected to the pump by intake line and the mash tun by outake line). I use a digital Johnson A419 thermostat control for the element. I just leave the pump on all the time during mashing, it has a flow rate of about 6L a minute and I only turn it off to lauter and sparge.
                            > I have only just built this system and have used it once, so I am assuming that the flow rate is adequate to prevent scorching flavour transferring through. I did however have a healthy coat of flour stuck to the element after use (scorched underneath layer touching the element, then the top layer of flour was just stuck on, no scorching).
                            > An aquaintance who brews beer professionally told me that it's ok for wort to come into direct contact an element, as he is a pro brewer I imagine he assumes there is no flour particles (as this is how he does it).
                            > Maybe I'll post some pics of the system, it's very simple and doesn't involve a 3 tub system as others I have seen. Other than the mash tun, the whole thing goes nicely into a portable plastic case.
                            > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                            > From: zymurgybob@...
                            > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:55:14 +0000
                            > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
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                            >
                            > Gavin,
                            >
                            > You've caught me in an ignorance. Although I'm an allgrain brewer, and use what is technically a HERMS system, it's a propane-heated false-bottomed brew kettle, with a pump from the bottom to a sparge arm on top. Because I never get to brew with any allgrain brewing buddies, I don't know all the different ways brewers heat the wort in their particular HERMS system.
                            >
                            > Do you control the heat output of that 2kW element with some sort of proportional control, or do you use a binary thermostat-type of control? If you use a proportional control, I think your element would look like a very low density element, and scorching should not be an issue. If, however, the element is turned on full with little or no wort flow over it, I'd think scorching would be a real problem.
                            >
                            > How does the heater in your HERMS system work?
                            >
                            > (As for the email link, I just learned that under some conditions, this mailer editor can strip HTML tags out of the reply. I'm going to try again this time. Bear with me?)
                            >
                            > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                            >
                            > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Bob, I do use an electric element, but it's external (a hotplate), so I am assuming that it will be the same effect that a flame heat source will deliver. Is my assumption correct?
                            > > Also, I use a 2000 W immersion heater in my HERMS set up. This definitely gets some flour particles in direct contact with it. Hopefully I don't have to go back to the drawing board with this.
                            > >
                            > > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                            > > From: zymurgybob@
                            > > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:26 +0000
                            > > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
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                            > >
                            > > Gavin,
                            > >
                            > > I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.
                            > >
                            > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                            > >
                            > > To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                            > >
                            > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                            > > > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >

                          • Gavin Flett
                            Ok, I ve done enough research on a PID controller to know that I don t understand what the hell anyone is talking about. Can someone explain to me in terms and
                            Message 13 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Ok, I've done enough research on a PID controller to know that I don't understand what the hell anyone is talking about. Can someone explain to me in terms and language that normal people use what a PID controller is?


                              To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                              From: zymurgybob@...
                              Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 22:55:18 +0000
                              Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?

                               
                              Gavin,

                              I can't say for sure, but the fact that you've seen some scorching of flour on the element, sounds like you're flirting with a problem. I got looking for proportional controllers for that element, and found that PID's, a very sophisticated type of controller, can be had for about 20 USD.
                              http://tinyurl.com/7k3dd8q
                              I couldn't find a data sheet for this controller, but it may require a Solid State Relay in addition to the controller (if the SSR is not contained in the controller). Such a controller should reduce the tendency to scorch greatly.

                              I think I may get one of these for my proposed fermentation cabinet. My garage is a pretty chilly place, except during the summer when it's too warm to lager :(.

                              Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                              To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.
                              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > My element is just an on/off, hot water tank element screwed into a 12" X 2" copper tube for the heat exchange chamber (this is of course connected to the pump by intake line and the mash tun by outake line). I use a digital Johnson A419 thermostat control for the element. I just leave the pump on all the time during mashing, it has a flow rate of about 6L a minute and I only turn it off to lauter and sparge.
                              > I have only just built this system and have used it once, so I am assuming that the flow rate is adequate to prevent scorching flavour transferring through. I did however have a healthy coat of flour stuck to the element after use (scorched underneath layer touching the element, then the top layer of flour was just stuck on, no scorching).
                              > An aquaintance who brews beer professionally told me that it's ok for wort to come into direct contact an element, as he is a pro brewer I imagine he assumes there is no flour particles (as this is how he does it).
                              > Maybe I'll post some pics of the system, it's very simple and doesn't involve a 3 tub system as others I have seen. Other than the mash tun, the whole thing goes nicely into a portable plastic case.
                              > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                              > From: zymurgybob@...
                              > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:55:14 +0000
                              > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Gavin,
                              >
                              > You've caught me in an ignorance. Although I'm an allgrain brewer, and use what is technically a HERMS system, it's a propane-heated false-bottomed brew kettle, with a pump from the bottom to a sparge arm on top. Because I never get to brew with any allgrain brewing buddies, I don't know all the different ways brewers heat the wort in their particular HERMS system.
                              >
                              > Do you control the heat output of that 2kW element with some sort of proportional control, or do you use a binary thermostat-type of control? If you use a proportional control, I think your element would look like a very low density element, and scorching should not be an issue. If, however, the element is turned on full with little or no wort flow over it, I'd think scorching would be a real problem.
                              >
                              > How does the heater in your HERMS system work?
                              >
                              > (As for the email link, I just learned that under some conditions, this mailer editor can strip HTML tags out of the reply. I'm going to try again this time. Bear with me?)
                              >
                              > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                              >
                              > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Bob, I do use an electric element, but it's external (a hotplate), so I am assuming that it will be the same effect that a flame heat source will deliver. Is my assumption correct?
                              > > Also, I use a 2000 W immersion heater in my HERMS set up. This definitely gets some flour particles in direct contact with it. Hopefully I don't have to go back to the drawing board with this.
                              > >
                              > > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                              > > From: zymurgybob@
                              > > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:26 +0000
                              > > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
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                              > >
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                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Gavin,
                              > >
                              > > I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.
                              > >
                              > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                              > >
                              > > To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                              > >
                              > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                              > > > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >

                            • tgfoitwoods
                              Gavin, Gavin, The PID controller looks at three things to try to hold the temperature of your system at the temperature you ve set the controller to. For the
                              Message 14 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Gavin,

                                Gavin,

                                The PID controller looks at three things to try to hold the temperature of your system at the temperature you've set the controller to. For the "P" part, the controller looks at the error, the difference between the temp you have and the temp you set, and then adjusts the power in proportion to the size and direction of that error, to reduce that error.

                                The "I" is for integral, a measure of the amount of error accumulated over time. The larger that integral, the more the controller will adjust the power to reduce that integral.

                                "D" stands for derivative, the slope of the error curve. Since the slope of a curve tells you where the curve is going, the controller wants to see it going to zero error in the future. If the slope isn't pointing to a future zero error, teh controller will adjust the power to get that result.

                                All three of these things, P, I, and D, are happening simultaneously, and according to rules I don't know squat about. I do know that some controllers allow you to adjust how the three interact, and some do it automatically, but I don't know how.

                                I do know that for most purposes these things work very well, and if you start your conversion at a temperature a bit below your desired HERMS temperature, that electric element will never get terribly hot, just enough to get the temperature you want. If you start your HERMS dead-cold, that element will come on pretty hard, and just maybe scorch something.

                                Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                                To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > Most of those terms are definitely above my head. But I will begin the research on them (I have heard a lot of brewers use the PID term). I'm guessing this is something that makes the elements heat increase as the desired temperature increases (as opposed to just blaring hot for a bit, then cool down to temp etc...).
                                >

                              • Gavin Flett
                                Thanks for the detailed info Bob, but I am still not sure why the PID will be better than just a regular Johnson A519 digital thermostat. To:
                                Message 15 of 25 , Apr 18, 2012
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                                  Thanks for the detailed info Bob, but I am still not sure why the PID will be better than just a regular Johnson A519 digital thermostat.


                                  To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                  From: zymurgybob@...
                                  Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 02:51:01 +0000
                                  Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?

                                   
                                  Gavin,

                                  Gavin,

                                  The PID controller looks at three things to try to hold the temperature of your system at the temperature you've set the controller to. For the "P" part, the controller looks at the error, the difference between the temp you have and the temp you set, and then adjusts the power in proportion to the size and direction of that error, to reduce that error.

                                  The "I" is for integral, a measure of the amount of error accumulated over time. The larger that integral, the more the controller will adjust the power to reduce that integral.

                                  "D" stands for derivative, the slope of the error curve. Since the slope of a curve tells you where the curve is going, the controller wants to see it going to zero error in the future. If the slope isn't pointing to a future zero error, teh controller will adjust the power to get that result.

                                  All three of these things, P, I, and D, are happening simultaneously, and according to rules I don't know squat about. I do know that some controllers allow you to adjust how the three interact, and some do it automatically, but I don't know how.

                                  I do know that for most purposes these things work very well, and if you start your conversion at a temperature a bit below your desired HERMS temperature, that electric element will never get terribly hot, just enough to get the temperature you want. If you start your HERMS dead-cold, that element will come on pretty hard, and just maybe scorch something.

                                  Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                                  To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Most of those terms are definitely above my head. But I will begin the research on them (I have heard a lot of brewers use the PID term). I'm guessing this is something that makes the elements heat increase as the desired temperature increases (as opposed to just blaring hot for a bit, then cool down to temp etc...).
                                  >


                                • tgfoitwoods
                                  Gavin, If that Johnson control really is a thermostat, it means your element is either completely off, or turned on to the full 2kW output, depending on the
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Apr 19, 2012
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Gavin,

                                    If that Johnson control really is a thermostat, it means your element is either completely off, or turned on to the full 2kW output, depending on the temperature of your wort and the thermostat's adjustment. Because you found scorched material on your element, that means the full 2kW output can, under at least some circumstances you have seen, scorch particles in your wort. Therefore, under some circumstances, the Johnson control and the 2kW element can scorch your wort. If that's a problem you can live with, you don't need to change anything.

                                    A question before I go further? When you start mashing, do you try for a strike temperature just a bit below your desired conversion temperature? If so, and it's a common thing to do, a PID controller would sense a small temperature error, and apply some (relatively) small amount of power to the wort, and you will see no scorching. Under the same conditions, the Johnson thermostat will turn on the full 2kW power of the element, even is the wort temperature is just a couple of degrees under your desired temperature, possible scorching the wort as you have seen.

                                    If, on the other hand, you add your grain to dead cold water, and use the HERMS heater to do all the heating of the entire mash, even the PID will turn on the element fully, also running a chance of scorching. 

                                    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                                    To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Thanks for the detailed info Bob, but I am still not sure why the PID will be better than just a regular Johnson A519 digital thermostat.
                                    >
                                    ----snip----0
                                  • Gavin Flett
                                    I m guessing that strike temperature means the temperature of the water that I am adding to the grain. If so, then I just take it from the tap at about 44C (or
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Apr 19, 2012
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      I'm guessing that strike temperature means the temperature of the water that I am adding to the grain. If so, then I just take it from the tap at about 44C (or whatever it is as it comes out hot). I shoot for a mash temperature of about 65C.

                                      So I'm also guessing that the PID only turns on the element with a bit of power (enough for the desired temperature)? It must work with a series of resistors inside to help regulate that then.


                                      To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                      From: zymurgybob@...
                                      Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 18:42:06 +0000
                                      Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?

                                       
                                      Gavin,

                                      If that Johnson control really is a thermostat, it means your element is either completely off, or turned on to the full 2kW output, depending on the temperature of your wort and the thermostat's adjustment. Because you found scorched material on your element, that means the full 2kW output can, under at least some circumstances you have seen, scorch particles in your wort. Therefore, under some circumstances, the Johnson control and the 2kW element can scorch your wort. If that's a problem you can live with, you don't need to change anything.

                                      A question before I go further? When you start mashing, do you try for a strike temperature just a bit below your desired conversion temperature? If so, and it's a common thing to do, a PID controller would sense a small temperature error, and apply some (relatively) small amount of power to the wort, and you will see no scorching. Under the same conditions, the Johnson thermostat will turn on the full 2kW power of the element, even is the wort temperature is just a couple of degrees under your desired temperature, possible scorching the wort as you have seen.

                                      If, on the other hand, you add your grain to dead cold water, and use the HERMS heater to do all the heating of the entire mash, even the PID will turn on the element fully, also running a chance of scorching. 

                                      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                                      To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Thanks for the detailed info Bob, but I am still not sure why the PID will be better than just a regular Johnson A519 digital thermostat.
                                      >
                                      ----snip----0

                                    • Eddie Hoskin
                                      Ok, in layman s terms, a PID controller attempts to drive something (ie, speed, temperature, flow rate) to a specified level.  It does this by feeding back
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Apr 20, 2012
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Ok, in layman's terms, a PID controller attempts to drive something (ie, speed, temperature, flow rate) to a specified level.  It does this by 'feeding back' the current output back into the system's input.  This is especially important in systems where there are lots of perturbations...like driving a car with cruise control.

                                        For instance, say that you're driving along, and decide to set the cruise control at 55mph.  On a flat road, the input signal to the engine is constant, and the output (the speed) is also constant.  You come to a hill, and the car begins to slow down--the input has remained the same, but the system has changed.  As a result, the PID controller 'pushes the gas pedal more' to push the car back to 55MPH.  The opposite happens when you come down a hill--you start to accelerate, and the PID controller 'pushes the gas pedal less' so that you don't speed up.

                                        The different components of the PID--Proportional, Integral, and Derivative--each seek to address different types of error.  For instance, a Proportional controller can only get you closer to the target level.  In the instance of a car, if the target is 55mph and you are at 50 mph, a proportional controller could only ever get you to 54.99999mph.

                                        Integral controllers are good at centering in on the target--but they tend to shoot past it, kind of like a spring.  They oscillate around the target. in the car example, you might see the spped do this: 50, 54, 58, 56, 54, 55.

                                        Derivative controllers effectively reduce high frequency noise.  In the car example, if you run over a pothole, it might send a input signal 'spike' back into the engine, and rev it up, or cut it.  The derivative controller cuts down that spike.

                                        So, PID controllers try to combine all these aspects.  They usually require some tuning for optimal performance.  They are mostly useful where you need a pretty high level of precision and the system is subject to perturbations.

                                        For a process like brewing, PID's tend to be a wee bit overkill on comparison to a thermostat.  But they offer two advantages--the accuracy is better than a thermostat's +/- degree range, and they are often programmable, so you could use them in an automated brewing process.

                                        Hope that helps,
                                        Eddie

                                        //Electrical Engineer (Controls and Power Systems)


                                        From: Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...>
                                        To: distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                        Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:15 PM
                                        Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?

                                         
                                        Ok, I've done enough research on a PID controller to know that I don't understand what the hell anyone is talking about. Can someone explain to me in terms and language that normal people use what a PID controller is?


                                        To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                        From: zymurgybob@...
                                        Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 22:55:18 +0000
                                        Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?

                                         
                                        Gavin,

                                        I can't say for sure, but the fact that you've seen some scorching of flour on the element, sounds like you're flirting with a problem. I got looking for proportional controllers for that element, and found that PID's, a very sophisticated type of controller, can be had for about 20 USD.
                                        http://tinyurl.com/7k3dd8q
                                        I couldn't find a data sheet for this controller, but it may require a Solid State Relay in addition to the controller (if the SSR is not contained in the controller). Such a controller should reduce the tendency to scorch greatly.

                                        I think I may get one of these for my proposed fermentation cabinet. My garage is a pretty chilly place, except during the summer when it's too warm to lager :(.

                                        Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                                        To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > My element is just an on/off, hot water tank element screwed into a 12" X 2" copper tube for the heat exchange chamber (this is of course connected to the pump by intake line and the mash tun by outake line). I use a digital Johnson A419 thermostat control for the element. I just leave the pump on all the time during mashing, it has a flow rate of about 6L a minute and I only turn it off to lauter and sparge.
                                        > I have only just built this system and have used it once, so I am assuming that the flow rate is adequate to prevent scorching flavour transferring through. I did however have a healthy coat of flour stuck to the element after use (scorched underneath layer touching the element, then the top layer of flour was just stuck on, no scorching).
                                        > An aquaintance who brews beer professionally told me that it's ok for wort to come into direct contact an element, as he is a pro brewer I imagine he assumes there is no flour particles (as this is how he does it).
                                        > Maybe I'll post some pics of the system, it's very simple and doesn't involve a 3 tub system as others I have seen. Other than the mash tun, the whole thing goes nicely into a portable plastic case.
                                        > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                        > From: zymurgybob@...
                                        > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:55:14 +0000
                                        > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                                        >
                                        >
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                                        > Gavin,
                                        >
                                        > You've caught me in an ignorance. Although I'm an allgrain brewer, and use what is technically a HERMS system, it's a propane-heated false-bottomed brew kettle, with a pump from the bottom to a sparge arm on top. Because I never get to brew with any allgrain brewing buddies, I don't know all the different ways brewers heat the wort in their particular HERMS system.
                                        >
                                        > Do you control the heat output of that 2kW element with some sort of proportional control, or do you use a binary thermostat-type of control? If you use a proportional control, I think your element would look like a very low density element, and scorching should not be an issue. If, however, the element is turned on full with little or no wort flow over it, I'd think scorching would be a real problem.
                                        >
                                        > How does the heater in your HERMS system work?
                                        >
                                        > (As for the email link, I just learned that under some conditions, this mailer editor can strip HTML tags out of the reply. I'm going to try again this time. Bear with me?)
                                        >
                                        > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                        >
                                        > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Bob, I do use an electric element, but it's external (a hotplate), so I am assuming that it will be the same effect that a flame heat source will deliver. Is my assumption correct?
                                        > > Also, I use a 2000 W immersion heater in my HERMS set up. This definitely gets some flour particles in direct contact with it. Hopefully I don't have to go back to the drawing board with this.
                                        > >
                                        > > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                        > > From: zymurgybob@
                                        > > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:26 +0000
                                        > > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                                        > >
                                        > >
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                                        > > Gavin,
                                        > >
                                        > > I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.
                                        > >
                                        > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                                        > >
                                        > > To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                                        > > > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >



                                      • tgfoitwoods
                                        Gavin, Eddie s example of the cruise control controlling your car s speed is perfect to explain the PID. Now let me explain the thermostat principle (only we d
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Apr 20, 2012
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Gavin,

                                          Eddie's example of the cruise control controlling your car's speed is perfect to explain the PID. Now let me explain the thermostat principle (only we'd call it a "speedostat") to control the same car's speed.

                                          To make your car work as a "speedostat", you'd decide on a speed to hold, say 50 miles per hour. Then start the engine, put the car in gear and jam the accelerator to the floor. When the car gets to 50 mph, keep your accelerator jammed to the floor, but turn off the ignition key. When the car slows some small amount below 50, with the accelerator still floored, turn the ignition back on again. Repeat as necessary, but always with the accelerator floored.

                                          Your speed will stay arbitrarily close to 50 mph, but I'm guessing you'll be able to tell the difference between the "speedostat" and your car's regular (PID) cruise control.

                                          If this sounds like an unrealistically goofy speed control, some WWI aircraft controlled engine speed with a "blip" switch, kinda like a doorbell button. When you pushed it, it grounded the magneto, the engine turned off, and the plane slowed down. When you didn't push the button, the engine stayed on and the plane tried to go its maximum speed. This is exactly how that Johnson control is controlling your HERMS temperature, by turning it off and on at full throttle.


                                          Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                                          To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.

                                          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Ok, I've done enough research on a PID controller to know that I don't understand what the hell anyone is talking about. Can someone explain to me in terms and language that normal people use what a PID controller is?
                                          >
                                          > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                          > From: zymurgybob@...
                                          > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 22:55:18 +0000
                                          > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                                          >
                                          >
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                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Gavin,
                                          >
                                          > I can't say for sure, but the fact that you've seen some scorching of flour on the element, sounds like you're flirting with a problem. I got looking for proportional controllers for that element, and found that PID's, a very sophisticated type of controller, can be had for about 20 USD.
                                          > http://tinyurl.com/7k3dd8q
                                          > I couldn't find a data sheet for this controller, but it may require a Solid State Relay in addition to the controller (if the SSR is not contained in the controller). Such a controller should reduce the tendency to scorch greatly.
                                          >
                                          > I think I may get one of these for my proposed fermentation cabinet. My garage is a pretty chilly place, except during the summer when it's too warm to lager .
                                          >
                                          > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@... Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                          >
                                          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > My element is just an on/off, hot water tank element screwed into a 12" X 2" copper tube for the heat exchange chamber (this is of course connected to the pump by intake line and the mash tun by outake line). I use a digital Johnson A419 thermostat control for the element. I just leave the pump on all the time during mashing, it has a flow rate of about 6L a minute and I only turn it off to lauter and sparge.
                                          > > I have only just built this system and have used it once, so I am assuming that the flow rate is adequate to prevent scorching flavour transferring through. I did however have a healthy coat of flour stuck to the element after use (scorched underneath layer touching the element, then the top layer of flour was just stuck on, no scorching).
                                          > > An aquaintance who brews beer professionally told me that it's ok for wort to come into direct contact an element, as he is a pro brewer I imagine he assumes there is no flour particles (as this is how he does it).
                                          > > Maybe I'll post some pics of the system, it's very simple and doesn't involve a 3 tub system as others I have seen. Other than the mash tun, the whole thing goes nicely into a portable plastic case.
                                          > > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > From: zymurgybob@
                                          > > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:55:14 +0000
                                          > > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                                          > >
                                          > >
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                                          > > Gavin,
                                          > >
                                          > > You've caught me in an ignorance. Although I'm an allgrain brewer, and use what is technically a HERMS system, it's a propane-heated false-bottomed brew kettle, with a pump from the bottom to a sparge arm on top. Because I never get to brew with any allgrain brewing buddies, I don't know all the different ways brewers heat the wort in their particular HERMS system.
                                          > >
                                          > > Do you control the heat output of that 2kW element with some sort of proportional control, or do you use a binary thermostat-type of control? If you use a proportional control, I think your element would look like a very low density element, and scorching should not be an issue. If, however, the element is turned on full with little or no wort flow over it, I'd think scorching would be a real problem.
                                          > >
                                          > > How does the heater in your HERMS system work?
                                          > >
                                          > > (As for the email link, I just learned that under some conditions, this mailer editor can strip HTML tags out of the reply. I'm going to try again this time. Bear with me?)
                                          > >
                                          > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Bob, I do use an electric element, but it's external (a hotplate), so I am assuming that it will be the same effect that a flame heat source will deliver. Is my assumption correct?
                                          > > > Also, I use a 2000 W immersion heater in my HERMS set up. This definitely gets some flour particles in direct contact with it. Hopefully I don't have to go back to the drawing board with this.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > > From: zymurgybob@
                                          > > > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:26 +0000
                                          > > > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                                          > > >
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                                          > > > Gavin,
                                          > > >
                                          > > > I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                                          > > >
                                          > > > To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                                          > > > > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                        • Thursty2
                                          Apologies for chipping in so late: On one or more occasions - when I first started fiddling with distilling, the wash was less than clear before boiling off. A
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Apr 22, 2012
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Apologies for chipping in so late:

                                            On one or more occasions - when I first started fiddling with distilling, the wash was less than clear before boiling off.
                                            A number of batches produced both a foul smell and an even more foul product during and after the boiloff.

                                            I then cultivated a regime of allowing the ferment to settle out, which took time, but have recently started using bentonite to accelerate the process. I use a dessert spoon of it mixed into half a litre of the 25 ltr wash which is then mixed back into the fermenter. Remove the airlock, or unscrew the lid before taking the half litre from the fermenter, or you may draw airlock water back in to the wash.

                                            Cheers

                                            --------------------------------

                                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, John Foster <john_foster_in_erie@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Thanks everybody for your help.  
                                            >  
                                            > Basicly what your combine advise is "The cleaner the process, the better the booze".   Make complete sense.
                                            >
                                          • Gavin Flett
                                            Eddie, Bob..... brilliantly explained Thank you both for a decisively in depth and easy to understand explanation. Gavin To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com From:
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Apr 22, 2012
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Eddie, Bob..... brilliantly explained

                                              Thank you both for a decisively in depth and easy to understand explanation.

                                              Gavin


                                              To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                              From: zymurgybob@...
                                              Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2012 23:44:39 +0000
                                              Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?

                                               
                                              Gavin,

                                              Eddie's example of the cruise control controlling your car's speed is perfect to explain the PID. Now let me explain the thermostat principle (only we'd call it a "speedostat") to control the same car's speed.

                                              To make your car work as a "speedostat", you'd decide on a speed to hold, say 50 miles per hour. Then start the engine, put the car in gear and jam the accelerator to the floor. When the car gets to 50 mph, keep your accelerator jammed to the floor, but turn off the ignition key. When the car slows some small amount below 50, with the accelerator still floored, turn the ignition back on again. Repeat as necessary, but always with the accelerator floored.

                                              Your speed will stay arbitrarily close to 50 mph, but I'm guessing you'll be able to tell the difference between the "speedostat" and your car's regular (PID) cruise control.

                                              If this sounds like an unrealistically goofy speed control, some WWI aircraft controlled engine speed with a "blip" switch, kinda like a doorbell button. When you pushed it, it grounded the magneto, the engine turned off, and the plane slowed down. When you didn't push the button, the engine stayed on and the plane tried to go its maximum speed. This is exactly how that Johnson control is controlling your HERMS temperature, by turning it off and on at full throttle.


                                              Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                                              To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@.... Let me know if you want your name removed.

                                              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett <gavin_flett@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Ok, I've done enough research on a PID controller to know that I don't understand what the hell anyone is talking about. Can someone explain to me in terms and language that normal people use what a PID controller is?
                                              >
                                              > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                              > From: zymurgybob@...
                                              > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 22:55:18 +0000
                                              > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
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                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Gavin,
                                              >
                                              > I can't say for sure, but the fact that you've seen some scorching of flour on the element, sounds like you're flirting with a problem. I got looking for proportional controllers for that element, and found that PID's, a very sophisticated type of controller, can be had for about 20 USD.
                                              > http://tinyurl.com/7k3dd8q
                                              > I couldn't find a data sheet for this controller, but it may require a Solid State Relay in addition to the controller (if the SSR is not contained in the controller). Such a controller should reduce the tendency to scorch greatly.
                                              >
                                              > I think I may get one of these for my proposed fermentation cabinet. My garage is a pretty chilly place, except during the summer when it's too warm to lager .
                                              >
                                              > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > To the author of this question: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me at zymurgybob@... Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                              >
                                              > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > My element is just an on/off, hot water tank element screwed into a 12" X 2" copper tube for the heat exchange chamber (this is of course connected to the pump by intake line and the mash tun by outake line). I use a digital Johnson A419 thermostat control for the element. I just leave the pump on all the time during mashing, it has a flow rate of about 6L a minute and I only turn it off to lauter and sparge.
                                              > > I have only just built this system and have used it once, so I am assuming that the flow rate is adequate to prevent scorching flavour transferring through. I did however have a healthy coat of flour stuck to the element after use (scorched underneath layer touching the element, then the top layer of flour was just stuck on, no scorching).
                                              > > An aquaintance who brews beer professionally told me that it's ok for wort to come into direct contact an element, as he is a pro brewer I imagine he assumes there is no flour particles (as this is how he does it).
                                              > > Maybe I'll post some pics of the system, it's very simple and doesn't involve a 3 tub system as others I have seen. Other than the mash tun, the whole thing goes nicely into a portable plastic case.
                                              > > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                              > > From: zymurgybob@
                                              > > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:55:14 +0000
                                              > > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
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                                              > > Gavin,
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                                              > > You've caught me in an ignorance. Although I'm an allgrain brewer, and use what is technically a HERMS system, it's a propane-heated false-bottomed brew kettle, with a pump from the bottom to a sparge arm on top. Because I never get to brew with any allgrain brewing buddies, I don't know all the different ways brewers heat the wort in their particular HERMS system.
                                              > >
                                              > > Do you control the heat output of that 2kW element with some sort of proportional control, or do you use a binary thermostat-type of control? If you use a proportional control, I think your element would look like a very low density element, and scorching should not be an issue. If, however, the element is turned on full with little or no wort flow over it, I'd think scorching would be a real problem.
                                              > >
                                              > > How does the heater in your HERMS system work?
                                              > >
                                              > > (As for the email link, I just learned that under some conditions, this mailer editor can strip HTML tags out of the reply. I'm going to try again this time. Bear with me?)
                                              > >
                                              > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                                              > >
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                                              > >
                                              > > Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                              > >
                                              > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                                              > > >
                                              > > >
                                              > > > Bob, I do use an electric element, but it's external (a hotplate), so I am assuming that it will be the same effect that a flame heat source will deliver. Is my assumption correct?
                                              > > > Also, I use a 2000 W immersion heater in my HERMS set up. This definitely gets some flour particles in direct contact with it. Hopefully I don't have to go back to the drawing board with this.
                                              > > >
                                              > > > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                              > > > From: zymurgybob@
                                              > > > Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:26 +0000
                                              > > > Subject: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?
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                                              > > > Gavin,
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                                              > > > I don't sweat a modest amount of particulate matter in my wash, but I'm heating the boiler externally, with propane. The only time I'd be concerned is if you have an internal electric element, especially a high-density element. That kind of heating setup is particularly sensitive to small particles in the wash, and can stick, scorch, and burn under the right (or wrong, I guess) conditions, and the bad taste can be almost impossible to get rid of.
                                              > > >
                                              > > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                                              > > >
                                              > > > To Gavin: I would like to be able to use your question, and my answer to it,in my Zymurgy Bob blog, and I'm asking for your permission to do that. If you choose to give me that permission, email me here. Let me know if you want your name removed.
                                              > > >
                                              > > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Gavin Flett gavin_flett@ wrote:
                                              > > > >
                                              > > > >
                                              > > > > Yes I knew that about the yeast being a no go in the boiler.
                                              > > > > I have a new question with regards to malt distillations. Is it ok to have the flour particles go into the boiler during the distillation. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this happening. I have had it happen, but do not know the extent to (if any) which it has affected my run.
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