Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

## Re: [Distillers] Re: How important is the sparge?

Expand Messages
• 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 1 of 25 , Apr 20, 2012
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?
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> 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?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > 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, 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 2 of 25 , Apr 20, 2012
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?
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> 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?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > 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?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > 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.
> > > >
> > >
> >
>
• 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 3 of 25 , Apr 22, 2012
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.
>
• Eddie, Bob..... brilliantly explained Thank you both for a decisively in depth and easy to understand explanation. Gavin To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com From:
Message 4 of 25 , Apr 22, 2012
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?
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> 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?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > 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?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > 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.
> > > >
> > >
> >
>

Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.