All-In-One Royal Catering system first go

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Feb 13, 2017
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Czech Republic
Hi there,

Yesterday I brewed with my new 30l Royal Catering AIO for the first time. It looks identical to the Klarstein system and some others re-badged.

Just for some background - I had a previous setup of a Klarstein boiler and homemade cooler box mash tun which served me well for around 50 brews (the first half a dozen used a home-made bucket boiler but I soon realised electrics isn't my trade and got the Klarstein). Of those 50-odd I only had 4-5 which were disappointing - infected, over-carbed or just not good. The other 45 or so came out as intended, within 0.006 OG/FG and more or less the colour/taste etc. On the other hand I havent't experimented much beyond typical adjuncts. I've never done more than a single decoction, never used liquid yeast and never racked to anything other than glass bottles.

I thought 50 brews is enough to give me an idea of what I am doing and the AIO seemed a step backwards, however it took me over 2 hours yesterday to work out how to even heat the water! I had no idea what I was doing. In the end I heated 14l of water to 72 degrees, aiming for a 66 degree mash. I added 3.75kg of grain and it was barely wet (in my cooler box I would go 3-1 so approx 12 l for 3.75kg) as there is about 6l space below the false bottom. Usually I find it easy to dough in and spread the grain, yesterday I was concerned for clumps and dry bits. Once it was mashing I switched the pump on. Should I do this straight away or later? Then I realised the top filter was holding the liquid and I was essentially pumping the wort from the overflow tube up to the top and back to the overflow? I slowed the pump. Once my mash was complete I had to try to calculate the volume of sparge water needed (heating in my old Klarstein). I had no idea how to calculate this properly in a new system so dumped about 6t litres in. then lifted the inner part up. Boil went as it would with any brew and I was about 5% better efficiency than my old setup even with all this rigmarole going on (70% up from usually around 65%)

I am now wondering if it is worth the hassle of getting the other boiler out to heat the sparge water. In my old system I would fly sparge but that doesn't seem possible here, more of a batch sparge as you just add your water after mashing? Yesterday I literally added the sparge water and immediately lifted the vessel out to let the rest drip down. Even if I lose a bit of the efficiency is it worth the hassle of heating the water separately? If I don't sparge then how do I calculate the total mash water volume for the intended boil volume?

I also forgot (for the second time in the last few brews) to take an OG. So had to get a sample after pitching, risking infection. I really need to put a sign in the cellar reminding me to take readings!

Sorry for the rambling post, there are some questions in there. I basically felt like a newbie yesterday.

I use a Klarstein Fullhorn with BIAB and dough in at 3:1 with no problems, I think John Palmer reckons up to 4:1 is fine though.
I intend to build a new kettle and use the Klarstein as a sparge water heater but until that day this is what I do:

Heat sparge water to 85C and then decant into one of those insulated plastic drink chillers that can be converted to a mash tun (but not converted) put the lid on and leave it until just before you need to sparge.
I add any salts required to the sparge water at this point.

I have the correct quantity of cold mash water already in a bucket which has previously had campden and salts added. I pour this into the kettle and bring to 72C. Then dough in and maintain the mash temperature and circulate the wort until mash complete.

I open the lid of the HLT and check the temp. of the sparge water and leave it to chill if still a bit too hot but it is usually about right.

I then pour the sparge water into the kettle and batch sparge and then drop that into the bucket as well.

I remove the bag and then add all of the combined wort into the kettle for the boil.
Assuming your unit is the same as the mundshenk there are a lot of posts on the bargain thread Klarstein Mundschenk

I think your main issue has been the mash water - you have to add the dead space below the grain to your mash water calculation. This will give you approx 21l mash and 10l sparge. I let Brewfather work this out.

I recirculate throughout the mash at a rate enough to maintain a few cm above the top mesh plate - it never goes down the overflow. There are no instructions on how to assemble the overflow pipe with the klarstien- for 4kg grain I use the long section only, for any more grain I use the short section on the bottom and long on top.

I fly sparge by jug with the malt pipe raised. Not hitting the efficiency I think l should though so there may be a better way.

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