Klarstein Maischfest and Mashing

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matt76

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I used the same pump when it came time to cool, pumping through a special jet setup I made, into the immersion chiller I used to use.
Ooh, please do elaborate, this sounds intriguing...
 

AdeDunn

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Sure, here you go.... lol

IMG_20180407_120138.jpg

Just a 90 degree elbow, a brew builder pick up tube and a camlock male fitting, easy. Attach hose to camlock, position pick up tube in or near IC, and because it was narrower it created a jet. I've seen fancier made with copper as you can bend copper more easily so you can flatten the jet end, bend it to more of an angle etc, but this been steel I couldn't really bend it any. I had a 2nd hole drilled into the lid for when I needed to put the lid back on whilst cooling, so I'd just make sure to position it right.
 

matt76

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An update on my recirc pump tinkering...

20210228_133318.jpg

I did another test yesterday, this time heating the water up to mash temperature.

All seems fine - I left it running for about 3 hours, all watertight and no leaks 👍

It always amazes me how this PVC tube goes from being very stiff when cold to very soft when hot...

In fact this was the only very minor issue - the lid started to squish the tube where it goes into the kettle.

Nowhere near enough to stop the flow and I plan to drill out the breather hole in the lid so I can fit the pipe through. Once I've done that I'll trim the pipe to length 👍

Water temperature going back into the kettle (measured with thermometer) matches up with the temperature sensor on the kettle so that's good 👍

20210228_161550.jpg

I've pilfered and butchered a colander from the kitchen (had to cut the handles off!). This fits neatly inside the grain basket and will sit on top of the mash to act as a diffuser so the recirculating mash liquor doesn't just cut a channel through the grain 👍

All in all happy with that - think I'm ready to give it a whirl for real on the next brew day 👍
 

AdeDunn

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You seriously need to switch out the PVC for platinum cured silicone. PVC with hot liquids is a big no no. It's a thermoplastic, so over time will begin to degrade and break down. PVC is fine cold side, but hot side you need to be using silicone.
 

matt76

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You seriously need to switch out the PVC for platinum cured silicone. PVC with hot liquids is a big no no. It's a thermoplastic, so over time will begin to degrade and break down. PVC is fine cold side, but hot side you need to be using silicone.
Thanks for the tip - noted 👍
 

matt76

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Just checked, the item description for the PVC hose I bought (quite a while ago now, I just used what I had spare) actually says temp range -20degC to +60degC.

Not that I doubted you, but yeah, definitely need to get that changed 👍
 

Prakash Ross

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Hi,

I have this set up. My fixes (I haven't really fixed it at all);

Wrap well in towels or insulated camping mats - they have no insulation as far as I can tell and just a thin double skinned wall. Insulation will keep the temp stable and stop it needing to kick in so often.

Put a warm lid on the top (more towels?) to stop heat loss there

Recirculating with a jug helps keep things stable - I do this 2 or max 3 times during the mash

Not worrying too much. Most of the beer I've brewed in it tastes fine ;)
That’s what I do with mine. It reduces the kicking of the heater significantly. I used bubble wrap covered on both sides with aluminium foil (used for cooking etc.) and wrapped it round. Also put a thick towel over the lid. It isn’t perfect but the beer still
tastes good!
 

JT_Brews

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In fact this was the only very minor issue - the lid started to squish the tube where it goes into the kettle.

Nowhere near enough to stop the flow and I plan to drill out the breather hole in the lid so I can fit the pipe through. Once I've done that I'll trim the pipe to length 👍
This is very similar to how I've been using mine. The silicone gets very soft, I've had problems with kinking on bends though I'm trying to do a tighter loop than you I think. I've ordered some 16mm ID reinforced tubing to see I can sqeeze that round the outside to reinforce it. Ultimately bent SS tube would be better.
 

AdeDunn

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In PC water cooling you can buy a plastic helix that wraps around the outside of the hose to allow for tighter bends without kinking, no idea if it would work with the larger diameter silicone hose though, I used stainless steel 90 degree elbows and fittings for tight bends, along with ptfe tape on threads.

Helix (off topic pic, but illustrates the stuff I mentioned):-

IMG_20170624_195846.jpg

How I handled bends (I went straight to putting a hole in the lid, drilling out the vent hole wider to fit):-

IMG_20180313_153756.jpg

Hope this maybe helps.
 

JT_Brews

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In PC water cooling you can buy a plastic helix that wraps around the outside of the hose to allow for tighter bends without kinking, no idea if it would work with the larger diameter silicone hose though, I used stainless steel 90 degree elbows and fittings for tight bends, along with ptfe tape on threads.
Funny you mention that, my PC is watercooled but with chromed copper tubes and elbow fittings.
IMG_20200712_112603 (Phone).jpg

I have done it with copper pipe and own a pipe bender but I'm not sure where to get soft 12mm copper tube at the moment. Stuff off ebay often turns out to bend very poorly and I've moved away from the plumbing shop I used to get it from.
 
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Burtsbeets

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So, got all the parts for my pump set-up today and will tinker around with it this weekend. I ended up going for:

Pump, DC power supply, Silicon tubing, valve, clips and DC connector.

I will put some pics up of my set-up when I get it all up and running.

This thread has been great for getting an idea of what other people are doing as well. Loving it! athumb..
 

Scrattajack

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Looking forward to seeing this up and running. Those valves are only rated up to 60C though...
 

Burtsbeets

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Looking forward to seeing this up and running. Those valves are only rated up to 60C though...
Right you are! Conpletely didnt think to look at the tap. I iamgine it should be alright up to 70ish though. If not, get ready for a photo of wort spraying all over the shop :laugh8:
 

AdeDunn

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Right you are! Conpletely didnt think to look at the tap. I iamgine it should be alright up to 70ish though. If not, get ready for a photo of wort spraying all over the shop :laugh8:
They won't, see my post about PVC been a thermoplastic, only good up to 60 degrees C, above that it degrades and leeches.
 

matt76

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They won't, see my post about PVC been a thermoplastic, only good up to 60 degrees C, above that it degrades and leeches.
Yeah, after reading your comments to me I was thinking the same thing.

@Burtsbeets I would hold off from cutting your silicon tube to insert the valve of you can.

One thing I found was these little G- clamps. My plan is to use one (or more) to squeeze the tube to restrict the flow if required. Also means one less break in the tube and hopefully one less thing to clean afterwards.

 

Burtsbeets

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They won't, see my post about PVC been a thermoplastic, only good up to 60 degrees C, above that it degrades and leeches.
You actually got me to look a little closer at the plastic it is made from, turns out it doesn't look too good.

It is made from Polyoxymethylene which, while it can tolerate higher temperature ranges, can potentially leach formaldehyde in concentrations enough to be detected by smell. Most tests seem to evaluate conditions outside of those in mashing, so I think I will definitely be parking this inline valve and look into what @matt76 is suggesting.
 

AdeDunn

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Yeah, I use platinum cured silicone hoses and stainless steel for anything hot side, probably best policy to be honest. I try to avoid mixing metals too...

Oh, re airline clamps, I don't know if you've seen them, but they're pretty diddy. Used them many times as one of my other hobbies is keep aquariums (although at the moment my tanks are all empty... lol). Airline is pretty small diameter. I dunno if your hoses are similar to my, but mine are big fat things on the recirc side (and on my old rigs, as same type of hose). Thinner hose going into the machine from the recirc pipe, but that's not the sort you'd use. You want fat hoses for pumps to keep back pressure down.
 

matt76

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Oh, re airline clamps, I don't know if you've seen them, but they're pretty diddy.
Correct - mine arrived the other day. They are small but for the pipe I plan to use (12mm OD) I think they'll be ok, if I actually need them but I'm not yet convinced they're necessary at all.

You want fat hoses for pumps to keep back pressure down.
I'm confused by this. You're correct that a narrower diameter hose will have a greater pressure drop (or back pressure) than a fatter one.

But as long as the pump isn't struggling why do you think this back pressure is an issue?

I'd have thought the aim is just to get a decent enough flow rate (I'd estimate somewhere around a few litres per minute should do) to maintain even mash temperature without being so fast that you're aerating the wort?
 

AdeDunn

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Hi, back pressure reduce the lifespan of most pumps. As to recirc, yeah you end up with back pressure when you are doing it, usually via using a tap after the pump to control the flow, but not because of aerating the wort but rather to stop the pump from creating a void under the grain which leads to scorching, and possibly and overflow too. If you have the return etc set up right there should be minimal risk of aerating the wort. Fat pipes because recirc isn't usually the only thing you end up using the pump for once you have one. When you buy a machine with an external pump they use the same diamwter pipes as I do for the pump, only going into narrower diameter for the recirc return pipe, you'll notice that the pipe leading into the pump is 12mm ID as you shouldn't restrict the flow on the in side of a pump where possible.

IMG_20200918_175521.jpg

Oh and lower diameter pipes won't actually reduce flow by that much anyway, not like a tap does, but rather will just create a "jet effect" by forcing the same amount of flow through a narrower pipe, thus creating back pressure on the pump. The same amount of liquid returning through a larger diameter pipe at the same flow rate as through a narrower diameter pipe would actually have a lower chance of splashing as the stream would be wider and under less pressure. Eg. on my old eBIAB rig I had all 1/2" BSP fittings and 12mm ID hoses and the "squirt" was much lower than on the return on my Klarstein. I don't get splashing on my Klarstein though as it has a sparge plate on the top and also I replaced the silicone return hose with a much longer one so that it sits on the sparge plate rather than hanging above it.
 

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