Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
#20

Mashing - circulate from bottom and up vs from top and down?

Recommended Posts

Hi guys,

 

I am planning to buy a single vessel AG system.

 

As I understand, the Speidel Braumeister circulates during the mash by using the pumps to push the wort from the bottom and up through the grains inside the malt pipe, before the wort flows over the top of the malt pipe and down on the outside before it is pumped up on the inside again.

 

All other systems, as far as I know....like the Grainfather and all DIY systems I have seen, uses the exact opposite direction of circulation. Taking wort from the bottom, pumping it out and up and sprinkling it on top of the wort, and then gravitation does its job on the rest of it.

 

The Speidel Braumeister is considered by many to be the elite single vessel all grain brewing system for home brewers. And it is very expensive....compared to The Grainfather, which is one of the best alternatives.

 

My question is: Why does Speidel circulate in a way that is the opposite of most (all?) other systems? I guess they have a good reason for it. But I don't understand what it is - and is the way they do it better than the traditional way?

 

Any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go for it bro...

Ive heard nothing but good things

Get what you pay for Quality in the 5 star

Ide buy one if I had the cash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Waylon.

 

Yeah, I know the Speidel is a real quality system.

 

But my question was more on why it is designed the way it is, since every other system seems to be designed differently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi guys' date='

 

I am planning to buy a single vessel AG system.

 

As I understand, the Speidel Braumeister circulates during the mash by using the pumps to push the wort from the bottom and up through the grains inside the malt pipe, before the wort flows over the top of the malt pipe and down on the outside before it is pumped up on the inside again.

 

All other systems, as far as I know....like the Grainfather and all DIY systems I have seen, uses the exact opposite direction of circulation. Taking wort from the bottom, pumping it out and up and sprinkling it on top of the wort, and then gravitation does its job on the rest of it.

 

The Speidel Braumeister is considered by many to be the elite single vessel all grain brewing system for home brewers. And it is very expensive....compared to The Grainfather, which is one of the best alternatives.

 

My question is: Why does Speidel circulate in a way that is the opposite of most (all?) other systems? I guess they have a good reason for it. But I don't understand what it is - and is the way they do it better than the traditional way?

 

Any ideas?[/quote']

 

Non-Braumeister systems that pump wort from the bottom of the vessel up to top of the grain bed, where it is allowed to pass down through the grain bed by gravity, are a less expensive in parts and materials for the manufacturers, and this is reflected in the price of these systems. In these systems the vessel is under no great stress so lighter gauge metal can be used. And a simple and cheaper pump can be used because it is only raising the wort about a metre and against no more resistance that that offered by the pipe it is pumping the wort through.

 

On the other hand, a Braumeister pumps the wort under pressure up through the grain bed from below. This requires a solid, thick walled malt-pipe that won't distort in use or during normal clean-up processes. If it did warp, ding or bend it might not seal properly on the base of the main vessel and the pumped wort might 'leak' out at the base and not go through the grain. And the pump used in the Braumeister is higher spec-ed, and therefore more expensive, to handle the higher load required to force the wort up through the grain bed.

 

One advantage of the Braumeister method is that the wort passes through every nook and cranny of the grain as the pump forces it through under pressure. With other systems that rely on gravity to pass the wort down through the grain there might be chanelling (ie. the wort simply following the path(s) of least resistance) and therefore leaving some of the grain 'unwashed' by the recirculated wort. Of course, many users of non-Braumeister systems simply stir the grain at times during the mash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi guys' date='

 

I am planning to buy a single vessel AG system.

 

As I understand, the Speidel Braumeister circulates during the mash by using the pumps to push the wort from the bottom and up through the grains inside the malt pipe, before the wort flows over the top of the malt pipe and down on the outside before it is pumped up on the inside again.

 

All other systems, as far as I know....like the Grainfather and all DIY systems I have seen, uses the exact opposite direction of circulation. Taking wort from the bottom, pumping it out and up and sprinkling it on top of the wort, and then gravitation does its job on the rest of it.

 

The Speidel Braumeister is considered by many to be the elite single vessel all grain brewing system for home brewers. And it is very expensive....compared to The Grainfather, which is one of the best alternatives.

 

My question is: Why does Speidel circulate in a way that is the opposite of most (all?) other systems? I guess they have a good reason for it. But I don't understand what it is - and is the way they do it better than the traditional way?

 

Any ideas?[/quote']

 

I think there is about 4 choices to make when buying a single vessel AG brew kettle. RoboBrew, Grainfather, Braumeister or a Crown Urn type set up BIAB. I really don't know anything about RoboBrew but I have looked at the other 3 choices.

 

I did see a comparison done between Braumeister and Grainfather and the Grainfather returned a couple of points higher SG with an identical brew. I didn't like some of the rust stains on the Grainfather and I put that down to possibly cheap grade stainless made in China whereas I expect that the Brau stainless may have been made in Germany. I also liked the way the heater coil is set up on the Brau and you don't have to worry about any mash sediment getting cooked onto a horizontal heater plate.

 

In the test the Grainfather wouldn't pump out due to hops blocking the inlet of the pump, but that could be sorted using some type of filter or a hop spider. The Brau doesn't rely on the pump to empty it as it is just like the Crown urn set up with a tap. With a Brau you can do a no sparge mash by running the wort level over the top of the malt pipe because it as you have already noted pumps from the bottom up.

 

I decided to buy a Braumeister 20 because I got a nice fat tax cheque back from the govt. But I think you would be happy with any of the 3 options I have written about. The Crown urn BIAB set up doesn't seem to lack efficiency as some brewers on here are getting really excellent results in their overall efficiency. If the Brau is slightly behind in efficiency of the Grainfather then it only takes an extra handful of malt to make up the difference in the grist and this is already factored into your brewing software.

 

So far I have done 2 brews with the Brau and am extremely happy with it but I am sure I would still be saying that even if I had bought the Crown urn or Grainfather.

 

I'm not sure if I can answer your question of why does the Brau pump from bottom up. Maybe your question should be, why does the Grainfather circulate top to bottom. I read somewhere that Braumeister have a patent for pumping from bottom to top but I'm not sure of the accuracy of that statement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks SRN and Morrie for excellent answers to my question. I have also seen the comparison between the Grainfather and the Braumeister, that Time4Another1 did on youtube.

One advantage of the Braumeister method is that the wort passes through every nook and cranny of the grain as the pump forces it through under pressure.

I did see a comparison done between Braumeister and Grainfather and the Grainfather returned a couple of points higher SG with an identical brew.

I'm not sure if I can answer your question of why does the Brau pump from bottom up. Maybe your question should be' date=' why does the Grainfather circulate top to bottom. I read somewhere that Braumeister have a patent for pumping from bottom to top but I'm not sure of the accuracy of that statement. [/quote']

Trying to put all this together. Ok, let’s say Speidel has a patent for their method. Imagine if they didn’t. Would it really matter and would other systems (like the Grainfather) be using the Braumeister method instead of their current method then? From the comparison that Time4another1 did – why should they really??

 

To me – the “from top to bottom” method seems to be the most effective of the two. Or at least not an inferior method. Especially if one bother to give it a stir or two as well during the mash.

 

What I really want to get to the bottom of here is: Where is that extra value one get when buying the Braumeister, to justify that price tag, compared to let's say the Grainfather?? (The Braumeister being almost twice the price)

 

Ok – it uses a better pump and it is maybe built of higher quality steel. But does that really matter? Does it produce a better wort and then a better beer?

 

One advantage of better quality parts is of course that it may last for more years.

 

I started by looking at the mashing process, as that is so unique and different on the Braumeister. But if that doesn't really separate the Braumeister as a better system, then what?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I built my own recirc system, bottom to top and using gravity to circ down through the grain.

 

One thing I have found, is that I have to use rice hulls to get the grain bed to flow properly, if my grain bill is over about 5.5kg, or I'm using rye, or unmalted rolled wheat or barley.

 

So using force to push the wort through the grain either up or down, would remove this problem. This would be more important if you like to make big beers, big IPA's, russian imperials etc.

 

One thing that concerned me with the braumeister was that the wort (I think) is flowing over the outside of the malt pipe, meaning it is having it’s surface area to gas dramatically increased compared to the other method or top down, and potentially being exposed to a massive amount of oxygen, potentially causing oxidation of the wort, which some say makes bad beer, possibly beer that has a poor shelf life. I’m sure this may have been addressed somewhere though. Possibly the gas environment inside the unit is so hydrated with steam and water vapour, that there is not much room for 02.

 

In any case before handing over my hard earned, I’d see if someone has investigated or addressed this with some googling.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input Headmaster

 

So I guess one may pay a bit more attention with a regular system, and maybe give it a stir or two to avoid a stuck mash. While you don't have to think about that on the Braumeister. It's more a set and forget system. But one thing/"flaw" with the Braumeister as I understand, is that you can't mash (can't fit) really big grain bills anyway.

 

Re HSA (hot-side aeration) on the Braumeister during the mash. From what I understand any oxidation during mashing will be boiled off. So not really a problem

 

I did some googling. Found (among others) this thread on the Braumeister forum, where they discuss this.

 

They mention a podcast on the brewing network, where Dr. Bamforth talks about HSA. Haven't had a chance to listen to this myself yet.

 

But one of the guys in the discussion writes this - quote:

"Interesting to note that he says that HSA in the mash may be a benefit if those compounds are driven off in a vigorous boil, or that the yeast can clean up staling compounds during the ferment, as you say Nesto it's possibly a net benefit!

 

One brewery even bubbling air through hot wort to purge off volatile compounds.

 

So maybe those clever BM designers know a thing or two about HSA and the benefits it can bring for beer stability and designed the BM to deliberately aerate the wort so staling compounds would be driven off during the boil."

 

So to me, this doesn't seem to be anything to worry about on the Braumeister.

 

If it was a problem, I guess this would be a problem on a lot of systems, on BIAB etc. As there is quite a bit of aeriation during sparging, circulation etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...