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Subject: Low-tech RIMS option?
Author: Longshot
Jan 12th, 2017
1:07 am
I thought of a simple method of doing what amounts to a RIMS-type mash without the need for an electric heating element, controller, etc. It would require a single pump and for the MT to be positioned higher than the BK to allow for gravity drainage. The process would go like this:

1. Mash in as usual
2. Begin gravity draining mash liquid from the bottom of the MT into the top of BK (a smaller BK would be useful here due to shorter sides and reduced capacity)
3. Once the liquid level in the BK reaches a predetermined volume (say 1 gallon in a 5-gallon kettle), begin heating the BK using whatever heat source is used for the boil (gas or electric)
4. Pump mash liquid from the bottom of the BK back to the top of the MT at the same rate as it is draining into the BK (recirculate mash)

You should then be able to control the mash temp with the heat source used for the boil. Maintaining an adequate liquid level in the BK during recirculation should prevent scorching. At the end of the mash, the only extra cleanup required would be for the small capacity BK.

Has anyone tried this?
Subject: Re: Low-tech RIMS option?
Author: DConn
Jan 13th, 2017
5:07 pm
I think the problem you might run into is hitting and maintaining a reasonable temp in the BK. Since the enzymes are in the liquid you need to be sure you don't overheat the liquid in the BK.
Subject: Re: Low-tech RIMS option?
Author: Longshot
Jan 13th, 2017
11:45 pm
That's true. I was under the impression that a typical electric RIMS tube would heat the mash liquid passing through to a fairly high temp in order to raise the temp of the main mash during recirculation, but I hadn't considered enzyme denaturing. Is the temperature of a RIMS tube kept lower to prevent denaturing?

I suppose the solution would be to regulate the heat source (propane burner in my case) and keep an eye on the temperature of the mash liquid in the BK during recirculation. You could probably get it up to what, 170 or so, without risk of denaturing the enzymes?
Subject: Re: Low-tech RIMS option?
Author: DConn
Jan 14th, 2017
4:28 pm
Yeah, I think 170 would be fine. And enzymes don't denature instantly, so even if you overshot you'd have some time to correct.

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