Some thought about temperature control in Kettle-RIMS

I know nothing about kettle-RIMS until Abel Ribeiro and  mojonojo mentioned about it.

It was a coincidence that I saw people discussing this setup on HBT soon after that. After roughly surveying LODO(Low oxygen brewing), my interest about K-RIMS rises.

Can BrewManiacEx support K-RIMS? Why not? If we move out the malt pipe of Grainfather, add a solid bottom and a drain, and then call the new malt pipe MLT. We are turning a Grainfather into a K-RIMS. BrewManiacEx works even better because we can use two temperature probes to monitor BK and MLT at the same time.

IMO, the most advantage compared to E-BIAB is that K-RIMS avoids the splash during lifting malt pipe or the bag.(Saving a pulley system should be another one if you brew big batch.)

The most disadvantage, except the lower efficiency of non-sparging nature, is the temperature difference between two kettles. The separation of two kettles will make the temperature difference bigger than the Grainfather.

I have been thinking about using the probe inside grain pipe (that would be MLT temperature for K-RIMS system)  as the PID input during mashing on Grainfahter. However, I am concerning the temperature of wort at the bottle of the kettle( BK for K-RIMS). I am not sure how high it will rise when the temperature of mash rises slowly because of solid grain bed.

A solution I come out is to limit the temperature of BK(or the reading of probe inside kettle) while using the temperature of MLT(or the probe inside the malt pipe) as PID input. The AUXiliary temperature will be limited by a maximum valve or a maximum difference to mashing temperature.

How do you think?

kettle-rims

Update:

My concern about temperature difference issue was relived by a simple fact:

The enzyme exists in the LIQUID part, not the solid part. 

It means that the temperature of the liquid is the temperate needs to be controlled. Sure, it is better to have consistent temperature, but if it is not possible, the temperature of liquid part is what we need to take care of.

9 thoughts on “Some thought about temperature control in Kettle-RIMS

  1. very good insulation of the mashtun and feed pipes will help stabilize and reduce temp differences.

  2. If you look at page 8 of the blichman brew easy it suggests placement of the single temp sensor after the pump on the Brew kettle to mashtun.

  3. Holding temperature should be fine, but rising temperature is another story.

    I’ve read part of the thread about BrewEasy on Homebrewtalk.com.
    People discuss about efficiency and temperature differences.
    Some said they need to set 2 degree higher at Boil Kettle while some need a 10 degree.

    I think it depends on the recirculation flow rate of malt, which might be a result of grain milled, temperature, water(wort) level in MLT, malt ratio between BK and MLT, depth of grain bed, and etc. If the recirculation rate is high, the difference should be small.

    I learned that BrewEasy has probe installed around the pump, but I thought it were at the inlet of pump. The probe measures effectively the the temperature of BK, if the temperature doesn’t rise too quickly. The probe is useless when the pump stops.

    BrewManiacEx supports multiple sensors, and different sensors can be used during different stage. I would use two sensors for BK and MLT each. My plan about using K-RIMS will be
    1. Mash-in (prepare striking water), PID uses the sensor in BK to heat striking water.
    2. Dough-in: Put malt in MLT, when striking water reaches the temperature, pump enough water to MLT to start mashing.
    3. After mixing water and malt, start recirculation and adjust flow rate.
    4. During Mashing, the sensor in MLT is used, so that I am controlling the temperature of MASH. In case of stuck mash, the malt in BK might be heated to a higher temperature. Therefore, it might be necessary to limit the upper bound of temperature in BK.
    5. After Mashout, boiling stage is entered. The pump is stopped, and all wort drained to BK. The PID changes input to the probe in BK, and start to heat the wort to boiling.

  4. Hi Vito! Thanks for the great program.
    Can I connect the matrix keypad directly to four GPIO ports on ESP8266? I have Lolin NodeMCU v3, and I don’t have the I2C expander at this moment.

  5. Yes. You can. In fact, the code is there and some modification of #define’s in “pins.h” will work.
    However, you must rearrange the pin allocation.
    Current Allocation:
    #define NODEMCU_PIN_D0 16 [Output only] Buzzer
    #define NODEMCU_PIN_D1 5 [I/O]SCL // I2C
    #define NODEMCU_PIN_D2 4 [I/O]SDA // I2C
    #define NODEMCU_PIN_D3 0
    #define NODEMCU_PIN_D4 2
    #define NODEMCU_PIN_D5 14 Pump
    #define NODEMCU_PIN_D6 12 Sensor
    #define NODEMCU_PIN_D7 13 Heater
    #define NODEMCU_PIN_D8 15 AuxHeater
    In the default configuration, only two pins are free.
    If you don’t use Sparge Heating(most people don’t), D8 is free.
    Buzzer must be sacrificed if you want to keep PUMP. Then, you will have D0,D3,D4, and D8.
    However, D0 can be used as output PIN only, so you have to switch heater or pump control to D0 and free one of them.
    Please also be noted that D8(GPIO15) must be kept LOW during boot-up.

  6. Did you posted somewhere the overview of your brewing system? I am interresting how you arranged the power sockets for heaters and pump, and how is the control unit made inside.
    Thanks for your explanation, and sorry for the offtopic.

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