Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

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Wobbly
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Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by Wobbly »

The BM pump/malt pipe arrangement is such that flow is up through the grain bed from bottom to top.

This flow results in all the fine flour and particles being positioned in the bottom of the grain bed and when the malt pipe is pulled some (a lot???) of this flour/trub returns to the wort resulting in very cloudy wort at the beginning of the boil and if you traditionally sparge the situation can be significantly worse. The more trub in the boil at the beginning will result in more trub at the end of the boil and greater losses to trub left behind in the BM. I am aware that some brewers don't worry about the amount of trub/break material going into the fermenter but for my own reasons I try not to have any trub/break material carry over into my fermenter (Williamswarn )

On the 20lt BM there is only one pump so could/would it be possible to change the pump body around so that the pump is now drawing liquid from under the malt pipe and discharging it to the outside of the malt pipe thereby reversing the flow through the grain bed to now be top to bottom. It maybe necessary to install some sort of hose into the "pump out let" so that the wort is returned to the top of the malt pipe like it does in the Grainfather

Some issues might be:-
a) Unacceptable compaction of the grain bed
b) Pump starvation as a result of the compaction. Maybe this could be overcome to some extent by not installing the gasket on the bottom of the malt pipe and not tightening the hold down bar too much

I haven't tried this just putting it out there to see what others think.

I must have too much time on my hands to day :!: :!: :!:

Cheers

Wobbly

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mashy
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by mashy »

I think you could turn the pump around and provided the malt tube was flooded your theory would work.

It bothers me, that the pump return would be up the outside of the malt tube. Not sure this would mix very well 'cos (I think) you would get the pumped wort taking an easy path to the surface and potentially getting a preferential recirculation.

For me I don't see a big enough gain to warrant the experimentation. If you want to reduce the trub in your beer, Perhaps a fine sieve or filter is the likely go post chilling. ?

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squadricus
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by squadricus »

Haven't tried it yet, but with a length of all thread and one or two M12 SS lifting eye nuts, it's possible to invert the malt tube for sparging. German terminology for the layers that accumulate at the ends of the grain bed are unterteig and oberteig.
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wobdee
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by wobdee »

Could it be more of a grain crush issue? I have my grain mill set for a coarser crush and I also condition my grain with water. This really cuts down on flour and gives me crystal clear wort and very little trub.

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squadricus
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by squadricus »

I intend to adopt grain conditioning with my next batch. It really looks to move to a different trajectory in the tradeoff between conversion of starch and filterability.
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Sladek789
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by Sladek789 »

Digging up an old post.

Reversing the mashing flow on the BM (would then be from top to bottom) is something I have in mind some time, looking at all the other automated breweries around.

I'm aware of the theory against it, compaction of the grain bed, channeling, possible pump starvation, etc, leading to lower efficiency and possible pump issues but ..... I cannot find anywhere some hard facts from someone who actually tried it on a BM.

So has anyone here tried to switch the flow by simply reversing the pump(s). If yes, any advantage/disadvantage noticed?

I really looking for hard facts from real experience, not the theory pros and cons. Or if anyone has some info that could be found on other forums/blogs on such trial, please share the link(s).

Miodragz
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by Miodragz »

I have same idea and I would like to point advantages of this setup:

- Firstly BM has very little flexibility when it comes to batch size - because of this overflow system. By doing mashing other way around you could have more flexibility with batch size;
- Second thing is that BM has poor efficiency with low modified (old school) malts. For some malt types to achieve good OG you must go with minimum of 1/3 kilograms of malt / desired batch size. (Thats minimum, there are low modified malts that require even more saturation) In these cases lets say BM50 with desired batch size of 45l, total mash Kg/volume is 11.5 Kg, but required is 15 at minimum. That is something that cant be made with this setup.

As far as modifying goes, I think that this modification could be made rather easily and that it would have even more advantages than mentioned above:

- Rubber seal for mash tube must be replaced with some kind of stand that will allow water to pass.
- Pumps piping can be modified by adding 3-step valve at exit pipe, in such way so BM would retain normal operation in position 1 and pushing water to upper tube at position 2 (position 3 is valve off, and that is not useful for this application).
- This exit pipe can be made in such way so that after 3-step valve it goes to T junction pipe or another 3-step valve, where 1st position would be to move water up to mash sprinkler, and 2nd step to exit tube. (In this setup, pumps can be used to drain BM much faster than current gravity method does).

IPA
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by IPA »

I think you are doing something basically wrong with your brewing procedure. With twelve kilos of grain I would get 46 litres of wort in the FV with an OG of 1066. That is a mash efficiency of 83%. With a 50 litre BM I regularly brew 57 litres at 1050. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Speidel's design. It's more a case that owners try applying calculations based on traditional (non pumped) brewing procedures.

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rogerh
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by rogerh »

Hey wobbly, I like the BM concept of "reverse flow" circulation. It fundamentally separates the BM from the others which recirculate from the top down, so it comes down to whichever school you go with.

I got a BM because I like the way it does things.

To try to re-engineer a BM to act like a Grainfather or one of the many clones seems like a futile effort to me. Either go with a BM or go with a xxxx clone.

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mashy
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by mashy »

I can't say I disagree with that sentiment. Nicely put. They are 2 different systems and they do produce slightly different results.

One of the reasons for over pumping on other units is it makes them easier and cheaper to manufacture.

Pumping from underneath also minimises the need to sparge.

Perhaps this isn't a mod but a downgrade?

Miodragz
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by Miodragz »

@IPA, please read my post as whole - I have noted with which malts there are problems. You are now saying something everyone knows - I also get great results with say Vikingmalt pale ale as base malt, but that is not the point.

----------
There is no downgrade with this mod. With it you still keep all capabilities and function of original, while you can use it other-way around + you get capability to use pump as an transfer to fermentor boost device.

When other-way around flow is being used 3 silicone corks can be used instead of mash gum gasket to give space between mash tube and cooking pot. *all in this mod can be made in such way that everything can be made back to original state. Really no disadvantages...

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mashy
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by mashy »

Sorry I didn't mean to suggest downgrade in a physical way. I was thinking the logical sense of making it work the same way as cheaper unit.

3 slotted bungs is good. A simple razor cut in them would keep them on. Simple and would enough lift you only need around 5mm

The mod you suggest is (I think) the same as lower pump tap. Which made a real difference to my brew day.

IPA
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Re: Reversing the Flow through the Malt Pipe on 20lt BM

Unread post by IPA »

Miodragz wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:15 pm
@IPA, please read my post as whole - I have noted with which malts there are problems. You are now saying something everyone knows - I also get great results with say Vikingmalt pale ale as base malt, but that is not the point.

----------
There is no downgrade with this mod. With it you still keep all capabilities and function of original, while you can use it other-way around + you get capability to use pump as an transfer to fermentor boost device.

When other-way around flow is being used 3 silicone corks can be used instead of mash gum gasket to give space between mash tube and cooking pot. *all in this mod can be made in such way that everything can be made back to original state. Really no disadvantages...
Could you please post the details of the problem malts you are talking about. As far as I know that type of malt no longer exists commercially.

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