Originally Posted by Smokin Monkey
Hi Piers, looks like you are running a "Moonshine" operation!
Haha, I wish! I am a bugger for a bit of geekery. That's my temperature controlled recirculating mash tun, essentially I can maintain constant temperatures to within a couple of tenths of a degree, in my mash tun when I'm making beer. Probably a bit unnecessary but I wanted to see if I could make one. It's also known as HERMS http://beersmith.com/blog/2011/08/11/rims-and-herms-recirculating-infusion-mash-systems-for-beer/
Originally Posted by Baz Senior
I am looking for something to protect the element and pump, what I think I will do is completely section off the end with the pump and element so that nothing makes contact with the pump or element. I thought that if the pump gets knocked it could in a worse case scenario end up squirting the water out of the bath.
You probably won't need to protect the element if you start by filling the tank with hot water from the tap and only put the bags in when the water is up to temperature. The element will, if you've got your PID settings right, only be on for very small amounts of time and will hardly heat up to much above the water temperature. You can always clip the bags to the edge of the gastronome away from the pump and the element. Doesn't the pump have rubber suction pads on it so you can stick it to the base or side of the gastronorm?
Originally Posted by Wade
At some point you often have to step back and ask yourself "how much has this 'cheap' project actually cost?" and "how practical is it really?". I am like you and love a challenge and can get quite carried away, but sometimes when you look back in hindsight it would have been cheaper and more practical to just buy one in the first place. Usually the deciding factor is when my wife says something like "You are not keeping that thing in my kitchen!"
This was why in the end I bought the Circulator. After having used the temperature controlled slow cooker for a couple of years I just wanted something that worked well without any faff.
Trying to set up the PID values in the temperature controller was a nightmare on the slow cooker because the reaction times were so slow that it was impossible to do an autotune, this might not be the case with Baz's set up because the element is a lot more powerful than a slow cooker. I did eventually get a set of values that did kind of work ok, they had a tendency to overshoot whilst coming up to temperature followed by an undershoot before settling.
The homemade version worked ok but when I made it, the cheapest immersion circulators were in the region of £600 which is totally out of my price range. As soon as I saw this circulator for £99+Vat I jumped at it. It is head and shoulders above my homemade version, it gets to temperature very quickly and the temperature is rock solid with no overshoots or undershoots and I can use it with any sized container up to 40 litres. Had this been available at the time I first got interested in sous vide I would have bought it immediately and not bothered with any of the homemade versions.
PS Does anyone in South East London want a 6 litre slow cooker?