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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Anyone interested in Full False Bottoms? (~16" diameter perforated)
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:27 PM   #1
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Default Anyone interested in Full False Bottoms? (~16" diameter perforated)

In building my direct fired keg MLT, I'm pretty sure I want to go with a full false bottom because I hear it's the only way to run a continuous recirculation with a March pump at full bore.

The trick to getting it into the keg is to cut a slot on both sides of the domed top of your keg. This eliminates the need for a hinged bottom.

The biggest downside to this plan is the price of stainless perf sheet. At online metals, a 24 x 24" piece is like $58. You only need 16 x 16 so it's a lot of waste. The next best thing is getting the 36 x 36" one for $144 and making FOUR bottoms. I'd be willing to buy the sheet, cut the circles and ship 3 of them to anyone who commits to it. It's going to cost me $160 to get it to me, I'll sell them for $50 plus shipping. Interest?

Now after all that, does anyone run a cheaper screening method with a March 809 recirculation?

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Old 08-14-2007, 04:34 PM   #2
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I'm in the process of putting new false bottoms in mine and I bought from Onlinemetals.com as well. I wasn't going to go with hinged false bottoms but ended up going that route. Reason being is that you eliminate a LOT of waste metal when the false bottom can be cut out in halves. Thus making it a little bit cheaper to fabricate.

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Old 08-14-2007, 04:45 PM   #3
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I use one of these, but I'm not sure if that's any more cost-effective for you. It's only a 10-12 inch sheet. I can't imaging that it wouldn't work with a pump, although I haven't bought one yet. Just gravity draining WFO drains the MLT in a hurry. I usually throttle the valve to get a little slower sparge.

FYI - one thing I didn't like about this design was that the rubber o-ring they send to hold it in place doesn't really work. If it's not tight around the sides, then you'll get a clogged drain (ask me how I know). I fixed the problem with a hose clamp and it's worked like a charm.

Also, I'm curious about your adversion to a hinged FB. I used a home made one for a while and had no problems with it.

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Old 08-14-2007, 04:49 PM   #4
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Bobby that is what I did. It is nice to get a larger false bottom with out hinges in the bottom of a keg. I bought a custom sized sheet from onlinemetals. By the way if you refer someone to their site they will send you a coupon code for 15% off of your order. This can save you some $$ when ordering expensive stainless.

This was a foppa and swagman collaboration.
Here are some pics.



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Old 08-14-2007, 04:50 PM   #5
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craig,
Can you expand a little on what you did? I mean, I know how hinged bottoms work and all but I have a couple questions.

Why did you need to make more than one bottom? Did you put one in your BK as well? Do you have any problem with the bottom flipping up and letting a lot of grain underneath?

What hole diameter, stagger, and thickness did you end up with?

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Old 08-14-2007, 05:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky
I use one of these, but I'm not sure if that's any more cost-effective for you. It's only a 10-12 inch sheet. I can't imaging that it wouldn't work with a pump, although I haven't bought one yet. Just gravity draining WFO drains the MLT in a hurry. I usually throttle the valve to get a little slower sparge.

FYI - one thing I didn't like about this design was that the rubber o-ring they send to hold it in place doesn't really work. If it's not tight around the sides, then you'll get a clogged drain (ask me how I know). I fixed the problem with a hose clamp and it's worked like a charm.

Also, I'm curious about your adversion to a hinged FB. I used a home made one for a while and had no problems with it.

I am pretty sure that a full bottom allows the mash liquor to drain through fast enough to always maintain a level above the bottom of the dip tube when you run the pump. If this didn't happen, you'd be sucking air into the dip tube. I'm only moderately reserved about hinging but one of the main reasons is that I plan on tip dumping the MLT for cleaning, etc and I don't want it flapping around on me. Maybe I can incorporate a stainless fender washer into where the dip tube comes down through it.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
craig,
Can you expand a little on what you did? I mean, I know how hinged bottoms work and all but I have a couple questions.

Why did you need to make more than one bottom? Did you put one in your BK as well? Do you have any problem with the bottom flipping up and letting a lot of grain underneath?

What hole diameter, stagger, and thickness did you end up with?
I wish I had a good picture of it right now! They aren't fully complete but very similar to what I used previously and like the picture above. I stick a FB in my mash and in my kettle for hops and other additives.
Because I direct fire my mash, I'm very opposed to letting any grain through, my last version used SS screen and didn't let any through. I'm mimic'ing that design and it shouldn't let any through either.
I went with the 0.03" thick T-304 Perforated Sheet Round Hole (0.09375" holes - 0.15625" stagger) and it is plenty strong.
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky
I use one of these, but I'm not sure if that's any more cost-effective for you. It's only a 10-12 inch sheet. I can't imaging that it wouldn't work with a pump, although I haven't bought one yet. Just gravity draining WFO drains the MLT in a hurry. I usually throttle the valve to get a little slower sparge.

FYI - one thing I didn't like about this design was that the rubber o-ring they send to hold it in place doesn't really work. If it's not tight around the sides, then you'll get a clogged drain (ask me how I know). I fixed the problem with a hose clamp and it's worked like a charm.

Also, I'm curious about your adversion to a hinged FB. I used a home made one for a while and had no problems with it.

I bought one of those weldless hunks of crap from morebeer. The rubber o ring is a joke. You are completely right, it dosn't work. I couldn't get what they sent me to work, had to go to 3 different shops in town to get someone to cut more threads into a brass pipe, get another SS washer and get a SS nut. To add insult to injury the back of the SS manifold is crazy burred. I have zero idea how they sell these things. To make matters worse the thing is warped!!! After getting custom fittings to get a seal to form I had to cut the SS diptube to fit. got everything ready and did my first batch. I thought that I had got the warped false bottom flat enough.... Stuck sparge. Grains in my pump.... Got some copper tubing and some different fittings and made a copper coil that I slotted up with a dremmel. That works VERY well!!! I am very happy for those who can get THIS weldless set up to work for them. That is awesome! It is just a severly tender nerve with me. I apologize for thrashing on a product that I'm sure alot of other people are happy with. I just had a bad experience(and hate this product with every fiber of my being!) BTW How the heck did you get the seal to form with the parts provided? I torqued on a wrench on the ball valve and vice grips on the ROUND(don't get me started...) female SS coupler for a few days, even had friends try and help, and STILL couldn't get both that and the ball valve on the nipple far enough to form a seal!?!?!?! tell me, what is your secret?
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimsawyer
I bought one of those weldless hunks of crap from morebeer. The rubber o ring is a joke. You are completely right, it dosn't work. I couldn't get what they sent me to work, had to go to 3 different shops in town to get someone to cut more threads into a brass pipe, get another SS washer and get a SS nut. To add insult to injury the back of the SS manifold is crazy burred. I have zero idea how they sell these things. To make matters worse the thing is warped!!! After getting custom fittings to get a seal to form I had to cut the SS diptube to fit. got everything ready and did my first batch. I thought that I had got the warped false bottom flat enough.... Stuck sparge. Grains in my pump.... Got some copper tubing and some different fittings and made a copper coil that I slotted up with a dremmel. That works VERY well!!! I am very happy for those who can get THIS weldless set up to work for them. That is awesome! It is just a severly tender nerve with me. I apologize for thrashing on a product that I'm sure alot of other people are happy with. I just had a bad experience(and hate this product with every fiber of my being!) BTW How the heck did you get the seal to form with the parts provided? I torqued on a wrench on the ball valve and vice grips on the ROUND(don't get me started...) female SS coupler for a few days, even had friends try and help, and STILL couldn't get both that and the ball valve on the nipple far enough to form a seal!?!?!?! tell me, what is your secret?

Now tell us how you really feel!!!!!

BTW, I have 2 of those that I have been using for over a year now and have not had any trouble out of them. I did have a larger hinged false bottoms made to go above them but they both have performed very well.
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:07 PM   #10
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The big problem with these kits is that it is assumed to be universal enough to work in any MLT setup. There are so many coolers/vessels out there and they all have different bulkhead heights, wall thicknesses, etc. The other problem with weldless + false bottoms is that to adequately hold it down to the bottom of the vessel, it exerts a lot of force on the bulkhead joint. You end up having to overtighten the bulkhead to do it. In coolers, this is bad news because it crushes the wall and could leak.

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