Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Brewmation: An amazing turnkey brewery (not a Brew-Magic vs B3, but with comparisons)

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-17-2010, 04:56 PM   #171
JonW
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
JonW's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Huntington Beach ☼
Posts: 1,458
Liked 91 Times on 56 Posts
Likes Given: 36

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SankePankey View Post
Average price per kWh for New York is $.19 and for Florida is $.11.
I don't think the cost of therms is the driving factor on which to use. I think people may choose electric over propane gas as a cost effective alternative, but when it comes to natural gas, I think your choice should be made based on convenience or how you want to brew. Is a gas hookup readily available or easily installed versus running new electric and adding breakers? Do you routinely brew outside or do you want to be inside? There are so many other factors that come into play versus just the cost of heating your brew.

For myself, I'm interested in the use of electric brewing, but I'll probably just look at using a RIMS tube for holding my mash temps and use natural gas for everything else. I'm paying $.31 per kilowatt in SoCal and there's no way that is cheaper than gas. (Yes, the beginning tiers are only $.11 per KW, but I'm in tier 5 usage which is the highest and adding any additional usage would be billed at that rate). I currently use a 3 burner natural gas brewing rig that I roll right up to the front of my garage and plug into a natural gas QD. It probably only cost me about $40 in fittings to add the QD.
__________________
JonW is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-17-2010, 06:55 PM   #172
drez77
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Palmer MA
Posts: 365
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yambor44 View Post
Also, I have had them come to my house (after the aforementioned daughters moving out and bill going up episode) and everything "checked out" as "normal".

Interesting. They utility should be able to put recording voltmeters on your house service so you can chart voltage and amperage. Usually a good way to see at what time something is pulling a lot of amps. As certain equipment starts to fail they will pull more current.

Okay back on topic now
__________________
drez77 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-22-2010, 03:11 PM   #173
beerymcgee
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5
Default Hop Blocker?

Hey Brewmation owners -

I'm considering buying this system, but am a little concerned about the amount of break material and hop matter that would end up in my fermenter (and worse, my plate chiller).

I see SankePankey has a little standpipe-bazooka-screen type mod to help with this.

  • Sanke, how's that working for you?
  • Anyone else done anything similar or different to filter/block break and hop matter?
  • Has anyone tried the Blichmann Hop Blocker for filtering out break/hops? It seems like it might work, if the size is right...
__________________
beerymcgee is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-22-2010, 11:16 PM   #174
SankePankey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
Posts: 904
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerymcgee View Post
Hey Brewmation owners -

I'm considering buying this system, but am a little concerned about the amount of break material and hop matter that would end up in my fermenter (and worse, my plate chiller).

I see SankePankey has a little standpipe-bazooka-screen type mod to help with this.
  • Sanke, how's that working for you?
  • Anyone else done anything similar or different to filter/block break and hop matter?
  • Has anyone tried the Blichmann Hop Blocker for filtering out break/hops? It seems like it might work, if the size is right...
Well, what's cool about the boil kettle setup is that the drain is at the very bottom, unlike most keggle systems which rely on a side output and well implemented bazooka screen positioned to drain the entirety of the volume. In my setup, there is still a drain at the very bottom, so you will in theory drain everything. The bazooka screen is there to aid my whirlpooling.

This is not necessarily what I am experiencing just yet but I'm getting there. Without a whirlpool, the break and hop matter doesn't clog the drain enough to inhibit a gravity transfer at the end with minimal trub. With the whirlpool and a 100% pellet bill, I am getting a trickle out of the kettle from a packed cake of hop matter. In my brew this past weekend, the bazooka screen was completely covered with hop matter even at that height. So I'm thinking it needs to have some more copper wetted to give it more height but stay out of the way of the elements. I'm thinking more of like a field goal post looking thing. I don't know yet, but I'm trying to avoid the hop bag scenario.
__________________
SankePankey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-23-2010, 05:48 AM   #175
beerymcgee
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5
Default

Yeah, seems like whirlpooling isn't really your friend when the drain is in the center. That's kind of my concern.

Interesting, though - sounds like you're not really getting too much break into the fermenter...just clogging.

I wonder if you'd have better results if you just let it settle, instead of whirlpooling. That way the break and stuff wouldn't collect in the middle. Hopefully, it would just settle sort of evenly across the bottom of the kettle...

__________________
beerymcgee is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-23-2010, 06:01 AM   #176
GillandCo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CA
Posts: 440
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Longest Post in a row by the same person I have ever seen in a thread...I didn't read any and was hoping for a picture...However I will check out the site and if interested will be back. I Drink to you typing that long A** book in this thread...You are more dedicated than I am, And Im looking forward to reading it when IM on the Toilet...

__________________

If you don't like it...We don't Care!

GillandCo is offline
lakeshorebrewer Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-23-2010, 09:07 AM   #177
SankePankey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
Posts: 904
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerymcgee View Post
Yeah, seems like whirlpooling isn't really your friend when the drain is in the center. That's kind of my concern.

Interesting, though - sounds like you're not really getting too much break into the fermenter...just clogging.

I wonder if you'd have better results if you just let it settle, instead of whirlpooling. That way the break and stuff wouldn't collect in the middle. Hopefully, it would just settle sort of evenly across the bottom of the kettle...
No, not too much break in the fermenter at all. The snot stays in the kettle. I do get enough little specs to worry about in a plate chiller without putting a filter before it (the stainless scrubby method maybe) but nothing much.
Yes, this is what I meant. Just letting it settle is acceptable for a gravity drain- and I still don't get that much trub in the fermenter.
Whirlpooling with a drain in the center would be OK if I had enough heigh to the bazooka that it wouldn't get completely covered. Work in progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GillandCo View Post
Im looking forward to reading it when IM on the Toilet...
Don't be as impatient with your bowel movement. You'll blow an o-ring. But do let us know if that happens. And post pics please.
__________________
SankePankey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-23-2010, 10:06 AM   #178
SankePankey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
Posts: 904
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts

Default

Hey Halucin8-

Would you mind sharing your chilling routine with us? I see you use a plate chiller mounted below the boil kettle. I'm assuming you gravity drain thru the plate chiller and use the HLT recirc to circulate ice water. Is that right?

I'm not happy with my chilling routine just yet (immersion chiller - it's just too small for 15 gal - takes like 45 mins) and was thinking of:

1) ...going the plate chiller route and skip the whirlpool. Cleaning out the plate chiller with a HLT recirc of Oxy is probably very easy, convenient. Maybe even more convenient than cleaning off an immersion chiller every time. This way you don't leave out the break material though.

2) ...doing a whirlpool thru the plate chiller, sending it back into the kettle to chill the whole volume fast and act as a self-filter for trub. Wouldn't have to get the "Beef-Cake" plate chiller, could go a little smaller. Chilling the whole thing down that fast would be probably as good as using a hop-back.

3) ...doing either and using my 50' IC for a prechiller. Thing is, I want to have hot water in the HLT for clean-up, not ice-water. So was thinking of using tap and putting my IC in a pot with ice-water for a pre-chiller.


I have yet to get serious hop character because my chilling is too long.




{And... hey everyone- sorry for the infini-posts.}

__________________
SankePankey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-23-2010, 02:20 PM   #179
beerymcgee
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5
Default

I, for one, appreciate the infini-posts. Very helpful!

__________________
beerymcgee is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-23-2010, 04:53 PM   #180
halucin8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clayton, North Carolina
Posts: 62
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SankePankey View Post
Hey Halucin8-

Would you mind sharing your chilling routine with us? I see you use a plate chiller mounted below the boil kettle. I'm assuming you gravity drain thru the plate chiller and use the HLT recirc to circulate ice water. Is that right?

I was gravity feeding my plate chiller and using my well water to chill with and the output going into the pool (no waste). I could usually get the temp down to around 78 using that method. I was using hop bags at the time. I wanted to get away from using the bags, so I tried not using them and the chiller clogged almost instantly. What a pain in the ass that was. You definitely have to use hop bags if you're using a plate chiller. I was looking at designing some sort of "hopstopper" using a 9" false bottom in the kettle with some stainless mesh wrapped around it.

The last time I brewed, I used my immersion chiller with ice water in the HLT as the system was designed. It worked pretty well, so I will try this method a few more times and see what happens. If unsuccessful with the immersion, I will probably switch to a Chilzilla chiller which has a much larger size flow diameter and would be less susceptible to hop debris or design the above mentioned hopstopper.

I personally don't worry about trub and hops in the fermenter. Not bragging or anything, but I've won ribbons in the only three competitions I've entered including an NHBC Gold Medal, so I must be doing something right. I did notice less gunk in the fermenter when I immersion chilled on my last session. I think a lot of the mess settles to the bottom of the kettle and since the kettle has a nice, large, mostly flat bottom, it doesn't make it into the fermenter.

As far as having hot water in the HLT to clean with, just heat it up. I have a hot water hose in my brewing area to clean with, so this is not an issue for me.

Did I cover everything? I have a bit of a buzz!!

Prost.
__________________
halucin8 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First all grain brew (with amazing brew sculpture pic) alpo All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 14 02-11-2013 03:50 AM
Price to build the Brew Magic Brew system! vanwolfhausen Equipment/Sanitation 14 11-24-2010 05:01 PM
MrShake's Magic Brewhaus or Top Hat Brewery MrShake DIY Projects 74 04-11-2010 01:02 PM
SWMBO first brew AMAZING! Dalarast General Beer Discussion 5 12-09-2009 02:37 PM
Hop Supplier Comparisons D-brewmeister Recipes/Ingredients 3 04-29-2005 03:45 PM