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Old 12-13-2006, 04:32 AM   #11
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We discussed a few of my thoughts earlier, but I just re-read and found one little part that might become troublesome - your pump control. If you're using a mag-drive pump (like the March ones on More Beer), they don't take kindly to voltage regulation as a means of speed control. They are designed to have the motor run at full speed while the pump mechanism "slips" via the magnetic coupling. Restricting the inlet or outlet with a ball valve (manually or electrically operated) is a much better means of controlling your flow rate.
I'm actually not using a mag drive pump. I'm using a "Pony" pump, like this one.

http://www2.northerntool.com/product/16818_16818.htm The place that I bought mine from also sells a special high temperature impeller for it. The basic pump is rated for use to 160F and I think its rated to 200F with the high temp impeller. Anyway, I've used it for a while with no problems.

There are two basic types of AC motors. One type is called an induction motor. These are brushless and run at synchronous speed. 900, 1800, 3600 RPM, etc. regardless of the voltage you supply them. They will overheat if run on non sinusoidal waveforms or with low voltage. The other type of motor is a brushed motor. They are commonly used in drills, saws, routers, etc. Well, the Pony type pumps are brushed motors. Their speed is proportional to the voltage you run them at. They will slow down with a simple dimmer switch.

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I'd add handles to help with moving it around (on the left side of your side-view drawing).
I plan to make something like the wheel barrow option on the More Beer model. The handles slide out on the left side and slide back in when not in use.

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Any estimate on how much it'll weight dry?
Nope. Its going to take about 40 feet of tubing. I figured I'd use 1.5 x 1.5 square tubing with 0.100" wall. So 40 feet of tubing, 2 kegs, 1 pump, 1 mash vessel. 150 pounds ?

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Also, you might consider larger/softer wheels than the ones on the reference design, especially if you have to traverse any bumps or low steps.
That is a good idea. My next house might have a brick driveway. Would be terrible with small wheels.

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I like your design a lot.
I thought people were going to tell me I was nuts putting the mash vessel up like that ! Or to put the water vessel on top.

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If you are choosing to not use valves and go with disconnects, why can you not go single tier with one pump?
I think with a single tier you need 2 pumps because you have to move water from the hot water tank to the mash vessel and wort from the mash vessel to the boiler at the same time. As far as I can tell, that takes 2 pumps.

With my setup now, I can use gravity to flow wort from the mash vessel to the boiler and use the pump to pump the sparge water up to the grain bed.

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Are you planning on writing the software yourself? You are brave young padewan...
Yes. I've got a degree in computer science. I'll share the code if people want it. I'm writing the laptop part in Java, so it will run on Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. Its a stand alone Java app, not one that runs in a browser.

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Keep us updated on your progress.
Sure thing.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment. I'm not hearing any loud protests. I guess that is a good thing.
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:04 AM   #12
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Morebeer.com has good designs (I should know). I think yours is fine. Good luck, and have fun building it.

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Old 12-13-2006, 12:55 PM   #13
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"How does one dry the inside of hoses ? I am thinking of using an air hose to blow out the counter flow chiller after its been flushed. I am still trying to figure out how to get the heat exchange coil empty in the heater vessel."

When I'm done with my brew session and have run PBW through all the stainless piping and high temp. tubing on my RIMS system I have it set up with a ball-valve that I hook my shop-vac up to and then crack open the system at various points either with other ball valves or quick connects and let that sucker run for a few minutes. The shop-vac has done a good job so far. One quick recommendation if you ever store your system where it might freeze is to make certain you drain all or most of the water from your pump or any place that might be damaged by the expansion of water as it freezes. I don't know anyone personally but have heard that people have had pumps ruined because they didn't do a good job draining their system after cleaning. Oh, larger softer wheels are the way to go. I roll my single tier RIMS out of my shed across a couple of rough areas and I deinitely need to change my wheels. So far the system looks well thought out and well planned. My system has my mash vessel a little too high for me to flat foot look into it, so some day I may try to lower my entire system about 6 inches. I also like the idea of having the mash vessel on a tippy-dump swivel as lifting that thing is getting more difficult as I get older and scooping out the spent grain is slow going. Good luck and keep us posted.

Jeffrey

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Old 12-13-2006, 10:51 PM   #14
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What do you do when you are in another country with high end 3-D modeling software and extra time... Well, you start to draw up a brew system.

Brewman! Here is my start at modeling your system.



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Old 12-13-2006, 11:05 PM   #15
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What is PBW ?

I like the shop vac idea. Better than the air hose. Lots of good ideas here. I used to think I knew something about brewing until I started spending my spare time reading here.

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My system has my mash vessel a little too high for me to flat foot look into it, so some day I may try to lower my entire system about 6 inches.
Do you think I should strive to lower mine ? I could actually drop the hot water tank right down like 6" off the floor and move the stuff that is underneath it to the side of it. A keg is a little under 24 inches high. At 6" off the ground, I could I could have the bottom of the mash vessel at 36ish inches.

A Rubbermaid Gott is 21 inches high with the lid, so it would be 57 inches. Someone 5 feet tall should be able to peer in. I'm 6' tall. The only thing is that I would probably have to stretch the stand a bit to relocate the stuff that was under the hot water tank to beside it. Hmmm... something to think about.

Leaving the water heater keg where it is (under the hot water tank) will move everything up about 11 inches. The top of the mash vessel would be about 68 inches. One would have to step up to look into the mash vessel.

Maybe its time to start drawing things to scale.

This is the sort of info I am looking for ! Pet peeves that people have with their brewing rigs that I can avoid in building mine.

Thanks, runhard !
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:07 PM   #16
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Thanks, fifelee. Is that to scale ?

Not to sound ungrateful, but can you stand a 6' tall man beside it ?

BTW: the distance under the hot water kettle is for a corny keg, a little over 8 inches.

And if you wanted, you could stand the corny up in the back, behind the boil and hot water kettles and then drop the hot water kettle to the ground.

The only thing I am worrying about is the heat from the burner affecting the corny keg.

Looks like I will need a chute to dump the mash vessel, otherwise grain will end up in the hot water kettle.

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Old 12-13-2006, 11:14 PM   #17
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A carpenter measures twice and cuts once. A designer asks a whole bunch of questions and builds once ! This will already be my second go at building a system. In my defense, the knowledge base was a lot different 8 years ago. People have learned a thing or two since then.

Did I mention how much I like my Better Bottles compared to my old glass carboys. I do.

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Old 12-13-2006, 11:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by brewman !
A carpenter measures twice and cuts once. A designer asks a whole bunch of questions and builds once ! This will already be my second go at building a system. In my defense, the knowledge base was a lot different 8 years ago. People have learned a thing or two since then.

Did I mention how much I like my Better Bottles compared to my old glass carboys. I do.
I go the measure three times and cut twice method. Gives me lots of bits of wood to start my wood heater in the winter.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:36 PM   #19
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I've never figured out how to cut a board and make it longer. Maybe that is why I'm not a carpenter !

Food for thought:
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=38585


Note the effects of a high center of gavity, poor wheels and a narrow base on page 2.
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=38268

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Old 12-13-2006, 11:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewman !
Not to sound ungrateful, but can you stand a 6' tall man beside it ?

BTW: the distance under the hot water kettle is for a corny keg, a little over 8 inches.
No worries. I am somewhat doing this for myself, but will gladly help how I can. My main problem is that I have to guess on dimensions for the equipment. I got the cooler dimensions online, but I don't know typical kettle and corny dimensions.
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