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Old 11-04-2006, 02:46 AM   #1
JoeRags
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Default Mash Tun Design

I'm in the process of putting together a nasty setup. I already bought (1) 100 quart stainless pot, and planning on 2 more. HLT, MT, and boiler pot.
Now, for the mash tun, how far off the bottom of the pot should I make the false bottom? I plan on placing the spigot on the side of the pot with a centralized pickup tube. Above that I have a very fine stainless mesh/screen material. Does it matter how high off the bottom of the pot the screen is? My idea was to place the spigot as low as possible, then place the screen just above that, probably be about 1 to 1.5 inches off the bottom. Does this sound adequate? Any problems I will run into with this setup?

For starters, I plan on direct firing the MT with a propane burner. Eventually, I may go with a true HERMS or RIMS setup... but for now, I think I'll stick with direct fired. I have yet to go all grain, and cant wait to do so. I just need to get my equipment together.

Thanks

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Old 03-07-2007, 05:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRags
I'm in the process of putting together a nasty setup. I already bought (1) 100 quart stainless pot, and planning on 2 more. HLT, MT, and boiler pot.
Now, for the mash tun, how far off the bottom of the pot should I make the false bottom? I plan on placing the spigot on the side of the pot with a centralized pickup tube. Above that I have a very fine stainless mesh/screen material. Does it matter how high off the bottom of the pot the screen is? My idea was to place the spigot as low as possible, then place the screen just above that, probably be about 1 to 1.5 inches off the bottom. Does this sound adequate? Any problems I will run into with this setup?

For starters, I plan on direct firing the MT with a propane burner. Eventually, I may go with a true HERMS or RIMS setup... but for now, I think I'll stick with direct fired. I have yet to go all grain, and cant wait to do so. I just need to get my equipment together.

Thanks

Any progress? I'd liek to hear some specs on your direct fired mash tun. It is in my footure.
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Old 03-07-2007, 01:22 PM   #3
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Try setting the false bottom at the same level as the beginning of the curve on the side of the pot, and mount faucet above then run pickup tube to center. You could silver solder couplings to the outside of the pot or use a swagelok tubing fitting and coupling in the weldless style and use tubing to reach the bottom of the pot. A lesson learned with the pots was the end of the pickup tube needs to be notched as the suction from the pump pulled the bottom up in the center and blocked the end of the tube. Here is a picture of a screen wire false bottom setup with the sparge water tube at the handle elevation.http://picasaweb.google.com/kevin.ladue/OldBrewingSystem/photo#5035126866262663698

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Old 03-07-2007, 03:04 PM   #4
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The false bottom in my cooler tun is about 2" from the bottom. Other false bottoms I've seen are about the same if they aren't the domed variety. The domed ones tend to only rise an inch or so above the kettle bottom.

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Old 03-07-2007, 03:27 PM   #5
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I used to have a false bottom but after a few stuck sparges I switched to a stainless braided hose. I have never had a stuch sparge with this setup.

My MT is 120qt direct fired but I use a HERMS to control the temp of the mash, I have found it to be the most efficient.


Stainless Coil


HERMS Coil


Mash Tun

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Old 03-07-2007, 05:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRags
Now, for the mash tun, how far off the bottom of the pot should I make the false bottom? I plan on placing the spigot on the side of the pot with a centralized pickup tube.
I think you want it pretty close to the bottom. Otherwise, you'll have to add more foundation water you have to account for. If there's very little room between the FB and the bottom of the pot, almost all of the water will be "in" the mash.

By a centralized pickup tube, do you mean something like this? That's what I use and it works great in a keg MLT.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRags
Above that I have a very fine stainless mesh/screen material.
Just a word of caution. Your false bottom doesn't have to be fine mesh, only fine enough to keep the grain bits from falling through. The grain bed is your filter. A fine mesh filter may lead to stuck sparges.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRags
My idea was to place the spigot as low as possible, then place the screen just above that, probably be about 1 to 1.5 inches off the bottom.
As you can see from the setup I use, the spigot doesn't have to be under the FB. You can install it higher and then let the pickup tube go down through it to the bottom. That way you'll have very little loss in your MLT.

Good luck. Give us some pics when you get it all together.
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Old 03-07-2007, 05:11 PM   #7
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The false bottom in my MT is done... its similar to what Yuri describes, as it is about 1.5" off the bottom, constructed from perforated stainless. I TIG welded in couplings for both the dump valve (below the false bottom) and my thermometer.

Next up is to construct a sparge arm for this bad boy. I have not made much progress in the past few weeks.

I will no longer be direct firing the mash tun. After following along Brewman!s design phases, I have decided to run a 4 vessle system. HLT, MT, kettle, and a seperate tank with coil to circulate the wort through... I like this idea as I can bring my MLT up to the required higher temps while I'm still recirculating wort at a lower temp.

Here's what I've got:

(2) 100 quart stainless pots - one already has false bottom, just needs sparge assy.
(1) 24 gallon conical tank from Toledo
(1) March pump
(1) Therminator
(6) Half barrel kegs - one has been converted to HLT already with valve and thermostat, one other will be used for the 4th heating vessle
Misc stainless 3pc valves, 20' of Brewers/Vinters hose, stainless barbed fittings

Whats left to do?

I'll be heading to the steel yard Saturday to gather the required angle iron to build a sturdy stand... I'll be getting a few high capacity casters to wheel it around.

I still need burners (one 300,000 btu, one 200,000 btu and a smaller for vessel 4)
Build the sparge assembly
construct 4th vessle with recirc coil
Build the conical fermenter
Build the stand this week


So, all in all, progress is slow, but steady. I'm open for ideas on the sparge assembly. I've got the 1" stainless down tubes from the Sanke kegs I was thinking of using. I can lay them in the CNC and drill countless 1/16" holes.



oh yea... and the grain mill. I'm thinking of custom building my own. I've got access to a full machine shop with CNC... so, all I need is the time.

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Old 03-07-2007, 08:16 PM   #8
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This is what I use for a sparge arm. The nice thing about this is you don't need to change anything when going from the HERMS to sparging. If you build a sparge arm with tiny holes the grains gets stuck in it while recirculating. I just used 2 ball valves on my HLT to switch from recirculating to sparging.







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Old 03-08-2007, 02:19 AM   #9
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Ahhh... good call. That would have been a problem. The pickup tubes from the Sanke kegs are too large in diameter though... I think I need to go buy some stainless 1/2" pipe and weld something up.

How do you adjust the height of yours?

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Old 03-08-2007, 03:03 PM   #10
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There is a hose clamp on the top of the pot to keep the hose fom sliding down. The hose slides freely in the brass fitting on top of the MT.

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