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-   -   Need ideas for a brewing sculpture (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/need-ideas-brewing-sculpture-12726/)

alemonkey 08-26-2006 06:18 PM

Need ideas for a brewing sculpture
I just scored a nice magnetic drive March pump off Ebay for $40 shipped - it's only good up to 190 degrees, so I can't pump boiling wort, but it should work great for strike and sparge water.

Now that I have the pump, I need to build a brewing sculpture. I can't decide on the configuration, though. I plan on building it out of angle iron (I have a MIG welder) and I want to put it on wheels so I can roll it around my garage.

What I can't decide on is if I want it all single tier, 2 tier, 3 tier, etc. A single tier would be nice because it wouldn't be so tall and would be more stable.

For those of you with single tier systems, how does everything flow? If I use the pump to transfer sparge water from the HLT to the MLT, how do I get the wort from the MLT to the kettle? Do I just drain it into a bucket, and then when it's full pump it up to the kettle?

So, if anyone has any suggestions, or pics of their setup, I'd like to hear from you.

runhard 08-27-2006 02:33 PM

brew sculpture
Nice score on the $40 pump. I've seen some really nice designs that people have built here and one in particular appears nice. It is similar to the Brew-Magic Pro from Sabco. The HLT and the MLT are at the same height and the pump is used to recirculate hot water from the MLT by an electric heating element to hit the precise mash temp and then back to the MLT. The pump is also used to sparge with water from the MLT. The boil kettle sits just below the MLT keggle's ball valve and is gravity drained into the kettle. While draining one simply controls the flow of water from the HLT to the MLT by a valve in-line to the pump to maintain sufficient water and optimize the sparge for how ever long your recipe necessitates. Go to www.kegs.com and check out their design and I do remember that someone built a sculpture very similar. If you can find that post you might exchange some ideas or gain some insight into the pros and cons of this design. Put some heavy duty casters or wheels on your sculpture that have wheel locks n the event you need to move it around. Good luck with it and show us your progress.

Runhard & raceEZ

Jaybird 08-27-2006 02:55 PM

well in short. photohand and I am building a system using 15.5 gal stainless kegs(purshased from my local brewery as out of service kegs) the system is a gravity and pump useing 1 pump and a valve manifold to direct the wort. Our HLT is above the MLT and the Bk sitting between them. below the MLT and the BK sitting between them is a grant. We will use the pump to move wort from MLT back to MLT for recirc and from MLT to BK via the grant. We will be able to have two brews going at the same time with this set up. feel free to pipe in here photohand and give some insite. our HLT is electric useing 2 5000watt elements although un tested by us this HLT will take 60F H2O to 190F in 15 min and being electric we will have a 2 degree control for our RIMS system for step mashing.
Good Luck

alemonkey 08-27-2006 06:22 PM

Thanks for the ideas guys...I was looking on morebeer.com and noticed there were quite a few with the boil kettle and HLT on the lower level, and the MLT on top. The pump was then used to pump sparge water up to the MLT for sparging. I kind of liked these because they seemed to take up less space.

I think I am going to go with a heat exchanger in the HLT to pump the wort through to regulate my temp. At first I'll probably regulate it manually, but eventually I would like to buy a PID controller and have a full blown HERMS. I have a source for 15.5 gallon kegs, but I think I'll initially just stay with my current 8 gallon keggle and cooler MLT.

One more question....when using a PID, does the thermocouple just sit directly in the wort flow? I wasn't sure if you needed to worry about it getting gunked up.

Jaybird 08-28-2006 12:39 AM

if useing a HERMS I would recomend puting the thermocouple in the exchanger or your MLT in a therowell. But you can put it directly in the wort I just wouldnt completly submirge it as you "MIGHT" start to get some false readings.
Keep us posted on you progress

steg 08-28-2006 11:25 AM


Originally Posted by alemonkey
I have a source for 15.5 gallon kegs, but I think I'll initially just stay with my current 8 gallon keggle and cooler MLT.

Alemonkey, Ive been watchin alot of the posts around and am dying to findout #1 what I would expect to pay for a keggle from a local source and what that local source might be. I have a hard time paying for a sabko keg expecially after ya look at shipping.

thku steg

alemonkey 08-28-2006 11:58 PM

Well, I have a buddy who owns a brewpub and said he'd sell them "cheap". I'm not sure exactly what that is, but I'm guessing it would be a good deal.

the_bird 08-29-2006 12:57 AM

Steg, I'd give a call to any local micros around you and see if they have any out-of-service kegs they'd be looking to unload. Dents and dings don't really matter if you're making it into a keggle. Others have talked about scrap yards often having pallets of them kicking around, but I'd probably start with the micros.

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