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Old 10-02-2008, 05:02 PM   #1
Mirilis
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Default Review My Brutus Clone

Well I am getting closer to having all the parts I need. (burners came in today) That puts me at about 50%. I just thought I would put up some pictures of the build and ask if there is any suggestions on things to add. I modified it slightly to how I wanted to brew with it but I may change my mind by the time it gets done. I also have a 2D drawing that shows everything for assembly and wiring. Most of the things I changed were either Asco type, or the things that go into my kegs (ie adding whirlpool, changing the returns, etc) Also I added a pivoting arm that has the control panel mounted on it. The pictures may not show it very well but it locks in with a bolt and rotates 90 degrees.

For the most part though the stand part is still Lonnie Macs design





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Old 10-02-2008, 05:09 PM   #2
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Looks awesome bro, I'm right there with on the build. Still amassing all the parts that I need to get. Jaybird is making me some sweet lids all I need to get now is the steel and control panel stuff.

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Old 10-02-2008, 05:19 PM   #3
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I got the stand cut / welded and casters done. I have the gas valves and the ascos, now I have the burners and pilots. I got my kegs but only 1 is converted. I still need the keg conversion stuff, 2 pumps, therminator (i have a cfc that will work till i get one) and the electric stuff and im set.

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Old 10-02-2008, 05:37 PM   #4
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I'd suggest different dimensions on the pump cover plate. Maybe consider putting a backside to it too to cover the pumps even more. Sure what Lonnie has protects them from a boil over, but I like to hose mine down every once in a while (unplugged!). I want to keep all h20 away from those pumps. One other problem with mine is that I lowered my burner a bit to get better combustion and being lower, it is closer to the asco valve. Well my ASCO valve decided to shut down it got so hot. Once it cooled down it was working again, but I'm thinking of building some kind of heat shield for the ASCOs. Definitely add a float switch on a 3 position toggle switch so you don't have to watch your sparge BEFORE you get that all put together. Also, when you sparge really slow, you are going to be losing a lot of heat through your lines and your temperature is not going to be accurate. This is my temporary solution and it has worked really well. This is my sparge lid.

From the HLT, I run a silicone hose to the angled top copper fitting on the lid, and then controling those 2 small ball valves I allow a little to trickle down into the sparge arm (on the underside of the lid) and the rest goes back to the HLT to get reheated from the copper arm aimed to the right. The flow rate is kept really high so that there is no temperature loss when you sparge. Last suggestion - add a 52" plasma tv on there and kick back when you brew!



Here is my float -adjustable in height too! It floats up and down on my verticle thermowell which I don't use as a thermowell. I just toss the temp sensors right into the liquid!

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Old 10-02-2008, 05:49 PM   #5
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LOL, I got a 42 inch LCD TV.. about the float switch can you take pictures of yours.. ive never messed with one before.. (Ive never had any pumps.. im a gravity guy till i get some cash)

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Old 10-02-2008, 11:34 PM   #6
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Yeah, I'll grab some pics. I'm assuming you are going to fly sparge, not batch sparge, and so you can make it really easy with the float switch. In fly sparging after your mash is complete you SLOWLY pump out your wort from the MT at the SAME EXACT rate that you are pumping 168-170 degree sparge water back on top of the grain bed in the MT without disturbing it. I had a frustrating time trying to judge and set the two rates to be the same by just manouvering the ball valves on the pumps. I also noticed that when I heated up my HLT to 170, that by the time the sparge made it to through the pump and through the silicone line and into the MT, it had cooled down substantially, 135-140 on a cold day- you'd never be able to really predict your efficiency it'd be all over the board!

Look at the float switch ($12 bucks from McMaster). The pole holds a magnetic cylinder float.
Learned this the hard way, but there is a clip on the bottom of the pole that holds the float. If the float is one way, then the top position is "ON", bottom is "OFF". If you flip the float around, then the top becomes "OFF" and the bottom "ON".

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Old 10-02-2008, 11:35 PM   #7
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When my float floats up it turns "ON" and when it is down it turns "OFF". I have it controlling the pump between my MT and BK, and it is wired to this 3 way toggle switch. In the middle toggle, the pump is off, and the float is off. In the Top toggle, the pump is always on with no interference from the float. In the bottom toggle, the pump will only go on when the float floating in the sparge water (about 2" above the grain bed) raises the float to the top. When it goes on, the mash tun quickly empties a volume of wort from the MT until the float drops about 1/2 an inch.

Did I mention that my float switch is connected to the control panel using an RCA cable?

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Old 10-02-2008, 11:37 PM   #8
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And do you see in this picture how you can easily raise/lower the float height, so if you wanted to do 5 gallon batches, 10 gallon batches your grain bed height will be very different and you can adjust it.

Back to the sparge process. To ensure a constant sparge temperature ( I chose 168 degrees F), I use the following set up. I mash out at 168 degrees. I then heat my HLT sparge water to 168 degrees. As I am heating I turn on the pump and open the HLT to full throttle to heat up the lines (except I bypass the line that goes into the MT by closing off this ball valve) Notice how the other ball valve is fully open allowing for the water to go back into the HLT. I rely on the ASCO and LOVE controller to keep the HLT at 168. It works very well. Once the sparge water is heated and I am mashed out, I slowly open that same ball valve to allow for just a trickle to enter the MT. I will then turn on my float valve to control my other pump that drains the MT. As sparge water trickles in and reaches the float it turns on the drain pump. I sparge over one hour, some times more like 2 hours. It's a long process. But I can completely walk away from it. Do you understand the sparge process a little better now using the floats?

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Old 10-02-2008, 11:37 PM   #9
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More pics... This is inside the MT. I use a silicone tube as it is detachable and allows for easy removal of the false bottom for cleaning. And look what is underneeth the false bottom in the MT.

This is inside my BK and is also removable. I use whole hops, never have tried pellet hops though...

This is inside my HLT.

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Old 10-02-2008, 11:38 PM   #10
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Speaking of removable I can easily slide out my plate chiller.

This is my lowered burner and the only way I could plum it. But now the ASCO gets TOO HOT!!!

See here how I made the pumps more covered with longer steel plate. I just wish I had a back side.

And FOUR POUNDS of fresh hops sure looks good.

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