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Old 09-23-2009, 01:59 PM   #1
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Default Single Tier AG brewers please share your cleaning process

I brewed my first AG over the weekend and realized that my clean up post brew was not satisfactory. Can anyone share their cleaning method for grain removal and cleaning of the Mash Tun? For those that use false bottoms do you always remove it when cleaning? I'm doing another cleanup tonight in preparation for my second AG this week and would love some feedback.

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Old 09-23-2009, 02:14 PM   #2
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I clean in place and remove all grain, debris, water with my shopvac. Yes, I do remove the false bottom because it's inevitable to get some grain beneath it. If I were smart, I would have had a bottom drain put on the mashtun then I'd be confident I could get most of it to drain out on its own.

I vac out the spent grain and go dump that on my compost pile. Then I scrub out the tun with some BKF on a 3m pad, rinse a bit, vac that water out. Rinse, vac. Same with the kettle. I vac out that last 1/2 cup of water from the HLT too to keep mold at bay between brew days.

During chilling, I redirect the first 10 gallons of chiller water into the HLT and pump that water to whatever vessel I need rinsing.



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Old 09-23-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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I carry the mash tun behind the house and dump the grains in a pile. I then take a hose and rinse out the mash tun. The kettle I hose out afterwards as well.
edit- might not be feasible depending on tun size

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Old 09-23-2009, 02:54 PM   #4
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I live in an apartment and can't just dump out the grains from my huge MLT, and don't have access to a shopvac. What I do is use a scoop to remove all the grains from the MLT into a more maneuverable container (usually my 4 gallon pot), then dump that container into a garbage bag. Once I've done that, I can clean out the excess grains that I couldn't scoop out using my kitchen sink.

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Old 09-23-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdboy View Post
I live in an apartment and can't just dump out the grains from my huge MLT, and don't have access to a shopvac. What I do is use a scoop to remove all the grains from the MLT into a more maneuverable container (usually my 4 gallon pot), then dump that container into a garbage bag. Once I've done that, I can clean out the excess grains that I couldn't scoop out using my kitchen sink.


all grain in an apartment? you are my hero.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:57 PM   #6
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I assume the single tier in question uses converted kegs but I may be wrong. If I'm right, there's no way he's carrying a keg full of grain anywhere.

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Old 09-23-2009, 03:27 PM   #7
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good point!

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Old 09-23-2009, 03:36 PM   #8
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I've found that my shop vac was too small to handle all that grain and liquid in one shot so it turned out to be more work then it should be. I use a Chinese strainer with the bamboo handle and dig out all the grain into a pail and dump in garden. Then I used to carry the tun and dump the liquid. Last batch I used a cheap (under $10) hand pump from harbor freight to pump the liquid out.


At this point I have tried several methods to clean and have not found anything that I like. I do save the chiller water into the HLT and run Oxyclean through the system but I still wind up spending way too much time on the clean process.

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Old 09-23-2009, 04:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for the updates. Definitely helpful. I will certainly use BKF on cleaning the tun, then go about my oxyclean and five star sanitize. Yes my kettles are kegs and would be a huge PITA. Bobby, did you have to mod your shop vac or use a specific filter over the motor when doing the grain? I failed to add that i destroyed the power assembly using the shop vac. Grain was in every opening inside the system. It's fermenting on it's own in my trash can as we speak. Shop vac is replacing the unit even though I told them it was user error. Now that is customer service!!!

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Old 09-23-2009, 06:58 PM   #10
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What I'd recommend is using the wet style filter which is just spun nylon or foam or something just to keep crap out of the motor. However, I did see a bunch of embedded grain in the thing after trying it for the first time. You know that little plastic baffle inside that half blocks the opening where the hose connects on the inside? It needs to be bigger. I got by a couple times by duct taping a piece of cardboard there but I want to screw in a piece of scrap plastic to be permanent. When the grain comes flying in, you want it to hit that wall and fall to the bottom, not get sucked into the wet filter.



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