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-   -   Single Vessel, All Electric, NS, NC Brewery (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/single-vessel-all-electric-ns-nc-brewery-158608/)

ScubaSteve 01-22-2010 05:26 PM

Single Vessel, All Electric, NS, NC Brewery
Okay Guys-

This post is half brewing process, half equipment. But we all like our gear, so here goes!

This is my conceptualization of a single vessel brewery, from bottom to top:

1) Use one large vessel, like a keggle or 20 gal Blingmann. You could go with a nicer pot, since you'll only need one :rockin:
2) False bottom with 1/2" diptube, or bottom valve.
3) 5500W ULD element through the side, 1" above the false bottom
4) A stainless stock pot basket lined with SS screen, almost as big as the keggle, but still able to be removed/inserted. Small legs on bottom to keep it from bending horizontal heating element.
5) A hand crank or similar mechanical device that can haul the basket out and keep it suspended.
6) A drop in sprayball for CIP

7) On the outside, you have:
A) A sight gauge
B) Short probe thermometer (to avoid hitting basket)
C) RIMS heat exchanger for maintaining temp/step mashing while recircing for clarity. You could also heat sparge water with this if so desired.
D) A Little Giant 3-MD-HC Mag Drive Pump
E) A BCS-460 to control the burners and pump

This would be a NO CHILL, NO SPARGE, ALL ELECTRIC, Brew-In-A-Basket Rig.

It will have enough volume to do 10 Gallon and high gravity batches, sparging can still be done if desired.


1) Follow Brew in a Bag procedures but with the basket. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-90132/ Once mash is done, dump the basket out and then use it for hops. You can let your hops float free and haul them all out at the end!
2) Adjust hop additions for No-Chill brewing techniques: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/expl...rewing-117111/ (later hop additions)
3) Drain hot, unchilled wort to a sanitized corny or sanke and take some wort for a Real Wort Starter (RWS)
4) Drop in CIP spray ball and recirc hot PBW. There should be very little trub due to the screened basket.
5) Pressurize corny or sanke to prevent vacuum in the vessel when cooling
6) Once cool (~24-48 hrs), pitch starter and use Fermcap
7) Once fermentation is about 75% complete, attach spunding valve and follow "Closed-System-Pressurized-Fermentation" techniques: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/clos...chnique-44344/

Sound like a plan?:mug:

ScubaSteve 01-23-2010 05:16 PM

I realize it's a lot to read, here's some basic concept pics of the brewery itself:




ScubaSteve 01-23-2010 05:33 PM



FWIW, Old Skool Paint is still the bomb! (I can't figure out how to do cylinders, etc. in Sketchup)

This seems like an easy way to do a compact, powerful, and potentially beautiful system. A plate chiller or CFC could easily be added for those uncomfortable with No-Chill. A 15-20 gallon vessel could be used to allow for 10 gal batches, and for those wanting a higher OG or efficiency, sparging can be employed....but it wouldn't be necessary.

This small brewery could be wheeled right next to your ferm fridge, and the BCS-460 could easily control it.

What do you guys think?

bakins 01-23-2010 05:44 PM

That's basically my setup. I use a couple of PID's. I use a 15 gallon SS pot with a steamer basket (I use DME to get up to gravity, but with a 20 gallon you don't need to). I don't leave the basket in during the boil. I don't have a false bottom, I just use a home made bag in the basket.

It makes good beer :) I added a ratcheting pulley for pulling out the basket.

jeffmeh 01-23-2010 09:51 PM

I'm planning something similar, but more like bakins'. Why bother with the RIMS tube, when you can put a bag in the basket and use the heater in the kettle?

ScubaSteve 01-24-2010 01:25 AM

I wondered the same thing, and then I thought it would be nice to deliver on-demand sparge water for rinsing the grain.

FWIW, I guess you could still go with the bag in the basket, but with the SS screen that McMaster sells, you've got a more permanent option that will clean up well. It's 100% food grade, as well.

I really think this can be done, and done well. You could use 1 vessel where most of us use 3, and you could focus on top quality components because you're buying less valves and fittings.

jfkriege 01-24-2010 02:42 AM

I dont understand the purpose of the false bottom. What are you intending it to do?

If I were going for compact, I would also think about losing the RIMS and just heating with the BK element on the PID controller. You could adjust the amount of liquid below the basket to make sure that you are not scorching anything or overheating past your set point.

ScubaSteve 01-24-2010 05:58 AM


Originally Posted by jfkriege (Post 1832871)
I dont understand the purpose of the false bottom. What are you intending it to do?

If I were going for compact, I would also think about losing the RIMS and just heating with the BK element on the PID controller. You could adjust the amount of liquid below the basket to make sure that you are not scorching anything or overheating past your set point.

I hear ya...I thought the fb was overkill too, but I think it gives a good second level of coarse, non-clogging filtration plus a flat, solid surface for the basket to sit on.

I still think the RIMS is warranted for sparging. If you add water directly into the pot, you'd have to rely on the BK element to bring the temp back up. It's much quicker and more efficient to raise the temp of a small amount of water, and rinse the grain with it so as to decrease viscosity of the retained wort in the mash.

I'm not so worried about scorching, as the BK element would be ULD and would only be turned on when the basket is removed or to heat strike water.

The only real showstoppers I see in this design are:
1) Size of the pot and basket could be a limiting factor. I figure a 15 gal stock pot basket should hold 30 lbs of grain plus all the water it absorbs. A 15 gal basket should sit in the pot well, I think.

2) Basket clearing the temp probe on the inside of the BK.

3) Efficency issues....but I think this is solved by hauling most of the mash out and rinsing it. This should be done conservatively and only to reach pre-boil volume, as tannins are undesireable.

Am I missing any other potential hurdles?:confused:

jfkriege 01-24-2010 02:09 PM

I am designing a system that has some similarities. I understand the desire for that extra course filtration, but I would avoid it. It is a filter that you cannot clean out, and therefore will keep grain particles in the boil (not a huge deal) and is one more thing to deal with (I like simple).

You could place another temperature probe at the outlet going to the RIMS system.

I might go with an outer pot larger than 20 gallons if you have the ability. The 15 gallon inner pot is fine. A 15.5 gallon keggle can apparently do 37lbs of grain and 1.25 qts/lb of water, so you should be fine (Bobby_M has a table worth looking at in the sticky of the equipment section).

ScubaSteve 01-24-2010 02:34 PM

I like simple and low budget, but I'm also looking at making this thing pretty.:rockin:

FWIW, when you use your bag, how much husk do you have kinda floating around? It's impossible to avoid it all, but if it were very minimal I could probably forgo the FB (even though I just bought two for my keggles :().

I considered placing the temp probe at the outlet, but I'd want to get an idea of the mash temp. Maybe I could do a thermowell in the lid that would dip into the center of the mash.....then run the wire to the BCS. Other than that, I don't need a thermometer in the side to tell me the wort is boiling.

I figured a 15 gallon basket would be fine, seeing how I never had trouble with my 10 gallon cooler.....but the question is, "Is the basket really 15 gallons, or does it just fit in the accompanying 15 gallon pot?" Without the actual size of the basket, it's difficult to make these predictions.

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