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johnthemate 03-20-2012 02:00 PM

Starting From Scratch.. a few quick questions :)
Hi there all,

Im sure I will be reguarly posting here, as I put togther my little brewery ... thanks to all in advance who can help me. My first very simple question.

1. I've scored 3 kegs... I felt great for a bit.. However searching this site and others, I can find hardly anyone out there who has built a system out of 30l kegs. Should I give up now? or can I go ahead and make something quite decent out of 30l. i quite fancy the idea of lots of automated brews with a wide variety of recipes. I dont think that I am into a serious amount of grain, and looking at the mash tun efficiency chart, I should be able to get to 440 max gravity units ( is that a lot?) Ive already cut the lids of two of them... too keen to get gong I guess!

My options as I see it... use the current opened kegs for HLT and BK.. and use a picnic thing for the MLT.. gives me a chance to get slightly bigger volume., or just cut all three and carry on regardless! :) Im a little bit concerned about the depth of the grian bed.. is there an optimum depth?

2. I bought a Convolutus Chiller, for what I considered is a good price. Anyone out there use this for heating and not just cooling? Im sort of thinking about a small HX where I could rapidly heat some water to pass through the CFC instead of having to heat up the HLT to temp.

3. last current question. There appears to be enough gap at the bottom of my kegs to draw off from the bottom.. Why do most designs seem to have a side pull off suction approach.

Thanks to all, and apologies for the simplicity of the questions... Im sort of isolated here in Italy!


OneHoppyGuy 03-20-2012 04:18 PM


I looked up 30L kegs. They're half the size of the 'keggles' referred to here. So you're looking at a max of 5 gallon batches. You will need to keep a close eye on the boil kettle to prevent boil overs.
Looks like you are off to a great start. I have used the CFC you are referring to for dual purpose heating/cooling and I think it works great.
Bottom suction requires a lack of direct heat on the bottom to prevent scorching. Side ports are used for that reason.

johnthemate 03-21-2012 12:35 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Onehoppyguy, Thanks a lot, Ill continue cutting! :) Determined to make lids out of the cut out pieces!

Ok, Im convinced for the side siphon tubes.. should have spotted that logic. thanks for making clear. ( even if I might not go for propane, it will still leave me the option)

With your CFC for heating did you go for an extra HX, or just use the water from the HLT? I cannot see anyway of avoiding two pumps If I want to heat, once side hot and one side Wort recirc?

I think i will have to name my 30l converted kegs as keggelinos :) as they are italian origin, or kegglets for my english speaking friends!

Now to find the calculation for the element size for 30l... i think i would prefer to go electric.... but cant help thinking that I will burn the wort in the BK.

Grazie a tutti

OneHoppyGuy 03-21-2012 03:25 PM

I used 2 pumps one kettle and one cooler. The HLT served double duty as HLT and BK.
As for elements and such, ask the group in the Electric Brewing forum.

johnthemate 03-22-2012 06:22 PM

Onehoppyguy...Thanks a lot.

Im investigating two pot systems at the moment, with perhaps a little kettle for the heat source for the HLT. Does the boil kettle really need to boil, or can I get away with a very high temp .. say 97 deg C. ( then I could run through the HX again).. perhaps I am trying to over utilize my CFC!...I think I need to spend some more research time!

OneHoppyGuy 03-22-2012 06:43 PM

a boil is a must.
If you have not done so, you need to read this book. The whole book is online free.

johnthemate 03-22-2012 07:01 PM

still trying to work out why a boil is a must. is it to get rid of volotiles, or just to reach a certain temperrature for a period of time. Clearly depending on altitude, the two are very different. I had spotted the book before.. time to re-read again! :) Thanks

johnthemate 04-11-2012 02:55 PM


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