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Old 09-30-2013, 04:13 PM   #1
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Default Two Vessel HLT

I have a 11kW 1/2 Barrel Sanke HLT. We are looking to move up to 20 gallon or possibly 1bbl batches. I really don't want to start from scratch with a bigger HLT so I was thinking about just tying another keg to the existing HLT.

Here is a chicken scratch drawing of the plumbing (sorry it's rotated, I know it won't work that way)



The S's are solenoid valves for HLT fill and drain to MLT. The pump is for stirring the HLT. I figured I would put in a few valves to isolate the second tank if I didn't need as much volume.

Anyone done anything like this or see any problems with it? I'm not sure I will get proper circulation to the second vessel...

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:32 PM   #2
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I don't think I would get good circulation in the second keg like I drew it above. Maybe this:

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Old 09-30-2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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I would just sell the one you have and get what your need is. With two HLTs you have to monitor two temperatures, more plumbing, and more fixing to do. besides, only one HLT to heat.

If you sell the one you have and spend the money on another which meets your needs. I think you would be better off.

Think "bigger and simpler". It always pays itself off in the long run.

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Old 09-30-2013, 07:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Smellyglove View Post
I would just sell the one you have and get what your need is. With two HLTs you have to monitor two temperatures, more plumbing, and more fixing to do. besides, only one HLT to heat.

If you sell the one you have and spend the money on another which meets your needs. I think you would be better off.

Think "bigger and simpler". It always pays itself off in the long run.
Believe me, I have though about doing that. I am only considering this because I already have everything (short of a few ball valves) I would need to build (modify) it. A 30 gallon tank isn't the cheapest thing and I would have to start punching holes and soldering fittings again.

I will not have two HLT's. It would be one 15 gallon 11kW electric HLT and a 15 gallon tank. I use a domestic hot water circulation pump to stir my HLT as is now. I will only have elements and monitor the temp in the HLT and circulate through the tank until they reach equilibrium.

Here are some better drawings:







I may have to parallel a high level float on the Tank to eliminate the possibility of flooding it. Otherwise, I "think" this should work...
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:54 PM   #5
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I don't see any reason it wouldn't work. You'd need to put them on the same level (obviously).

I would probably oversize the passive transfer pipe (from the left tank to the right tank). You'd also want to rig your inlets and outlets to take advantage of the natural thermal separation I'd think. Draw cold off the bottom and return hot to the top. Either that or make your inlets disturb the keg as much as possible to stir everything up well.

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Old 09-30-2013, 09:38 PM   #6
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too bad they don't make 15 gallon drink coolers, seems like one would be great for the tank, being well insulated.

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Old 09-30-2013, 10:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Huff360 View Post
I don't see any reason it wouldn't work. You'd need to put them on the same level (obviously).

I would probably oversize the passive transfer pipe (from the left tank to the right tank). You'd also want to rig your inlets and outlets to take advantage of the natural thermal separation I'd think. Draw cold off the bottom and return hot to the top. Either that or make your inlets disturb the keg as much as possible to stir everything up well.
Yes, same level. I was thinking of increasing the connections between vessels from 1/2 to 3/4". The inlet on the "TANK" would be as high as possible. I'm not sure why I drew it that low. Thanks for taking a look and your feedback.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:41 PM   #8
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too bad they don't make 15 gallon drink coolers, seems like one would be great for the tank, being well insulated.
It would. I can insulate these if I find the need. Stainless is not really such a good conductor and I never found the need to insulate the original HLT. It barely cycles when just left sitting there. Even with constant stirring, It holds heat well.

Thanks for having a look and your reply.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:22 AM   #9
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You know that you are WAY over my head with talk of elements and power- but in just the logistics of this I could give some input. If you have all of the stuff you need to do this (and I bet you do), then I'd give it a try. Of course, I am all about simplicity, and I'd go with something simpler in the grand scheme. Like any vessel- not just a keg- that could fit your needs and still take an element, and not require a second vessel.

Of course, you have far more space than I do, and you do have the space for two vessels if you want to do that.

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Old 10-01-2013, 01:43 AM   #10
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I am all about simplicity, and I'd go with something simpler in the grand scheme. Like any vessel- not just a keg- that could fit your needs and still take an element, and not require a second vessel.
I like simple too. My problem is that my current HLT is not exactly simple with the stir system, floats, dual elements and HERMS coil. I'm not so excited at the thought of transfering all of that to a bigger vessel...although, it would be a little cleaner and a bit more compact.

In comparison, adding a keg, three valves and a little plumbing modification seems pretty simple. The existing HLT needs no modification. Plus, I end up with the option of a 15 gallon HLT or a 30 gallon depending on what size batch I'm brewing. And I save probably $300....
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