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Old 04-22-2011, 04:40 PM   #1
jakecpunut
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Default What Route Should I Take

Just thinking out loud here so bear with me...

Here is my current setup..

15.5g keggle with sight glass and ball valve for boiling the wort
5g kettle for heating up strike and sparge water
52 qt coleman extreme mash tun
1 SQ14 burner

My Process:
Heat up strike water in 5 gallon kettle (no ball valve), usually 3.5 to 4.5 gallons
Lift and dump into mash tun
Mash
Drain into bucket to get exact qty from first runnings since keggle site glass only starts at 3 gallons
Drain from bucket into keggle.

A few minutes before I start my vorlauf for my 1st runnings I'll start heating up my sparge water in the 5 gallon kettle and by the time the 1st runnings are done, the sparge water is ready to go into the mash tun.

Remove sparge water from burner and dump into tun, roll the burner inside and set keggle with first runnings in it on the burner, sparge for 10, vorlauf and drain 2nd runnings into keggle, roll the 7 gallons outside and start the boil.

I WANT TO MOVE TO 10 GALLON BATCHES!

Sooo, since I will be pretty much doubling everything, I want to figure out the easiest way to use what I have without buying a lot of unnecessary stuff.

Lets say I do a 28 lb grain bill which is probably as large as I would do.
I would be heating up 8.75 gallons of water for the 1st runnings and 6.25 on the sparge to get 12 gallons.

I DO have another 15.5g keg that I haven't converted yet. So I'm thinking the simplest thing to do would be...

Convert 2nd keg to HLT with site glass and ball valve.
Use that to heat up 8.75 gallons of water
Don't see any point in buying a 10 gallon pot when I have the extra keg.

Here's where I'm guessing I'll need a pump that will pump the strike water from the HLT just outside my basement door, to the mash tun just inside my basement door via the ball valves on both.

Any problems or issues doing that?

Do the mash, drain the 1st runnings into the keggle instead of the bucket since there will be enough to reach the 3 gallon mark on the site glass of the keggle now.

Water in the HLT will have been heating up 6.25 gallons for the sparge. Pump that into the Tun the same way as the strike water.

Drain 2nd runnings into the keggle to get 12 gallons.

Here's where I'm guessing I may want to get a 2nd burner? I realize I could just roll the burner inside and lift the 5.75 gallons of wort onto the burner using my hoist after I pump the sparge water to the tun. Then roll it back outside after draining the 2nd runnings in the keggle to start the boil.

I guess it boils down to whether I want to whether I want to use a hoist, or drop the bucks on a 2nd burner..

Sounds like I definitely need a pump though and from what I've read, the March 809 is the way to go.

Sooo, sorry for the long rambling, helps me to type it out and see it.

Any problems using the March pump the way I described above?

Any other thoughts?

Thanks!

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Old 04-22-2011, 04:46 PM   #2
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For volumes I trust the calculations. I also shoot for 13.5 gallons into my kettle. I boil off about 2 gallons, leave .5 behind with the trub and I get about 5.5 into each fermenter.

Yeah, convert that other keg into a HLT and get a pump. Not sure about the inside outside thing. You have 2 burners right?

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Old 04-22-2011, 05:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
For volumes I trust the calculations. I also shoot for 13.5 gallons into my kettle. I boil off about 2 gallons, leave .5 behind with the trub and I get about 5.5 into each fermenter.

Yeah, convert that other keg into a HLT and get a pump. Not sure about the inside outside thing. You have 2 burners right?
No I only have 1 burner but that's something else I thought about getting just so I won't have to roll the 1 back and forth..

I'd probably step up from the SQ14 to something with a little more punch for the BK to get 12 gallons going faster, and keep using the SQ14 for the HLT.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:49 PM   #4
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You have two choices:

1. Buy a 2nd burner and a march pump
OR
2. Buy a hoist.

See my sig for my hoist, (invisible sculpture). I use 1 burner only with the hoist.

Your process with the hoist would be:

Heat strike water in keggle 1. Hoist keggle up and gravity drain into MLT, mash.
Heat sparge water in keggle 1, gravity drain 1st runnings from MLT into keggle 2, (you can get the height you need by hoisting up the MLT, if necessary, see pic below...).
Hoist keggle 1 up and gravity drain sparge water into MLT, hoist keggle 2 onto burner.
Hoist MLT and gravity drain sparge from MLT to keggle 2.



Edit: Hmm, HF doesn't seem to have the hoist I use anymore. Your choices are a real hoist, or a winch. The winch is cheaper, but isn't meant for "hoisting" so it doesn't have a positive brake on it to stop loads from falling. I found the winch is just fine though. I can hang my fat butt from it with no issues, no slipping.

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Old 04-22-2011, 06:10 PM   #5
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Since heating the water for strike can be done in either vessel, why not use a heatstick for the sparge water in the other vessel? You would also then use it to help boil the larger volume.

Our setups are remarkably similar, though I don't have a sight gauge, and my MLT is smaller.

I just purchased all the materials for making a heatstick last weekend, I'll be putting it together tonight or tomorrow. I think in total it will have cost $45.

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Old 04-22-2011, 06:10 PM   #6
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A lot of people use keggles without a pump. The aluminum pitchers from restaurant supply stores are easy to transfer fluids with and also a great way to keep track of volumes. Gravity is also another easy way to transfer fluids, and all that you'd need for that is a sturdy bench or table. Pumps are great and there's a ton of stuff you can do with one, but if you're just buying one to transfer the strike and sparge water, there are cheaper and easier ways to do that.

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