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Old 01-20-2013, 12:38 PM   #11
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Some ideas that come to mind...

(1) What about a linear actuator motor, maybe from a car (seat adjuster perhaps) Check out American Science & Surplus for idesa - http://www.sciplus.com/category.cfm/.../subsection/18 (love the copywriting at this site).

(2) Take a look at the mechanism used in sewing machine cabinets to raise and lower sewing machines. You might be able to adapt or make such a mechanism.

(3) If you have an air compressor you could use regulated air operated piston rams.

Whatever you decide, have a failsafe back up. Eg. maybe include a ratchet mechanism to ensure the whole weight is not just hanging on a cog or a piston.

Good luck, and keep us posted on progress.

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Old 01-20-2013, 01:04 PM   #12
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Kevreh,
I've been racking my brain trying to figure out a similar setup. I'm doing BIAB, so my needs might be a bit different. Someone posted a thread a few weeks ago with an idea, but I don't think any great practical solutions were found. Someone humorously suggested that you could design a see-saw system to raise the kettles up and down relative to each other.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/sing...-stand-378705/
I've tried to look into 2 ideas:

1. small hoist/winch and trolley that would lift hoist the bag/basket out of the kettle and move it over to set it down. I'm thinking that "surely there are solutions already out there so I don't have to reinvent the wheel". All I find are things that can move a ton or so.

2. I believe it's "Johnny" who posted his 2-vessel BIAB in which he pumps strike water into bag-lined mashtun, then uses gravity to drain back into his kettle. Building on his idea, I've wondered about starting out in one kettle just like the usual BIAB, then raising this kettle up to gravity drain into the boil kettle.

I've been trying to figure out a small mechanism that uses similar technology to the Genie Lift:
http://www.genie-lift.com/index.cfm?...=Load%20Lifter

But, again, googling around, possibly not using the correct terms, doesn't find me a DIY lift table.

I'm about to come to the conclusion that having a pump would be much simpler.

I look forward to seeing what ideas you come up with.

Thanks,
Keith

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Old 01-20-2013, 01:37 PM   #13
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check out this hoist. my friend has one of these in his bar. It is extremely easy to use and move around. It works great.

http://www.gorillakeglifter.com/

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:12 PM   #14
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kevreh, I applaud your way of thinking! When I built my e-rig over the last few months I originally wanted to do exactly what you are/were thinking about. I had sketched up several methods, including a winch design, a leadscrew with nut design, and even a timing belt design. I was going to use mechanical limit switches at top and bottom. I have a lot of access to these types of parts where I work and I have collected lots of things like gear motors, guide shafts, bearing blocks, pulleys, etc. In fact I had my hands on a 1-1/4" dia. leadscrew and brass nut which I was leaning toward using because with the other designs I was worried what would happen if something broke (i.e. 8 gallons hot wort suddenly dropping 2 feet). I finally abandoned the concept of a lift altogether and decided I would manually lift the full BK from the floor instead. Its a little heavy at 8 gallons but its the only lifting I have to do really. I still don't use any pumps. I batch sparge with a tippy dump HLT that I had built for my propane rig. I lauter out of the rectangular cooler MLT into the BK on the floor. I pick up the full BK and set on shelf to boil, then I cool through a CFC by gravity into a carboy on the floor. I'm planning a write up soon with more pics of the whole brewery but for now here's one pic to give you an idea...



Good luck with your project and be sure to share what you decide to do...

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Old 01-23-2013, 07:13 PM   #15
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Thanks TH....I like your setup... looks clean and effective. I'm also planning to build something like your fermentation chamber, so that will be helpful.

Yeah, I may adopt your "manual lift" method since there's bigger fish to fry; mainly making my ebrew setup. BTW, what are those controls under the window, off to the right?

Also...one more question if I can .... It looks like you put an aluminum light shell on your fan. Does it capture enough of the steam? I was planning using a similar type of fan with a square hood. What you used takes up less of a footprint though.

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevreh View Post
Thanks TH....I like your setup... looks clean and effective. I'm also planning to build something like your fermentation chamber, so that will be helpful.

Yeah, I may adopt your "manual lift" method since there's bigger fish to fry; mainly making my ebrew setup. BTW, what are those controls under the window, off to the right?

Also...one more question if I can .... It looks like you put an aluminum light shell on your fan. Does it capture enough of the steam? I was planning using a similar type of fan with a square hood. What you used takes up less of a footprint though.
I promise to do a complete write up soon! But in the mean time...

The controls I made from scratch. There's a PWM board to control temps and that's pretty much it. The rest is just on/off's and lights.



You guessed right on the hood. It works fantastic. Not too small at all. The key here is the fan - my first one was just a duct booster and it wasn't powerful enough. It makes all the difference in the world. I'm using a Tjernlund 6" (M-6).

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:54 PM   #17
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Ok, I think I understand the controls now. Looks like you converted over to all electric(?) IIRC your thread about your brew rig doesn't show this, must be v 1.0

Cool!

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Old 01-25-2013, 01:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevreh View Post
. . . Alternatively, I thought that instead of moving hot water and wort with a pump why not use gravity exclusively. Obviously that works initially to dump the hot water into the mash tun, but when done mashing, how do you get the wort back to the HLT for the boil.

So I came to the theory of having the mash tank on a shelf that can be elevated up and down. Either manually or with a motor. The unknown is what is an efficient gear/mechanical system to raise a small (~20"x20") but heavy (70+ lbs) platform. Gears? Worm screw? Pully's? That way, after the mash is done the platform could be raised up above the HLT so gravity could be used to drain the wort back to the HLT pot.
Kevreh,

Sorry to post again on your thread. I was surfing thru old threads and came upon the following thread by shortyjacobs which might give you an alternate idea:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/incr...-heavy-157905/

Actually two ideas are shown in this thread:
1. shortyjacobs simply has a winch/hoist attached to his ceiling to hoist his mashtun and boil kettle (whichever he needs elevated) high enough to allow gravity to work.

2. ClaudiusB shows his solution on post #18. He has almost exactly what I've been wanting to do: a joist mounted to a sliding trolley. It appears that he can hoist his kettle AND move it horizontally some distance.

Perhaps you could figure a way to modify one of those ideas to suit your needs

Respectfully,
Keith
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:54 AM   #19
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Fellas, why not just use another vessel to collect your runnings? Collect runnings in a 3rd vessel, then gravity drain sparge water into mash tun, pour runnings into BK, then repeat with sparge runnings. This keeps you from having to lift a full pre-boil volume and it also keeps you from having to buy a big vessel like you normally see in a 3 vessel rig. You only need something big enough to collect 3-4 gallons, so you could use a 5 gallon pot, something from the kitchen, even a food grade bucket

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:06 AM   #20
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Fellas, why not just use another vessel to collect your runnings? Collect runnings in a 3rd vessel, then gravity drain sparge water into mash tun, pour runnings into BK, then repeat with sparge runnings. This keeps you from having to lift a full pre-boil volume and it also keeps you from having to buy a big vessel like you normally see in a 3 vessel rig. You only need something big enough to collect 3-4 gallons, so you could use a 5 gallon pot, something from the kitchen, even a food grade bucket
That makes sense. just like the little old lady in the Phillips Milk of Magnesia commercial on TV said after her daughter lectures her needing to be "regular". Sorry, that was 30 years ago.

One reason I was researching this was a way to avoid lifting a heavy bag of hot, wet, sticky grain - especially if I were doing a large batch. Instead of single-vessel BIAB, it would be 2-vessel. Your suggestion makes perfect sense, especially in light of all the rigamarole (sp) required to lift/lower kettles. Just empty a pitcher at a time and pour into the 2nd kettle.

Thanks,
Keith
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