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Old 05-18-2013, 03:44 AM   #1
gr8shandini
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Default Commercial grade sink as brew house?

I don't know if this is a crazy idea or not, but I'm considering building an electric rig based off of a 3 compartment stainless steel sink like you see in restaurants. For example, $370 (plus who knows what in shipping) would buy me this beast:


48" Stainless Sink

If I did my math correctly each compartment holds about 17 gallons. The best deal I could find on 60 qt stainless pots is about 120 bucks each, so we're in the same ballpark. And that's new. Restaurants go belly up often, so I should be able to find a used one for less if I keep searching.

So, here are the pros and cons as I can see them

Pro:
- Cost comparable to stockpots
- It's its own brew stand
- Almost ready to go (already has drains, minimal drilling required)
- The flat surfaces are better than curves for weldless fittings (if I go that route)
- Has provisions for a faucet for filling / cleanup

Con:
- Costs more than kegs (depending on how ethically you source them)
- Can't tip it over, so disposing of spent grains would be a pain
- Pre-fab false bottoms wouldn't fit
- No lid for HLT and MLT
- Heat transfer between sections (planning on a HERMS anyway, so maybe this is beneficial)
- About twice the surface area as a round pot. Excessive boil-off?
- The hot parts are about waist high, so you'd need to insulate the hell out of it to keep from burning yourself if you lean against it.

Anything else I'm overlooking?

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Old 05-18-2013, 04:07 AM   #2
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I'm impressed with your creativity! I think cleaning up the spent grains and heat transfer would be the biggest issues. With a good wet/dry vac, you would probably have no big issue with cleanup. Are you planning to mount pumps on a bar welded between the legs?

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Old 05-18-2013, 04:08 AM   #3
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I looked into doing exactly this a few years ago. I couldn't find an affordable sink, so I scrapped the idea. You're not the first to make one - I've seen pictures of a rig like this somewhere before, so I know that others have succeeded with the design. You've already nailed the biggest disadvantage - cleaning!

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Old 05-18-2013, 04:38 AM   #4
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The old Brewmation system used sinks. Each slid out for cleaning too.

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Old 05-18-2013, 08:52 PM   #5
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mragin,

Yes, I'd either fab up an equipment rack underneath, or possibly just weld a bracket directly to the bottom of the tub. Either way, some cross-bracing would be in order as a collapse with nearly 100 lbs of boiling wort could put you in a world of hurt.

Yuri, Orange,

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's thought of this. Also, I think I might have a way to lick the cleanup problem. If you were to weld some threaded rod to the bottom of the drain bowl you could easily make a device that could pull it tight to the bottom of the sink with a silicone gasket to seal it. Thinking along the lines of the thing holding this lid closed:



That way, you'd just need a way to fish out your false bottom, and then you could pull the whole drain bowl out and collect the spent grain in a bucket.

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Old 05-19-2013, 03:08 AM   #6
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My thoughts on the cleaning problem... I use a 17.5 gallon cooler for my mash tun, and I just use a 2 quart pitcher to scoop out the spent grains. Sure, I can take and flip the cooler when most of the grains are out, but you will have a drain in the bottom that you can open to rinse the last bits of grain down. It's really not that big of a PITA. When you get down the bottom you could switch to something like a dust pan to get the last
major bits out.

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Old 05-19-2013, 11:04 AM   #7
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I would consider a large port, say 2" in the bottom of the MT, you could simply wash all the grain into a dump bucket fixed w/ a braid and tube to a drain.

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Old 05-23-2013, 06:36 PM   #8
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Sounds like a great idea, and that's a good price on the triple sink too. Maybe mount a hose on the backplate to jet wash grain out of the corners.

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Old 05-27-2013, 03:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangehero View Post
The old Brewmation system used sinks. Each slid out for cleaning too.
+1. Looked something like this:





Thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/stai...sh-tun-139057/

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Old 05-28-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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I have a two bowl (35 gallons per bowl) commercial sink I picked up for $250. I've had the same thoughts myself.

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