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Old 09-12-2011, 01:16 AM   #21
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Alright here are some pics as promised. It's basically a clone of JKarps build only I changed a few things around and was not able to hit his $500 budget by a long shot. Probably due to going all stainless, false bottom and unsing QD's on this build.
Great looking build Keith!

I especially like how you moved the CFC outlet down low. You're right, the little things like QDs & stainless bits add up quick! Fortunately they last forever.


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Old 09-12-2011, 01:28 AM   #22
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And the Rheem copper elements blow everything away. Mine is approaching 2 years old now and looks just as good as the day I installed it.

http://www.famousparts.com/rescopheatel.html
Yup. But the only one I've found is a high watt density unit.

Do you have a link for a LWD copper element? That would be a great find.


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Old 09-12-2011, 01:28 AM   #23
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Great looking build Keith!

I especially like how you moved the CFC outlet down low. You're right, the little things like QDs & stainless bits add up quick! Fortunately they last forever.
I very big thanks to you. I never could have accomplished it without you paving the way.
3 gallons is the perfect batch size for me since we never have people over I usually never kill a keg and end up dumping out the last couple of gallons to make room for a new beer. I already have 5 kegs and don't plan on getting any more.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:54 PM   #24
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Finally brewed on this yesterday and made some real stupid mistakes I will post here so that maybe someone else can avoid them in the future.

Normally when prepping the mash tun I would put my strike water in an empty cooler about 10 degrees hotter than I need it to be and let it come down in temp before adding my grain. I never have a problem hitting my temps this way but for some reason I totally jacked up my process yesterday.

So I needed my strike water to be 166* in order to bring 9# of grain up to 154*. For some reason I set my PID to 166* and then milled my grain and added it to the cooler thinking when the water hits 166, I'll just turn on the pump and transfer 11 quarts over stir it and I should be good.

Wrong!

After doing that my mash temp was 146. So I boiled 2 quarts of water and added it which gave me a mash temp of 152. I should of called it good but I wanted my temp of 154 so I thought "well my water in the pot is 170* now, ready for mash out. I'll just transfer some over to the MT and bring the temp up."
Wrong!
When I turned on the pump I didn't get hot water into the MT I got cool water from the inline CFC pumped into the MT which set my mash temp at 148 so I boiled more water up on the stove and added it which brought my mash temp up to 150 where I finally had to call it good since I had already been monkeying around with the mash for an hour and the MT was pretty mush all filled up at this point.

So the lesson I learned was to heat the strike water and then have the whole system circulating to get it up to the proper temp before doughing in the grain if I ever want to be able to hit my mash temp. Other than that it was a great first brew on the new system.

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Old 10-03-2011, 01:09 AM   #25
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So the lesson I learned was to heat the strike water and then have the whole system circulating to get it up to the proper temp before doughing in the grain if I ever want to be able to hit my mash temp. Other than that it was a great first brew on the new system.
Exactly! As my strike temp approaches, I recirculate to heat up the MLT and dissolve my brewing salts. Once Temp is reached (I always double-check with a lab thermometer in the MLT), I simply close the MLT valve and keep pumping until my strike volume is reached. Cut the pump, dough in and have a brew.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:27 AM   #26
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Very nice build. I'm in the process of tinkering with my clone of jkarp's system and this gives me some good ideas. There's nothing wrong with my original build, I've made some AWESOME beer on this system. I just like to change things up every once in awhile and it's time to go bigger.

I've thought of using the LWD elements, but I haven't had any problems with scorching at all with my copper Rheem unit. I'm still on the fence as I'm looking at using 2 in the next build (on separate circuits, of course) and cost may be an issue.

I really like how you've moved the kettle input from the lid to the side for whirlpooling. I'm stealing that one, for sure.

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Old 10-03-2011, 11:07 AM   #27
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I really like how you've moved the kettle input from the lid to the side for whirlpooling. I'm stealing that one, for sure.
I've been tempted to move to the side for the kettle and MLT several times. I'd love to try the Blichmann AutoSparge so there'd be less babysitting during recirculation, but then I think of all the brews I've done that had full to the brim kettles or mashes and chicken out.

I did add a right angle brass barb to my kettle input tube for whirlpoooling.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:42 PM   #28
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The whirlpool worked really well for me. I was able to leave a lot of hops in the kettle while draining.

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Old 11-04-2011, 07:44 PM   #29
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Finally had my first flawless brew day with this system a couple of days ago. Another problem I ran into earlier when making an RIS with 100 grams of pellet hops was the hops clogging up my dip tube while trying to circulate through the cooler. So I just ended up switching the input and output hoses on kettle but didn't get an efficient whirlpool that way.

Since then I have built a hop spider and yesterday I did an IPA with 119 grams of hops and had no problems with circulation and ended up with a nice cone of break material left in the kettle.

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Old 11-05-2011, 12:18 AM   #30
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I believe that CAMCO 120V element is Zinc plated which eventually starts to flake off if used in the boil kettle. The Rheem stainless steel elements are far superior.
I've been using these in my BK for a year. Can't say I've noticed any "flaking" off of the zinc. Can anyone report their experiences?

Time for Mythbusters!


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