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Old 11-15-2010, 09:34 PM   #1
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Default Sanity check

Ok, so I'm in the process of putting together plans for my first and all new electric indoor brewery. I plan on doing a two-vessel RIMS no sparge setup. I will run a cooler mt/lt and keggle BK. The plan is to have a single pump and cam lock hoses to move liquid. So far I've got a brand new copper in copper cfc that I just built and a march 809. I also have a line on a new legal keg. Before I start I wanted to check a few things, though.

1) I wanted to weld the dump on to the bottom of the kettle, then weld legs to the skirt. Is there any reason not to weld the legs on? For safety's sake I would rather go this route than have the thing on a stand.

2) I plan on running a 1 1/2" rims tube and would like to be capable of doing 10 gal batches with this setup, although I'm starting at 5 gal batches (limited by the no-sparge an 10 gal round cooler). What size element would be a good fit? I'm going to be on a 30A 240 4 wire circuit. The plan for the BK is a 5500W ULD. As far as RIMS I'd like to be able to step/ramp mash effectively on 5 gal, so I guess I can go up to 5500W, but that seems way overkill.

3) If instead of a 10 gal round cooler I go with a second keg (legs and bottom dump like the BK) and insulate it, will a RIMS keep up with temps efficiently or will I be constantly heating it? I'm seriously considering this route, but I really don't want to be burning a truck load of coal every time I do a beer.

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Old 11-15-2010, 10:20 PM   #2
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Ok, so I'm in the process of putting together plans for my first and all new electric indoor brewery. I plan on doing a two-vessel RIMS no sparge setup. I will run a cooler mt/lt and keggle BK. The plan is to have a single pump and cam lock hoses to move liquid. So far I've got a brand new copper in copper cfc that I just built and a march 809. I also have a line on a new legal keg. Before I start I wanted to check a few things, though.

1) I wanted to weld the dump on to the bottom of the kettle, then weld legs to the skirt. Is there any reason not to weld the legs on? For safety's sake I would rather go this route than have the thing on legs...plus it's easier to clean/transport. Stands can be pretty dang sturdy, but to each his own. You could wreck the keg if you're not careful. But, for the drain, you should flip the keg over and cut out the bottom. The top sanke flange fits a 2" triclover

2) I plan on running a 1 1/2" rims tube and would like to be capable of doing 10 gal batches with this setup, although I'm starting at 5 gal batches (limited by the no-sparge an 10 gal round cooler). What size element would be a good fit? I'm going to be on a 30A 240 4 wire circuit. The plan for the BK is a 5500W ULD. As far as RIMS I'd like to be able to step/ramp mash effectively on 5 gal, so I guess I can go up to 5500W, but that seems way overkill. I used 5500W for both because I wanted to heat on-demand strike/sparge water. If you don't want that, you can go with a 3500-4500w and still have plenty of power. But I like to know that if an element fails, I have interchangeability if necessary.

3) If instead of a 10 gal round cooler I go with a second keg (legs and bottom dump like the BK) and insulate it, will a RIMS keep up with temps efficiently or will I be constantly heating it? I'm seriously considering this route, but I really don't want to be burning a truck load of coal every time I do a beer. It should, if you keep your lines short and your flow adequate. Put your PID probe at the output of the RIMS and it'll help keep you from overdoing it
There's lots of ways to do it.
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:44 PM   #3
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I'm really liking the idea of on demand strike/sparge water, and I'm also thinking that 2 kegs would be the way to go. Thanks for the input SS.

I'm reconsideing welding the legs on. I'm leaning toward drilling the top/bottom skirts and bolting the legs on. I could make them removable if I want to go to a more permanent setup or stand later. My problem is I don't have anywhere to setup a stand permanently, and since I don't have a garage either, it's got to be stored in my shed or laundry room, then carried out to the patio or kitchen to brew.

I would also like to integrate the pump, CFC, and control box into a single unit. I coiled the CFC around a corney, so it's relatively compact. My concern is heat, since all 3 will radiate significant quantities. I'm looking for ideas on this one. I have seen the toolbox builds, and they're pretty slick, but I was hoping for some way to include the RIMS and CFC. I was considering mounting the pump and RIMS vertically to the MT/LT legs, the CFC horizontally under the BK to the legs, and then have the control box be a separate unit. Can anyone foresee any issues with this or come up with a more creative and clean way to integrate everything? I suppose I could just build a garage...(joke)!

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:17 AM   #4
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Don't weld the legs onto the kegs. You will regret it. Just bolt them in place through the top and bottom rims. Don't over tighten the bolts and use locking nuts to keep them in place. The legs in the picture are salvaged desk legs.

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:57 AM   #5
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P-J: Thank you, that's almost exactly what I was envisioning. How is stability with your setup? I'm pretty tall, but my current burner/keggle setup puts the top of the keg at about armpit height and it's not good, but since I gravity drain that's where it's got to be. Part of why I'm thinking bolt on legs would be good. I can always change them out for longer or shorter legs if I change my mind or shrink

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Old 11-16-2010, 01:20 AM   #6
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In jkarp's Countertop Brutus 20 he put his CFC and pump in a bucket. This would be handy if you need to take stuff in and out of a closet or something.

I plan on a 2 keg RIMS with on-demand strike/sparge water as well. Mine will all fit on a 2'x3' cart with pump and CFC mounted on a shelf under the kegs. It could be done on one of those plastic utility carts or a nicer chrome kitchen cart as well.

If you have room for a cart to fit where you will store, I'd go that way. If not and you need to take it all apart and stack your system up to save space, putting your CFC and pump in a bucket and your control stuff in a plastic toolbox would make it easy to stack and save space when not brewing.

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Old 11-16-2010, 02:47 AM   #7
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P-J: Thank you, that's almost exactly what I was envisioning. How is stability with your setup? I'm pretty tall, but my current burner/keggle setup puts the top of the keg at about armpit height and it's not good, but since I gravity drain that's where it's got to be. Part of why I'm thinking bolt on legs would be good. I can always change them out for longer or shorter legs if I change my mind or shrink
The top of the kegs are 36" off the floor (desk height). Please note that the system has a single pump, therefore no gravity feed. Also pictured is a copper in copper CFC for chilling (still: only one pump).

An added benefit of the setup is that once you complete cleanup, you can stack the vessels upside down in a single pile. The legs interlock and prevent the stack from tipping or sliding apart, thus it is very neat and stable for storage.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:12 AM   #8
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The top of the kegs are 36" off the floor (desk height).
An added benefit of the setup is that once you complete cleanup, you can stack the vessels upside down in a single pile. The legs interlock and prevent the stack from tipping or sliding apart, thus it is very neat and stable for storage.
That was exactly my goal for the system, as I have a perfect spot in my laundry closet between the dryer and the water heater.

I'm working on a wiring diagram now before I go ahead and start spending money I shouldn't on components. Any recommendations on free software that will run on a mac to do this with?

On a side note, I know a lot more about the physics behind why everything works than actually designing the system, so bear with me once I get it up...
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:41 AM   #9
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Ok, I drew up a basic wiring diagram in open office, now how do I upload it for critique? I have a bunch of questions but without the picture it seems kind of dumb to start asking them.

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Old 11-17-2010, 04:49 AM   #10
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Ok, I drew up a basic wiring diagram in open office, now how do I upload it for critique? I have a bunch of questions but without the picture it seems kind of dumb to start asking them.
1. Open a www.photobucket.com account

2. Upload your photos to your photobucket account

3. Copy and paste the image URL to your HBT post


It's all free.

TB

EDIT: must first save your diagram as a .jpg
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