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Old 12-07-2010, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default Simple Brutus 20 Electric Build

Hey All,

I have recently taken up brewing with the intention of brewing AG. However, due to many other projects around the house, by brew rig has taken a back seat and I have been doing extract batches while slowly planning and picking up items for my rig.

I have decided to build a rig version of JKarp's countertop brutus for doing 5 gal AG batches. I am not a welder and have no desire to pick up more tools, but I am in the construction industry and am building my rig out of Corian solid surface material. I will be using cooler MLT that will gravity feed into a 10 gal, 5500w BK, which in turn will be recirculated via pump back into the MLT.


Take a look and let me know what you think. Suggestions are very welcome!
Cheers

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Old 12-07-2010, 04:02 AM   #2
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One thing I might suggest is lowering the cart/stand height if that's possible. I'm 6'4 and 5' is pretty high I feel, but that's a preference thing. Also, you can do it one tier since you're using a pump. That would solve any height issues.

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Old 12-07-2010, 03:22 PM   #3
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It looks like your control panel has two PIDs. Are you planning to direct heat your mash?

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Old 12-07-2010, 03:41 PM   #4
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He would have to change his tubes if he wanted to go single tier.

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Old 12-07-2010, 03:58 PM   #5
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You really don't need valves on both ends of the pump to CFC line. I'd also rethink that low 24" height. Might lead to a lot of bending over. A step stool for reaching the MLT does the trick.

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Old 12-07-2010, 04:05 PM   #6
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He would need two pumps for a single either jkarp system. This is what I'm in the process of putting together myself. The jkarp system uses a constant recirculation of the mash with the full water volume.

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Old 12-07-2010, 04:51 PM   #7
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I chose the 24" approx cart height so I would be able to gravity drain my kettle into my carboy after chilling. I will only need a stool once in my brew day to mash in my grains.

I am keeping the two tier as jKarp's system utilizes a constant recirc using the BK. I would need two pumps to do this with a single tier. However, I may move to a single tier in the future.

The 2nd PID is not going in for sure, but if it does, it just be for temp monitoring at this point. Eventually I may move to a single tier with RIMS tube, but I am undecided at this point.

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Old 12-07-2010, 04:53 PM   #8
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I know I don't need valves on both ends of the chiller. The bottom one is just there for illustrative purposes

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Old 12-07-2010, 05:09 PM   #9
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I prefer putting the MLT low and the BK high. This allows you to set a level in the BK that the water cannot drop below using a side port acting as a drain from BK to MLT when recirculating. This means you can never run an element dry (did it once before altering my rig). As well, you can then have a lower overall height and still drain into fermenters from the BK.

I would also look at installing a bottom drain on both vessels. In the MLT this will allow the elimination of deadloss and therefore a greater efficiency. In both vessels this will allow for much easier cleaning of the vessels. In my setup, I simply hook up a tube which drains into a bucket to the bottom drain and rinse the inside, hit it with a green scruby, and re-rinse. It takes about 3 minutes per vessel and is outstanding. I am very grateful for the bottom drains in my Brutus 20ish.

Last, look into malt conditioning. This will allow you greater efficiency, and in my experience, greater predictability. I regularly achieve 82-85% efficiency and the last few batches have hit my pre-boil and OG numbers exactly. Highly encouraged.

You can see these things in the rig in my signature. Go to post 2.

Joshua

Edit: In addition to making it nearly impossible to burn out an element, having a rig configured with the BK side drain allows the rig to be stable enough to be left alone. Once the mash is going, I will often leave it semi-unattended, and am very comfortable with that.

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Last edited by jfkriege; 12-07-2010 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Additional info
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:19 PM   #10
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Gotcha, for some reason I was thinking this was a herms, guess I transposed the CFC into the BK for some reason (it's finals week, things don't make sense any more).

As far as the height go with what works for you. I was just suggesting it to make sure you'd considered everything.

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