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Old 02-24-2014, 04:07 AM   #1
torque2
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Default Suggestions on 2 1/2 bbl e-build

Hey all,
I scored an awesome deal on these 115 gallon wine fermenters and am working on plans to convert them for a shot at going commercial. I've been brewing 10 gallon batches with my eherms set up for two years now and am looking for advise on how to work electric at ten times the volume.
First, I've never seen a herms system working at this level, so what are some good solutions to dealing with missing target temps (low), or raising the temp for mash out. I'm going to run some tests with one well insulated kettle and two 5500w elements to see if I can get away with it, or if I will need to plan for three. Insulating my 20 gallon boil kettle has made a huge difference in heat up time and power needed to maintain a rolling boil.
Second, I'm debating whether to design a tilt frame for emptying grains or have a manhole installed. Looking at the price of manholes I was thinking I could cut the bottom off a large ss pressure cooker, radius it and have it welded on. Any thoughts?
Third, any suggestions on finding tri-clover sight glasses? They need to be ~ 32-34" long.
Thanks!
Tim

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Old 02-24-2014, 04:35 AM   #2
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Sweet tanks! What did they run you?

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Old 02-24-2014, 04:42 AM   #3
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$200 a piece off craigslist. When I called on them one was already spoken for, but the guy never showed. They were pretty nasty, but have cleaned up very well.

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Old 02-24-2014, 04:50 AM   #4
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I haven't run the calcs, but I would bet it would be better to run 3-phase elements. That brings a whole host of other problems along with it. I know a local nano here is using a 3-barrel electric. They got their setup from Portland kettles works. You could also talk to stout and see how they are building them. They sell 7-bbl electric systems. They would probably have the sight glass you need.

On a side note, have you ran the numbers on going pro with that small of a system? I heard a joke calling them " not for profit " breweries.

Good luck! I look forward to seeing what comes about from this build. I am on the pro path right now. I am looking at going with a 7-10bbl brew system. It is a balance between getting off the ground and being able to bridge the first and second growth periods without being down for a long time installing a new brew house.

Hopefully you knew all this and I didn't bum you out. Now get busy with the belong and homebrew porn. Looking forward to following!

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Old 02-28-2014, 12:51 AM   #5
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Anything under 7bbl and you're working hard for free. If that gets you fired up though. . .

I vote for the "talk to stout" advice.

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Old 02-28-2014, 02:40 AM   #6
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I brew one barrel batches with two 4500 watt elements in my BK. I run my PID at 90% power after I reach a boil. If I were building a 2 barrel system, I would want at least 18,000 watts in the BK. YMMV

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