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Old 02-28-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
Kurly
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Default Upgrading my brewery -- Suggestions?

I'm in the process of wanting to upgrade my propane fired brewery to an all-electric one. While this system has worked for me for the past 15 years (there were only two HERMS systems available at the time to guide me on what to do), I'd like to install a couple of PIDs, heating elements, thermocouples, etc. to automate it more.

My first question is determining what would be the best position of the additional couplings (weldless would be preferred) that I would need for heating elements and temp control monitoring. I plan on reconfiguring my stand to incorporate a single-tier system so will be getting an additional pump. Current pump is rated for 190F (all they had at the time) and I'll use that for the MT/recirculating, etc. The high temp pump will be used for transferring from the BK to my counter-flow Chillzilla.

Here's a couple of pics.

Overview of current brew system (2 tier)
[IMG][/IMG]

Pic of HLT connections -- planning on disassembling copper by-pass system but seek input on how to configure best

[IMG][/IMG]

Lastly, the BK (has one additional port not being used):

[IMG][/IMG]

The MT is pretty straightforward with a false bottom that's connected to a dip-tube and single port out of the kettle.

I'd like some suggestions on how best to place the weldless couplings to allow for electric heating elements and given the placement of the current couplings on the HLT, ideas to allow for thermocouple T's for temperature monitoring, etc. I'm open to changing the BK to the MT since it has an extra coupling already welded and could be utilized as a thermocouple/RTD temperature probe.

Any suggestions on how you would configure it? I'm thinking all of the heating element components I'd attach in the rear of the keggles and add a sight gauge to the BK. Other than that, I'm open to suggestions! TIA!

Kurly

P.S. I've also noticed that my brew stand is starting to rust in spots. Thought it was SS coated but was curious whether one could "re-paint" it with something durable that would fix the blemishes and prevent scratches. Planning on shining up the keggles to make them a little more attractive and shiny.

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Last edited by Kurly; 02-28-2012 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:19 PM   #2
DarkBrood
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For e-Kettles, the elements are generally located as low as possible to avoid risk of dry exposure at any point, avoid interference with stirring or chillers, and to sit under false bottoms in BK/MLT units. Since the elements require some sort of external mount (usually a basic junction box), they are often placed near the rear but not at the back (usually want to be able to push the kettle against a wall without that interference)...45-degrees from the center-back point is just about perfect. This also allows placement from both sides without conflict if you intend to install 2 elements.

Thermowells are usually located about mid-height, in the front, and far enough from any heat sources to get a good reading.

Quote:
I've also noticed that my brew stand is starting to rust in spots. Thought it was SS coated but was curious whether one could "re-paint" it with something durable that would fix the blemishes and prevent scratches.
There really isn't any cheap-and-easy way to fix rust under an S.S. surface coating without sandblasting and re-coating with S.S. and then re-passivating it. Construction companies (I used to be a design engineer) working with steel often use a zinc-based spray to anodize steel to prevent rusting. If you know anyone who currently works with cold-formed steel (also referred to as CFS or "rolled steel"), their shop probably has a case of spraycans sitting in a closet...every time they cut or ding the steel, the location needs to be sprayed or the steel will oxidize and rust. If you live near a coastline, boat/ship repair shops often have the spray on hand as well, as it also help protect from rust caused by saltwater.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:03 PM   #3
Kurly
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Thank you for your advice. Hadn't thought about setting the electrical connections at a 45 degree angle but that makes perfect sense. Now I just need to figure given what couplings I already have welded, how everything will sit on the brew stand and still allow enough room to swap hoses, etc.

Regarding the SS rust -- I did find a product by Rustoleum that is a rust preventer that actually contains SS particles in it. It's got great reviews on Amazon and thinking that I could use some vinegar or baking soda/lemon juice to clean it with and then apply the paint afterwards. Not a big deal, just aesthetically the stand is showing it's age after 15 years of use.

Thanks again for the tips!

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