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Old 03-07-2011, 11:17 PM   #1
kjackbrown
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Default Whirlpooling with bottom drain + false bottom vs. side drain + diptube

Question...

I'm getting ready to start cutting/drilling/soldering my (soon to be) e-keggles soon. I was originally planning on installing bottom drains in all of them. I recently started thinking of adding a whirlpool tube to my BK and now it's got me questioning the whole bottom drain idea. Obviously I cant have it whirlpooling and forming a big'ole pile of stuff right on top of the drain. Would a false bottom work for this...or should I just forget the bottom drains and just go from the side and make up some dip tubes?



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Old 03-08-2011, 03:34 PM   #2
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I put my bottom drain at the edge. If you're using a keg, you can do what the breweries do and have a tangential inlet for whirlpooling, and a drain that is slightly above the point where the hop cone forms. You could use a keg tool and solder in one of THESE to the very bottom of the kettle about halfway up the "bowl"...about 3 inches from the center....the drain would go slightly right, then down...that way you can still run your plumbing right through the tabletop with no wierd angles.

Keep in mind, your elements may interfere with the whirlpool anyway. I would stick with the bottom drain; there will be no siphon needed, almost zero dead space in the kettle, and it makes priming your pump easier because gravity just "slams" the water right into the pump head, forcing air bubbles out and getting a great prime every time.

It's also important to know what kind of chiller you'll be using...



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Old 03-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #3
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Thats what I was thinking....I might just skip the whirlpool all together.

I have a IC that I use in my small kettle now. I got a great deal on a Therminator at my local brew shop since it was sitting on a shelf for over a year and he just wanted to get rid of it. I could build a DIY counter flow...I'm still up in the air on this stage of my future brewing process.

What I'm doing right now is (still) mapping out the holes I'm going to do to on my keggles and am wanting to do them all at one time. I have a "keg tool" and will be going the drill/dimple/solder route with everything. I am wanting to SS hard plumb everything, but looking at the price of 1/2" pipe to tube compression fitting's and the such....it becomes big $$$$ quickly! That said, I'm thinking of just doing it in phases and starting with the 3 new keggles, 2 pumps, and a brewtroller. Phase 2 will probably be volume sensing and phase 3 being a bazillion motorized valves and hard plumbing it all. At least thats what I'm thinking.

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Old 03-08-2011, 05:36 PM   #4
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Yup...phases are the way to go. No way could most of us afford it otherwise...but you also get to savor the build and improve your design over time as you research things. That's my favorite part! DON'T drill or cut ANYTHING until you're certain. I reccomend using Google Sketchup....it takes a bit of learning, but it's a great way to see how things will fit together. And you can mock up all sorts of cool design concepts.

The keg tool and soldering are a great way to go. Be sure to get liquid stay-brite flux and lead free plumbing solder. Follow the thread exactly and you'll get great results.

About the chiller....you could sell the therminator if you're not sure....if you're hell bent on a whirlpool, you could make a nice heatstick (search: heatstick of doom) and use the IC. Then, when everything is chilled, just pull all the gear out and whirlpool with a spoon or use a pump. Give it a few minutes, and you should have a nice trub cone settling in the bowl along with the cold break. You can also add more hops at this point...it's what the breweries do. If you set your drain high enough, you should only run off clear wort into the fermenter.

Lots of options....

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Old 03-08-2011, 08:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSteve View Post
Yup...phases are the way to go. No way could most of us afford it otherwise...but you also get to savor the build and improve your design over time as you research things. That's my favorite part! DON'T drill or cut ANYTHING until you're certain.
Understood...I'm just eager to get this thing going. I'm upgrading my electrical service to the garage (THNX SPARKY!) and got the wiring at lunch today. I guess I could work on the bazillion other things that need to be done in the mean time ;-)


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I reccomend using Google Sketchup....it takes a bit of learning, but it's a great way to see how things will fit together. And you can mock up all sorts of cool design concepts.
I have/use Pro-E here at work. I've been wanting to draw something up during my lunch breaks....but surfing this site takes up all of that time. I dont have my son this weekend...maybe I'll try to come in and draw some things up.


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The keg tool and soldering are a great way to go. Be sure to get liquid stay-brite flux and lead free plumbing solder. Follow the thread exactly and you'll get great results.
I figured I would save the keg tops after I cut them off. All of the harware we have here at work is stainless....so I'll bring a handfull of washers home and work on my technique.

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Lots of options....
UGH....TOO MANY!!!! Thank you for your input ScubaSteve!
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:37 PM   #6
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If you need any 3d models let me know, I have modeled a large portion of my system. All files are in solidworks but I could export to .step or other.

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Old 03-08-2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSteve View Post
I put my bottom drain at the edge. If you're using a keg, you can do what the breweries do and have a tangential inlet for whirlpooling, and a drain that is slightly above the point where the hop cone forms. You could use a keg tool and solder in one of THESE to the very bottom of the kettle about halfway up the "bowl"...about 3 inches from the center....the drain would go slightly right, then down...that way you can still run your plumbing right through the tabletop with no wierd angles.

Keep in mind, your elements may interfere with the whirlpool anyway. I would stick with the bottom drain; there will be no siphon needed, almost zero dead space in the kettle, and it makes priming your pump easier because gravity just "slams" the water right into the pump head, forcing air bubbles out and getting a great prime every time.
What do you do to keep out pellet hop particles? I was initially planning to go with a centered bottom drain on my brew kettle as well, but lately I have been thinking about a bottom drain that is up off the center as you describe. My BK will have a RIPP element in it which most likely will make WP ineffective. Maybe use a false bottom like device? Or maybe the WP with the pickup off the center might still work well enough...
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Primaries: Air
Secondaries: Lakefront India Brown Ale

On Tap 1: Rootbeer, On Tap 2: NB White ouse Honey Ale, On Tap 3: Nitrogen, On Tap 4: Air, On Tap 5: Air
On Deck: DIPA, Imp Stout, Porter, Wheat, Black IPA

"No sense having empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " - Me
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:42 PM   #8
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I would love to check out your models! What version of SolidWorks do you use?

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If you need any 3d models let me know, I have modeled a large portion of my system. All files are in solidworks but I could export to .step or other.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:07 PM   #9
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I would love to check out your models! What version of SolidWorks do you use?
I have SW2010. Hopefully tonight I will be posting the start of my build thread, it will give you an idea of the models I have made. Some are downloaded, some downloaded then modified, others are built from scratch. I have sanke kegs, ball-lock kegs, SSRs, elements, switches, etc.
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Primaries: Air
Secondaries: Lakefront India Brown Ale

On Tap 1: Rootbeer, On Tap 2: NB White ouse Honey Ale, On Tap 3: Nitrogen, On Tap 4: Air, On Tap 5: Air
On Deck: DIPA, Imp Stout, Porter, Wheat, Black IPA

"No sense having empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " - Me
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheFlyingBeer View Post
If you need any 3d models let me know, I have modeled a large portion of my system. All files are in solidworks but I could export to .step or other.
That would be VERY much appreciated! We are using Wild Fire 4 but will be upgrading to 5 next month.


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