Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Automated Brewing Forum > System overview
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-06-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
nameless
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: , TN
Posts: 76
Liked 8 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default System overview

After much reading and research and starting off with a crazy design that accomplished everything in the most roundabout way possible, I've finally settled on this. If anyone wants to look it over and share advice/critique/whatever, I'd be much appreciative.

Currently I have a single tier structure with three banjo burners and two pumps that I've been manually brewing with for a while now. This is a basic overview of a completely automated system I'm about to construct using the Brewtroller.

I started off planning a 2 pump HERMS and evolved to what you see here. HERMS to RIMS greatly simplified the required plumbing and cost-wise is comparable. I understand the concerns with scorched wort, but using a burner to heat the water and then using the tube to maintain temperature with a low density element should be fine. I'm not expecting to be able to significantly step up the temperature of the mash with this setup but am considering adding a burner to the MLT for direct fire in the future to do that (with a rapid recirculation).

I added an additional pump because it eliminated a valve and essentially isolated each process into its own system. While this simplifies it, it reduces flexibility (no decoction essentially). On that note, if anyone has an opinion on decoction vs. direct fire step mashing simply from the standpoint of an automated system, I'm curious to hear thoughts.

Anyway, on to the description. The setup is pretty straight forward...

1. Fill HLT with strike water, begin heating and recirculating
2. Pump strike water to MLT and recirculate to warm up the equipment. Heat using RIMS tube if necessary
3. Add grain and continue to recirculate
4. Fill HLT with sparge water and heat
5. Pump wort from MLT to BK and begin heating
6. Pump sparge water to MLT and recirculate
7. Pump wort to BK and boil
8. Recirculate wort through chilling loop to sanitize
9. Cut heat and begin water flow through chiller

A few notes...
-I'll be manually disconnecting the chiller-out line to fill the fermenter. Trying to sanitize a valve to automate it is way too much trouble (unless someone has a good idea...)
-The valve between the HLT and MLT isn't really necessary, I just did it to agitate the water in the HLT and get a better temperature reading. Is this overkill?
-I'm not expecting the flow meters to be extremely accurate, but I think they should be decently close.
-Each vessel will have a thermowell/couple and then the other two thermocouples will be in-line.

Thanks in advance!

brewery_rims_3-pump.jpg  
__________________
nameless is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-05-2013, 11:57 AM   #2
LBussy
OCD Procrastinator
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
LBussy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Posts: 601
Liked 112 Times on 92 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

That's a decent setup I think. I've not built one but some thoughts based on me trying to design my own:

  1. For your HLT recirc, you could keep this simpler and use mechanical agitation via a gear-reduction motor and paddle.
  2. As someone suggested to me in another thread, adding grain first then adding strike water from the bottom may be easier/more efficient.
  3. By what mechanism will you pump out of your BK to ferment? Or will you ferment in the BK?
ETA: Is that a Visio doc? Which template had those shapes?
__________________

Lee Bussy
Bad decisions make good stories.

LBussy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-08-2013, 06:35 AM   #3
nameless
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: , TN
Posts: 76
Liked 8 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Thanks for the input! I've gone through a lot of tweaks and changes trying to decide what would be the most practical.

1. I thought about an agitator, but honestly I think a pump to recirculate is easier. That being said, my latest plan (attached) did away with that entirely. I'm actually on a budget, as much as I'd like to think I'm not, and I couldn't justify a pump and valve *just* to recirculate strike/sparge water.

2. I had that in one of my first designs, but since then I've gone to a more linear design, which greatly reduced the number of valves I had.

3. The most technical part of this: silicone tubing that I can pull off and stick in the carboy. The ultimate goal is a conical I could pressurize and CIP, but again, way down the road. Actually I'm keeping an eye open for some fab shop that might give me a decent price on custom kettles and a conical, so if the heavenly light shines down on me, I might have it sooner than I thought, but at the moment I'm stuck with manual labor.

Yes it is Visio. The pumps were under Equipment - Pumps, but I don't know where the rest were, I think I used the search feature for them. If you want, I can send you the files.

brewery_rims_2-pump-pred.jpg  
__________________
nameless is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-20-2013, 02:32 AM   #4
ilikeguns
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: , NY
Posts: 257
Liked 19 Times on 17 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nameless View Post

3. The most technical part of this: silicone tubing that I can pull off and stick in the carboy.
Are you talking about camlocks?
__________________

life is too short to drink beer you don't love...

ilikeguns is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-27-2013, 11:41 AM   #5
nameless
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: , TN
Posts: 76
Liked 8 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Just barbs

__________________
nameless is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2013, 08:56 PM   #6
benbradford
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 954
Liked 27 Times on 24 Posts

Default

what flow meters will you be using? what software?

__________________

I think it's too bad that everybody's decided to turn on drugs, I don't think drugs are the problem. Crime is the problem. Cops are the problem. Money's the problem. But drugs are just drugs.
Jerry Garcia

benbradford is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-11-2013, 03:27 AM   #7
nameless
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: , TN
Posts: 76
Liked 8 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

That's actually what I've been looking at this past weekend. This is a Brewtroller project, so it'll be Arduino-based. I talked to a guy who used these with success, so I'll probably grab one and play with it to see how I can implement it. If I go this route, I'd probably only use one on the water input, honestly as it would be more of a hassle to place the other ones, and once I have the numbers on fluid loss, I can calculate everything else close enough for my purposes.

I have been looking at other sensors as well, mainly pressure or one of the ultrasonic sensors. The pressure sensor looks promising, and I believe BT already has support for them. The ultrasonic sensor would just be a pain to set up, adding a sight tube on the side to try to get an accurate reading. I'm open to thoughts and suggestions.

__________________
nameless is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mash Schedule - overview question Szimdars All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 12-01-2011 03:20 AM
Overview Reports - Beersmith 2?? Apoxbrew Brewing Software 4 11-30-2011 11:39 PM
Hop Breeding Overview B-Hoppy Hops Growing 8 11-27-2011 02:13 PM
First brew tonight - Overview Hikeon3 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 17 05-16-2008 11:35 AM