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Old 12-04-2010, 06:37 AM   #1
jangevaa
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Default Advice needed on brewstand design

Hello hello. I will start to build a brew stand in the next 2 weeks or so, and have came up with the following design:



I have never seen any designs which are aligned 'diagonally' like this. I wanted to come up with a design where I could fit my keggles in between 4 corner posts such that they would be somewhat secure.

My questions:

Does this design look unstable or weak? I figure I could build it, and easily add reinforcement if it were. I am also considering adding a basic platform which would allow me to step up to manage my HLT, which could increase stability if necessary. This design uses 1.5" square steel. What gauge do you think I could get away with?

Secondly, if the height, thus materials could be reduced, that would be nice. This also would increase stability. I am wondering how much height is required between tiers to produce adequate siphon action/flow rates. This system will be used to do 10 gallon batches. I should've went out to the garage to measure my kegs, but I just figured they were 16 1/8th" in diameter and 23 3/8" in height as I found somewhere on the web, for the purpose of drawing out my idea.

I also plan to reduce the entire overall height when my burner arrives and I can see better what I am working with/how much clearance from the ground I can get away with on the lowest tier. I am going to try to use just one burner, which is movable between the tiers. It'll be connected (after a length of pipe) to a flexible hose. I was having trouble finding a natural gas burner in Ontario for a reasonable price, and combined shipping rates for ordering multiple burners from the states were not good enough for me to go out and buy 2 or 3 at the same time (and I am trying to keep costs down!)

Anyways! I appreciate any of your advice. I am sort of head in the clouds type and come up with these ideas which are not always the greatest, lol. At least I tend to structure my ideas such that they are flexible!

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Old 12-04-2010, 02:07 PM   #2
DarkNoonBrewer
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Nice work on the model. The diagonal layout is rather odd which means you do well thinking outside of the box (inside the diamond? haha!). You can surely have the four posts to secure your kettles with a traditional rectangular design. To do this, keep the HLT tier the same and only two posts protruding for the MLT and BK. The uprights will keep the kettle from falling towards the higher level.

As far as your elevation is concerned, consider what most don't. Your HLT should drain completely empty if the hose is routed to a level at least below the bottom of the kettle. That said, you can lower the bottom of the HLT to the lowest liquid level in the MLT! For me the highest 'lowest level' in my MLT would be about 3/4 full. So, the HLT can be positioned about 3/4 up from the bottom of the MLT.

The MLT is the same in relation to the BK. I always have at least 3 gallons (on a ten gallon batch) of liquid left over in the MLT. Including the spent grain, the liquid level in the MLT after the sparge is about 1/4 full AT LEAST. That said, it would be best to position the bottom of the MLT 3/4 up from the bottom of the BK.

With this method, you can get at least 1/2 a kettle in height savings. You coulld save a little more by lowering your MLT a few more inches below the 3/4 BK height, but its hard to say what your pre boil levels will be depending on a lot of things.

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Old 12-04-2010, 04:33 PM   #3
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IMO the design looks good. I would think that it will be pretty stable on its own but you may need to add some diagonal braces in the HLT tier for lateral stability. You'll know better once it's all welded together. The layout should work just fine. As far as overall height is concerned, my system is all gravity with the HLT completly above the MLT which is completely above the BK. This way I'm always assured of completely draining one vessle into the next.

Good luck with the build.

Beach

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Old 12-06-2010, 04:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNoonBrewer View Post
Nice work on the model. The diagonal layout is rather odd which means you do well thinking outside of the box (inside the diamond? haha!). You can surely have the four posts to secure your kettles with a traditional rectangular design. To do this, keep the HLT tier the same and only two posts protruding for the MLT and BK. The uprights will keep the kettle from falling towards the higher level.

As far as your elevation is concerned, consider what most don't. Your HLT should drain completely empty if the hose is routed to a level at least below the bottom of the kettle. That said, you can lower the bottom of the HLT to the lowest liquid level in the MLT! For me the highest 'lowest level' in my MLT would be about 3/4 full. So, the HLT can be positioned about 3/4 up from the bottom of the MLT.

The MLT is the same in relation to the BK. I always have at least 3 gallons (on a ten gallon batch) of liquid left over in the MLT. Including the spent grain, the liquid level in the MLT after the sparge is about 1/4 full AT LEAST. That said, it would be best to position the bottom of the MLT 3/4 up from the bottom of the BK.

With this method, you can get at least 1/2 a kettle in height savings. You coulld save a little more by lowering your MLT a few more inches below the 3/4 BK height, but its hard to say what your pre boil levels will be depending on a lot of things.
Thank you for the advice! I have decreased the height difference between tiers by 6 inches, lowering the total stand by 1 foot! great.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:28 AM   #5
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is buying a pump out of the question?

my first batch will likely be some gravity type setup, but I do plan on using a pump. and if I were going to fabricate out of metal I'd like it lower and level like the Brutus style stands.

if a pump is out of the question then your stand should work just fine.


-=Jason=-

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Old 12-06-2010, 06:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flomaster View Post
is buying a pump out of the question?

my first batch will likely be some gravity type setup, but I do plan on using a pump. and if I were going to fabricate out of metal I'd like it lower and level like the Brutus style stands.
..
if a pump is out of the question then your stand should work just fine.


-=Jason=-
For the time being, yes. I haven't been able to find an affordable source in Ontario for one of those March pumps. (like, under $200...)

I am going to try and build this from 16ga mild steel, 1.5" square tubing. But I also have alternative plans to build from wood if I can't find a good enough price. I have access to a welder, and perhaps some misc. steel. I need to investigate all of this a bit further...

If this goes well, definitely would like to upgrade to a single tier in the future though!
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jangevaa View Post
For the time being, yes. I haven't been able to find an affordable source in Ontario for one of those March pumps. (like, under $200...)

I am going to try and build this from 16ga mild steel, 1.5" square tubing. But I also have alternative plans to build from wood if I can't find a good enough price. I have access to a welder, and perhaps some misc. steel. I need to investigate all of this a bit further...

If this goes well, definitely would like to upgrade to a single tier in the future though!
Buy a pump, say a Chugger (about $100 US) have it sent to someones house here in the states..and drive over and get it... your 5 hours from my part of NY but I would think that you could find someone local in either Niagara Falls or Buffalo area that can help you out.... just an idea...we see many Canadian's shopping over here on a daily basis!
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:20 PM   #8
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Chugger pumps on ebay can be had for $100.00

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Old 12-09-2010, 09:40 PM   #9
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I created a new design, abandoning the diagonal-style plans. The initial design (with 18" height differences between tiers) used 51' 2" of steel. The redesign uses 44' 9.5". I got a price on some 1/8" thick 1.5" square tubing... $40 for 24', which is better than I expected. So I will be going with 1/8th instead of 14 or 16ga as I had originally planned.

Here's the design



If anybody wants the dimensions/materials list let me know!

And I left the bottom tier fairly close to the ground... the keggle will be 11.5" off the ground. Once the keggle is drained enough into the carboys such that siphoning doesn't work anymore, it should be light enough to easily move to the 2nd tier and complete the process.

I will start building next week. Let me know if you think I left out anything. Thanks for all the advice again!

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Old 12-09-2010, 10:26 PM   #10
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did you leave out casters on purpose? or hadn't you gotten that far? i love my 4 double locking casters.... they added like 4" or so to my stand height but make it much easier to move.

as for the way the stand is engineered, i would think that butting the joints at the top the same way you butted them at the bottom would be stronger. the way you have your welds is easier to build but the weld is holding the weight instead of the "top" of a tube.

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instead of

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