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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > Mini BIAB pilot system idea
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:49 PM   #1
mattd2
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Default Mini BIAB pilot system idea

Ok so I have a number of other stuff I need to sort out for brewing but I am always thinking a number of stages ahead of myself!
At the moment I have to finish off my 2 vessel build (and possibly get a third keg to make it 3 vessel), then plan to sell that and use the money to finance a larger system with lots of shinny stuff.
But I also want to get better a brewing and know what different ingredients do, for this AI plan on doing a number of small SMASH beers or similar. i.e. for checking out hops I plan to do a pale ale base (pale malt + some crystal) + standard amounts and times for aroma + flavour hop additions, and then adjust the bittering hop addition to a set IBUs.
Fo this I want to build a fairly robust "pilot" brewery. Thinking to go with the BIAB concept, but the boil will be a bit different.
I am planning to use 2x 10 litre pots 9one fitting inside the other, drill out the inside pot's bottom to make a false bottom. Then pump from the bottom of the pot through a rims tube and back to the top.
Standard RIMS setup for the mash. Sparge I would raise the pot, and then pass cold water through the RIMS to heat it (slightly) and drain back into the main pot.
Now comes the difference, because I am expecting that there will be not enough room in the pot to mount the heating element I plan to use the RIMS tube to boil. I have seen at least one commercial brewery supplier that uses a system similar to this (boil in a seperate unit while recircing the main kettle) but can't remember where.
My main concern is making sure I get the evaporation I need, for DMS and wort concentration.

So any thoughts from you guys? Attached is a bit of a sketch. As usual just want to spitball something in advance of trying something to give me a chance to work out all the issues that could happen.
Cheers

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Old 02-22-2013, 04:40 AM   #2
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I don't see the point of doing all this to a BIAB system. It's supposed to be simple.
Your drawing is sound, but I predict by the time you actually put all this together, you'll:
Add a PID controller, loose the bag, get a false bottom, and move on from BIAB.
Here's how I moved from BIAB...
One day my bag split open, and all the grain went into the wort.
My mash keggle has a valve, so when it came time to drain, I went ahead and opened the valve and collected while straining through a cheesecloth filter expecting a ton of grains.
Surprise, hardly any grain came through. I vorlaufed and then collected wort normally. Since then I've never looked back.
Judging from your love of apparatus, I predict you'll be moving on too.

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acidrain View Post
I don't see the point of doing all this to a BIAB system. It's supposed to be simple.
Your drawing is sound, but I predict by the time you actually put all this together, you'll:
Add a PID controller, loose the bag, get a false bottom, and move on from BIAB.
Here's how I moved from BIAB...
One day my bag split open, and all the grain went into the wort.
My mash keggle has a valve, so when it came time to drain, I went ahead and opened the valve and collected while straining through a cheesecloth filter expecting a ton of grains.
Surprise, hardly any grain came through. I vorlaufed and then collected wort normally. Since then I've never looked back.
Judging from your love of apparatus, I predict you'll be moving on too.

You can tell all of that through his schematic? wow? Thats amazing!
I like the idea. Still have one main vessel with all of the benefits of BIAB.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:58 AM   #4
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I guess I am confused. How are you going to recirculate boiling wort? That tends to screw up your pump's priming and causes a bit of wear and tear on the impeller to boot.

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acidrain View Post
I don't see the point of doing all this to a BIAB system. It's supposed to be simple.
Your drawing is sound, but I predict by the time you actually put all this together, you'll:
Add a PID controller, loose the bag, get a false bottom, and move on from BIAB.
Here's how I moved from BIAB...
One day my bag split open, and all the grain went into the wort.
My mash keggle has a valve, so when it came time to drain, I went ahead and opened the valve and collected while straining through a cheesecloth filter expecting a ton of grains.
Surprise, hardly any grain came through. I vorlaufed and then collected wort normally. Since then I've never looked back.
Judging from your love of apparatus, I predict you'll be moving on too.
Dont worry, it will be controlled from the get go - most likely by arduino as I want to start messing with that too
There is no bag, the second pot is drill to create a false bottom but also give me a "bag" that can be lifted out and wort only will flow out the bottom.
From what you describe it sounds like you were not doing BIAB in the first place if you had a mash keggle and then a seperate boil keggle?

This will not be my main brewery setup. Currently I am working on a 2 vessel (possibly 3 if possible) semi-auto (as in PID control for the HLT), nearly done with that.
Once I have brewed a bit on that I hope to sell it to fund building a 50-100 litre system - 3 vessel HLT/WP, MLT, BK, with automation and hard piped.
This one will continue to be used to test small batchs, 4-6 litres (1-1.5 gallons) to evaluate ingredients, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmunos View Post
You can tell all of that through his schematic? wow? Thats amazing!
I like the idea. Still have one main vessel with all of the benefits of BIAB.
hahahaha, my schematic was awesome. All my hopes and dream all wrapped up in one nice little MS paint file
Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdboy View Post
I guess I am confused. How are you going to recirculate boiling wort? That tends to screw up your pump's priming and causes a bit of wear and tear on the impeller to boot.
Thanks, that is the kind of comments I was hoping of. I plan that the pump will be attached directly to the kettle outlet, at this time not even a valve between them. My hopes are that the lack of any inlet piping, the head hieght in the kettle, the back pressure on the discharge leg and the fact the the wort will cool slightly before returning to the pump inlet will give just enough NPSHa to avoid the pump cavitating.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattd2 View Post
Thanks, that is the kind of comments I was hoping of. I plan that the pump will be attached directly to the kettle outlet, at this time not even a valve between them. My hopes are that the lack of any inlet piping, the head hieght in the kettle, the back pressure on the discharge leg and the fact the the wort will cool slightly before returning to the pump inlet will give just enough NPSHa to avoid the pump cavitating.
OK I guess I see that from your diagram, but then I realized that you intend to boil in a closed vessel. I had originally assumed that part would be open because it doesn't make sense to do it in a closed vessel, for two reasons:

1. You are instead going to be producing gas inside this closed vessel where the heating element is located. Not only is this extremely dangerous due to the pressure potentially building up, but you are likely going to expose your element to the air a significant portion of the time. Even if you don't burn it out immediately, you're going to ruin it pretty quickly I'll bet. At the bare minimum, you'd need to use a pressure vessel designed specifically for this task, and you'd need a pressure release valve on there to vent the gas. Building one out of a pipe or whatever would be insane and extremely dangerous. And again, not sure how you'd maintain a siphon to keep the liquid flowing. The gas is going to occupy the top of the vessel and break the flow.

2. Your concern about DMS is well-founded. I strongly suspect that the SMM is not going to be able to separate enough from the wort unless it's in an open system.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdboy View Post

OK I guess I see that from your diagram, but then I realized that you intend to boil in a closed vessel. I had originally assumed that part would be open because it doesn't make sense to do it in a closed vessel, for two reasons:

1. You are instead going to be producing gas inside this closed vessel where the heating element is located. Not only is this extremely dangerous due to the pressure potentially building up, but you are likely going to expose your element to the air a significant portion of the time. Even if you don't burn it out immediately, you're going to ruin it pretty quickly I'll bet. At the bare minimum, you'd need to use a pressure vessel designed specifically for this task, and you'd need a pressure release valve on there to vent the gas. Building one out of a pipe or whatever would be insane and extremely dangerous. And again, not sure how you'd maintain a siphon to keep the liquid flowing. The gas is going to occupy the top of the vessel and break the flow.

2. Your concern about DMS is well-founded. I strongly suspect that the SMM is not going to be able to separate enough from the wort unless it's in an open system.
1. The wort will be pumped around the circuit. The RIMS tube will not be sealed but will reduce down at the top then recirc back into the boil kettle so any steam/DMS shoul escape upwards (I'll make sure of no vapour locks)
2. I would not really concider this a closed system, but the 2 phase stream would need to travel together in the RIMS discharge pipe until it drops back in the kettle. So I would be concern if DMS could redesolve back into the wort at this time.
Cheers!
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:54 PM   #8
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I don't get your answer to #1. I would like to see a live demonstration of this recirculating boiling wort over an extended period before I believed it would actually work. I don't think this is going to actually push wort through the way you say it will. Maybe I need a better diagram.

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Old 02-23-2013, 03:25 AM   #9
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Try a Google of "thermosyphon reboiler", that looks like the schematic, and with sufficient heat input would set up the recirculation without the pump. I expect the pump could be left in the circuit for the mashing step. I would consider returning the boil loop directly into the main pot below liquid level, which would be slightly different than the sparge step.

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Old 02-01-2014, 01:35 AM   #10
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Did this system ever make it off of the drawing board? Do you have any updates?

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