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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > false bottom for direct-fired recirculation mash?
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Old 12-05-2007, 03:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ebeer
The very best setup I've seen for this is a bottom valve. He drilled a hole dead center in the bottom of the keg, then a 90 degree ss elbow was welded on the outside bottom of the keg, with a long ss nipple and ball valve on the end. You have to cut a hole through the bottom skirt for the nipple, but it works really well. False bottom sits on top as show above, but there's no internal pick up tube. *If* I ever redesign my mash tun I'll prolly do this.
It's funny, I had asked about this, both here and on my brewclub site and everyone who chimed in had concerns about the burner immediately scorching the wort in the pipe below the tun. I was well convinced due to how many people suggested against it. Now that I've been messing around with my natural gas multi-jet burners, I've found that I can remove some tips and plug them up to basically make any flame pattern I want. I could easily stop flames from directly hitting the drain tube. Of course, I figured this out AFTER I had all my kegs welded with traditional side bulkheads and drains. I still think there is no more complete drain than from the dead bottom. You could conceivably tack weld a false bottom into this style MLT and have nothing in the way of stirring other than your thermo. If you're recirculating, you wouldn't even need that in the way because you could measure the temp inline. UGH... never happy with what we got!
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Old 12-05-2007, 04:53 PM   #12
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I recieved a keg for free that already had a coupler welded in the bottom. I couldn't figure out how to make it work, so I took it to the scrap yard.

I didn't like the thought of having a burner directly on any plumbing, and I didn't want to muck around with how to set up the support to allow for it.

I know I have very little loss in my MLT. I'm happy with what I've got (for now).

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Old 12-05-2007, 05:04 PM   #13
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It's funny, I had asked about this, both here and on my brewclub site and everyone who chimed in had concerns about the burner immediately scorching the wort in the pipe below the tun. I was well convinced due to how many people suggested against it. Now that I've been messing around with my natural gas multi-jet burners, I've found that I can remove some tips and plug them up to basically make any flame pattern I want. I could easily stop flames from directly hitting the drain tube. Of course, I figured this out AFTER I had all my kegs welded with traditional side bulkheads and drains. I still think there is no more complete drain than from the dead bottom. You could conceivably tack weld a false bottom into this style MLT and have nothing in the way of stirring other than your thermo. If you're recirculating, you wouldn't even need that in the way because you could measure the temp inline. UGH... never happy with what we got!
I would think that using constant recirculation through your mash would eliminate any scorching in the pipe because your are recirculating through the pipe as well. As a side note, the brewer I know who uses this set up has won multiple national awards (NHC etc).
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebeer
The very best setup I've seen for this is a bottom valve. He drilled a hole dead center in the bottom of the keg, then a 90 degree ss elbow was welded on the outside bottom of the keg, with a long ss nipple and ball valve on the end. You have to cut a hole through the bottom skirt for the nipple, but it works really well. False bottom sits on top as show above, but there's no internal pick up tube.
That's an interesting idea, but then you are heating the plumbing on the bottom directly with your burner. Teflon tape on the threads would burn. I wonder how that holds up against leaks in the long run?
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:53 PM   #15
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Good question, but I don't think teflon tape should be applied for leak prevention. Ideally, well tapped/dyed parts should fit snuggly when screwed together tightly. Teflon tape as I understand it is merely a joint lubricant to aid in screwing and unscrewing.

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Old 12-05-2007, 06:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by talleymonster
What kind of welder are you using? If you are an inexperieced welder, a wire-feed would be the way to go.
Hobart Handler 187. It's a MIG and I'm doing GMAW. I've got a bottle of C25 and I'm using .030 wire. I had an electrician run a 230 volt circuit with the right type of outlet on it to my back patio where I'm welding.

I'm definitely new to welding, but I'm not having too much trouble. I practiced a lot yesterday and learned that it is possible to burn through .120 metal (11 gauge). It's a good thing I'm not welding automobile sheet metal. I backed off the voltage by one tap and increased the wire speed that that got around the burn-through problem.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebeer
Good question, but I don't think teflon tape should be applied for leak prevention. Ideally, well tapped/dyed parts should fit snuggly when screwed together tightly. Teflon tape as I understand it is merely a joint lubricant to aid in screwing and unscrewing.
That's what I understand as well. If you try going dry, the threads bind before then can fully seat. The telflon tape lets you get a good extra full turn on the fittings to seal. Even if the teflon then burns up, it should be fine.

Like I mentioned, I'm using a ring burner with removable tips, I can have half moon of flame on each side of that pipe so I'd never have direct flame on the pipe anyway. Even so, as mentioned, only applying heat when the pump is running is a sure way to keep the pipe near your mash temp.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:19 PM   #18
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I think you will find it hard to get a good seal on any pipe thread without some type of joint compound. I haven't seen any yet that don't leak without something in there.

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Old 12-05-2007, 09:47 PM   #19
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Pipe thread sealing with wort: once you brew with a plumbing system a bit, the cooked/dried/nasty wort will act as a sealant, no matter how bad it leaks before hand....drips will go away...

I use Teflon pipe dope that is an industrial-type Pipefitter's sealant. Loctite brand.

You're supposed to wind the tape in the same direction that you thread the fitting, so that you don't have the free end wanting to roll/bind up sorta thing, when you thread the fitting on...just FYI...

How long before people are using bottom drains and heating from the periphery?

I would still prefer a side exiting drain/valve and just NOT HEATING the MLT directly, to avoid any carmelization of sugars by direct heat-it may add flavor, and make BETTER beer for all I know, but heating the bottom drain with a burner just seems to be asking for issues. I'm in the Camp of keeping direct heat off the mash...I'm sure there is success, but it just plain bugs me to think of it as a way I want to practice... . Seems if you are burning sugar to any degree, it is hardening and not going into the fermenter...??

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Old 12-06-2007, 03:02 AM   #20
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I honestly don't know if it has any effect. I'm going to be direct firing anyway you look at it, at least that's my plan. I intend to run the burner very low and recirculate a full flow.

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