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Old 07-01-2011, 03:31 AM   #1
Polboy
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Default need some advice on rig setup

So im also looking in to AG brewing and have few questions regarding my future setup.
1. heat source, almost everyone is using propane here but i have natural gas line in my garage (i want to setup my rig there), should i go with NG (i would prefer that of course) or get the propane tank+burner, if NG is ok any recommendations on the burner??
2. Pot, i have 4gal SS that im using for extracts, i understand its not big enough so i have been looking for 10gal+ on CL but no luck so far, instead of i found few kegs (15gal) for $60-$80, should i get two kegs? (one for boiling one for mash/sparge water?), i would get bigger container for less money and i have a friend who will weld valve, measuring tube, thermometer for free (well for cut of my beer for sure
3. Im not sure about my rig setup, i want to do gravity so i dont have to buy a pump, so i see it as this:
-top shelf with burner and pot/keg for heating mash/sparge water
- mid shelf with mash tun (i will build it from the cooler)
- bottom shelf with burner and boiling pot/keg
- fermenter on the floor
im gona use CFC so i need some space between fermenter and boiling pot, how much of the space i need here?, is there any recommendation for distance between containers, how tall rig like that should be?, does it all make sense?
I will appreciate any suggestions,
Thanks

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Old 07-01-2011, 06:54 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by cciszew View Post
So im also looking in to AG brewing and have few questions regarding my future setup.
1. heat source, almost everyone is using propane here but i have natural gas line in my garage (i want to setup my rig there), should i go with NG (i would prefer that of course) or get the propane tank+burner, if NG is ok any recommendations on the burner??
2. Pot, i have 4gal SS that im using for extracts, i understand its not big enough so i have been looking for 10gal+ on CL but no luck so far, instead of i found few kegs (15gal) for $60-$80, should i get two kegs? (one for boiling one for mash/sparge water?), i would get bigger container for less money and i have a friend who will weld valve, measuring tube, thermometer for free (well for cut of my beer for sure
3. Im not sure about my rig setup, i want to do gravity so i dont have to buy a pump, so i see it as this:
-top shelf with burner and pot/keg for heating mash/sparge water
- mid shelf with mash tun (i will build it from the cooler)
- bottom shelf with burner and boiling pot/keg
- fermenter on the floor
im gona use CFC so i need some space between fermenter and boiling pot, how much of the space i need here?, is there any recommendation for distance between containers, how tall rig like that should be?, does it all make sense?
I will appreciate any suggestions,
Thanks
If you're interested in using NG, I would go with banjo burners. Most of them are build for either/or. If you're automating it, just make sure you use solenoid valves that can handle NG.

In my opinion, kegs are the cheapest way to go. They're stainless, plus they have a perfect volume for 10 gallon batches. Just make sure your cooler MLT has enough room for what you typically brew.

As for your distance between kegs...as long as you have a good pickup tube in each of your kettles, you shouldn't have a problem creating a siphon. So...if we're talking distance between the MLT and kettle...you'd want the water line in the kettle (when it's full) to be below the water line in the MLT. Does that make sense?
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:13 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot, i will be looking for NG burner and cheap kegs then. Im not gona try to automate right now, my wife will say im crazy when i will show up with kegs, i have to familiarize her to my homebrewing expansion gradually

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Old 07-02-2011, 01:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cciszew View Post
Thanks a lot, i will be looking for NG burner and cheap kegs then. Im not gona try to automate right now, my wife will say im crazy when i will show up with kegs, i have to familiarize her to my homebrewing expansion gradually
If you can score me some BEARS Tickets I can score you as many new Kegs are need.
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:27 PM   #5
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If you can score me some BEARS Tickets I can score you as many new Kegs are need.
I think transportation could be problematic
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:38 PM   #6
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I was sort of saving this design for my rig but if you like you are welcome to try it. I would also like to have different levels so I can transport hot liquor and runnings by gravity but I don't want the awkward shaped stand so I was thinking about making adjustable legs that I could raise each individual platform to transfer liquids but then still be able to have a full level surface when I'm not brewing or between rests.

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Old 07-03-2011, 04:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tinga View Post
I was sort of saving this design for my rig but if you like you are welcome to try it. I would also like to have different levels so I can transport hot liquor and runnings by gravity but I don't want the awkward shaped stand so I was thinking about making adjustable legs that I could raise each individual platform to transfer liquids but then still be able to have a full level surface when I'm not brewing or between rests.
I was thinking about similar system but when i got in to details i realize it would be probably easier to get a pump, particular i was concern about safety aspect of moving up and down 80lbs of boiling liquids. I think i will just start with 3 shelves bench on wheels with 2 burners and maybe piping with quick connector for NG
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:32 AM   #8
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I took a first step in AG brewing direction and bought 2 kegs from CL ($60) and ordered 2 NG burners ($64 with shipping), now i have to work out details for a stand


Uploaded with ImageShack.us

looks like one is 15 gal size but the other is 50L=13.2 gal, i guess smaler one i will use as a HLT

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Old 07-08-2011, 05:20 PM   #9
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I converted to NG last year. I also bought a Sabco frame which had burners with the proper jets. I still had to drill out the jets since our gas pressure is pretty low (4" water column). I love it and will never run out of gas during a brew again! Not sure of what burners to use, but they definitely have larger orifices in the jets to accomodate low pressure gas flow.

I use converted Sanke kegs. They are 15 gallons and work great, but are 29 lbs with nothing in them. Cleaning my mash tun with 15-20 lbs of wet grain plus the 30 lb keg gets tedious. I may convert to nice Blichmann pots some day just to save the back.

I have always used a pump so I can recirc the wort and keep mash temps consistent throughout. I also recently added a controller so the temp is now perfectly stable. My neighbor had a gravity rig and added a pump so he could recirc too. The gravity rigs are taller so consider that a tall rig plus a 2 foot keg on top may give you clearance problems as you move it around.

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Old 07-08-2011, 07:10 PM   #10
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This is an awesome frame but i can not afford it right now, i got 23 jet NG burners for chinese woks and i will try to setup everything in a modular way so i can change configurations as needed and as founds allow me (so start with gravity system and change to pump later)

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