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Old 01-10-2012, 11:14 PM   #1
rtockst
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Default 1.5 BBL direct fired build

I'm building a 1.5 BBL single tier system for a nanobrewery I'm starting. We've broke ground and are about to send in the Federal paperwork, so we're getting down to the nitty gritty! Unfortunately, I've found some major flaws in my design. We'll have a 65 gal kettle, and two 75's for the mash and hlt. I've got three 200K BTU low pressure propane burners from tejassmokers Cast Iron High Heat Jet Burner from Tejas Smokers. Tejas Jet Burners have Brass Jet Nozzles . (the 8" ones), and they're supposed to get to max output with 0.5psi propane so I decided to use some honeywells for the mash and hlt.
I've got the stand built, and have all the pipe and fittings.

I've realized, who in the world would direct fire a 1.5bbl system? heating up strike water from room temp would use most of a 20lb cylinder! So, I thought we might just get a tankless water heater (rinnai 96) and use that for the hlt. Thoughts?

But also, I realized the 200K burner will scorch the hell out of my mash. I'll be recirculating the mash just like the brutus. But, the burner is of the multi-jet type. Everyone knows those aren't adjustable in flame size (while keeping a nice clean flame) without plugging some of the jets. The temp probe will be on the output of the mash, so that 200K burner will heat the bottom of the mash so quick that it seems it will end up turning right back off due to the probe being right outside the mash. My solution is possibly to just use a 100K burner under the mash and use the tankless heater for the hlt and the mash. Thoughts?

Also, I'd like to be able to adjust the flame on the burners for smaller batches. But, I can't seem to find anywhere, a low pressure (works with honeywell at 0.5psi) propane burner that has a truly adjustable flame like the banjo burners, that also has a high output of somewhere near 200K BTU's. Suggestions?

I'm starting to think... damn... should have went all electric.

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Old 01-11-2012, 01:17 AM   #2
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I built a 1BBL system almost exactly as you described. I use 200K BTU jet burners with Honeywell electronic ignition and Auber Instruments PID's. The control panel is a gas modification of the panel featured at The Electric Brewery. I have 35 gal Blichmann Boilermaker's for the MLT and HLT with a 55 gal for the Boil Kettle. To heat water faster I just plumbed a hot water supply line from my home hot water heater. It only takes around 30 minutes to heat the 125 degree hot water to 155-170 degrees. To "soften" the direct fired MLT, I raised the MLT off of the frame 3 inches to reduce the heat. I have had no scorching problems after 4 batches. In addition I can heat the 150-165 wort to boil in my kettle in around 40-50 minutes, but I ignite the burner early in the sparge cycle to expedite the process. Finally, I fuel the system with tandem 40lb LP tanks plumbed in series. After 4 batches the tanks are only about half to 2/3 empty. As far as electric is concerned, you would have issues as well as it would likely take 50 plus amps to feed the multiple 5-6K watt elements required to heat such volumes. I calculated the feasibility of going electric, and the heating times were very similar with common residential elements. I cant remember the specific amp requirements, but it was large. You would need industrial elements, and 230-440 service to really shorten the time. I have attached pictures of my build for your review.

dsc00472.jpg   dsc00475.jpg  
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:47 AM   #3
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RIMS / HERMS? I'm interested in how you solve this problem

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Old 01-11-2012, 02:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by HellBentBrewCo View Post
RIMS / HERMS? I'm interested in how you solve this problem
Original plan was a direct fired RIMS, just like the Brutus 10 setup. But, on such a large scale, direct firing becomes quite inefficient in terms of energy costs, and I'm having trouble finding burners to fit what I need.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:23 AM   #5
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With the thermal mass of a 1.5 bbl grain bill, I'd expect you'd hold temps just fine with just some minor insulation...that's assuming a single infusion mash, though...

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Old 01-11-2012, 03:49 AM   #6
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Ditto dedhed, that's why none of the big (or even medium) boys use HERMS or RIMS

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Old 01-11-2012, 04:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dedhedjed View Post
With the thermal mass of a 1.5 bbl grain bill, I'd expect you'd hold temps just fine with just some minor insulation...that's assuming a single infusion mash, though...
Well I'm sure I could maintain temps really easily with a 100K burner, maybe even less. But, I wouldn't say it would hold temps very well on it's own. A friend of mine just upgraded his brewery to a 14 bbl system. His mash doesn't have any heat source. They're using strike water as hot as you can get it without leaching tannins from the grain, and the mash temps are still falling down below 150. I would think it would only drop a couple degrees! There must be something going wrong as some point there.

With having a 200K burner under the mash, in the brutus ten style setup and the temp probes right after the ball valves on the outlet, wouldn't the wort coming out be heated too quickly causing it to bounce back and forth between on and off? I do plan on having step mash capabilities. Maybe the only way to know is just build it and do a water test.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:17 AM   #8
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if step mashing is the plan, then my point is obviously moot.

about a water test, remember that the thermal properties of a mash are very different than water...

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Old 01-11-2012, 04:24 AM   #9
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An up and coming microbrew in san diego county uses RIMS for 40 bbl. Surprised the heck out of me but i'll post a pic as soon as i can find it.

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Old 01-11-2012, 04:30 AM   #10
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An up and coming microbrew in san diego county uses RIMS for 40 bbl. Surprised the heck out of me but i'll post a pic as soon as i can find it.
i'd really like to see that!

i am a brewer at a craft brewery in GA...we are on a 50bbl system, but our mash is steam jacketed. I've never heard of using RIMS on a system that large...that's really interesting...
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