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Old 09-28-2009, 06:22 PM   #1
Pangea
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Default 55 gal drum mash tun - false bottom ideas?

I'm building a 1.5 BBL system from 55 gallon stainless drums. I feel good about my plan for all components except for the false bottom for the mash/lauter tun. Anyone have any ideas what should be done here? I would spend a little money for the right equipment, for example paying for a custom false bottom that I could drop in. I was also considering a cpvc manifold, but I'm worried about having to un-secure the manifold from bulkhead fitting when cleaning. A false bottom can just be lifted out as it isn't attached to anything.

Does anyone know where a false bottom can be purchased for a 55 gallon drum? I can't see any examples where someone may have done this successfully before. For example, has anyone seen the blichmann false bottom for their 55gallon boilermaker used successfully in a 55 gallon drum?

Thanks in advance. Just looking for some direction from the collective HBT think tank.

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Old 09-28-2009, 06:46 PM   #2
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Here is a sheet of perforated metal that you can make your own with. I took a swag at the hole diameter.
http://www.mcmaster.com/#9358t311/=3twqqg

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Old 09-28-2009, 07:12 PM   #3
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Here is a sheet of perforated metal that you can make your own with. I took a swag at the hole diameter.
http://www.mcmaster.com/#9358t311/=3twqqg
Hmm.. Yep, that would work. I guess drains could be in the bottom of the drum, with this perforated plate over the top - just resting on the drum bottom. This is the same concept I have on my keggle system now, but the perforated false bottom has a hinge in the middle so it can be folded for removal. I'm talking to the guy who made it for me originally to see if he could do something similar, yet larger, for a 55 gallon drum - which would need to be about 22" diameter.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:36 PM   #4
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Hmm.. Yep, that would work. I guess drains could be in the bottom of the drum, with this perforated plate over the top - just resting on the drum bottom. This is the same concept I have on my keggle system now, but the perforated false bottom has a hinge in the middle so it can be folded for removal. I'm talking to the guy who made it for me originally to see if he could do something similar, yet larger, for a 55 gallon drum - which would need to be about 22" diameter.
Just doing a little brain dumping here if you are looking to DIY.
yeah, you could also put some stainless screws through it with some nuts as a stand off. Cut two halves out of it so they over lap and drill a pickup tube for it if a drain in the bottom is a problem.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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Our club system is a 100 gallon rubbermaid stock tank, we use a Bazooka T, I'd be willing to bet you could do the same since it's only 50 gallons.

Actually, ours is two of the Bazooka 12" pieces but we made our own Tee if I recall.





http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/mash-boil-screen.html

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Old 09-28-2009, 11:34 PM   #6
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I have a 25" diameter false bottom in my 200 liter (52 gallon) combination mash/later tun.
Beer Beer & more Beer made it to my specifications a few years ago.
They have always done a great job for me.



The only change I would do the next time, make a two or three piece design.


Cheers,
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:20 AM   #7
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What kind of insulation are you thinking of using for a 55g drum? How do you suppose you're going to stir that thing? A boat oar? How will you supply heat if necessary?

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Old 09-29-2009, 02:07 AM   #8
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Suggestions:

Pumping strike water into the mash tun:



False bottom in mash tun. It is a perf screen originally designed to fit a sanke kettle. Works great in this configuration. Held down firm by pressure from copper pipe:




Boil kettle hop filter is a LARGE hose braid (about 1.5" diam). Just starting to collect run-off:



Stirring in hops:

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Old 09-29-2009, 02:24 AM   #9
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now thats a man!

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Doesn't blowing on it when its soft cause it to get hard? It's been a while, but I think that's how it used to work...

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Old 09-29-2009, 02:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
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What kind of insulation are you thinking of using for a 55g drum? How do you suppose you're going to stir that thing? A boat oar? How will you supply heat if necessary?
I was planning on using a few layers of reflective bubble wrap insulation. I currently use two layers on my keggle setup, just wrapped around the side, not the bottom and it loses about 3 degrees over the 60 minute period. For the 55 gal setup I will use more, both around the sides plus the bottom and also maybe on the lid, depending... I haven't figured out the lid yet. I'm going to weld legs on the drum so insulating the bottom will be important and not too difficult. No additional heat, although I was considering using a 110V drum heater belt like the 300W one on the following link.
http://www.morsemfgco.com/products/drum-heater.htm
I dont think heating will be necessary, for my recipes anyway, as losing a few degrees over 60 to 90 minutes has resulted in some awesome beers!

I'm very open to suggestions for the insulation though. I've tried to search for a pre-made drum blanket or insulation, which you'd think would exist for standard size 55 gallon drums... but of course it doesn't.

Edit - Oh yeah, I might use a boat oar from my pirogue! We'll see how well my large stainless crawfish boiling paddle works first though.
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