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Old 12-14-2011, 11:57 AM   #21
MaxOut
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Not sure if you purchased your gas valves yet but you may want to consider the Honeywell SmartValves for simplicity. With these valves you will not need separate ignition controllers. Your panel is already set to provide the 24VAC to the valves. The valves handle the entire ignition sequence at the presence of 24VAC. I use the intermittent hot surface ignition with standing pilots and works great. 24VAC applied to the smart valve and the hot surface igniter lights standing pilot, once the thermocouple sense the pilot the main gas valve opens and ignites the burner. Safety and simplicity. The only drawback to this compared to a standing pilot with solenoid main gas valve is it takes a few seconds for the main burner to light once the process is initiated. Nice build by the way!!!

Here is a link -

Honeywell SmartValves

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Old 02-16-2012, 03:27 PM   #22
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Would it be possible to reduce the number of ball valves by using 3-way ball valves? For example 7 & 8 and 10 & 11 could be replaced w/2x3-way. Are there others? I'll need to spend some more time looking at the flow.

Great work by the way!

Chris

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Old 02-16-2012, 05:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest2k8 View Post
Would it be possible to reduce the number of ball valves by using 3-way ball valves? For example 7 & 8 and 10 & 11 could be replaced w/2x3-way. Are there others? I'll need to spend some more time looking at the flow.

Great work by the way!

Chris
I thake that back, 7 & 8 wouldn't work, they both need to be closed at the same time.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:29 AM   #24
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So how has the system been working out? Any tips for those of us blatantly stealing ideas from your build?

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Old 11-26-2012, 02:01 AM   #25
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From your diagram, you're using 2 check valves; one at the exit from Pump 1, and another just prior to entering the Kettle.

Do you have a source for these?

I found an inexpensive ($12.99) one on Amazon (B005F7PZTO), but it has a crack pressure of 4.5 psi. Since the March 809-PL-HS pump appears to only produce a maximum of 5.23 psi (from the March website), that seems like pretty close tolerances...

Better would be one with a 0.3 psi crack pressure, but those cost more than an electrical valve!

Thoughts?

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Old 11-26-2012, 05:09 AM   #26
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blackheart - A couple of comments on your brew logic... I was trying to modify your logic to fit my 3-pump system, and I ran across a couple of issues (lest I'm missing something)...

1) It appears you'll need another valve (electric or otherwise) at the end of your elevated line going to the fermenter, or else the "Cool Wort" diagram that brings wort back into the BK (e.g., whirlpool) will "leak" substantially.

2) I think you'd be better off reversing the flow through your heat exchanger, delivering the wort to the top of the coils rather than to the bottom, thereby allowing the wort to "fall" through the coils, rather than trying to push the wort up through the coils against both gravity and the resistence of the coils.

3) I also think you'd be better off filling the MLT through valves 8->6->12->10->11. I know that defeats your check valve below Valve 12 (replace it with an electric valve), and it will require you to put another valve at the exit from the heat exchanger, but it will also avoid you having to run your hot strike water (e.g., 170 degrees) through your heat exchanger (likely sitting at 148-153 degrees, awaiting recirculation of the mash to start), thereby cooling your strike water down to your mash temperature before going into the MT, and then getting further cooled when it gets mixed with room-temperature malt.

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Coming Soon: An upgraded Blichmann 20-gallon, Kal-inspired, BCS-controlled, all-electric RIMS-based pico-brewery (by mid-Summer 2015, after the winter thaw, and the NHC, I swear!!)

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Old 11-26-2012, 01:15 PM   #27
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We have made a few modifications to our system. We have removed valve 1 as it is pointless to prevent water from the HLT from hitting pump 1 as water from HLT is the only thing pump 1 pumps and it has valves 2 and 3 right after it to stop the flow. (pumps do not prevent flow while off)

If we had the option we would have done electric heating and a heat exchanger. This HERMS system was built based on the facts that we have no year round source of running water (winter time) and no floor drains. This means we need a closed system. Also, the tipping dump system for the kettles is pointless with so many wires and hoses connected everywhere. Its great that they are bolted in place and will not slide off but other than that we never ever use the tipping feature. A wet dry vac sucks out all of the spent grains and excess water when we need to clean or drain the system.

We used 2x temp sensors per vessel, we only needed one + 1 on the output.

We should have hard wired everything and used TC fittings for all valves and T's etc. This would make everything water resistant for hosing down etc and allow repositioning of valves and a more stable manifold of valves.

Sealing seems to be a huge issue. If the flow isnt good we cycle all of the valves and we reseat the TC fittings every few brews.

PBW is great and boiling it and circulating it through the system cleans everything out. It also destroys teflon tape... again, if we could afford to weld on TC fittings and use those for everything we would.

We also start boiling water in both the HLT and KTL. We use the KTL for mash in so the HLT water can be used via the HERMS coil to control mash temp and then we use that same water for sparge out. We do a combo of recirculating and batch sparging. No need to recirculate for a whole 90 minute boil but some does help.

Overall the system is working great and we have brewed many successful batches. The Kettle return line acts as a 3 way valve. It has one input and two outputs. The input enters one part of a T, one output is capped with a TC fitting and TC cap. The other output goes through a valve before entering the kettle. We recirculate the wort to chill it from the bottom of the kettle, through the coil, and back into the kettle with the kettle return valve open. When the wort is cooled enough we turn off the pump and connect a transfer hose to the sealed TC fitting on the kettle return. We then close off the valve which prevents wort from entering the kettle and instead forces it to go into the transfer hose and across the brewery into the fermentor. When done we reverse this process to empty and clean the system. We could have added another valve, or used the extra valve 1 that we removed etc to do this but its not really necessary...

We can build our system with fewer valves, shorter lines, and over all make it less complicated or less automatic. We built on a number of other existing designs from this forum and others. We also have had numerous people contact us for various questions and building clones of our work. Our design certainly isnt perfect but it works for us. our best advice would be to take what we have done and make it better and make it work for you.

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