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D_Struct 06-14-2011 05:06 PM

Burners, Electric Starters, Keggles and Brewstand
 
While I'm still very early on in my process, I had a couple of questions for the peanut gallery in reference to some tweaks I'm thinking of making to my upcoming brewstand build.

I started off looking at some of the awesome builds on here, and I started to crave a fresh DIY project.

Then, I purchased the back-issue of the BYO Brutus 10 build.

While looking at that, I thought of some things that I might do, both to cut cost and to fit more with what I'd like out of a home brewery.

First off, I'm planning on steering away from the automated recirculation of the mash. I'd like to have the ability to recirculate in the future, but, for now, I'd like my hands on as much of the process as I can. I'm assuming I'll need to insulate the keggle mashtun to hold temperature, since I won't be heating it? Right now, I use a cooler, and it hold temperature great, but I want to move on to keggles and have it all together on the stand.

Second, should I hold to the build specs and use low pressure burners? Aside from propane use, what do I gain from going with those over standard burners?

I am actually thinking about moving away from pilot burners, and going with an electric starter for the burners. What are some appropriate starters and will work well with the banjo burners?

Since I'm going to cut back on automation, I won't be using temp. controllers, but I do want digital gauges that look similar the Love controllers. Any suggestions on those? I was thinking something that will wire into the main power and utilize the temp probes like the ones in the Brutus build.

I'll be picking up parts, over time, in order to spread the cost out a bit. So far, the only thing I've picked up is one keg. I've already ordered the weldless kits to converting this to my new BK. I suppose the process has begun!

dfess1 06-14-2011 05:27 PM

Here's what I did. I will be recirc throughout the mash (just a pump and fittings, nothing automated). The burner will be fired on and off as needed to maintain temp. This is manual.

I mated the electric start from a bbq to my BG-14 burners. Works like a charm. Brought my 5 gallon test pot to boiling in 20 min last night. Still have a few leaks to take care of before actually brewing with the setup.

D_Struct 06-14-2011 06:53 PM

Great information! How are you recirculating the mash, output-wise? A sparge arm or whirlpooling it?

dfess1 06-15-2011 02:03 PM

I guess a whirlpool? I've got a camlock fitting on top of my "lid", on the other side of that is a barb that I'm going to attach my silicon tube to, and then just lay it down on top of the grain bed. Same idea as the blichman autosparge, but I am not convinced I want to use that piece just yet (sitting in a box still). If I can get away with not needing to drill another hole in my boilermaker, I'd be happy. I figure I'll give this a shot, and see how it works. I'll just control the flow through the valve on the pump. I can take a pic when we brew this weekend, and let you know how it works.

JuanMoore 06-15-2011 04:29 PM

I have a completely manual HERMS and I recirculate throughout the mash. My return to the MLT is just as dfess1 describes, a short length of silicone tubing coming in from the lid that lays on top of the mash. I have a ghetto thermowell in the return fitting so that I can monitor the temps entering the MLT.

I use high pressure BG-10 burners because I already had one from a turkey fryer and it was cheap and easy to just buy another one. Now that I'm thinking of adding a little bit of automation I'm wishing I had gone with low pressure burners, as it would make automation cheaper and easier. The other nice thing about the low pressure burners is the ability to easily convert to NG.

I recently bought some cheap digital temp controllers on e-bay that are currently being used just to monitor temperature, but will soon be part of the automation. They're very similar to the ones seen in this thread, except single stage, cheaper, and the read-out is fahrenheit instead of celcius. Most of the digital temperature indicators I've seen cost as much as cheap temp controllers, so I'd just buy controllers and use them to monitor temp. That way you could use them later to add automation, or to control a ferm chamber, keezer, etc if you ever needed/wanted to. Here's what mine look like-
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/f...0614-00084.jpg

D_Struct 06-15-2011 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dfess1 (Post 3007321)
I guess a whirlpool? I've got a camlock fitting on top of my "lid", on the other side of that is a barb that I'm going to attach my silicon tube to, and then just lay it down on top of the grain bed. Same idea as the blichman autosparge, but I am not convinced I want to use that piece just yet (sitting in a box still). If I can get away with not needing to drill another hole in my boilermaker, I'd be happy. I figure I'll give this a shot, and see how it works. I'll just control the flow through the valve on the pump. I can take a pic when we brew this weekend, and let you know how it works.

That would be great. I'd love to hear how it works for you.

D_Struct 06-15-2011 09:30 PM

Thanks for the head's up on the temp controllers, Juan.

I'll check them out. Keep finding ones rigged for Celsius.

JuanMoore 06-15-2011 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by D_Struct (Post 3008748)
Thanks for the head's up on the temp controllers, Juan.

I'll check them out. Keep finding ones rigged for Celsius.

Here is the one I bought that reads in F. The shipping is free and the price is buy it now or best offer. I made an offer on 3 of them for considerably less than the asking price and it was accepted.


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