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Old 10-31-2006, 05:22 PM   #11
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I've been eyeballing the plastic disconnects you've got on your heat exchanger coil in the latest Midwest catalog. They look pretty beefy.

One question: when you disconnect them from the "male" side, do they seal up? In other words, do they hold the liquid in or let it leak out? I've been thinking I could use them on hoses connected to a pump, allowing me to use one pump with multiple hoses to circulate/sparge and then transfer the wort to the brew kettle by swaping hoses on the inlet and outlet of the pump.

I just don't want a setup that spooges hot wort on the ground every time I disconnect a hose.

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Old 10-31-2006, 11:52 PM   #12
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To answer Chimone's question about fermentation temps, I have the controller set at 64 on the heat side and 66 on the cooling side, each with a 1 degree differential. That gives me a possible range of 63-67, but every time I check it, it's right at 64 (makes sense since it's a little cool outside). The optimum fermentation temp for my WLP011 yeast is 65-70, so my goal is to keep it at the low end of the scale, especially for the first few days. I haven't measured the actual liquid temp yet, but I guess I should. EDIT: Liquid temp was 70 when I measured it today. I held the test tube in my hand for a few minutes before measuring the temp, so I'm guessing 68 is more accurate. I think I'll dial the temp down to 62-64. It's already down to 1.014 from 1.045-ish.

For DrewsBrews - sorry man, those disconnects seal really well when they're connected, but the ends are open once you unhook them. Note the big puddle in one of the pics - some of it was caused by just plain sloppiness with the hose (so to speak) on my part, but some of it is from the open tube ends as well. Yes, that's an electric pump in the puddle...pretty stupid of me, I know.

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Old 11-01-2006, 04:49 AM   #13
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Crap... I figured as much. Well, if you've had success with them other than that, I think I'll still use them. I'll just have to put a three-way valve between them and the pump. When I'm done for the day, I can just pop them loose to clean the lines and put stuff away.

Yes, the pump in the puddle was a smooth move. 30 self-inflicted lashes with wet noodle for you.

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Old 11-01-2006, 03:33 PM   #14
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Where did you pick up your AC unit? I think I can get away with something that small for my fermentation closet.

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Old 11-01-2006, 09:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimone
Where did you pick up your AC unit? I think I can get away with something that small for my fermentation closet.
Look on eBay. This is a good time to pick one up for a cheap price. I got mine for $50 used, but it seems brand new (looks like someone unpacked it and thought about installing it, then sold it).
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:42 PM   #16
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I promised more pictures, so here they are:

My $20 Home Cheapo ceramic space heater:


I'm gonna build a mechanism to slide the burner from one pot to the other. For now the burner is just on top of another stock pot.


My boil kettle. I'm using the false bottom as a hops screen.

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Old 11-01-2006, 10:44 PM   #17
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My mash tun. I made the false bottom from some perforated stainless and some #10 stainless hardware. The fitting above the false bottom is for the Brewmometer. Below it is the outlet valve. The sparge arm is fixed, but the holes are drilled horizontally so that they create a subtle "whirlpool" effect just under the surface of the mash water.


The hoses, chiller and pump to make everything go:

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Old 11-01-2006, 11:18 PM   #18
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Since there was some interest in how my system works, here's my 15 gallon AG brewing process. You probably won't get much out of reading this if you brew with a 3-tier system, already use a pump for sparge/wort transfer, or you despise fly sparging.

1. Make sure the yeast starter is ready. Clean/rinse everything. Start heating 15-17 gallons of water in the 20 gallon boil kettle (grain bill dependent). Mill the grain.

2. When the water gets to ~140 (recipe dependent), begin pumping it up to the mash tun (filling it by pumping through the mash tun outlet valve). When the water hits the false bottom, add the grain. Stir occasionally. Stop filling when the mash tun is almost full.

3. Transfer the remainder of the heated water to the 9 gallon hot liquor tank containing the coiled immersion heater. Top up the hot liquor tank and heat to desired step temperature. The boil kettle is now empty.

4. Set the pump up for recirculation from the mash tun through the immersion heater and back via the sparge arm. Begin recirculating after the protein rest (if one is necessary). Monitor the temperature of the mash. Stir every 20 mins or so. Continue heating the hot liqour tank and recirculate as required to meet the mash schedule. Measure hops.

5. Fly sparge. Why? Because I can, and it makes sense to me. Heat the hot liquor tank to sparge temperature. Configure the pump to transfer the sparge water (same water as was used for immersion heating) from the hot liquor tank up through the sparge arm. If I haven't stirred the mash recently, the runnings should already be clear from HERMS recirculation. Begin draining extracted wort to the boil kettle via gravity feed. Monitor sparge speed so that sparge water enters at the same rate that wort exits. Use first wort hopping for the first hops addition in most cases (helps with boil overs and adds aroma for some reason).

6. Begin applying heat to boil kettle when it's about 1/4 full (faster boil that way). Stop sparge when enough wort is collected or the extracted wort is too diluted to be of value.

7. Boil. Follow hops/adjunct schedule. Fill fermenter with Star San solution.

8. Drain fermenter, using drained sanitizer to clean anything that will be on the cold side of the chiller. Begin heating 6-9 gallons of tap water in the hot liquor tank for cleaning later. Use pump to transfer boiled wort from kettle to fermenter through the counterflow chiller. Monitor chilled wort temp (no greater than 80).

9. Pitch yeast.

10. Clean up. Dump spent grain and hops into a cardboard box lined with a big garbage bag. Clean the pump, chiller, all lines, etc with the hot water from the hot liquor tank.

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Old 11-02-2006, 12:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage

5. Fly sparge. Why? Because I can, and it makes sense to me.
lol nice

Well that, and I really wouldn't want to batch sparge a 15 gallon batch. I've batch sparged a 10 gallon batch, and man....thats quite a bit of 175*ish water to have to dump in. 15 gallon batch.....that would be scary.

Allthough Im sure theres a safer way, but I just put on a pair of mechaincs gloves, then pick up the smokin hot kettle and dump it all in at once.
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
My mash tun. I made the false bottom from some perforated stainless and some #10 stainless hardware.
Yuri - where'd you pick up that stainless screen?
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