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Old 07-22-2010, 04:20 AM   #1
bigjoe
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Default Low Rent (aka ghetto) Single Vessel brew rig

This rig is nothing special, but its simple. Maybe someone thinking about going all grain will benefit and improve on it's cheap design.

I do BIAB and recirculate the mash in a single vessel. I like the small foot print because I'm lazy, small foot print = less crap to get out. I don't have a dedicated brew space so I like to be able to break it down and store it.

I keep my pump in a toolbox like many have posted on the board. I don't usually recirculate the whole time while mashing. I'll definitely recirc while firing the burner during the mash and mash out. I might have to fire it a few times over a 1.5 hour mash. I don't do 10 gallon batches but I can do 8 gallons of a 1.050 brew no problem. Once the mash is complete I pull the grain and fire up to boil. I've found you can still recirculate with a single vessel and no pump. Just draw off a gallon at a time out of the ball valve a few times during the mash like a vorlauf. I got a pump for x-mas and I like that much better.

The other nice thing is that is relatively inexpensive. Only one vessel. I don't really need the site guage or temp probe fitting. I like the temp probe for cooling down though. When I mash I stick another temp probe as close to the the center of the mash as I can. I waterproofed a probe with some small silicone tubing ala Bobby_M style.

1st pic is the ball valve and T fitting that I use for temp probe and ghetto volume guage. The volume gauge is silicone tubing. I like the simple elegance of the sharpie on the guage.

2nd pic is the qd I use while reciculating. Outlet of the pump is connected here to recirculate through the grain bag while mashing. I like the clarity of the wort I get doing this.

3rd pic is the other side of the recirculating qd. I've ditched the silicone tube for 1/2" elbow and about 8" of tube with several small holes drilled in it to distribute the reciculating wort more evenly through the mash. Very similar to a sparge arm I've seen in cooler mash tuns.

ghetto_site-gauge.jpg   sparge_arm.jpg   sparge_arm_tube.jpg  

Last edited by bigjoe; 07-22-2010 at 04:24 AM. Reason: grammar and clarification
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:11 PM   #2
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I like the KISS approach, rock on!

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Old 07-22-2010, 12:59 PM   #3
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Lookin good... Now you just gotta shine that puppy up!

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Old 07-22-2010, 01:30 PM   #4
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what is your sparge technique when doing this? Do you sparge at all? And if you don't sparge, how do you drain your grain bag? or do you just not worry about the wort in the grain bag when you pull it?

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Old 07-22-2010, 04:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
what is your sparge technique when doing this? Do you sparge at all? And if you don't sparge, how do you drain your grain bag? or do you just not worry about the wort in the grain bag when you pull it?

I don't sprage. I use around 3 quarts of water per pound of grain. Its a very thin mash.

I just pull the "bag", which is not a bag it 2 yards of voille. I've tried various methods, but the easiest is to drop it in a bucket. I have a collander in the bottom that allows the wort to drain. I usually end up with about another .5-1 gallon.
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:33 PM   #6
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He doesn't really have to sparge if he is recirculating the whole time and mashes with the full volume.

I like this system. It's very simple, economical, and straightforward. You don't have a ton of equipment to clean up, either, which is a huge bonus, IMO.

How do you chill your wort after the boil? Do you have a CFC you do you drop in an IC, or something else?

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Old 07-23-2010, 12:06 AM   #7
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I think the recirc does help with extraction, and clears up the wort. Mashing out really thins the mash and I think helps the most with efficiency.

I chill with an IC and have a QD attached to a Jamil Z style whirlpool copper tube. I Disconnect the recir QD and connect to the copper tube I use to whirlpool.

Weirdboy Thanks for reminding me about the E-Z clean up. I'll usually spray out the grain bag while the boil is going. The only other things to clean is the keggle and hop bags really. I take apart my pump head after each session. It takes about 10 minutes at the kitchen sink. I usually sanitize my feremter in the dishwasher, so on brew day I don't really have anything that needs sanitizer. I pump from the kettle to the bucket. If I do an 8 gallon batch I have to mix some sanitizer for the second bucket.


Its come from many different setups I've seen on here. I was recirculating with a cooler MLT for a few batches and didn't like the inconsitent temps in my mash and if I had to fire the burner it was awkward to me to maintain a steady mash temp.

I was hooked on single vessel brewing the first time I tried it with a paint strainer bag and my 8 gallon turkey fryer. I wanted the ability to do larger batches so I got the keggle. If I had to do it again I'd buy an 20 gallon aluminum pot as opposed to the keggle.

I think the polished keggles look sharp, but I'm not going to spend the time on polishing it. Especially with the ghetto volume guage.

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Ghetto Single Vessel No Sparge brew rig
Other no sparge links on HBT

I love no sparge brewing...by Saccharomyces | Countertop Brutus 20...by Jkarp |Max BIAB Efficiency...by Bakins|Good discussion of mash thickness |Extract to all grain under $10

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Old 07-24-2010, 04:02 AM   #8
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I do something similar. I use an electric element and a steamer pot that has a basket in it. I put my bag in the basket and recirculate the entire time, using a PID to control the temperature. I rigged up "gallows" that I use to hang the basket above my pot and let it drain.

I mostly do 10 gallon partial mash batches. I either use 3:1 water/grain and "top up" with extract for my own recipes, or just simply buy 2 5 gallon kits - one extract one all grain.

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No sparge, no chill, no MLT, no HLT, no propane, no worries...

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Old 07-25-2010, 03:09 PM   #9
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bakins yours is one of the rigs I stole ideas from. Where/how is your element mounted in you BK?
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ghet...b-rims-146019/

I even plagerized part of the post name "ghetto".

I'd really like to go electric and plan to do so. I'm thinking about a way to mount the element to use a single vessel like I am now without RIMS. Not in a hurry either.

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Joe
Ghetto Single Vessel No Sparge brew rig
Other no sparge links on HBT

I love no sparge brewing...by Saccharomyces | Countertop Brutus 20...by Jkarp |Max BIAB Efficiency...by Bakins|Good discussion of mash thickness |Extract to all grain under $10


Last edited by bigjoe; 07-25-2010 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:18 AM   #10
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This is a pic of the recirc arm I use. the second pic its attached to the kettle. The hole usually point down. I also included the toolbox pump I have for pump to make it portable. The mesh is what I use for a bag. Its not a bag with a closure but 2 yards of the voille (mesh like material).


Recirc Arm attched to kettle. Holes face down right on top of the water. I don't have a spinning device like some do with the sparge arm it just spreads the water out more evenly over the top of the grain.


Tube I used before I went to the recirc arm.


I have a coupler I can attach to the copper at the top of the kettle if the arm is too far off the bed. The length of copper generally is long enough for just about any batch I do.

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Joe
Ghetto Single Vessel No Sparge brew rig
Other no sparge links on HBT

I love no sparge brewing...by Saccharomyces | Countertop Brutus 20...by Jkarp |Max BIAB Efficiency...by Bakins|Good discussion of mash thickness |Extract to all grain under $10


Last edited by bigjoe; 08-03-2010 at 02:25 AM.
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