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Jeebas 04-05-2012 02:20 PM

My Brew Stand - A Few Questions
 
Here is my brew stand - its a work in progress. I purchased most of it from a brewery that had used it as a pilot system. So far all I have modified is to put in on casters.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/.../IMG_02956.JPG

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/.../IMG_02964.JPG

Note: To any who may notice the drapes near the BK burner - This is just where the system lives, not where I plan on operating it (outside).

I have removed the valves and barbs from all of the ports as I am looking into getting camlocks, which is actually where my questions come in.

1) I have 5 ports - 1 on the HLT at the bottom, one on the BK at the bottom, one on the MLT at the bottom, one on the MLT for the autosparge, and on the MLT for recirculation. Am I correct in assuming that there is really no need for ball valves on the recirc and auto sparge ports?

2) What is the advantage of using street elbows with hose threaded over them rather than using 1/2 barbs for attaching to the hose? Is it just about flow and stress on the tubing?

3) Based on what I decide to do about #2 I am either gonna do

A) 3 Bottom Ports: 1/2" Ball Valve > Camlock F
Auto Sparge Port: Camlock A
Recirc Port: Camlock A
Hoses: Camlock D > 1/2" Barb > Worm Clamp > Hose > Worm Clamp > 1/2" Barb > Camlock D
Pump In: Camlock A
Pump Out: 1/2" Ball Valve > Camlock F

OR

B) 3 Bottom Ports: 1/2" Ball Valve > Camlock F
Auto Sparge Port: Camlock A
Recirc Port: Camlock A
Hoses: Camlock B > 1/2" Street Elbow > Hose > 1/2" Street Elbow > Camlock B
Pump In: Camlock A
Pump Out: 1/2" Ball Valve > Camlock F

Does that make sense? I've drawn it out and gone over it in my mind many times but I just wanted to get a second opinion before I order stuff.

4) Based on the fact that HLT to MLT will be gravity driven, I am only getting the one pump, and I am trying to figure out how many total different hoses I may need based on the steps (that include transfer) of the brewday:

#1 When filling the MLT from the HLT
Hose 1 - HLT Bottom Port to MLT Recirc Port (or just dumping right into the kettle)

#2 During Mash
Hose 1 - MLT Bottom Port to Pump In
Hose 2 - Pump Out to MLT Recirc Port

#3 Sparge
Hose 1 - MLT Bottom Port to Pump In
Hose 2 - Pump Out to BK (no port just dumping into the kettle)
Hose 3 - HLT to Auto Sparge

#4 Post-Boil (I have no plans for a plate chiller at the moment, just planning on doing an IC)
Hose 1 - BK Bottom Port to Fermenter

Is there are process that I am missing here?

5) Is it safe to clean silicon tubing in oxyclean?

6) Is there a manufacturer out there that makes gas lines - kinda like the black pipe ones that I have seen so many make here. It seems easy enough to put one together, but its propane I would rather not try to DIY something like that and blow myself up. If not, has anyone had one put together by a professional (plumber?) and ballpark how much did it cost?

7) I see a lot of people have those water filters on the their brew stands, if I were to set up something like that would it properly filter from a garden hose or are the people that use these setups getting already somewhat clean water from their house?

Thanks for the time everyone :)

sarsnik 04-05-2012 06:58 PM

I'll answer what I can, though I'm still building mine.

1. No need for the valves on those ports
2. Yes its about maintaining the flow. The barbs, by nature, are smaller diameter than the hoses they attach to. Most people like to stretch the tubing over the male threads of the street elbows so there is no restriction. Also, when the tubing gets hot, it will kink easily. The street elbow simply makes the hose oriented vertically, instead of horizontal to the valves. Then it won't kink.
3. Setup B sounds better, for the reasons above.
4. I don't think you'll need more than 3 hoses. It might be worth setting the material for a fourth, just in case one of them melts accidently during a brew session.
5. Yes, silicone is inert to oxyclean.
6. I had the same reservations about building a manifold. However I ended up building it myself due to cost constraints. I used a black pipe manifold, with flared copper to the burners. I cranked the f$@# out of the pipes and used pipe dope - never leaked. Bayou Classic sells LP hoses as well as agri supply.

OneHoppyGuy also sells custom length crimped hoses - buy from him if your going that route. In fact, get him to make you a custom manifold, I'll bet it's better than anything you could buy elsewhere.


7. Many people use the filters as a prefilter. I think most use an RV style hose because a regular garden hose can get nasty and impart off flavors that the filter can't remove. I'm not using one though, and just cart 10 gallons outside from my sink.

Hope this helps

Jeebas 04-05-2012 08:14 PM

thanks for the response!

I may look into 6) but I think I will just reattach one tank to the different reg hoses on the burners for now.

I wanna get this usable by mid-May and with two kids under 4 at home, I gotta plan for it taking 4 times as much time!

Jeebas 04-11-2012 04:23 PM

I got all of my fittings a few days ago. I'm on the fence about getting a plate chiller now (there's a good sale going on) - so I might be getting two more type As to put on the wort in and wort out. I still have to cut my hose lengths (I have a 6' and 7' length - I soaked them in Oxiclean the other day and they look and smell brand new). 3' didn't seem like enough (it was barely there and I am sensing that I might want some slack) to get from where I plan on having the pump back up into a kettle. So figure that 4' is the minimum length needed for going down to the pump and back up from the pump to the top of a kettle or to a recirc port. So I may do a 4', 3' and 6' length.

#1 When filling the MLT from the HLT
Hose 1 (3')- HLT Bottom Port to MLT Recirc Port (or just dumping right into the kettle)

#2 During Mash
Hose 1 (3')- MLT Bottom Port to Pump In
Hose 2 (6')- Pump Out to MLT Recirc Port

#3 Sparge
Hose 1 (3') - MLT Bottom Port to Pump In
Hose 2 (6') - Pump Out to BK (no port just dumping into the kettle)
Hose 3 (4') - HLT to Auto Sparge

#4 Post-Boil (Recirculating towards end of boil to sanitize, before turning the cold water on. Then after recirculating while chilling for a minute I will dump into the fermenter)
Hose 3 (4') - BK Bottom Port to Pump In
Hose 1 (3') - Pump Out to Plate Chiller Wort In
Hose 2 (6') - Plate Chiller Wort Out to BK (and then to Fermenter after recirculation)

Would the wort have enough pressure going from the pump, through the chiller and then back up to the BK. I wouldn't need another pump would I?

RazzBarlow 04-11-2012 11:19 PM

Care to share some details on the plate chiller sale?

Jeebas 04-12-2012 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RazzBarlow (Post 3984906)
Care to share some details on the plate chiller sale?

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f41/40-p...oy-com-200974/

Peter_h 04-12-2012 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeebas (Post 3983455)
Would the wort have enough pressure going from the pump, through the chiller and then back up to the BK. I wouldn't need another pump would I?

The one pump will be fine. The pumps are quite powerful.

Jeebas 04-12-2012 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter_h (Post 3987653)
The one pump will be fine. The pumps are quite powerful.

Thanks!

Jeebas 05-24-2012 02:28 PM

Here are some updated photos of the brewstand.

I just finished getting my March Pump Toolbox Build and my Plate Chiller Setup so I haven't got a chance to test out the whole system.

Here are pics of the rig with all of the fittings / hoses (in no sort of working arrangement of course :P) hooked up. I attached the propane manifold that OneHoppyGuy / BrewSteel built for me with U-Bolts (http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051
)

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-d...2/DSC_0356.JPG
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-N...2/DSC_0357.JPG

Jeebas 06-25-2012 02:01 PM

So I actually took this outside and tested it this weekend.

Saturday was the plumbing / burner test - I did the soapy water test and ran into some definite leaks. I was able to fix most of them but I did have to take the plumbing off of the stand (I should have tested for leaks before I ever attached it) and tighten the sh$t out of the fittings.

Good news was that all of the burners work, and so did the plumbing other than that one minor leak (see question #1 below). Sunday I did the hose fittings, pump, plate chiller test. Bsaically simulating a brew day - heating up water in the HLT, transferring it to the MLT using the pump to recirculate, using the pump to transfer to the BK, using the pump and plate chiller to cool things down, etc. Found some leaks in my hoses and my plate chiller connections - which is frustrating (I think its a simple issue of I put the fittings on the hoses months ago and some of them just weren't tightened enough) - I had to keep telling myself - "This is why we test things! (with water!)"

Lessons Learned:

#1 I thought my plate chiller wasn't working very well when it was recirculating (it couldn't get past the 120 mark) and then I realized that I hadn't turned the burner off!
#2 In the event of a spill its good to have the pump toolbox off of the ground as the plastic toolbox that I housed it in has some holes in the lid where the handle is - which I will be sealing up from the inside.
#3 Make sure that the switch for the pump is turned off before I plug in the power source.
#4 Water shooting out of plate chiller / hose off of any fitting was a lot of power behind it, have the hoses secured.
#5 The digital meat thermometer (something like this - http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-1470-Di...at+thermometer) isn't gonna cut it, I need a thermometer on the HLT and MLT.
#6 I am not getting all of the liquid out of these pots without dip tubes - and I hate wasting.

Questions:

#1 There is one very minor pin sized leak if you look on the last picture of the last post - the full coupling -> street elbow connection - I tightened this as much as it would go, and it still seems to be making bubbles - is there any sort of sealant that anyone would recommend that I put around it? Also, trying to get a wrench to grasp one of those full couplings is darn near impossible.
#2 Realizing that I need thermometers for my first two pots (I mean who cares what exact temp the BK is at as long as its boiling, right?) I was wondering if there was a reason why more people don't use digital thermometers like this - http://www.amazon.com/CDN-DTQ450X-Pr...at+thermometer - with a NPT to probe compresson setup over the dial thermometers. Is it just that folks think the dial thermos look nicer or is there a functional reason?
#3 Any good arguments for or against having a sight gauge on the MLT (as opposed to just the HLT) I was figuring that if I know what I have for strike water in the HLT, and then just transfer that and the I know what I have for sparge water, then I am always gonna know what is going to be in the MLT... but I suppose that doesn't account for liquid being left behind, which leads me to
#4 Dip tubes - all three kettles? I have kettle screens for my MLT and BK so using dip tubes would necessitate a change in that. I could use one easily for the HLT since it has no screen. Or do I just accept some loss of liquid (whether it be water or wort)?

If anyone could help me out with these questions / has any suggestions that would be awesome. Thanks for the time everyone.


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