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Old 11-06-2012, 06:02 PM   #191
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Sorry, you said 2 questions, but you listed 3 - you're now over your limit!



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#1, theoretical question. Do the pumps block flow if they aren't running ? If you were (not saying that you want to) pumping hot water from the HLT to the cooler, does it seep past the MLT pump if it isn't running ? If you had the MLT outlet valve open, would it push water into the mash through the pump or would the pump stop it ?
The pumps do not block flow. Don't know what you mean by the cooler... Say I wanted to pump from the HLT to the BK? Yes I can do this but I would manually close the input and output valves on the MLT kettle so that the liquid would flow through the header and not go to the HLT.

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#2, I love the way you mounted all the controls stuff under the aluminum checkerplate. However, what happens if something stops working while you are brewing ? Can you lift the checkerplate up to see what is going on or do you need to remove the kettles and flip the stand upside down to get at things ?
There is room to reach underneath if needed. I once had a solenoid coil fry during a brew day on the BK gas valve. I reached under and unplugged one from one of the other gas valves, plugged it into the BK gas port and mounted it to the BK valve. Other than that, I've never had an issue. Worst case, I figure I'll just slide a kettle to a different burner location if something gets messed up. My BCS is currently located in a panel on the wall, so I can always check and test things there also. At some point, I'm going to move the BCS to a mount under the stand though.


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#3, if you had to do it again, would you change anything ? Do you ever worry about kicking a pump and breaking a pump head ?
All 3 of my heads are SS now, so no, I don't worry about that at all. I have changed a few things since the initial design, like adding the tippy dump, electronic ignition, SS QD's and moving the gas rail to the front. Other than that, the only things I've thought about changing would be to have an all SS stand so that there are no paint/powder coat issues and I also like how quiet the BG14 burners are. However, I do like the smaller footprint of the wok burners and they are not as difficult to get dialed in like the BG14 ones are, so I haven't gone there.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:03 PM   #192
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Sorry, you said 2 questions, but you listed 3 - you're now over your limit!
I owe you one ! Thanks for the answers.

I really appreciate your comment on making the stand from SS. I bought the SS tubing for my stand last week and I fussed over spending the extra $$$ on it for quite a while. Reading what you wrote makes me glad I did.

I guess I should upgrade to SS pump heads as well.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:41 PM   #193
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I love your setup and am planning on building a stand similar to yours, what gauge 2" square tubing did you use?

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Old 11-08-2012, 05:30 PM   #194
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I love your setup and am planning on building a stand similar to yours, what gauge 2" square tubing did you use?
It is 3/32".
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:57 AM   #195
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I love how clean and simple the manifold on your brew rig is. But I'm worried about getting it clean after brewing and sterilizing it prior to the next brew.

The November issue of BYO has an interesting article about where bacteria can hide in a brewing system and what it takes to get it sterilized. Threaded fittings and ball valves are the main culprits to hiding bacteria and getting them sterilized involves 15 minutes at 85F or heating with dry heat in an oven.

What has your experience been with cleaning your system ? Have you ever felt the need to take the valves apart and clean them ?

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:03 AM   #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewman !
I love how clean and simple the manifold on your brew rig is. But I'm worried about getting it clean after brewing and sterilizing it prior to the next brew.

The November issue of BYO has an interesting article about where bacteria can hide in a brewing system and what it takes to get it sterilized. Threaded fittings and ball valves are the main culprits to hiding bacteria and getting them sterilized involves 15 minutes at 85F or heating with dry heat in an oven.

What has your experience been with cleaning your system ? Have you ever felt the need to take the valves apart and clean them ?
Wort gets boiled on the hot side.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:10 AM   #197
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Wort gets boiled on the hot side.
I agree. But does pumping boiling wort through that manifold get every nook and cranny sterilized ? I am particularly concerned about the fluid that might build up behind the seals of the ball valves.

What if some of that germ infested fluid seeped out from behind the valve seals during pump out ? Or what if you adjusted the valve during pump out to get a cooler wort temp and a bit of fluid that was previously hidden behind the seals seeped out into the wort ? It wouldn't take much to infect wort.

Another potential source of contaminants is scratches in the pump head, but they are more likely to get exposed to cleaning solutions and be sterilized by boiling wort.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:45 AM   #198
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It really is a work of art. All you need now is some French guy yelling "no flash photography!" at the tourists

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Old 11-14-2012, 03:12 PM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maltose View Post
Wort gets boiled on the hot side.
Agreed!

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Originally Posted by brewman ! View Post
I agree. But does pumping boiling wort through that manifold get every nook and cranny sterilized ? I am particularly concerned about the fluid that might build up behind the seals of the ball valves.
I don't pump boiling wort through the whole manifold, only the BK return and chiller loop. Wort also doesn't really build up behind the ball valves.

At the end of a brew day, I progressively open each ball valve and flush the lines out with a garden hose attached. Running high pressure water through it does a pretty good job at flushing it. I also leave all valves open when I disconnect the rig so they can dry out. On the next brew day, I just attach the hoses and go. After about 3 or 4 brew days, I run PBW through the whole system.

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What if some of that germ infested fluid seeped out from behind the valve seals during pump out ? Or what if you adjusted the valve during pump out to get a cooler wort temp and a bit of fluid that was previously hidden behind the seals seeped out into the wort ? It wouldn't take much to infect wort.
The last part of the boil will sterilize the pump, kettle return and chiller loop. When running into the fermenter, all plumbing will have been sterilized by the boiling wort. Even if there was some small bit of wort hiding behind the ball when I adjust it, it will already have been heated to 212'ish for several minutes (surface temps of the ball valves are very high).

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Another potential source of contaminants is scratches in the pump head, but they are more likely to get exposed to cleaning solutions and be sterilized by boiling wort.
You're really getting too paranoid about these germ issues! Good sanitation and running the boiling wort through any of your end-process equipment will result in a germ free wort.

In addition, if you pitch proper quantities of yeast and have proper temperatures, you will get fermentation starting within 24 hours. Once you start to get alcohol present, it makes it very diffficult for any germs to multiply and take hold.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:51 PM   #200
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Quote:
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You're really getting too paranoid about these germ issues! Good sanitation and running the boiling wort through any of your end-process equipment will result in a germ free wort.

I agree with you. I am building a simular rig to yours and i plan on running a cleaning cycle through it of boiling water to clean out and sterilize after cooking. Then rinse with clean water and dry out with valves open. That should be plenty to keep germs out. I feel he is a little germaphobic and overboard with his concerns.
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