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Old 01-09-2012, 06:17 PM   #1
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Default Single Tier HERMS build

I decided to cannibalize my old single tier propane fired HERMS system and build a stand. I wanted a "BRUTUS type" automated system, with PID control of the HLT and BK burners and PID control of the MLT pump thru the Heat Exchange. Ive looked at tons of Builds on here and Im using lots of ideas form others and inventing some of my own along the way. Here we go with the rig. any and all advice is appreciated. My old rig which I have brewed with since 1996 is the Last pic

moms-iphone-151.jpg   moms-iphone-153.jpg   moms-iphone-163.jpg   iphone-camera-071.jpg  
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My Unique Single Tier Brut-esque HERMS Build:
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:31 PM   #2
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1.5" square tubing and the top front/rear rail is 1.5 x 2" tubing. My first ever attempt at Welding with my new Harbor freight tools Wire Feed Mig welder (flux core). Flux Wire Welder - 90 Amp
The first few welds were quite sloppy and got better as I went. I'm grinding down the welds and making it look as clean as I can. Im not going to go with a "Gas Bar" just because I think plumbing the Gas is safer and Im not good enough at welding to trust myself on that stuff.

By the way for anyone in SoCal who wants Metal at great prices I found Benner Metal to have it all http://www.bennermetals.com/

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Old 01-09-2012, 07:00 PM   #3
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my best weld! Not bad for a $100 Welder and YouTube

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Old 01-09-2012, 07:57 PM   #4
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The next Step was to make all vessels bottom drain. I had a some Keggles like this befor and I like having no dead space. So I used stainless elbows and swaged holes in the bottoms. I was going to sweat them in with Solder (As I already did with the other ports) but I decided to give it a go with my Mig welder. The weld was a mess. I actually burned through one and had to back fill the weld.. and re-grind several times to get a solid seal.. but eventually got them all to work without leaks.
All SS fittings I got from Bargain Fittings http://www.bargainfittings.com/index...te=common/home

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Old 01-09-2012, 08:04 PM   #5
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wow, awesome!

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Old 01-09-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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now how was I going to get the bottom drain pipe to run forward to the ball valves in the front? I came up with cuts in the front frame and this is why I went with the 4.5" rail. As I was going to make significant cuts into it. I wanted it to be a clean look so I used a Caliper a Dremel with a thin Cut Metal wheel on it and made the recesses tight fitting on the pipe.

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Old 01-09-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
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What was your method for flaring the holes?

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Old 01-09-2012, 10:02 PM   #8
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The tool is called a Swage. There are threads on here, about how to Soldering SS that explain it in detail. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/sold...-steel-155782/ you might also search for "the tool" (aka)
I made my own tool from that thread and it makes gorgeous tight fittings for soldering or welding up. here's a couple pics of the tool and some ports on my Kettles.. So in a nut shell what you do is use a step bit to drill a hole in the steel the same diameter as the small end of the tapered fitting on the bolt. thread it thru and then thread on the nut and tighten until the tool pulls the tapered fitting through. It will mushroom out and now it will tightly hold a coupling, in my case all 1/2" SS. in these pics here, I used an acid flux and lead free plumbing solder to make an extremely strong watertight fitting in the wall of the vessel

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Old 01-10-2012, 12:19 AM   #9
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Sweet build. However, you mentioned that you were moving to PID control of the HLT and BK burners. Just curious, is having those bottom drain fittings directly above the burners and therefore subject to substantial heat going to cause a problem?

While my system is all electric and I do not a bottom drain setup, I'm not sure that those soldered/welded fittings will withstand all that heat. I assume you have already considered this and thus my comment is probably irrelevant.

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Old 01-10-2012, 02:33 AM   #10
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Well first of all, yes I have brewed 2 years now with the soldered fittings and they are Rock Freekin Solid. Since the Solder is inside the Keg the wort buffers its ability to want to rise above 220F`. (just never fire the Kettle when empty thats BAD!) Same Deal on the HLT.

(As far as Carmelizing or burning sugars in the drain piping (right on the flame) ) On the BK, I resolve this problem by whirlpooling during the entire boil. I have a 90` angle mounted 3/4 of the way up the keggle and return the wort to the BK making it spin down to the drain. My drain in the BK is set 1" above the bottom (dead middle pointing up) so the trub surrounds the drain but doesnt go in it.. I love it! My MLT has no burner under it since the HLT has the heat Exchange. The HLT simply whirlpools the water around the HEX coil while Im mashing through the coil.. It pumps to the top whirlpools all the way down to the bottom drain and prevents any stratification.

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