The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Single Tier vs. Two Tier Build

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-30-2010, 12:53 PM   #1
swatman260
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tallahassee
Posts: 44
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Single Tier vs. Two Tier Build

Hey everyone, I'm looking for a bit of advice. I'm in the planning stages of building a RIMS system and I'm debating the merits of a single tier vs. a two tier system. My issue is that I can only afford a single pump at this point. I was originally planning a two tier build, with the pump being used to move water from the HLT to the Mash tun, then being used to recirculate the mash. Gravity would then be used to move the wort from the MT to the BK. After the boil, gravity would again be used to move the wort into a carboy on the ground. Chilling will be done via an IC.
My problem is that with the height of a carboy, and the height of my keggles, the MT (igloo cooler) winds up being pretty high. I'd much rather place everything on a single level, but can't really come up with a way to move all the liquids with a single pump. Can anyone offer any help or suggestions?

__________________
swatman260 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-30-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,822
Liked 899 Times on 600 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

When moving wort to the carboy, you have a pump sitting around and doing nothing right? Pump it.

If you don't care about fly sparging, build a single tier and batch sparge using one pump. If you want to play with fly sparging, build a two tier with the BK really low and the HLT/MLT up just high enough to gravity drain to the kettle. That should put their tops at about chest height.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-30-2010, 02:16 PM   #3
3 Dog Brew
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
3 Dog Brew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 281
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

To add to what bobby says:
Unless you are planning on fly sparging where you need water from the HLT running into the MLT at the same time your are draining the MLT into the Kettle you should be able to get away with a single pump.

If you plan on fly sparging there are two options: either elevate the HLT and run your hot liquor onto your grainbed with gravity, or do as Bobby suggested and elevate the MLT and drain wort into your kettle with gravity. The only caveat I would add with elevating the MLT is that of all the vessels I need to stick my face in and stir and check and poke around a bit, the MLT and the kettle are the ones I need at a lower level so I can see inside them. YMMV, that's just my opinion.

There are several systems on this list that use quick disconnects and silicone tubing to switch inputs and outputs. From my perspective, this is a much more effective way to build a system. My PAWS (Portable Automated Wort System) looks pretty with all the hard-line copper and sliver solder against a stained wood frame, but I would never do that again. It's much too restrictive and if something breaks or leaks during a brew session (knock wood that it hasn't), I do not think I could recover quickly or easily.

3 Dog Brew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-30-2010, 02:21 PM   #4
swatman260
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tallahassee
Posts: 44
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Thanks for the input. I would like to continue fly sparging, as that is what I've been doing with my old system, but I guess changes could be made. I guess with one pump, my choices are pretty limited.

__________________
swatman260 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-30-2010, 02:38 PM   #5
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,822
Liked 899 Times on 600 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

I don't think I was clear enough. Build yourself a clone of the brewmagic but cut down on the leg height. The boil kettle only needs to be high enough to get a burner under it. That leaves the MLT and HLT at chest height and just find stir the mash.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-30-2010, 02:47 PM   #6
jfkriege
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 419
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

You can put your MLT low with the pump plumbed into it, and HLT and BK high. You can then gravity feed HLT to MLT, recirc the MLT without changing the inlet side of the pump, and then pump up to your BK. Because your boil kettle is high, you can gravity feed into whatever you want. Easy as can be.

I have this setup on a 2 tank system and love it. Easiest brew days I have ever had. I have a second pump for my BK, but would not need it, it is just nice. Look at the second post of the link in my signature.

__________________
The Modular Electric Brewery
jfkriege is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-30-2010, 02:57 PM   #7
swatman260
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tallahassee
Posts: 44
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

jfkriege, I do like this idea, and I hadn't thought of it before. Having not yet used my March pump, how much below the MLT would it need to be in order to achieve a good prime? This may be the solution that I'm looking for here.

__________________
swatman260 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-30-2010, 03:17 PM   #8
jfkriege
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 419
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Everyone puts the BK low, and I think it has just become the way of thinking. It is probably so things flow linearly down the three tank rig. I really like MLT low, though. It also means that you can bottom drain your HLT and MLT, which makes cleanup a snap and reduces deadloss in the MLT.

I dont use march pumps, so I am not sure about that specifically. I use the 3-MD-HC pumps and as long as I have water above the level of the top of the pump, it primes without me doing a thing. So, I have the top of the pump about level with the bottom of the MLT.

__________________
The Modular Electric Brewery
jfkriege is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-30-2010, 03:35 PM   #9
tgioiosa
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 9
Default

I have a single tier system and I do a sort of hybrid fly-sparge with one pump. I have my control system alternate between adding spargewater and draining the MLT. It drains around 0.5 gals then adds sparge water, then drains again, then adds sparge water again, etc. The single pump alternates between spargewater delivery and draining the wort to the boil kettle via controlled solenoid valves. Works great, and if I want I can still use the batch sparge method by changing the control sequence. It's so much nicer having all vessels at a comfortable height where you can see inside without needing a stepstool.

__________________
tgioiosa is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-30-2010, 03:55 PM   #10
swatman260
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tallahassee
Posts: 44
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I'm really liking the suggestion by jfkriege. In my mind, this will do exactly what I want with the equipment that I have. I guess now, I have to see if there's a difference between theory and reality. lol. I think my biggest concern with this setup will be getting the gravity flow rate from the HLT to the MT, and the pump flow from the MT back to the HLT equal during the RIMS process.
Anybody out there with more suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

__________________
swatman260 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Single Tier Build + Questions Twang DIY Projects 12 09-06-2010 01:14 AM
My single tier brew rig build smakudwn DIY Projects 8 06-28-2010 01:49 PM
The single tier build. Paraops DIY Projects 27 03-25-2009 06:44 PM
New single tier build near completion ddknight DIY Projects 11 02-27-2009 06:54 PM