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Old 07-10-2009, 02:06 AM   #1
blk94f150
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Default Some questions on single tier brew sculpture

I'm tired of lifting 1/2 barrels full of wort and what not. It's time to step it up. My equipment consists of 2 keggles and a 10g plastic MLT with an SS braid. I plan to either convert my immersion chiller into a CFC or more likely just buy a plate chiller.

My main question is with lautering. Do you pump the wort out? How do you vorlauf? Other than that I think I'll only need one pump, plan on using tubing with quick disconnect connections, and propane for now. Any tips on connections/fittings?

As for sanitizing with chiller/tubing between, I can just circulate boiling wort right?

Mike

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Old 07-10-2009, 02:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blk94f150 View Post
My main question is with lautering. Do you pump the wort out? How do you vorlauf? Other than that I think I'll only need one pump, plan on using tubing with quick disconnect connections, and propane for now. Any tips on connections/fittings?
I have a HERMS system, but the principle should be the same. I use the pump to recirculate the wort while mashing so it's already vorlaufed by the time I'm ready to drain the tun. Then I just move the lid from the MLT to my kettle (the return from the pump is in the lid of the MLT) and let the pump drain the tun. Works great and I get crystal clear wort into the kettle.
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:51 AM   #3
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One pump + single tier = batch sparge.

1. Strike. Pump HLT to MLT.
2. Vorlauf. Pump MLT to MLT.
3. Runnings. Pump MLT to BK.
4. Sparge. Pump HLT to MLT.
repeat 2-4 as you wish.
5. Chill. Pump BK through chiller into fermenter.

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Old 07-10-2009, 03:58 AM   #4
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Sweet, I batch sparge as it is and get 80s for efficiency last time I checked.

How about the best place for fittings? I'd like to add those tubes that dip down to the bottom of the HLT and one to whirlpool the BK while sanitizing my chiller. I'd also like to add thermometers to the HLT and MLT as well as sight glasses to the HLT and BK.

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Old 07-10-2009, 04:04 AM   #5
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I mounted thermometers into my HLT and MLT with solid rubber stoppers that I drilled a tiny hole through:



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Old 07-10-2009, 12:36 PM   #6
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Bobby_M- I read in your brewstand build thread that you would have liked to make the stand with the BK in the center and low so you can gravity feed from the MLT or fly sparge. Is that still your opinion? I'm very satisfied with batch sparging, but not being required to pump is nice and having options to fly in the future is nice as well.

Are there any other little things that you've noticed that you'd do differently or any unforseen PITAs that I can try to avoid?

Mike

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Old 07-10-2009, 02:09 PM   #7
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I do currently have my BK in the middle and that was so that my HLT burner (a wild beast that it is) doesn't melt the insulation on my MLT. The reason I suggested having the BK down low is that there really is no good reason to have it up high and low keeps things flexible. You're already going to have a pump so gravity drain to a fermenter is unimportant. Retaining the ability to gravity drain the MLT is powerful because pumping MLT runnings is a good way to compact your grainbed. Some people gravity drain into a grant to avoid that so it might as well be the BK directly. If you think about it, the burner can almost sit below the bottom of the stand since the casters will provide clearance so the BK bottom only has to be like 6" off the ground. The only requirement is that the pump will have to be level or slightly below the BK ball valve.

So, ----____----- allows both fly and batch sparging. It doesn't require the HLT and MLT to be up very high at all. If I had to nit pick some cons, you'll have to bend over to open/close the BK valve and it's not a slick looking as having the 3 vessels in a row (but screw that as a con).


Fittings? www.buyfittingsonline.com
Sight glasses/thermos? Me. www.suebob.com/brew/sale
I have exactly 2 weldless kits left right now, more coming in a week or so.

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Old 07-10-2009, 02:37 PM   #8
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Here's my 2 tier design that allows for both batch and fly sparging with one pump. I can still see into the mash tun on top and it takes up less space horizontally in my garage. Not a design for everyone, but it works well for me.

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Old 07-10-2009, 03:51 PM   #9
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See, even on that sucker, the legs could have been 6-8" shorter. You could also integrate a small step so you can get up and stir the mash easier. I like it though, nice and compact.

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Old 07-10-2009, 04:27 PM   #10
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Mine is definitely going to be a compact low boy. That's really the point. I'm tired of lifting and standing on things.

You got your QDs at McMaster Carr, right?

I'm interisted in your thermo/sight glass combo. Do you sell it w/o the weldless stuff. I'm not sure if I'm going to do weldless or not, but I'm leaning toward welded. I'd just need a 1/4 inch NPT coupling welded in right?

Why did you go with the 3 piece valves vs the 2 piece?

Possibly last edit: CFC or plate chiller? I have a 50ft 3/8 copper IC now. I don't think my ground water gets to 70F. Obviously the CFC will be cheaper, but will a Shirron be better? If not then how much better is a Therminator? I'm looking for compact and easy. I used a the paint strainer hop bag now and plan on using some sort of strainer on my BK siphon. Maybe a T with 2 bazooka tubes.

Mike

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Last edited by blk94f150; 07-10-2009 at 05:05 PM.
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