THE BREWING STAND
I have a SABCO RIMS (old style) that I am upgrading to microprocessor control. At some point I'll have the controller work the valves but for now I will just do pump and heat. SABCO was very helpful with upgrade options for my unit but I felt I could get better gear myself.
I put in a new heating element for the RIMS mash heat maintainer. The unit runs on 110v but the stock water heater element was 240v. We are not doing boost heat with this so the wattage drop is actually desired to reduce wort caremelization. The new one is slightly more powerful but is a longer element so the surface temp should be even lower. SABCO sells them but I just picked up the same thing at Home Depot.
I also replaced the single-jet burner with nice impinged jet ones. Thanks to the folks in this forum I looked at the chinese ring burners
sold by topfoodservice.com, which is also asianfoodservice.com and has a storefront on Bowery in Manhattan, Kang Sun Foods. Since I work in the city I went over there. Wild place as all the restaurant supply stores in that 'hood are. Seemingly random stuff, stacked floor to ceiling. Here's where I found the burners:
I went with the (bafflingly more expensive) smaller burners. The 6" does a nice job of hitting the middle third of the keggle diameter and doesn't shoot up the sides. The stated BTU of 75,000 is just a bit more than the 65,000 SABCO says their burner upgrade kit provides. They use the cajun-style ring burner. Impinged jets are just cooler. I've been jonesing for them since I read about the SolarFlo burners on the HBD back in the 90's.
I got what amounts to an erector set of gas nipples and elbows at home depot and finally got a configuration that puts the top of the burner dead center and about 3.5 inches below the keg bottom. Very easy.
You can see in this photo the original single jet on the left and the ring burner on the right. The cross-piece labeled "Brew Magic.." is the gas manifold and you can just see the ball-valve handles.
There is a lot more to do with the stand but since we have a lot of manly BTU goodness now we better tackle the ventilation issue....