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Old 06-16-2009, 01:25 AM   #1
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Rather than build a rig/sculpture from scratch, I figured I'd re-use one of those heavy duty NSF wire racks. I picked mine up from Costco. The shelves are good for something like 500#. It also makes a nice, compact rig. The shelving is 48x18".



And here it is with everything in place. Perhaps obvious, but my blue cooler is the MLT (52qt) and the orange cooler is the HLT (currently 5g to be upgraded in the future). The pot is the 15g boil kettle from Morebeer.

The orange cooler will be raised up to give it some height off the pump to help it prime. The propane tank will not stay on the shelf during operation; it's only there for storage.

I will also be cutting away the shelf over the BK so I can get a spoon in there if I need to stir. As a bonus I will be leaving the center support of the shelf so I can hang my hop bag from it. And of course the burner will be properly secured to the shelf so we don't have any mishaps.



Comments and suggestions are welcome!

-Joe
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:34 AM   #2
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Of course I just figured out why I can't leave the center bar in the top shelf - how will I get the chiller in the brewpot? No worries, I can still clip my hop bag to the side supports. I will have to shore up the shelf a bit when I cut the support out, but shouldn't be a problem.

-Joe
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:15 AM   #3
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what did that shelf run you?

 
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisS View Post
what did that shelf run you?
I think it was $70 with the wheels? I've had it for years.

-Joe
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:48 PM   #5
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What kind of tubing do you guys use? I went to Lowe's to look for high-temp tubing, but all they had was the high-pressure braided vinyl hose.

Thanks,

-Joe
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
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I use the 1/2" ID silicone that you can get from morebeer or AHS but if the #2+ a foot scares ya, they have the thermoplastic stuff for a bit less. I like being able to see through it.
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:37 AM   #7
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I use reinforced clear PVC tubing polyester braid reinforced from U.S. Plastics. This is similar to the Home Depot braid reinforced tubing, but it's PVC rather than vinyl and it's rated up to 150 F under working pressure. I've had no problems using it with near boiling wort, but my working pressures are a only a few psi at most.

 
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:38 AM   #8
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I ended up getting the silicone. I plan to recirc boiling wort at some point, so I figure I'll go for the good stuff.

Speaking of which, I put in the diptubes in my HLT and kettle today. I used 1/2" NPT to 3/8" tube compression fittings and a 3/8" stainless racking cane I had already cut up for another use.





They seem to work well. They both drained down to the tip of the diptube once I had the output hose firmly affixed.

The only bummer is I was hoping to put a fitting on the inside of the thermometer port so I could recirc wort through the port and create a whirlpool to aid in cooling. Unfortunately, the port is not threaded on the inside I'll have to come up with a more creative solution.

-Joe
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:47 AM   #9
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And the build continues...

I bolted the burner down to the shelf with 1/4" bolts, washers and nuts. I then bolted the pump in place. I cut a little house for the pump out of the bottom of a kitty litter bucket. It's zip tied on one side so I can flip it open to access the pump for oiling.





Next I cut out the top shelf around the boil kettle and added a support, since I cut the center beam out. Kinda like putting a header over a window opening. I used a piece of hickory and some custom made brackets.





And here it is so far. Of course I don't have any 1/2" tubing in stock, so I can't test out the pump yet. Hurry it up, Midwest.



-Joe
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:52 PM   #10
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The pump test run last night went flawlessly. Of course today when I tried to pump hot liquid while brewing it was a giant pain.

The pump refused to start pumping, even though the BK is 14" above the inlet of the pump. The outlet of the pump is straight up, as I've read it should be.

I finally got it to start pumping by turning the pump off and carefully working every bubble out of the line. By this time my strike water was too cool and I had to start over again.

There has to be a better way. I wanted to just sell everything and go buy a 6-pack today. It's completely taken the fun out of brewing.

Do I need some kind of purge valve in the line to get the air out of the system?

Thanks,

-Joe
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