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Old 11-05-2009, 03:16 PM   #1
Anthony_Lopez
 
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Hi guys-

I haven't been as active as I have been in the past due to finishing my degree, bass tournaments, and getting engaged.

For my final design project for one of my engineering classes, I'm going to design a home brewing system using Solidworks. The sky is the limit since I can build just about anything now. Full automation, air pistons to move keggles, solenoids- you name it.

SOOOO, what I wanted from you guys is an idea of what you'd consider to be the most important features, improvements you'd like to see in a single tier system, etc.

I'd appreciate any help you guys would want to throw my way!

Tony
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:42 PM   #2
drez77
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Not sure this is practical but what about a single tier that converts to a 3 tier with hydraulics or air cylinders. That way you can fill the HLT or MLT at single tier height but you will be able to do gravity transfers like a 3 tier system. Oh, and of course and air actuated tippy-dump for the MLT.

 
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:42 PM   #3
Hex
 
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I'll throw one in, ever seen a starbucks clover coffee machine? Try lautering with a large piston and screen, watch this video:


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Old 11-05-2009, 08:16 PM   #4
Anthony_Lopez
 
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keep'em coming!
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I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
--Tom Waits

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.
--Frank Zappa

My Cheap and Easy Stirplate

 
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:22 PM   #5
arturo7
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I like the auto-dump idea for the mash tun. Maybe add a stirring mechanism as well.

You could probably do something really crazy with wort chilling. Maybe a CFC that uses a chilled glycol solution rather than water.


EDIT: It goes without saying to put bells and whistles throughout the system.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:30 PM   #6
Matrix4b
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While I don't brew beer but mead instead. I had an idea for you. An autowasher/sanitizer/dryer unit that you can put your carboys, and other equipment through.

Also a home made pump filter system that has an autowash/sanitize setting for the insides, no clean up needed, no break down and no put back together. No down time. I know that a pump with a filter option would be good, to filter or not would save me time as well as the sainitizer for carboys and equipment and an auto bottler/auto sanitizer.

 
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
GrizlyGarou
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I'd go for something along the lines of a scale and grinder on the left, dumping into the MLT, an electric HLT with parastaltic pump to recirculate the water through the MLT, another parastaltic pump to get it into a kettle, then a gigantic immersion chiller lowers down out of the ceiling (while making the truck backing up beeping noise, of course!) and the water for that is recirculated through a tank in the lagerator on the right side. Maybe a hatch on the top of the lagerator that slides open for you to pump straight from the kettle into the fermenter. Of course there would have to be taps on the far right, maybe with a sink somewhere in there too.

Maybe skip the truck backing up noise, but you could conceivably have the whole rig go from grain to glass without having to lift anything heavier than a pint glass full of beer.

Make it all stainless and chick full of bling, then put your cheap and easy stirplate on there, too. Just so you don't forget your roots, ya know?

 
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:32 PM   #8
pdbreen
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Make it a closed system (no need for external water source for cooling).

Build it on a trailer, maybe a little transformer-ish so that things fold up nice and compact for towing and fold out when ready to brew (though not sure tow-ability is ever an issue).

Or, make it something like a murphy bed that stows away nice and compact against a wall, but pulls down/out with everything in the right place.

Build in a bunch of grain hoppers and hop dispensers for different grain/hop types - add a computer interface that can take any recipe and automatically weigh out/grind the grains and perform the hop additions at the right time.

Make it self cleaning/sterilizing (not sure how - big hood and a steam bath for everything?)
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:36 PM   #9
Boerderij_Kabouter
 
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It this just a design? Or do you need to build and test it? Is it an engineering senior project, or a design class? What type of engineer?

This is my current design:



This could easily be a great ME senior project including PID installation and tuning, stand design, FEA, building and testing, fluid dynamics, etc.

Tons of material there if you wanted to take the time. Thermodynamic modeling... I wish I could have found funding for this for my senior design. Unfortunately as a poor college student, it was everything I could do to just stay brewing in college.

 
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:46 PM   #10
kladue
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Is this just a design project without any physical components?, and to what degree of automation are you going to shoot for.

 
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