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Old 12-27-2009, 05:14 AM   #1
RJS625
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Apr 2009
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Well, decided to become a paying member since I've gotten so much info from this forum just by lurking... My brother, father and I are in the process of welding up the steel for this rig. Just wanted to get some input on the plumbing and overall design.

Material we have already: Steel framing (all 1" square stock) and 3 sanke kegs.
We still need copper, valves, high temp PEX, march pump and the elements. I'm currently pricing/looking up whats best for all these now.

On the output side of the pump the two J shaped pieces are what I call "universal fillers" that can be hung over the side of the kegs. To start our rig will be manual, but in the future we might go with brewtroller or a similar controller. With this design and only one pump we are limited to batch sparging but later we could add a second pump for fly.



So any input is appreciate; comments, concerns, criticism, anything.

Edit: The key in the plumbing picture should say 1/2" tubing...


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Old 12-27-2009, 12:05 PM   #2
Bobby_M
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What's the "flexible element" around the mash tun?


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Old 12-28-2009, 02:13 AM   #3
RJS625
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Quote:
What's the "flexible element" around the mash tun?

Something similar to this:
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/4GY19?Pid=search

or

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/3CDA6?Pid=search

Then we plan on insulating over top of the element

 
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:59 AM   #4
Ohio-Ed
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What is the reasoning behind a horizontal element in the HLT and vertical in the BK?

 
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:11 AM   #5
RJS625
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Quote:
What is the reasoning behind a horizontal element in the HLT and vertical in the BK?

For the HLT I plan on draining off the bottom no need to leave any behind. So we can just punch a hole and have the element run through a bulkhead.

For the BK we plan on whirlpooling; so I figure its best to have the drain on a bulkhead off the side so we leave the trub.

Both kegs were cut open from the bottom leaving the standard opening on the bottom. I figure we could make some sort of plate that will hold the element (for BK) or a piece of 1/2" tubbing (for HLT) and lock in with the normal snap ring.

 
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
Bobby_M
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I suppose I can't find any fault in maintaining mash temps with a wrap around heat source. I was going to recommend looking into HERMS or RIMS but frankly, your plan seems like a lot less hassle for not having to move wort. Proponents of constant recirculation like the clarity of the runoff but it only takes a 5 minute vorlauf to acheive and you won't have to worry about grain bed compaction. I wouldn't expect having the ability to do step mashes with the heat source, but you can still use infusion to move the temps.
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:36 PM   #7
RJS625
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Quote:
I suppose I can't find any fault in maintaining mash temps with a wrap around heat source. I was going to recommend looking into HERMS or RIMS but frankly, your plan seems like a lot less hassle for not having to move wort. Proponents of constant recirculation like the clarity of the runoff but it only takes a 5 minute vorlauf to acheive and you won't have to worry about grain bed compaction. I wouldn't expect having the ability to do step mashes with the heat source, but you can still use infusion to move the temps.
Bobby, using the wrap to up the temp and stiring the mash would not work for step mashing?

One question I had for anyone that can answer it, while we are still running the rig manually and not off of a controller do I need relays or anything for the elements or can I simply buy A/C elements and have a switch that allows us to turn them on and off based on temps of each vessel?

Also, I forgot that our plan was to allow the mashtun to swing and empty the spent grain easily. I'll probably end up hooking the mashtun up with PEX also. Any concerns on cleaning the manifold? I'm wondering if it will end up gummed up with husks and sugar. We'll flush the whole system with hot water/sanitizer after every brew but I wonder if some residue will still build up. I'll probably have a screw on cap on the end of the manifold that can be opened so we can brush it out as needed.

 
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJS625 View Post
Bobby, using the wrap to up the temp and stiring the mash would not work for step mashing?

No, 1500W? Outside the mash? That will never step mash... using a RIMS or HERMS is tough enough in most systems.

One question I had for anyone that can answer it, while we are still running the rig manually and not off of a controller do I need relays or anything for the elements or can I simply buy A/C elements and have a switch that allows us to turn them on and off based on temps of each vessel?

Yup you can do that, no need for SSRs or anything.

Also, I forgot that our plan was to allow the mashtun to swing and empty the spent grain easily. I'll probably end up hooking the mashtun up with PEX also. Any concerns on cleaning the manifold? I'm wondering if it will end up gummed up with husks and sugar.

Use Oxiclean or PBW and it will clean nicely. Hot water may not cut it after numerous brews.

We'll flush the whole system with hot water/sanitizer after every brew but I wonder if some residue will still build up. I'll probably have a screw on cap on the end of the manifold that can be opened so we can brush it out as needed.
I am in the process of a new build too... good luck with yours.



 
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