Not quite a year ago I built a single tier brewframe.
It worked very well and I have made 30 batches on it in the intervening time.
There were a couple of compromises I made in order to get the system up and running. I really wanted to use stainless steel Cam-locks for disconnects. At the time they were far too expensive. Recently a vendor started offering these connectors from off shore at a price lower than the brass disconnects.
I changed out all the brass fittings for stainless. I ended up selling the brass for half of what I paid for them. This helped offset the cost of the fittings and helped out some HBD members. At the same time I spent about $60.00 to get engraved signs made for the system.
I also instigated discussions with Wayne at BargainFittings.com about a couple of other upgrades. The whirlpool fitting in my kettle was another compromise. The original was a coupler with a street elbow. It worked but wasn't optimal.
Wayne built a more effective fitting for me using a standard elbow and a piece of stainless tubing bent to follow the curve of the keggle.
Another thing I wasn't really happy about was my procedure for adjusting the temperature of the wort entering the fermenter and adding oxygen to help promote effective fermentation. I was just plopping a thermometer into the fermenter and reacting to any temp variations by changing the flow of cold water into my CFC. By the time the wort hit the fermenter and mixed, the temps could vary quite a bit. I really wanted to read the temp of the wort as it was flowing out of the CFC.
I was adding O2 after the wort had filled the fermenter. I felt it might be more advantageous to inject O2 as the wort is flowing into the vessel. There are various studies saying different, but that is the method I used while brewing professionally, so that is what I am used to.
Wayne put together an assembly of different fittings to allow me to do exactly what I wanted.
This past weekend I finally had the chance to brew a batch using all my new toys.
Here is the system set up to whirlpool. The O2 fitting connected to the outlet of the CFC. The O2 stone is in place on the right side of the fitting and a temp probe is inserted in the thermowell on the left side of the fitting.
A little closer look at the fitting. I asked Wayne if I could have the ability to see the wort as it was flowing. He came up with a threaded PVC piece. I found it very helpful in determining O2 flow and when I used water to push the remaining wort out of the CFC at the end of the run.
This is how the diverter panel looks for knockout.
Here is the trubpile left ant the end of my Blonde Ale with some weirdo peeking over the edge of the kettle