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Old 05-03-2010, 02:58 AM   #1
thorongil
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Aug 2007
Buckeye, Arizona
Posts: 229
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First off, credit to where credit is due: the inspiration for this rig came from jkarp and Boerderij Kabouter. Without you guys leading the way, I would never have been able to build this. Also worth mentioning is the quality electrical info from CodeRage; his advise kept me from building an unsafe system.

Now on to the good stuff... I originally started out thinking that I wanted to build a single tier system to replace my current 10 gallon rig. But then, after reading the threads from the folks mentioned above, and dwelling on what a pain it is to brew outside during the summer in Phoenix, I changed course and decided to build a rig that could run inside, be 120V electric, and be all (or mostly) stainless...

Thus was born the BrewKart... I ended up going with copper piping due to cost and ease of handling, and went with a 2 vessel Brutus 20 like system that incorporated a dual function coil for HERMS control and chilling. I don’t claim to have anything too original here, but threw together a number of well established concepts to build a rig that would work for me. I went with the largest heating element that I could run on 120V (2000W HD) and sized the setup accordingly. I start with about 5 gallons preboil since that really the most the element can boil and end up with just a bit under 4 gallons into the fermenter. After about six weeks of planning and about 4 weeks of building during my spare time, I ran the first pilot batch through this weekend. Overall it was a big success, though I need to work on a couple things. Even with a semi-sparge, I still obtained 66% efficiency, and I think I can tweak my process a bit to get to my planned 70%. I also need to return to my stainless scrubby method of filtering the drain on the boil kettle - the modified kettle screen clogged too quickly with whole leaf hops.

Here’s the price and parts list; I’ve accounted for everything here except tools (let me know if you need live links - not sure how to past an actual spreadsheet here...):


Now on to a few pics.

Stainless...


More Parts:


Ready to start the build:


Progress:


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“Altogether 1420 in the Shire was a marvelous year... The Northfarthing barley was so fine that the beer of 1420 malt was long remembered and became a byword. Indeed a generation later one might hear an old gaffer in an inn, after a good pint of well-earned ale, put down his mug with a sigh: ‘Ah! that was a proper fourteen-twenty, that was!’”

- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:02 AM   #2
thorongil
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Aug 2007
Buckeye, Arizona
Posts: 229
Liked 4 Times on 2 Posts


Control panel coming together:


More or less done:


Wet test:


At home in my office:


Recirc:


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“Altogether 1420 in the Shire was a marvelous year... The Northfarthing barley was so fine that the beer of 1420 malt was long remembered and became a byword. Indeed a generation later one might hear an old gaffer in an inn, after a good pint of well-earned ale, put down his mug with a sigh: ‘Ah! that was a proper fourteen-twenty, that was!’”

- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:03 AM   #3
thorongil
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Aug 2007
Buckeye, Arizona
Posts: 229
Liked 4 Times on 2 Posts


Almost at boil:


Indoor brew in action:


Will post a couple short videos in a few...
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“Altogether 1420 in the Shire was a marvelous year... The Northfarthing barley was so fine that the beer of 1420 malt was long remembered and became a byword. Indeed a generation later one might hear an old gaffer in an inn, after a good pint of well-earned ale, put down his mug with a sigh: ‘Ah! that was a proper fourteen-twenty, that was!’”

- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:18 AM   #4
BlackTieBrewing
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Nov 2008
Ontario, Canada
Posts: 145
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That thing is sweet, nicely done!

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:18 AM   #5
gunner65
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Feb 2010
Lexington, KY
Posts: 843
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Nice build!
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Single Vessel BIAB is all I need....Until we figure out the no vessel technique.

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:23 AM   #6
eanmcnulty
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Sep 2009
Addison, IL
Posts: 782
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Thorongil, I love that set-up. I want something small like that. Slightly smaller actually. I like brewing 2.5 gallon batches. I know, I'm probably wasting my time and money, because there will be someone who doesn't understand why I want to brew such a small batch and why I'm willing to spend the money. Anyway, nice work. That is really a beautiful rig. I have often wondered how brewers clean those rigs. How do you do it? Is it labor intensive? Do you have to take it all apart?
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Mmm, beer.

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:38 AM   #7
thorongil
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Aug 2007
Buckeye, Arizona
Posts: 229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eanmcnulty View Post
I have often wondered how brewers clean those rigs. How do you do it? Is it labor intensive? Do you have to take it all apart?
I can take it apart quite easily if I want to, but normal cleaning is done by flushing with hot Oxiclean followed by clean water. That's after dumping grains and hosing out the kettle... Cleanup is quite a bit easier than my 10 gallon cooler HERMS system...
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“Altogether 1420 in the Shire was a marvelous year... The Northfarthing barley was so fine that the beer of 1420 malt was long remembered and became a byword. Indeed a generation later one might hear an old gaffer in an inn, after a good pint of well-earned ale, put down his mug with a sigh: ‘Ah! that was a proper fourteen-twenty, that was!’”

- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:07 AM   #8
Nitrousbob
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Feb 2010
Washington
Posts: 27

Its beautiful, i love 2 vessel setups.
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Keg #1
Empty =(
Keg #2
Brown Ale
Fermenter #1
Robust Porter
Fermenter #2
Hop Scotch Ale
Fermenter #3
Candi Porter of the Damned

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:14 AM   #9
fujieagle
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Aug 2009
usa
Posts: 208
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Very nice work. Looks clean and professional.

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:17 PM   #10
Boerderij_Kabouter
 
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Dec 2007
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,736
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AWESOME! I love it. The cart idea is great and looks really nice. I am glad it worked well.

I am still dialing in the process for max efficiency too. One thing that has really helped so far is using Kaiser's efficiency sheet. Then you can pinpoint where your losses are occurring. Oddly enough, I have very consistent lauter efficiency at about 75-78%, but my conversion efficiency dropped to 90% on one batch hurting my brewhouse efficiency overall. Not sure what happened on that one, but if you have a refractometer, you can watch it real time, and adjust accordingly.

I have been hovering around 68% efficiency with the Simple Brewery.

I can send you all my spreadsheet stuff for brewdays if you send me an email at jstalbot at gmail dot com. I haven't renewed my membership yet so I can't attach stuff or receive PMs.



 
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