Hello ALL!!! I've been playing around with different ideas of how to go forward with my AG system. I only have 2 vessels right now and one burner. I am a fan of batch sparging. That being said then here's a schematic of wort/water flow on a one tier AG system. I think this is what I'll build. All I need is another vessel, maybe just a 10 gallon rubbermaid cooler to act as my HLT.
To operate fill the brew kettle up and turn the heat on. Fill the MLT to the desired level and open only the ball valves marked as M1 and M2. Get the brew kettle up to the desired temperature and hold it there. The MLT will follow suit if the pump is kept on. This setup allows for step mashes with multiple rests if wished. Once desired temp is reached add grain. Do the steps or keep the temp of a single infusion mash. When it's time to start sparging turn off the pump, close M1 and M2, and turn up the heat to the desired sparging temp. (remember to account for the temp drop from the HLT being empty) Open F1 and M2. Run for just long enough to clear the line of wort. Won't take long. Close M2 and open F2. Notice that F2 will connects to the HLT just behind the ball valve so it will fill. When the Brew kettle is empty turn off the pump and close F1 and F2. Now it is time to empty the first runnings out of the mash tun. Crack open S1 and M1. Careful not to open M1 too much as to aviod a stuck sparge. When all the wort that will come off the grains is in the brew kettle close S1 and M1. Open S2 and M2 to fill the MLT back up. Close them back up, Stirr really well and recirculate by opening M1 and M2 until wort is clear. Close them back up. Then it's back to draining the MLT. Do this 2 or 3 times. When it's time to boil toss in the hops and do so. When the boil is over the heat exchanger is just an immersion wort chiller so it could be disconnected(or perhaps just a few more ball valves and some hose) and a few hoses hooked up and tap water ran through it to cool the wort. At the same time the wort can be recirculated with F1 and S1 open. This is something I discovered on accident. No stirring necessary, the pump will circulate the brew past the immersion wort chiller.
When the wort is at pitching temps close S1 and open PF1. I've got some food grade hose hooked up so filling 2 carboys is a sinch. I hope to get my TAX RETURN back soon so I can make this daydream/item of obsessoin/etc... reality. Any feedback? Suggestions? Comments? Questions? Good idea? Bad idea? I know there's alot of turning valves but this, as complicated as it looks, seems like the easiest route to take. I eagerly await any imput anyone can give!
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Well, I went ahead and built it... HERE HE IS!!!!! Enter: THE BROTHER YARR!!!
I used silicone tubing rated at 350 degrees F everywhere except the line out to the carboy. That is pvc tubing... kinda gets gooey at 170 degrees F. I am going to add quick disconnects to the HLT, HT/LT and Brew Kettle.
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky
Nice. I know you guys love your single-tier pump systems, but I've got to say... my 3-tier stand w/out a pump is WAY less complicated. I have no doubt I would jack something
up with your system and have wort/water flowing to the wrong place[s].
Yeah... well guess what... The first time I used it I DID jack something up. Well, the way the cooler sits and where the valve is for the out on it somehow I missed that it was open after I had finished the full boil. I was cooling the wort down and figured I'd re-circulate the wort to help the immersion wort chiller out. Well, 90 min earlier I purged the line of all the sweet wort with water figuring i'd get as much sugar as i could out of the lines and into the brew kettle.... i FORGOT to close the valve..... I ended up with 7 gallons of 5% beer instead of 5 gallons of 7%. watered down and WAY too bitter I'll be brewing a batch of 12% wort that i'll be boiling WAY down and just adding some finishing hops. I'll save this batch yet!!! Anyhow, it worked like a charm, just not use to my own equipment yet. I might be replacing the crappy hunk of junk false bottom too with a SS braid or a manifold. Got the weldles kit from morebeer that had the ball valve, false bottom and just dosn't like to stay flat. Been eyeing the Sabco false bottom but not sure if i want to spend that much on it, although it's built to fit inside a keg. Some possible things I might change in the future would be the HLT. I am thinking I want to change it to a KEG. Put some heating elements in it and hook them up to a ranco controller and use it instead of the boil kettle as the HERMS. Would save on trips to the gas station to re-fill my propane tanks. I also NEED to get a sheet of tin, snip it to fit between the turkey fryer and the wood that the MLT sits on. Gets kinda toasty when i crank up the heat. Anyhow, I am VERY pleased with this cart. It's only 5 feet long and fits through my door to my back patio just fine. Feel free to use any of my ideas, i know i got most of mine from this site already. If i can give back I would love to!!!