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Old 10-16-2011, 12:26 AM   #1
thomashp
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Default Two Tier / One Pump / Fly Sparge Brew Sculpture Questions Questions

I am ready for a brew stand. I've been going gravity for a while and more recently have started doing 10 gallon batches. I'm already tired of picking up 10 gallons of liquid.

Here is my current setup:


I'm getting a pump and building a brew sculpture. I really only want to get one pump right now and I still want to fly sparge so I need a two tier setup. My question is really which vessel should I elevate. I've been searching this forum and the web and there doesn't seem to be a real consensus on which setup is better. I can see some pros and cons of each setup, but not having used a pump for brewing yet, I'd like to hear from some fellow brewers that have experience with these setups and can tell me the real deal.

Here are the setups I'm considering:


Which one is better in your opinion? Let me know the pros and cons.
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:13 AM   #2
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I just built option one. I run a HERMS system and this way I can recirculate on one level. Option two will work well too. I prefer to gravity drain the mash tun into the brew kettle. Option three would require you to pump from your MLT to your BK. Not fond of that idea. Any will work. It pretty much is personal preference. I recommend option one though.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:17 AM   #3
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I'm curious about that. What happens when you pump from the mash tun? Can you actually sparge faster than gravity would normally go?
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:24 AM   #4
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Same situation as you. Cant decide. Here's the thread I posted with a few answers
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/3-ve...levate-272461/
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:43 AM   #5
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I would prefer option 3 for my pick.It matches better with my methods.I prefer to measure my runnings from the mash tun before I add them to the brew pot.That way I know exactly how much I have and how much sparge water I need for my batch sparges.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:55 AM   #6
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I have a 2 tier setup in which I pump from the MLT and gravity feed from the HLT. Works great for me.

I had it set up the other way around to start with, as I was concerned pumping from the MLT might compact the grainbed too much and lead to a stuck sparge.

I made the switch as I was having cavitation problems pumping hot sparge water. The bottom tier of my setup is quite low, this was contributing to the cavitation issues I think. I have no such issues pumping boiling wort from the BK which about 2 feet higher.
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat_Bastard View Post
I would prefer option 3 for my pick.It matches better with my methods.I prefer to measure my runnings from the mash tun before I add them to the brew pot.That way I know exactly how much I have and how much sparge water I need for my batch sparges.
<An unintended advertisement> You wouldn't need to measure runnings externally if you put a sight glass in your BK. </>

Also, runoff volume is pretty predictable and even more so once you learn your system's dead space losses.
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:36 PM   #8
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I like option 3, but with the lower tier at the same height as the lower tier in design 1. The MT and BK only have to be high enough to allow for some head pressure on the pump input which can be just a few inches.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:05 PM   #9
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One advantage to option 1 or 2 is that you are pumping water thru your pump instead of wort. The hot sparge water is actually cleaning the pump for you as you sparge, so you'll have one less thing to clean (unless you plan to use the pump later at the end of the boil - then ignore this post since it won't help you).
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:28 PM   #10
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Look at this thread. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/brew...stands-263378/
It works excellent

Hot liquor tank on top. Gravity sparge. One pump. Fits in a small footprint.

This photo gives you a perspective of the total height:

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