Before I really buckle down and start buying parts, I want to get some confirmation what I have in mind will work well. My plan to keep things simple, weldless, and relatively manual for the time being, but have the foresight to keep everything upgradeable.
I'm not concerned about my structure at this point, although I'm wanting a single-tier setup. I may build out of wood, I'm probably going to go natural gas, and I may want to later upgrade to 2 pumps and 3 burners.
Here's my proposal:
15.5G Keg, 1/2" Copper coil (my current immersion chiller), bulkheads/ 1/2" Compression fittings for coil, bulkhead/ 1/2" ball valve, thermometer/sight glass combo
70qt Cooler, cPVC manifold, bulkhead/ 1/2" ball valve, bulkhead/thermometer, bulkhead/sparge manifold (for recirculation)
15.5G Keg, bulkhead/ 1/2" ball valve (side pickup), bulkhead/side inlet (whirlpool), thermometer/sight glass combo
Here is how I envision this working:
Step 1: Heat strike water and sparge/recirculation water
Step 2: Strike water and grains into Mash Tun.
Step 3: (This is where I could use some pointers) Use recirculation to maintain temp, if need be, or step mash. Certainly use it to vorlauf.
Step 4: Pump to kettle and start heating.
Step 5: Pump in sparge water (I batch sparge currently, and I plan to continue - but feel free to make suggestions)
Step 6: Pump to kettle.
Step 7: Boil, etc. then pump through coil, with HLT full of ice water.
Step 8: Pump to fermenter.
That's my plan. Here are a few more questions I've thought of.
Quick disconnects - applicable at every external connection here? Anything to consider?
I could stir the ice water in the HLT while cooling to avoid a warm water pocket around the coil, but are there any other solutions?
I realize will need to start circulating boiling wort through the system 15 minutes or so before the end of the boil, but any other sanitation suggestions?
What do I need to keep in mind as far as placement for the coil inlet/outlet, and the whirlpool inlet? Any standard measurements?
I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go along, but this should be a good start. I've dug through quite a few build threads here, so hopefully I've addressed most major rookie mistakes.
I look forward to any feedback!