Originally Posted by Majd
I ran into this post, what you described about your brewing stand is exactly (almost) similar to what I have. Single tier with two pumps, with the mash tun in side "not middle" HRMS, counter-flow chiller, add a grant only.
If you ended up making a manifold please post a picture I need to copy or come up with one for my system.
I'm still working out the issues with my system, but here's the current iteration...
The first image is the pump output manifold. The left side is the HLT return, the middle is the MLT return, and the right side is the BK return. The two inputs at the front are connect to my CFC, which is then connected to my pumps. I have this manifold supported so that the MLT connects directly it.
The second image is the pump input manifold, and is somewhat similar to the return. The left side is the HLT drain, the middle front is the MLT drain, and the right side is the BK drain. The middle back is just there so I can drain everything at the end of the brew day. Each pump has a tee on it, where the front valves are used for priming the pump or taking samples, and the top is the output for my wort chiller.
I'm still ironing out my process, but here are some challenges I learned from along the way:
- Pump priming: without the tee & ball valves I found that liquid could get trapped on the output side and prevent the pump from priming.
- Heating the mash: I originally thought that I could keep the HLT near sparge temperature and use it to heat the MLT. While this worked, it can work too well and you run the risk of denaturing the enzymes that pass through the CFC.
- Mash outs: Since I've run all my plumbing through the CFC, if I want to sparge with 170 degree water, I have to raise the MLT to 170 degrees for a mash out. Otherwise, the wort will cool the sparge water as it's being transferred to the BK. I thought about adding a bypass for the CFC, but the systems already complicated, and it's not needed if mash out.
- Mash Temperature Control: I'd recommend keeping the HLT just above your mash temperature, and recirculate both the HLT & MLT. Then when it's time to sparge you can mash out by recirculating both and heating the HLT. Since my system is manually controlled, I plan on recirculating it every 15 minutes or so instead of watching it the entire 60-90 minutes.
- CFC Sanitization: I recirculate the BK right as the boil is complete. The hot wort should be enough to sanitize everything. You can recirculate during the boil, but be ready for the temperature to drop enough to lose the boil.
- Cleaning: This is something I'm still figuring out. My next brew day I'm going to try using a ShopVac to clean out all the spent grain and hop debris. Then I'll scrub everything down, rinse and drain. Finally, I'll run hot PBW through everything, rinse with water, and let it all drain. The big issue is getting everything dry. I'm thinking about rigging the ShopVac so that it pulls air through all the hoses & fittings and maybe that will help. The manifolds trap a decent amount of water, so who knows...