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Old 07-03-2007, 03:54 PM   #1
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Default Ideas, please: designing two-tier system

I'm interested in designing a two-tier system that will fit into the basement of the home I'm moving to this spring. My brewing partner and I have a 3-tier gravity-fed rack at his place now (in garage), but I'd like to be able to have my own system, and the basement is not tall enough for a 3 tier gravity rack. Basic design preferences are:

1. 5 gallon batches.

2. Igloo cooler for MLT.

3. Possible connection to house natural gas system.

4. March pump.

I'm also curious about system design and how to use the March pump, i.e. what to use the pump for transfer; HLT to MLT, boil kettle to carboy, what?

Pics of your system are always appreciated.

Thanks!


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Old 07-03-2007, 04:00 PM   #2
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Basement?

Start with the basics.

How will you vent the enormous amounts of steam and heat?
Propane - dangerous gasses?
Electric - You'll want 220v

Can you/ will you be willing to address these major concerns?


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Old 07-03-2007, 04:05 PM   #3
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthre...nt+ventilation
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost...2&postcount=22
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
Basement?

Start with the basics.

How will you vent the enormous amounts of steam and heat?
Propane - dangerous gasses?

Can you/ will you be willing to address these major concerns?
Steam/heat can be vented through a simple ventilation system.

If used indoors, the system would be plumbed into natural gas. Properly functioning natural gas burners produce only CO2 and H2O. As well, large propane heaters are used on construction sites and if properly maintained do not produce hazardous levels of CO2. A simple CO alarm system in the basement could ensure a safe environment.
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:04 PM   #5
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I'm thinking with a ventilation hood (assumption) you may want to look at a one tier. Basements don't have the highest ceilings.

BTW: According to Chris Graham of B3, they will not knowingly sell you any of thier systems if it is to be used in a basement.
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:23 PM   #6
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I would go with a single tier system if you can build a ventilation hood system. Best thing would be if there was a window near the ceiling of the basement that you could use a vent exit and then build a hood with a blower motor. Switch it on when your brewing and it would safely exhaust all gases and condensation.

Properly built, you would use the pump just to move liquid from the HLT to the MLT and then to the Boil kettle. You should build it high enough to use gravity to fill your carboy. You could pump to the carboy, but you would have to be very careful to clean and sanitize the pump before putting chilled wort through it.

Natural gas would be the way to go.
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:25 PM   #7
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Right, this is what I was considering, i.e. ventilation and other system components you mentioned.

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Old 07-03-2007, 07:12 PM   #8
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You don't seem to see very many 2-tier stands around here. I know Brewpastor uses one you. You can check out his gallery, but take your anti-envy medication first. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...imageuser=3144

Here's some I found on another board that might give you some ideas.
http://forums.moreflavor.com/viewtopic.php?t=22330
http://forums.moreflavor.com/viewtopic.php?t=19038

Of course you could always go with a compact design like morebeer.com's 1550. http://morebeer.com/view_product/15198/102323 I've seen several home-built versions of that system. People who have them really like the design.

In general, I think people tend to build their 1-tier stands too tall. Some of the 2-tier stands are basically the same height. You just use gravity to flow from the MLT to the kettle, eliminating the need for a second pump (if you want to fly sparge).

With the pump, you'll be able to recirculate your wort in the MLT or through a coil in the HLT (HERMS) to maintain constant temps and easily step up mash temps. You'll also need to use it to transfer your sparge water and pump it through your chiller when you're done. Having a good design with hard-plumbed valves would make using the pump for various tasks easier, but may add to your clean up time (don't know - don't have one).

You should be able to brew in your basement safely. I'd definately consider a vent hood and a CO sensor. I noticed several threads on morebeer's brewing sculpture forum about brewing inside. You might want to check some of those out for ideas.

Keep us posted on what you decide to do. Cheers.

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Old 07-03-2007, 08:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky

In general, I think people tend to build their 1-tier stands too tall. Some of the 2-tier stands are basically the same height. You just use gravity to flow from the MLT to the kettle, eliminating the need for a second pump (if you want to fly sparge).
While I was building my stand I kept in mind that eventually I was going to be moving to a larger 1/2 barrel fermenter and wanted to make sure that when I did the stand would still be tall enough. Just something to think about.
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:16 PM   #10
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I'm not sure I follow.

I was referring to how a lot of people build their 1-tier stands up high when they don't really need to. If you're using pumps to move everything around anyway, then all of the burners can be down low, right over the pumps, giving you better access to the kettles.

You can build a 2-tier stand with a 2 foot difference between the tiers and it's not really any taller than a lot of 1-tier stands I've seen.


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