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Old 11-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #1
homebrewdad
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As I look toward moving to all grain for the first time, I want to be sure that I have a reasonable idea of what I'm doing. Experienced brewers, if you would be so kind, please review my plans and let me know if you see me heading for any gotchas.


Here's the system I am envisioning:
Cooler with manifold for the mashtun.
Repurpose my existing 24 quart brewpot to be my HLT.
Use my new 40+ quart brewpot to catch it all and boil that delicious wort.


Process:
Mash in in at appropriate temp. Hold mash for an hour.
Use gravity to begin to drain wort into brewpot. Vorlauf until it runs clear.
Use pump to slowly move hot water from HTL to mashtun, making sure to maintain a couple of inches worth of water above the grain bed.
Maintain process until preboil volume is obtained.
???


What am I missing? Any suggestions?

Also - any recommendations for a pump to use?

Is it feasible to use a submersible style pump that I can drop nto the HLT (that pot is not drilled)?

I see that pretty much everyone does copper for manifolds. Is there any reason why a PVC manifold would be a bad thing?


Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:26 PM   #2
meadmazer
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I have seen pvc manifolds made here on the forum. Sounds like you are planning a hybrid sparge. You can set a saucer on top of the grain bed to help keep the water from stirring up cloudiness. Can you siphon into the MLT?

 
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:37 PM   #3
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you want cpvc for the manifold, that type is capable of standing up to the hot temps without leaching.

You need a pump that is food grade and able to handle hot water....submersible pump is not going to do it. You will need silicon hose as well for plumbing. You are looking at $100 minimum, close to $200 if you include hose, fittings etc.

+1 to meadmazer for idea about plate....idea is not to make channels when adding sparge water.

Are you going to preheat your tun? How?

What water volumes (mash and sparge) are you using? What is your mash ratio? What is your strike temp? What is your mash and sparge temps?. How much pre-boil volume are you collecting, how much are you going to boil off to get hit your OG? I would have a good idea of all this before starting.


One last thing: based on the equipment you already have, you can start doing AG this weekend if you were batch sparging. Just sayin...

 
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input.

As for batch sparging - this is still on the table. I don't actually own all of this gear yet. I'm in the planning stages.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:51 PM   #5
Denny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewdad View Post
Thanks for the input.

As for batch sparging - this is still on the table. I don't actually own all of this gear yet. I'm in the planning stages.
If you think you might be interested in batch sparging, take a look at www.dennybrew.com before you spend $$ for equipment.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
If you think you might be interested in batch sparging, take a look at www.dennybrew.com before you spend $$ for equipment.
I'm checking this out now, and doing some serious rethinking about sparge method.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:09 PM   #7
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As someone who only batch sparges I see more drawbacks than benefits from fly sparging. Actually the only benefit I can think of is possibly an increase in efficiency but at a homebrew scale that is negligible. Batch sparging is easier and faster IMO.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
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Excellent tutorial, Denny. A lot of the stuff you talk about at the top of the page really hit home with me. Is the point to look cool/emulate a pro brewery? Or is the point to make beer?

This looks like a cheaper, easier method. Um... I might have to slightly increase grain bills to account for efficiency? (might)

Is there some drawback I'm missing?
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:18 PM   #9
broadbill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phunhog View Post
As someone who only batch sparges I see more drawbacks than benefits from fly sparging. Actually the only benefit I can think of is possibly an increase in efficiency but at a homebrew scale that is negligible. Batch sparging is easier and faster IMO.
As someone who has done both batch and fly sparge (with the Zapap lauter tun no less), I agree 100% with this comment!

 
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:15 PM   #10
Denny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewdad View Post
Excellent tutorial, Denny. A lot of the stuff you talk about at the top of the page really hit home with me. Is the point to look cool/emulate a pro brewery? Or is the point to make beer?

This looks like a cheaper, easier method. Um... I might have to slightly increase grain bills to account for efficiency? (might)

Is there some drawback I'm missing?
The only thing you're missing is the fun you'll have once you get started! I average 83-85% efficiency with the methods on that page. The best thing to do is just get started, see what your efficiency is (it's mainly dependent on crush), and adjust accordingly in the future.
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