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Old 05-05-2013, 02:42 AM   #1
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Default Bottom Drain - Worth It?

Okay, I'm converting everything over to electric (e-HERMS). I just scored three "new" kegs, which I'll convert over to keggles. So, should I go with bottom drains? Is it worth it? I see that Bobby M has a bottom drain package, so it seems easy enough. But is it worth the extra money and effort?

If so, does it make sense to go bottom drain on all three kegs? Or, doesn't it make sense to go with bottom drains on the mash tun and boil kettle? It doesn't seem necessary on the HLT.

Thoughts?


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Old 05-05-2013, 03:30 AM   #2
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I think you might have it backwards, I would have the HLT, MLT bottom draining, and the BK normal. I currently have my MLT bottom draining and love it. I whirlpool in my BK so I use a side pickup. If I ran with 3 vessels I would have a bottom draining HLT.

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Old 05-05-2013, 11:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDIr0n View Post
I think you might have it backwards, I would have the HLT, MLT bottom draining, and the BK normal. I currently have my MLT bottom draining and love it. I whirlpool in my BK so I use a side pickup. If I ran with 3 vessels I would have a bottom draining HLT.

JMO,
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Thanks for the input!

What do you have in the MLT to keep grain out of the drain? Screen? Or? Also, as for the HLT, it just seemed to me that it's always easy to add water to insure that the side pickup is covered, whereas it's harder to do with the BK and thus you run the risk of leaving wort behind. Also, to bottom drain in the BK would make CIP a bit easier.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:02 PM   #4
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I have bottom drains on my MLT and HLT; it's so easy to clean and pump (not worry about priming). I will be changing my BK to bottom drain when I get a chance. You'll need a false bottom for both the MLT and BK. Regardless of what type of drain you have on the MLT you'll need some sort of false bottom or bazooka screen.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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My first bottom draining vessel was the HLT. It was great, because it meant priming the pumps was super easy and quick, and I never picked up any air pockets. Then I went with a bottom draining MLT with a false bottom. I really like that, as I have a HERMS and recirculate. I have a side pickup on my BK.

I could get a false bottom for my BK and make that a bottom draining vessel as well, but I really do like it the way it is. I can clean it out pretty easily by dumping the trub out once it's emptied. To empty the MLT, I have it set up as a "tippy dump" so I can dump it and then clean it.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #6
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Here is a few pics the false bottom that I have


IMG_0037 by HDIr0n, on Flickr


IMG_0035 by HDIr0n, on Flickr


IMG_0034 by HDIr0n, on Flickr
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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In an electric system, there's no reason NOT to bottom drain. The 5-pc bottom drain kit we sell is $32. The weldless bulkhead with integrated dip tube is $36 so it's actually cheaper to bottom drain.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
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In an electric system, there's no reason NOT to bottom drain. The 5-pc bottom drain kit we sell is $32. The weldless bulkhead with integrated dip tube is $36 so it's actually cheaper to bottom drain.
I just bought your bottom drain kit for my MLT and it's very nice. Much better than drilling a hole in the side of the keg
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:44 AM   #9
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I have a 4 vessel (2 BKs) bottom drain setup that I have brewed on about 15 times. Three were cut upside down & I had a previously configured "top cut"HLT that I added a drain to.

I am running a single controller, a single pump, a removable HERMS Coil,haven't installed all of my temp probes yet and have a lot of little things to finish up. By not completing the system all at once, I will probably end up with a system that will require fewer changes in the future.

The HLT is a no brainer.

The MLT is easy to clean. I used the bottom cutout with slots cut by an angle grinder. With a reasonable flow rate and a return manifold, I haven't had any issues sticking. I used a bowl to transfer the used grist to a bucket, and then simply rinse the rest down the drain....it couldn't be easier.

I have only used one BK so far. I have been whirlpooling, and do not use a side pickup. Instead, I made a temporary pickup out of the spear housing, a washer and some tubing. It has worked pretty well so far, but I have left a little more wort than I wanted at the end of the boil a couple of times. I am debating on whether to also install a side pickup, or spend spend the time and effort to setup a plastic conical and just drain the trub after I transfer and let it rest for a while (I may also recirc with a hop spider to get some of the big stuff filtered before sending to the conical) Maybe I will do both....haven't decided. I use a copper "J" to transfer from vessel to vessel, and it seems to whirlpool without any problem (maybe I will add a whirlpool return if I start popping holes in the keg). I will tell you, that I when it comes to cleaning, it couldn't be easier.

The only downside on bottom drain: the way I did it forced me to commit to drilling holes in the stand and living with a CIP. If I wanted to change positioning at this point, it would be a challenge.

I have stolen most of my good ideas from this website. I couldn't have spent all the time and money without the "enablers" on HBT.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:13 AM   #10
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more pics....the copper pieces are the MLT return manifold that I set on top of the grain bed and the "J" that I use to whirlpool and use to transfer between vessels.


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