Almost ready for AG!

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americanweirdo

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i've never posted on here before, so... hello!!

i've done about 6 extract batches and i think i'm ready for all-grain. stayed up late last night measuring, sawing, drilling, the whole deal. any suggestions? i don't think my cpvc manifold is exactly to palmer's standards but that's part of the fun in experimenting, i guess. the last picture is my poorly designed sparge arm. it'll need some re-working to keep it from wobbling. if i could get some feedback, it would be much appreciated... anything from "you should have done it this way" or what-have-you. thanks!







 

BrianP

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The manifold looks nice.

Make sure to do a leak test.

I don't use a sparge arm, so I won't comment on that.

Good luck with your first AG.
 
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americanweirdo

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Make sure to do a leak test.
No leaks on the mash tun. I let it sit with hot water for 2 hours, and nothing. I'm using a round cooler for sparge water and i'm having a little leakage around the ball-valve... minimal though. not too concerned since that one's just water.

thanks brian!
 
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americanweirdo

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any suggestions for getting the little bits of cpvc out of the slots? i sanded, but there's still little fragments.
 

eriktlupus

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i hope you didn't glue the joints in your mani, run a swab down thru the tubes to clear uot the little frags of pvc. and i also batch sparge so i can't comment on your fly sparge arm. welcome to the AG insanity you'll be amazed at the color change in your first one.:ban:
 

fat x nub

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any suggestions for getting the little bits of cpvc out of the slots? i sanded, but there's still little fragments.
i do the cpvc method also. It took me forever to try to get the little bits out. I was blasting them with crazy water pressure and it still wasn't coming out. I figured if it was coming out through the blasts of water...then it wasn't coming out in the wort...i was right :). And i run the wort through a filter before it comes out in the kettle so i don't worry about grain and cpvc going into the kettle
 
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americanweirdo

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i hope you didn't glue the joints in your mani...
nope... not a single drop of glue on the manifold. i glued the pieces that make up the short ends of the sparge arm, but that's it.

...run a swab down thru the tubes to clear uot the little frags of pvc.
i could probably figure this out at the hardware store, but just in case, what kind of "swab" do you suggest using?
 
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americanweirdo

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I'm not sure how big the slots are; would a metal nail file fit? Or a steak knife?
the slots are tiny... probably ~1/16". a nail file might work, but as you sand down into the slots, it pushes the particles of cpvc (still clinging to the underside of the slots) down into the pipe. if there's something i can use to push down through the opening on either end of the tube, i think i can get most of it out... but what to use? the pipe is 1/2".
 

Seawolfe

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If you have one of those wire bottle/carboy/tube brushes with a loop at the end, you can put the wire end through the CPVC, tuck a wet rag or small piece of cloth through the loop at the end, and pull it back through. Or use a dowel/wooden spoon end /chopstick to push a rag through.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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I'm envious that you are getting all geared up. I am taking a lot longer over going AG.....Because I'm too cheap to buy all the gear in a short period. Good luck, and keep us posted! :)
 
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americanweirdo

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If you have one of those wire bottle/carboy/tube brushes with a loop at the end, you can put the wire end through the CPVC, tuck a wet rag or small piece of cloth through the loop at the end, and pull it back through.
I DIDN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT USING THAT!!! great idea... i'll try it as soon as i get home.
 
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americanweirdo

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I'm envious that you are getting all geared up. I am taking a lot longer over going AG.....Because I'm too cheap to buy all the gear in a short period. Good luck, and keep us posted! :)
thanks! really the most expensive part was the cooler $18 at wal-mart. you can get the cpvc for a nickel a mile... almost.
 

abracadabra

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You don't really need a sparge arm. You can do the same thing by taking a piece of heavy duty aluminun foil, pierceing a bunch of small holes in it, and lay it atop your grain bed. Then simply pour your sparge water on top of the aluminum foil. It'll actually do a better job of getting you sparge water spread out more evenly than a sparge arm.

I made a homemade sparge arm myself, but now use aluminum foil excusively.

Another thing you could do to clean out you CPVC manifold is to take a wire brush from a shotgun cleaning kit and run it inside the pipe and brush the outside with a regular wire brush.
 
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americanweirdo

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i'm thinking about scrapping the sparge arm all-together, and going with a batch sparge for a while, at least until i can come up with something that'll work.

i like the aluminum foil idea.
 

Kauai_Kahuna

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americanweirdo - WOW, that does look nice, I would just recommend doing a dry run so you have an idea what your dead space is, then adding that to your grain absorption will give you idea of what your first draws volume will be.
I'm not kidding, you must be handy with tools in that looks really sharp, and your still worried about rough edges. :)
Go forth and brew great beer, then share it with your friends and I hope I'm one of them.:mug:
 
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americanweirdo

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americanweirdo - WOW, that does look nice, I would just recommend doing a dry run so you have an idea what your dead space is, then adding that to your grain absorption will give you idea of what your first draws volume will be.
I'm not kidding, you must be handy with tools in that looks really sharp, and your still worried about rough edges. :)
Go forth and brew great beer, then share it with your friends and I hope I'm one of them.:mug:
thanks!:tank:

i'll keep you guys updated with my progress... thanks for all the advice!
 

talleymonster

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go to HD and buy a wooden dowel that will fit the inside diameter of the CPVC snugly. Just run it back and forth a few times and the little bits will all catch and come off.
 

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