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ANVIL FOUNDRY ALL-GRAIN BREWING SYSTEM

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llgriffin

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Are you guys whirlpooling with this system? Did my first brew on the unit the other day and tried a whirlpool, let it sit for about 15-20 then put my immersion chiller in then pumped into my carboy but it was a lot of trub coming through. I use muslin bag for my hops to try and eliminate that but just looking to minimize the trub. Never had much luck whirlpooling. Even on my prior system with a keggle I always got clearer wort without whirlpooling. Obviously with this malt pipe there is more stuff ending up in the boil, thought of maybe pumping into a bucket through a mesh bad to filter it before I put it into the carboy but that’s just adding more work I don’t wanna do. Seems like the anvil is just too narrow for a whirlpool to even be effective. I think next brew I’ll try no whirlpool and see how that works. I use whirlfloc btw just curious what others are doing to keep the trub out. And yes I’ve heard the arguments that it doesn’t really matter in the end but hey who doesn’t want nice clear wort for the finished product? Other than that this system is sweet, been brewing with cooler and keggle for years. The boil on 120 is “ok” but I have 240 in the works so for now it’ll do.
 

Noob_Brewer

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Are you guys whirlpooling with this system? Did my first brew on the unit the other day and tried a whirlpool, let it sit for about 15-20 then put my immersion chiller in then pumped into my carboy but it was a lot of trub coming through. I use muslin bag for my hops to try and eliminate that but just looking to minimize the trub. Never had much luck whirlpooling. Even on my prior system with a keggle I always got clearer wort without whirlpooling. Obviously with this malt pipe there is more stuff ending up in the boil, thought of maybe pumping into a bucket through a mesh bad to filter it before I put it into the carboy but that’s just adding more work I don’t wanna do. Seems like the anvil is just too narrow for a whirlpool to even be effective. I think next brew I’ll try no whirlpool and see how that works. I use whirlfloc btw just curious what others are doing to keep the trub out. And yes I’ve heard the arguments that it doesn’t really matter in the end but hey who doesn’t want nice clear wort for the finished product? Other than that this system is sweet, been brewing with cooler and keggle for years. The boil on 120 is “ok” but I have 240 in the works so for now it’ll do.
The only time I whirlpool is when I am chilling and thats it. I let me hops be free roaming and whirl pooling during a steep period usually results in a clogged pump (anvil pump) so I don't do that. As you mentioned, I think the limitation of the foundry, and really all the all-in-one units is that they are so narrow, even if you get some sort of resemblance of a "cone" at the bottom, there really isn't anywhere for the trub/hops to go and as a result, it can be difficult to get clean wort to the fermenter. So, during the traditional whirlpool post boil, I simply do a hop steep instead. I really think that temperature rather than movement is more important in extracting the hop oils you want during this time anyways. As for minimizing trub going into the fermenter a couple of things have helped me:

1) since I use a bag inside the malt-pipe (if I am using the malt-pipe at all), I am trying to configure my water so that I do not have to squeeze the bag at all and simply let everything gravity drain to keep excess malt/flour out of the boil.

2) after chilling, I have experimented in waiting for a period for everything to settle prior to going to the fermenter. On one particular brew, right after chilling, other life responsibilities got in the way and I had to let everything sit for about 5hrs. When I finally transferred to the fermenter, after the first cup of wort everything was VERY clean with little to no trub! To illustrate this, I have attached a pic of the clean wort vs the last cup or so when I stopped putting it into the fermenter. This was a NEIPA with lots of oats/wheat, etc and free roaming hops. So a settling period really helps keep excess trub out of the fermenter, but I realize not everyone has this extra time handy. But it works well! You also might want to consider taking more of a "loss due to trub" going into the fermenter so that the end-gunk stays in the foundry. For my NEIPAs, I now expect a full gallon "loss" after getting the beer in the fermenter.

I have tried filtering through a bag on the way to the fermenter like you have and did not enjoy it at all. what a PITA it was. I always have used whirl floc and believe it does help as well.
 

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mbg

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The only time I whirlpool is when I am chilling and thats it. I let me hops be free roaming and whirl pooling during a steep period usually results in a clogged pump (anvil pump) so I don't do that. As you mentioned, I think the limitation of the foundry, and really all the all-in-one units is that they are so narrow, even if you get some sort of resemblance of a "cone" at the bottom, there really isn't anywhere for the trub/hops to go and as a result, it can be difficult to get clean wort to the fermenter. So, during the traditional whirlpool post boil, I simply do a hop steep instead. I really think that temperature rather than movement is more important in extracting the hop oils you want during this time anyways. As for minimizing trub going into the fermenter a couple of things have helped me:

1) since I use a bag inside the malt-pipe (if I am using the malt-pipe at all), I am trying to configure my water so that I do not have to squeeze the bag at all and simply let everything gravity drain to keep excess malt/flour out of the boil.

2) after chilling, I have experimented in waiting for a period for everything to settle prior to going to the fermenter. On one particular brew, right after chilling, other life responsibilities got in the way and I had to let everything sit for about 5hrs. When I finally transferred to the fermenter, after the first cup of wort everything was VERY clean with little to no trub! To illustrate this, I have attached a pic of the clean wort vs the last cup or so when I stopped putting it into the fermenter. This was a NEIPA with lots of oats/wheat, etc and free roaming hops. So a settling period really helps keep excess trub out of the fermenter, but I realize not everyone has this extra time handy. But it works well! You also might want to consider taking more of a "loss due to trub" going into the fermenter so that the end-gunk stays in the foundry. For my NEIPAs, I now expect a full gallon "loss" after getting the beer in the fermenter.

I have tried filtering through a bag on the way to the fermenter like you have and did not enjoy it at all. what a PITA it was. I always have used whirl floc and believe it does help as well.
I also only whirlpool to enhance chilling. I did this previously on my 15 gallon Boilermaker kettle and never found the whirlpooling to help separate the trub from the wort on that kettle either.

This reminds me - on my last brew it was a bit chilly outside and while letting my wort settle before racking to my fermenter I noticed the temperature dropping a bit so I just set the AF to my fermenting temp at 30% power and worked great.
 

NobleNewt

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I got my Anvil 10.5 on Wednesday and ran it through a 3-gallon test boil per the pinned post on the Anvil Facebook group. Ran it on 220v at 100% for 30 minutes and boiled off 3/4 gallons which would put me at 1.5 gallons per hour. I had a really nice vigorous boil, but for 3 gallons I would expect that.

What kind of boil-off is everyone getting on a 220 setup? Just want to make sure my BeerSmith profile for the equipment is as accurate as possible.
 

mcmeador

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How does Anvil calculate their water volumes for their instruction manual? Seems like the average grain absorption I see online is about 0.125 gallons per pound of grain. If you use that figure for the Foundry guidance on a 5-gallon boil w/ sparging, that lands you around 5.5 gallons pre-boil every time, but the instructions say the expectation is for you to have 5.5 gallons post-boil.

Is anyone finding Anvil’s guidance on water volumes to be insufficient? I’ve only done 3 brews on it so far. The first couple seemed to do pretty close on volume, but I came up half a gallon short last night. That got me checking their calculations and wondering why their assumed grain absorption seems to be so low. I’m new to all-grain, so maybe there’s something I’m missing.
 

llgriffin

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I believe the instructions are a very basic “beginners guide” to getting started, I wouldn’t expect it to be super accurate. I’ve only gotten one brew in on this unit but I used beersmith and all the numbers were bang on. It’s worth taking the time to set up a profile for some good brewing software be it beersmith or brewers friend.
 

mcmeador

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I believe the instructions are a very basic “beginners guide” to getting started, I wouldn’t expect it to be super accurate. I’ve only gotten one brew in on this unit but I used beersmith and all the numbers were bang on. It’s worth taking the time to set up a profile for some good brewing software be it beersmith or brewers friend.
Yeah, I just thought it odd that they seem to be assuming below average grain absorption and was wondering if maybe there’s something about the Foundry that would cause them to assume less than a normal 3-vessel setup.
 

McKnuckle

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The grain absorption for any system where the grain is lifted out of the liquid wort to drain, as opposed to sitting permanently in the mash tun as in 3V brewing, is always going to be slightly less. This applies both to bag and basket BIAB methods.
 

Knightshade

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The only time I whirlpool is when I am chilling and thats it. I let me hops be free roaming and whirl pooling during a steep period usually results in a clogged pump (anvil pump) so I don't do that. As you mentioned, I think the limitation of the foundry, and really all the all-in-one units is that they are so narrow, even if you get some sort of resemblance of a "cone" at the bottom, there really isn't anywhere for the trub/hops to go and as a result, it can be difficult to get clean wort to the fermenter. So, during the traditional whirlpool post boil, I simply do a hop steep instead. I really think that temperature rather than movement is more important in extracting the hop oils you want during this time anyways. As for minimizing trub going into the fermenter a couple of things have helped me:

1) since I use a bag inside the malt-pipe (if I am using the malt-pipe at all), I am trying to configure my water so that I do not have to squeeze the bag at all and simply let everything gravity drain to keep excess malt/flour out of the boil.

2) after chilling, I have experimented in waiting for a period for everything to settle prior to going to the fermenter. On one particular brew, right after chilling, other life responsibilities got in the way and I had to let everything sit for about 5hrs. When I finally transferred to the fermenter, after the first cup of wort everything was VERY clean with little to no trub! To illustrate this, I have attached a pic of the clean wort vs the last cup or so when I stopped putting it into the fermenter. This was a NEIPA with lots of oats/wheat, etc and free roaming hops. So a settling period really helps keep excess trub out of the fermenter, but I realize not everyone has this extra time handy. But it works well! You also might want to consider taking more of a "loss due to trub" going into the fermenter so that the end-gunk stays in the foundry. For my NEIPAs, I now expect a full gallon "loss" after getting the beer in the fermenter.

I have tried filtering through a bag on the way to the fermenter like you have and did not enjoy it at all. what a PITA it was. I always have used whirl floc and believe it does help as well.
My assumption is that the steep you're doing is at 170, similar to whirlpool temp?

I've only attempted to whirlpool a couple times now, but I've neglected to let it settle so I was (in my mind) never able to take advantage of the benefits of it because I was always so anxious to get it out of the AF into the fermenter. During yesterday's brew day, I was very deliberate in removing my IC letting the whirlpool continue, turning off the pump and giving it 10 minutes to settle before I even setup the fermenter for transfer. Long story short...what I transferred was not Trub free even with Whirlfloc.

I transferred about 1L first off directly into a pitcher and used that to measure OG. After doing that, I just let it sit while I was cleaning. Whirlfloc works, because it eventually looked like this until I got around to cleaning out the cylinder.

A59F424E-EDAB-4EC9-A09E-FA373AC0525B.jpeg
 

cmac62

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Just curious, whats the biggest grain bill anyone has used on the 10.5g system? Im not on facebook, so not familiar with what peeps there have posted. Ive gone as high as 19lbs which includes rice hulls and a wilser bag in the malt-pipe. But I am going to brew a stout now and have the option of ditching the malt-pipe and lining the bag with the brewzilla false bottom Ive modified to fit the foundry. Thanks!
Noob, what was the modification you did to the brewzilla FB? Thanks :mug:
 

mcmeador

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The grain absorption for any system where the grain is lifted out of the liquid wort to drain, as opposed to sitting permanently in the mash tun as in 3V brewing, is always going to be slightly less. This applies both to bag and basket BIAB methods.
Ok, that explains it then. Thanks!
 

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Noob, what was the modification you did to the brewzilla FB? Thanks :mug:
I bent the legs to form a V shape to get the height needed to clear the dip tube. Got the idea from @Bassman2003 . I think that @mbg made a nicer one by adding feet to the feet rather than bending the original feet. Not gonna lie, this FB feels a little flimsy IMO, but it works very well.
 

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cmac62

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I bent the legs to form a V shape to get the height needed to clear the dip tube. Got the idea from @Bassman2003 . I think that @mbg made a nicer one by adding feet to the feet rather than bending the original feet. Not gonna lie, this FB feels a little flimsy IMO, but it works very well.
Thanks. I may have to order one and then the Wilser bag for the AF with no basket. :mug:
 

AzOr

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I just joined this elite club but haven't had a chance to use yet.

One question and I apologize if this has been covered-

With hop heavy recipes, are people boiling with their malt pipe and using that as a filter for whole cone hops?

I have a few different hop spiders and hop bags that I plan on using for most recipes but up next is a Bell's Two Hearted clone and that calls for a crap load of hops (all whole cones).
 

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Noob_Brewer

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My assumption is that the steep you're doing is at 170, similar to whirlpool temp?

I've only attempted to whirlpool a couple times now, but I've neglected to let it settle so I was (in my mind) never able to take advantage of the benefits of it because I was always so anxious to get it out of the AF into the fermenter. During yesterday's brew day, I was very deliberate in removing my IC letting the whirlpool continue, turning off the pump and giving it 10 minutes to settle before I even setup the fermenter for transfer. Long story short...what I transferred was not Trub free even with Whirlfloc.

I transferred about 1L first off directly into a pitcher and used that to measure OG. After doing that, I just let it sit while I was cleaning. Whirlfloc works, because it eventually looked like this until I got around to cleaning out the cylinder.
For NEIPAs (when I steep) I usually am at 150-160 range. When I let it all settle prior to putting into the fermenter after chilling, I seal it up good - cover with foil which was star sanned after pulling chiller and whirlpool out, put lid on over the foil, insert SS part of the hose into the lid hole, put foil over the SS end of the hose, then I star san the whole top. LOL its overkill I know but makes me feel like Im protecting my wort. After settling with the dip tube pointing down at about a 45 degree angle, I then point it as high as I can so it starts sucking wort from above the dip tube. It helps, but since I let my hops roam free, Im always discarding the first cup or so prior to the fermenter before it comes more clean.
 

Alfi0s

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It was for the 35L. Ordered it from moreover for $20. Item # AG475DZ.

It fits perfectly. I attached SS wire to it on two sides of it and tied them to the handles, so when I pulled the bag up, I easily pulled the FB out for the boil
What would happen, in your opinion, if you leave the false bottom in after you mash?
 

Knightshade

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For NEIPAs (when I steep) I usually am at 150-160 range. When I let it all settle prior to putting into the fermenter after chilling, I seal it up good - cover with foil which was star sanned after pulling chiller and whirlpool out, put lid on over the foil, insert SS part of the hose into the lid hole, put foil over the SS end of the hose, then I star san the whole top. LOL its overkill I know but makes me feel like Im protecting my wort. After settling with the dip tube pointing down at about a 45 degree angle, I then point it as high as I can so it starts sucking wort from above the dip tube. It helps, but since I let my hops roam free, Im always discarding the first cup or so prior to the fermenter before it comes more clean.
Thanks. I'm very much in the phase of trying to determine how the hops "should" be during the process. The hop basket that I have is simply too damn big and interferes with the wort chiller so while I do like it..I've decided against using it w/the AF.

I'm currently putting all the hops into a bag, but upon seeing these things BLOW UP, I'm kind of wondering if I'm inhibiting hop character to fully express itself in the boil. That any..extra cleaning of those bag is kind of a pain.......

Since a whirlpool doesn't seem to work anyways..really not certain I want to transfer all that crap to the fermenter. And since I've recently decided against cold crashing...the less crap in the fermenter..the less junk I need to worry about in the keg. Ahh...decisions..
 

bwible

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Thanks. I'm very much in the phase of trying to determine how the hops "should" be during the process. The hop basket that I have is simply too damn big and interferes with the wort chiller so while I do like it..I've decided against using it w/the AF.

I'm currently putting all the hops into a bag, but upon seeing these things BLOW UP, I'm kind of wondering if I'm inhibiting hop character to fully express itself in the boil. That any..extra cleaning of those bag is kind of a pain.......

Since a whirlpool doesn't seem to work anyways..really not certain I want to transfer all that crap to the fermenter. And since I've recently decided against cold crashing...the less crap in the fermenter..the less junk I need to worry about in the keg. Ahh...decisions..
Wonder if there is some kind of strainer you could put between your brew kettle and your fermenter when you’re draining it off - kind of like a hopback? I’ve been thinking about something like that myself

 
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bwible

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Epic indeed...looking forward to hearing how this goes for you. I've kinda of scared myself away from doing a RIS. Not just from the brewing part, but the oxygenation that is strongly recommended during ferment. I have two breweries in the area which do amazing ones...so I could just go completely chicken and buy a keg.
Remember you can always supplement any mash from any system with a bit of extract added to the boil when you want to make a bigger beer. Whether you add a can of liquid or some measure of dry. It costs a little more than using straight grain. But it’s always an option.
 

DarrellQ

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How does Anvil calculate their water volumes for their instruction manual? Seems like the average grain absorption I see online is about 0.125 gallons per pound of grain. If you use that figure for the Foundry guidance on a 5-gallon boil w/ sparging, that lands you around 5.5 gallons pre-boil every time, but the instructions say the expectation is for you to have 5.5 gallons post-boil.

Is anyone finding Anvil’s guidance on water volumes to be insufficient? I’ve only done 3 brews on it so far. The first couple seemed to do pretty close on volume, but I came up half a gallon short last night. That got me checking their calculations and wondering why their assumed grain absorption seems to be so low. I’m new to all-grain, so maybe there’s something I’m missing.
I just did my second brew yesterday with an 11 lb grain bill, followed the manual instructions exactly, and ended-up with 5.5 gallons pre-boil, and exactly 5 gallons post boil. Unlike my first brew with the AF, in which my OG number was much lower than expected, I hit my expected OG of 1.060 yesterday! The only difference was that yesterday, I milled my own grains for the first time with my Cereal Killer set at .35 and I added 1/2 pound rice hulls.
 

mbg

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I bent the legs to form a V shape to get the height needed to clear the dip tube. Got the idea from @Bassman2003 . I think that @mbg made a nicer one by adding feet to the feet rather than bending the original feet. Not gonna lie, this FB feels a little flimsy IMO, but it works very well.
Agree - looks wimpy but I have stacked 14 quart Mason jars filled with tomatoes on top of it while canning in the AF.
 

mbg

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What would happen, in your opinion, if you leave the false bottom in after you mash?
I left mine in. Ha - I had no way to pull it out. I do have the eye bolt installed and can probably tie a string to it and fish it out if necessary but do others see a need to remove this?
 

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I got my Anvil 10.5 on Wednesday and ran it through a 3-gallon test boil per the pinned post on the Anvil Facebook group. Ran it on 220v at 100% for 30 minutes and boiled off 3/4 gallons which would put me at 1.5 gallons per hour. I had a really nice vigorous boil, but for 3 gallons I would expect that.

What kind of boil-off is everyone getting on a 220 setup? Just want to make sure my BeerSmith profile for the equipment is as accurate as possible.
I have the 10.5 gal version on 220v so I'm usually boiling 6.5 gallons or more. But I have my boil off set to 0.8 gal/hr but once I hit boil, I turn the power down to 85%. You don't need a super vigorous boil and 85% still gets a good rolling boil. 0.8 gal/hr at 85% has been pretty spot on.
 

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I have the 10.5 gal version on 220v so I'm usually boiling 6.5 gallons or more. But I have my boil off set to 0.8 gal/hr but once I hit boil, I turn the power down to 85%. You don't need a super vigorous boil and 85% still gets a good rolling boil. 0.8 gal/hr at 85% has been pretty spot on.
Ok, thanks! I didn't really mess with it too much since I wasn't actually brewing. Plus, I'm sure that boiling wort vs. boiling water makes a pretty significant difference as well.. Hoping to brew my first batch next weekend!
 

mbg

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Ok, thanks! I didn't really mess with it too much since I wasn't actually brewing. Plus, I'm sure that boiling wort vs. boiling water makes a pretty significant difference as well.. Hoping to brew my first batch next weekend!
It's hard to nail everything down. Don't worry too much about hitting numbers just follow the steps and take good notes.

I brew outside and I notice not only on the AF but on my previous gas fired kettles the boil-off varies quite a bit based not only on intensity of boil but also humidity/outside temp/wind... I think for 240v and a good boil 0.8 to 1.0 gallons is where my AF brews have been at.
 

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It's hard to nail everything down. Don't worry too much about hitting numbers just follow the steps and take good notes.

I brew outside and I notice not only on the AF but on my previous gas fired kettles the boil-off varies quite a bit based not only on intensity of boil but also humidity/outside temp/wind... I think for 240v and a good boil 0.8 to 1.0 gallons is where my AF brews have been at.
The good news about volumes is if you don't boil off enough, you get more beer, and if you boil off too much, you get a stronger beer. It's a win-win.
 

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With hop heavy recipes, are people boiling with their malt pipe and using that as a filter for whole cone hops?
I'm curious about this as well, it'd be like using their malt pipe as a giant hop spider. It won't be perfect but it would seem that it could help. Any testing should probably be with a lop-hopped beer though, just in case it's an awful idea. The less hoppage the less awful I would think if it turns out to be the case.

Wonder if there is some kind of strainer you could put between your brew kettle and your fermenter when you’re draining it off - kind of like a hopback? I’ve been thinking about something like that myself
Could be a good spot to use a hop spider, depending on your fermenter fitting it or not.
 

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I'm curious about this as well, it'd be like using their malt pipe as a giant hop spider. It won't be perfect but it would seem that it could help. Any testing should probably be with a lop-hopped beer though, just in case it's an awful idea. The less hoppage the less awful I would think if it turns out to be the case.
I don't bother. After cooling, I give it a hard hit with a paint stirrer attached to my drill and then give it 20 min. By turning the output port, I don't get much hops into the fermenter.
 

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Wonder if there is some kind of strainer you could put between your brew kettle and your fermenter when you’re draining it off - kind of like a hopback? I’ve been thinking about something like that myself

I have the smaller version which I've hooked up between my fermenter and keg a couple of times. It never picked up anything, so I don't even bother anymore.

Remember you can always supplement any mash from any system with a bit of extract added to the boil when you want to make a bigger beer. Whether you add a can of liquid or some measure of dry. It costs a little more than using straight grain. But it’s always an option.
I always have DME on hand for when I inevitably miss my numbers...which oddly enough did not happen this brew day. I calculated my recipe for 65% efficiency and got 71% so my OG is actually a little over. I utilized a bag inside the malt pipe and set the mill to .028, which resulted in a REALLY slow no sparge drain. I'll probably go back to .032 since my last setting with that was 72%. Drained quicker and same ball park efficiency.
 

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It was for the 35L. Ordered it from moreover for $20. Item # AG475DZ.

It fits perfectly. I attached SS wire to it on two sides of it and tied them to the handles, so when I pulled the bag up, I easily pulled the FB out for the boil
This seems like an even better way to do small batches with the 10.5.
 

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@ Noob and Alfi, glad to see the false bottom is working out for you. I agree, it is kind of flimsy but it is just enough for these purposes. I think this way of brewing in the Foundry is better than the malt pipe. There is less sediment from the mash and it is easier to clean up.

As far as leaving the FB in for the boil, I do not see why not, it is stainless. With some experimentation, it might serve as some sort of hop filter. If you are using whole cone hops it would make a great hop strainer.
 

cmac62

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It was for the 35L. Ordered it from moreover for $20. Item # AG475DZ.

It fits perfectly. I attached SS wire to it on two sides of it and tied them to the handles, so when I pulled the bag up, I easily pulled the FB out for the boil
I'm guessing this with the no-pipe Wilser bag would also increase the grain capacity significantly. Also just want to make sure, noob, you have the 10.5 AF? Thanks :mug:
 

Summa_Brewologica

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So I just brewed my third batch on the foundry. This time with a wilser bag. Wilser made me a “hybrid” bag for use with or without the malt pipe. This is something he is now offering to everyone. It works really well. It isn’t bunched up in the malt pipe and fits perfectly without the malt pipe. I intend on doing a full review shortly. I was even able to use the flow disc with out any issues. It was only slightly tighter a fit than normal.
 

drewmuni8

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Re: Whirlpools

I've been using this on my 6.5 and having success. Little tall, but it gets the job done. Really wish there was some sort of additional whirlpool port though on the system itself.

Re: Efficiency on the Foundry

Just pitched yeast on a batch estimated for 72% and managed an OG at 61%. Asked my LHBS to mill a bit more coarse (as is suggested by Anvil) and got really bad results. I usually ask for "-2" which on a SS mill turns out to be 1 mm crush or 0.039 in., but went for a "0" which is 1.3 mm or 0.051 in. Curious to see what y'all have done to get consistent efficiency numbers on the Foundry. Only thing I did different this time was to not squeeze the grains as much as a I normally do but still gathered my correct pre-boil wort volume so i figured it wasn't necessary.

Cheers!
 

Noob_Brewer

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I'm guessing this with the no-pipe Wilser bag would also increase the grain capacity significantly. Also just want to make sure, noob, you have the 10.5 AF? Thanks :mug:
Yes I have the 10.5gal version. Yes the grain capacity easily increases without the malt-pipe and bag only. In the past, with the bag inside the malt-pipe Ive gone as high as 19lbs of grain(with rice hulls), but this was always VERY thick and I sparged about a gallon and a half. However, look at my post #1184. I did a russian imperial stout with the wilser bag only. Was easily able to fit 21.75lbs of grain with 7.5gallons of strike water ~1.38qt/lb thickness. I sparged about 2.25gal total afterwards. But I was pleasantly surprised at how loose this grain bed was on this but that is because ALL water mixed with the grains whereas with the malt-pipe theres ~1-1.5gallons of water on the sides of the malt-pipe not in contact with the grains. With the RIS, beersmith showed me I needed 9.18gal of space for the mash and judging by the picture I posted in my previous post - it looked about right. I am confident that I could easily hold out about 0.5-1gallon more of water in favor of a couple lbs of grain for an even higher ABV beer if one wanted to. The biggest advantage of the malt-pipe is the ease of sparging as it was designed. With the bag only, if sparging, you just need to figure out a sparge method you are comfortable with.

When I contacted Wilser last year about the bag and talked with him about the foundry, I wanted it to be as flexible as I could. So we sized it for the kettle itself and not the malt-pipe. Very glad I did that so that I have the flexibility of running this system several different ways.
 

Noob_Brewer

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Re: Whirlpools

I've been using this on my 6.5 and having success. Little tall, but it gets the job done. Really wish there was some sort of additional whirlpool port though on the system itself.

Re: Efficiency on the Foundry

Just pitched yeast on a batch estimated for 72% and managed an OG at 61%. Asked my LHBS to mill a bit more coarse (as is suggested by Anvil) and got really bad results. I usually ask for "-2" which on a SS mill turns out to be 1 mm crush or 0.039 in., but went for a "0" which is 1.3 mm or 0.051 in. Curious to see what y'all have done to get consistent efficiency numbers on the Foundry. Only thing I did different this time was to not squeeze the grains as much as a I normally do but still gathered my correct pre-boil wort volume so i figured it wasn't necessary.

Cheers!
Ive been using Bobby's spin cycle whirlpool arm for cooling with great success. For the actual WP, I simply steep and don't bother WPing.

Regarding efficiencies, is your 72 and 61% brewhouse efficiency or mash/lauter efficiency? When using the bag inside the malt-pipe, for mash/lauter efficiency Ive been consistently in the mid 70s range (75-76%) even with bigger and stickier grain bills (~17.5-19lbs of grains with 30% or more of wheat/oats/etc). I own my own grain mill (cereal killer) and Ive experimented with LOTS of grain crush sizes. I settled on 0.028" for a while but now Im back up to 0.030" for gap size as I feel that "took the edge" off with risking semi-stuck mashes. The sparging also seems to go better for me at 0.030". So if you volumes are accurate and hitting those marks as you indicate, I would look towards the crush. You didn't mention if you sparge or do full boil? Sparging seems to always be good for a couple of point bump in efficiency.
 

Summa_Brewologica

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Yes I have the 10.5gal version. Yes the grain capacity easily increases without the malt-pipe and bag only. In the past, with the bag inside the malt-pipe Ive gone as high as 19lbs of grain(with rice hulls), but this was always VERY thick and I sparged about a gallon and a half. However, look at my post #1184. I did a russian imperial stout with the wilser bag only. Was easily able to fit 21.75lbs of grain with 7.5gallons of strike water ~1.38qt/lb thickness. I sparged about 2.25gal total afterwards. But I was pleasantly surprised at how loose this grain bed was on this but that is because ALL water mixed with the grains whereas with the malt-pipe theres ~1-1.5gallons of water on the sides of the malt-pipe not in contact with the grains. With the RIS, beersmith showed me I needed 9.18gal of space for the mash and judging by the picture I posted in my previous post - it looked about right. I am confident that I could easily hold out about 0.5-1gallon more of water in favor of a couple lbs of grain for an even higher ABV beer if one wanted to. The biggest advantage of the malt-pipe is the ease of sparging as it was designed. With the bag only, if sparging, you just need to figure out a sparge method you are comfortable with.

When I contacted Wilser last year about the bag and talked with him about the foundry, I wanted it to be as flexible as I could. So we sized it for the kettle itself and not the malt-pipe. Very glad I did that so that I have the flexibility of running this system several different ways.
The malt pipe is my only gripe with this thing. Every single brew, whether I use a bag or just the basket, it will find a way to fall back in and splash wort everywhere. I think my next brew I will try that brewzilla false bottom. I went back and read your post and just out of curiosity, what was your grind size? I may have missed it in an earlier post if you mentioned it.
 
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