Brew Stand Theory. Your input?

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SpentBrains

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I have finally acquired a third ss keg and am heading to the local scrap yard for some materials I've already spied on a recon mission this morning. Goal is to weld up the main frame and trolly system... that will be fitted out once it's on wheels. It'd be nice to work to a plan, but honestly I am a tinkerer, so building and modifying along the way is part of the fun for me. Function far more important than how it looks at least until I've proven the design. I am certainly looking for input. Although dodging big pitfalls would be good, I don't care if 3 months from now I cut this one in half and head back to the scrap yard for materials to build try #2, armed with a much better understanding of what I should have built first time around. The basic idea is your typical welded single tier pilot system:

-Pneumatic? but for sure wheeled. Considering 12.5" bike tires.

-lower profile to facilitate dough in and stirring.

- a tilt dump, swivel mounted MT to facilitate clean out

-at least one pump in the system, maybe one for each vessel rather than quick disconnects?

-not much wider than the kegs are inline, for ease of parking it along the garage wall, but wide enough that a safe center of gravity is maintained especially while tilting the MT and simultaneously boiling 10+ gallons on the boil end

-at least one propane burner as one keg is already outfitted with 2 120v heat elements and a low point threaded bushing mount ball valve drain.

-a sparge arm

-End or side mounted counterflow wort chiller


Potential add ons:

-direct propane fired mash tun heat

-electronic controls. This is where I really need to learn more. I tend to be more of a manual control person, but temp sensors, timers, alarms etc are obvious improvements when trying to achieve repeatability.

Because I've always batch sparged in a retangular cooler, then combined first runnings with second runnings for the boil, I'm not entirely certain that I understand how a kettle MT is best utilized in these systems. Do most of you heat water in the HLT, then transfer it to the MT during or prior to dough in? Then I guess you do nothing but your rest(s) or circulation to maintain and hold temp at rests right? Next you start adding more hot water as you drain MT back into HLT raising temps and sparging until high 165-168 then mashout? Lastly pumping to the boil kettle? If my understanding is correct, I can run with it, but I've watched at least 20 videos and read 50 forum posts and nobody seems to explain the theory as a first order of business... They throw valves and reconnect hoses to new locations, but I must just not be sharp enough to follow what is exactly being done and in what order...

And another thing why does this forums auto correct always change words like sparge, mashout ?:mad: Is there a way to turn off the %^&#! spell check?
 
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SpentBrains

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$50 Worth of scraps I plan to build the frame out of



A few of the kegs destined to become keggels.

 

TechyDork

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And another thing why does this forums auto correct always change words like sparge, mashout ?:mad: Is there a way to turn off the %^&#! spell check?

You can right click on them and pick "add to dictionary", at least it works in Chrome, but should in IE and Fire Fox as well.
 
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SpentBrains

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Id forgo Pneumatic tires if it were me..just another thing to go wrong on brew day. Large Soft non marring rubber clad hard swivels would be my choice.

http://www.harborfreight.com/6-in-rubber-heavy-duty-swivel-caster-61651.html


Thanks so far. I will consider solid caster wheels but I dislike the way they roll. I have a welding table, two welders, a large drill press and a few other things all on caster equipped frames and they all annoy me. They stick on little pebbles or even metal shavings. They never lock like they should. I guess my complaint is that unless your garage/shop is spotless, the wheel diameter just isn't large enough to cope with less than mirror perfect floors. I don't have far to roll the brew stand to brew, but the surfaces between where it will stow and where I typically brew are not anywhere close to perfect. In addition to your concern, I also worry about flame heat near the pneumatic tires.

Anyhow, I got the frame sides underway. Working with painted and powder coated scrap metal of all differed thicknesses and sizes is challenging... :roll eyes: Can I say PITA with out getting banned? ...but it sure will be affordable...

Need to run to get more shield gas, but here's one side

 
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SpentBrains

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At least now it's a frame:



Planing some flat work space on one or both ends, so it's a little longer than minimum space needed to hold just 3 kegs. Does anyone have any recommendations on optimal spacing between kegs? can they be too far apart?



Been a while since I've welded much, so it took a little currency practice and a few crappy looking welds. For sure it is NOT like riding a bike. If you're not welding often, good results are elusive. The black tube is all .085" thickness, but the long silver tubes were a bunk bed frame and it's only .035"or so. It's nice and light so far, but working with that stuff makes the welding tedious:

 
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SpentBrains

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Hey Still raining. Check this out. $3 golf caddy tires from the thrift store. Best of both worlds; Large diameter and solid never go flat rubber clad tires!

 
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SpentBrains

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Once it warmed up I was able to work most of the day on the stand. Here's the latest update. Super encouraged by Tony Yates' youtube posts! Helped me resolve a lot of my advanced system understanding concerns.

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37tgHGH7bFk[/ame]
 
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SpentBrains

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Finally gotten back on that "bike" I seemed to have fallen off of, as I am once again making better and consistent welds. Most of the scrap tube I'm building with is .035

 
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SpentBrains

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Found some time and warmer temps to work on the stand some more today. I'd bought used Hoffman boxes in the past, but shudder at the cost of shipping and the fact that there's often a compromise...like the size isn't ideal, or there are more holes in the box than you wanted. Here's my "FREE!!!!" homemade, welded, repurposed, sheetmetal, panel enclosure.




The control pane box (although not perfectly square) will get a nicer bolt down cover plate and mount on the swivel arm just to the right of the brew stand. Brewing will be from RIGHT to LEFT!!!!!!!




Some people read from right to left, but they don't usually like beer.
 
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SpentBrains

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Got the pump mount brackets/plates welded in and added outlet stanchions

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyDTL1-GtZ8[/ame]
 
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SpentBrains

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Hooray!!!!! Finally got the control box milled out. Ready to start some wiring tomorrow.



Noticeably absent? an audible alarm, a timer and probably most disappointing, a key to "prevent un-authorized brewing" (whatever that is...I'm thinking elves.)
 

gicts

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Lookin good!

Would you (or anyone else) comment on the seemingly standard control panel placement?

I've been kicking around building a single tier. While the panel looks cool, I'm envisioning a cabinet and counter to house the tank and panel, plus give you some work space. I attached a rough vandalized image I found on Google.

Do the burners throw off too much heat? The propane tank location would be no different than where you all put it or within a grill, right?

Brew_Stand.png
 
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SpentBrains

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Lookin good!

Would you (or anyone else) comment on the seemingly standard control panel placement?

I've been kicking around building a single tier. While the panel looks cool, I'm envisioning a cabinet and counter to house the tank and panel, plus give you some work space. I attached a rough vandalized image I found on Google.

Do the burners throw off too much heat? The propane tank location would be no different than where you all put it or within a grill, right?

Workspace is a great idea, so long as you don't have to store that too... I'm already eyeing my next build which will be a single vessel system for two reasons: Ease of cleanup and storage footprint. I'll likely incorporate some sort of fold out work space and some onboard storage for tools that only get used for brewing.

On the heat issue? Until my last few brew sessions, I've been using coolers and a turkey fryer in the driveway. When I built this stand, I incorporated the burner i'd been using so that I could still brew while I built out the rest of the electronics. It doesn't seem to get too hot outside of the intended area, but don't forget eventually this will primarily be an electric system. I may even insulate the kegs. I'll leave the burner in there just in case of a component failure, or less likely an power outage mid brew session, where propane could save the batch and the day.
 
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