Ebiab design questions

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cchristoph

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I'm coming off a five year hiatus and excited to get back into it. That excitement has cost me some money though as I originally planned to build a 3v herms and spazzed out buying stuff too soon.

Building a ebiab setup pretty much copying this BrewHardware design. I plan on doing 5 gallon batches primarily and am about to pull the trigger on a Spike 15G custom kettle.
  • Should I place the whirlpool port beneath the false bottom like BrewHardware has it or 4-5" above the pump port?
  • I already bought a riptide pump, is that going to be too much or am I good there?
  • I already bought a plate chiller, should I try to incorporate that or bite the bullet on a nice immersion chiller like BrewHardware suggests?
  • The lowest Spike can place the element port is 2" from the bottom, should I get a 2-1/4" false bottom or 3-1/4"?
  • Is the Locline recirculation part the way to go or are there better (I know that's subjective) alternatives?
Any other general advise or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Almost done building the control panel using a DSPR300 and 5500w element.
 

Nick Poggetti

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I designed mine based upon Bobby's design as well, using his video here:


  • Whirlpool - I have no real input or advice, I can just provide my experience with where mine is located. It's top port on the Standard Spike Kettle, with 2 vertically aligned ports. Works just fine.
  • Riptide is worth every penny in my opinion. Keep it.
  • No experience with plate chillers... But after using a CFC for a while, the switch back to immersion was a good change for me. Less cleaning and maintenance and no worry about nooks and crannies I can't see for cleaning.
  • Can't comment on elemenant location. I have the Blichmann Boilcoil, and don't need a false bottom with that element. Only downside to that element is the cost vs a lot of others ones, and that it doesn't come with easily removal TC connection for cleaning. But that's not a huge deal.
  • Lots of folks swear by the locline, so I'm sure it works great. I have not used it. I have the Ss Brewtech Mash recirc. manifold which I had bought on an earlier 3 vessel system I had used before switching to this set up. I think it works great, but Locline is cheaper I believe.

One of the best upgrades I made to my set up was running two PVC lines to my kettle. One pressurized with water, the other not pressurized that drops into my garage sink 20 feet away. Makes cleaning an absolute breeze these days.
 

Bobby_M

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I'm coming off a five year hiatus and excited to get back into it. That excitement has cost me some money though as I originally planned to build a 3v herms and spazzed out buying stuff too soon.

Building a ebiab setup pretty much copying this BrewHardware design. I plan on doing 5 gallon batches primarily and am about to pull the trigger on a Spike 15G custom kettle.
  • Should I place the whirlpool port beneath the false bottom like BrewHardware has it or 4-5" above the pump port?
  • I already bought a riptide pump, is that going to be too much or am I good there?
  • I already bought a plate chiller, should I try to incorporate that or bite the bullet on a nice immersion chiller like BrewHardware suggests?
  • The lowest Spike can place the element port is 2" from the bottom, should I get a 2-1/4" false bottom or 3-1/4"?
  • Is the Locline recirculation part the way to go or are there better (I know that's subjective) alternatives?
Any other general advise or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Almost done building the control panel using a DSPR300 and 5500w element.
With the spike element height, the 3-1/4 is just enough.. It may even touch the element on the perimeter a bit. When I weld it, I'm able to use 2-3/4 Legs.

I strongly believe putting the whirlpool higher is a mistake. You will have temp stability problems and it will be too late.
The heart of my design is the ability to stir and recirc at the same time. If you dont do that, its not my design.

I have been testing different designs on systems like this for several years so I didnt haphazardly arrive at the current design.
 
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cchristoph

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Wasn't suggesting it's haphazard. There's a million different designs out there just asking for opinions. If it was higher I would still recirc and mix using the three way valve it would just be in a different position. I'll take your advise though and appreciate the response.
 

Hwk-I-St8

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Not sure about the whirlpool port location. I've had one down low, the current one is about 3" above the drain port and offset to the side (not directly above).

Riptides rock. I have two for my KRIMS rig....easy to control, easy to clean and quiet.

For 5 gallon batches, it's my opinion that there's zero reason to go counterflow or plate chiller. Harder to clean with zero benefit. It's controversial, but the only way I'd do anything other than a hydra is if my batches were large enough that an immersion chiller wasn't a viable option.

Bobby can help. I got a BIAB false bottom (I thought it was from him) that had legs that were SS bolts that screw in. The ones that came with it weren't long enough when I went from gas to electric. I just went to the hardware store and bought an assortment of SS bolts of varying lengths and experimented to get the right fit.

I'm not a hot side aeration zealot, but I do the easy stuff to avoid it. I underlet (not really an option with BIAB) and I have my recirc return as a SS float that the hose runs through so that the return is just under the surface of the wort. That has worked very well for me.
 
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cchristoph

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Following Bobby's exact build. Just got a little gun shy after buying a bunch of crap I ended up not using and started questioning the build more than I needed to.

Now to buy a Ferm chamber and kegging equipment. I'm going broke.
 

Bobby_M

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Not beating a dead horse but the whirlpool needs to be under the bag to have it do anything during the mash. I keep forgetting to take a post whirlpool picture in my kettle to help dispel the occasional myth that whirlpool position, and many other factors make a huge difference in trub pile formation.

People have also said that ripple elements and or BIAB false bottoms dont allow for trub piles. I dont have problems with any of that stuff.
 
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cchristoph

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Not beating a dead horse but the whirlpool needs to be under the bag to have it do anything during the mash. I keep forgetting to take a post whirlpool picture in my kettle to help dispel the occasional myth that whirlpool position, and many other factors make a huge difference in trub pile formation.

People have also said that ripple elements and or BIAB false bottoms dont allow for trub piles. I dont have problems with any of that stuff.
Definitely appreciate the design. Excited to finish the build and have my first brew day in many years.

In your opinion is it worth waiting for the 15.5” false bottom to be back in stock or will the 14.75” work just the same?
 

Nick Poggetti

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Not beating a dead horse but the whirlpool needs to be under the bag to have it do anything during the mash. I keep forgetting to take a post whirlpool picture in my kettle to help dispel the occasional myth that whirlpool position, and many other factors make a huge difference in trub pile formation.
That's interesting to hear - Like I mentioned above, I pieced together my own version based loosely on yours per the video from stuff I already owned and didn't bother going custom with the Spike Kettle, just used a standard NPT with 2 vertical couplers that they offer.

Let's keep beating that dead horse. Am I wasting my time whirlpooling during the mash back in through that top coupler? I guess it can't hurt since I'm already set up for it.

Sorry @cchristoph to hijack the thread away from your question!
 

Bobby_M

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That's interesting to hear - Like I mentioned above, I pieced together my own version based loosely on yours per the video from stuff I already owned and didn't bother going custom with the Spike Kettle, just used a standard NPT with 2 vertical couplers that they offer.

Let's keep beating that dead horse. Am I wasting my time whirlpooling during the mash back in through that top coupler? I guess it can't hurt since I'm already set up for it.

Sorry @cchristoph to hijack the thread away from your question!
They also make a standard kettle with two lower horizontal ports which is what I base my design on but that's only for the 10 and 15 gallon kettles. The 20g in that configuration is custom and they haven't been able to tell me why it's not a standard offering.

If you send wort into the upper whirlpool port while the bag is installed, the flow really doesn't have anywhere to go. The point of sending wort into the whirlpool port during the mash is to make sure the temperature is fully consistent in the lower area where the element and probe is located. Probably the best compromise is to use the Spike edge pickup (assuming NPT ports) and have the output rotated so that it's laying on the false bottom. It would then shoot wort into the bottom area.
 
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cchristoph

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@Bobby_M any guidance on whether I should wait for your 15.5” false bottom or would your 14.75” one work equally as well for a 15G spike?
 

Hwk-I-St8

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Not beating a dead horse but the whirlpool needs to be under the bag to have it do anything during the mash. I keep forgetting to take a post whirlpool picture in my kettle to help dispel the occasional myth that whirlpool position, and many other factors make a huge difference in trub pile formation.

People have also said that ripple elements and or BIAB false bottoms dont allow for trub piles. I dont have problems with any of that stuff.
I'm confused. What's the value of whirlpooling the wort that's below bag during the mash?

I just brewed Saturday. As far as ripple elements or false bottoms messing up trub cones....I have not seen that ever. I used to have a recirculating BIAB and had nice trub cones with the false bottom and ripple element in place. I now have a KRIMS rig, use an immersion chiller (Jaded Hydra) and even with that I get a very nice trub cone. The key is to let it sit for a few minutes after you turn the pump off.

I use a spincycle I got from you and it works very well.
 

k-os

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I have a 15 gallon spike kettle with 4 TC ports 90 degrees from each other. I also use a Riptide and Blichmann Therminator Plate Chiller. Here's my setup using the quick-detach mount from Blichmann for the plate chiller. I use a steam slayer off the side of my kettle so I bag all my hop additions and drape the bag over the side of the kettle.

My whirlpool port is below my false bottom, which I leave in during the boil, and have no issues forming a decent cone of break material.

For recirculation I use the SS Brewtech Recirculation Manifold.



Here's a better view of my pump and chiller plate that I now have mounted off the side of my table.
 

mnbrewr

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I'm a bit late here since you've probably already purchased, but I have Bobby's system and started out with a riptide and CFC that was from my previous system (instead of the topsflo pump and immersion chiller). You'll have to decide if you want to keep the CFC "in-line" during the whole mash or just hook it in during the chilling phase. If its there the whole time then its acting like a radiator during your mash, potentially making your temp control system work harder than it needs to, but if you only add it in during chilling you're moving hoses around and potentially spilling a little bit of hot wort while doing this change. Certainly manageable but something to consider. I ultimately ended up buying the topsflo and immersion chiller and running it just like Bobby shows in his video. Its a well thought out system and I'm really enjoying brewing on it.
 

Bobby_M

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I'm confused. What's the value of whirlpooling the wort that's below bag during the mash?
Two benefits.
1. Completely negates temperature stratification in that liquid area, which is otherwise likely because you have a very powerful heat source and a temperature probe down there and there is no assurance that simple over the top recirculation will stir that area enough for good stability.
2. Since you really want to reduce the over the top recirculation to 2 liters per minute or less, splitting it off to whirlpool at the same time lets the pump breathe and it makes that slow upper flow so much easier to dial in because the whirlpool relieves some output pressure.
 

KBW PilotHouse

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Two benefits.
1. Completely negates temperature stratification in that liquid area, which is otherwise likely because you have a very powerful heat source and a temperature probe down there and there is no assurance that simple over the top recirculation will stir that area enough for good stability.
2. Since you really want to reduce the over the top recirculation to 2 liters per minute or less, splitting it off to whirlpool at the same time lets the pump breathe and it makes that slow upper flow so much easier to dial in because the whirlpool relieves some output pressure.
Bobby I like your system. Just one question though: you don’t recommend disassembly of your 3-way way valves, so how do you ensure you don’t have a lot of crud in them after a lot of use?

Cheers🍻
 

Bobby_M

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Pump recirculate hot pbw with the handle in the 45 degree positions. That lets the cleaner get behind the seats. I've transitioned from the 3way to a tee with two regular valves. I already needed a second valve on the recirc for throttling so the 3way became redundant.
 

yorkeken

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Pump recirculate hot pbw with the handle in the 45 degree positions. That lets the cleaner get behind the seats. I've transitioned from the 3way to a tee with two regular valves. I already needed a second valve on the recirc for throttling so the 3way became redundant.
Hi Bobby… thinking about transitioning to a single vessel BIAB and plan to model it based on your video. Could you by chance post a photo of your new tee/valve setup mentioned above for the recirculation/whirlpool? Thanks.
 

yorkeken

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Thanks Bobby… I’m thinking seriously about selling my entire 2 vessel, KRIMS system and transition to a BIAB setup to work in a smaller space. I really like how you’ve set things up with the multifunction recirculation/whirlpool.
 

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Bobby, what’s the fit like on the 14.75” false bottom vs the 15.5” in the Spike v4 15g? Do you have an ETA on the 15.5”?
 

Bobby_M

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It's just a little loose. The 15.5 almost touches the sides. The 14.75 has a 3/8" wide gap all the way around and I've brewed that way for a few years. The 15.5 is on a boat somewhere.
 

dzimm27

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Right on. Why did I wait so long?!?! Leave it to home brewers to fret over 3/4”. That’s me to a T. Your work on the kettle was amazing. Thanks!
 
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