Input on frame build

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mendozer

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I finished an electric control panel and now it's time to build a frame. I have a previously build two tier frame made of ankle iron I could use I guess, but I wanted to make it more compact now. (its like 5-6 feet long)

I'm not set on 2, 2.5, 3 tier designs just yet but I know i want the boil kettle high to allow for plate chilling into my fermonsters. I have two pumps so I don't really care if HLT is above or below MT. I liked the tree design bc it's more compact but maybe harder to weld sturdy. I even thought of a single riser with the three tuns rotating around it like the old Blichman TopTier but again structural integrity matters. Can't be dropping my 15 gallon keggle because of poor welding or design.
I will like to mount the E-panel to the side somewhere, probably the left based on where I'm envisioning this being. Anyone have clear input on why one design, height, order, might be better than another? One reason to have MT above the BK in a 2.5 tier is if a pump dies then I can still do my HERMs mash and gravity drain into the keggle. I'm 5'10" ad I'd like this keggle to be no higher than 5' off the ground for comfortable use.
 

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Bean

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You have no reason to go into the HLT on the regular so that should be mounted as high as you are comfortable with. You can then mount your BK and MT the same height. I would then try to mount the pump as high as possible between the MT and BK so I can still gravity / pressure prime it but remove as much vertical distance to keep pressure up. I like to have my BK out to be just about the same height as my kegs so in a pinch I can always use gravity to drain in the event of a pump failure.

I guess your closest drawing to that would be the first one. If you went with the third I would flip the HLT and MT and make a tippy dump for easier cleanup
 
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mendozer

mendozer

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I went outside and measured my old stand because I forgot how big it was. Turns out not that long. I somehow remember it being quite long. 54.5 long because I had HLT above and MT next to BK before. It's only 16" deep which was fine bc my kettle and keg fit inside that. The HERMs pot is a bit wider than that. I could possibly add a shelf bracket below the HLT part and slide the MT underneath, then cut the overall 54.5" length down to probably 32-36". I can easily add a bracket for mounting the pumps.
I was thinking both pumps would be under the MT, one on the left and one on the right. Left one going up to HERMS coil, then when read right one up to BK. I see alot of people circulate the HLT too, not sure if I care to do that or not. Seems like everyone likes circulating everything. For pumps this is where the one tier notion comes in handy, minimizing tubing loss.
 

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mendozer

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this is going to be inside a utility room, right in front of a five foot window that slides. This will allow me to put a box fan in the window to suck out the boiling steam
 
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mendozer

mendozer

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ok the gears were turning last night and I thought of another design. For now, I'm going to use my old one since it is OK at best. But the HLT is wider than the 16x16 frame currently. I suppose I could weld up extension brackets but that's weird. sticking out an inch on all 4 sides up there. I came up with an almost transformers like stand. Single vertical column for storage, with two fold up shelves on the side (heavy duty shelf brackets, holds something like 650/pair). They're 16" long so an 18" shelf will be on it. Those will hold HLT and BK for brew day. The control panel can be mounted above at chest or head level, or perhaps to the side. This way my pumps are permanently attached to the level just barely below the work height. It will allow me to have just 2 water tubing lengths, 3 wort lengths. My plate chiller can flip up under the BK shelf as well. All of this can be under 62" total height with ideal workstation height of 26" which allows the keggle top to be at 50". The frame in storage will have an 18x18 footprint. I'm not sure it can ever be more compact than that.
 

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Bean

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Compact design indeed! If you wanted to get crazier, HLT storage becomes MLT permanent location with the pump mount under for gravity priming. slides out for easy cleaning, HLT goes where MT is listed with control control panel in front of it on a swing arm so if you need to get in there you can. HLT shelf now becomes a work space on brew day.

I would then install a simple dump valve in the bottom middle of the HLT so you can direct dump into the MLT, removing all the connections and tube loss from the HLT to MT, then you have a decated pump for re-circulation / moving from MT to BK, and then one for for BK re-circulation and chilling. You really could go down to one pump with quick disconnects if you wanted.
 

Deadalus

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You might tip that thing if your BK was full and the HLT was empty. You may also envelope your panel with steam with it being above.

Recirculation in the HLT is helpful to keep temperatures steady. Temperature is measured at the temp probe. If it is teed off the out valve, like mine is as an example, there is no flow really without the pump running and the probe does not read correctly in my case. But wherever you put the temp probe there is variation in temperature throughout the vessel that can be reduced with recirculation.

With two pumps you can stay on one level. If your vessels were the same height than you can optimize the height for all three. Using more than one level you are probably not because you are placing at least one vessel higher than it needs to be for working and also straining the pump more. You can optimize for the times your 2 pumps are working properly (should be the majority and really most of the time) vs the one time a pump breaks. In other words don't focus on the minor exception, particularly since even if one pump breaks you have two.

If you use one pump for just water, you need at a minimum five hoses as you posted, two for the water (out, in) and three for the mash (in, out to HERMS coil, out of HERMS coil to MT). You do also need to make sure that they can reach the BK, so decide on pump location and size accordingly. They may also need to run to a chiller.

Consider how you will be chilling your wort and whether you need space for the chiller.
 
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mendozer

mendozer

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Compact design indeed! If you wanted to get crazier, HLT storage becomes MLT permanent location with the pump mount under for gravity priming. slides out for easy cleaning, HLT goes where MT is listed with control control panel in front of it on a swing arm so if you need to get in there you can. HLT shelf now becomes a work space on brew day.

I would then install a simple dump valve in the bottom middle of the HLT so you can direct dump into the MLT, removing all the connections and tube loss from the HLT to MT, then you have a decated pump for re-circulation / moving from MT to BK, and then one for for BK re-circulation and chilling. You really could go down to one pump with quick disconnects if you wanted.
Interesting putting the MT lower. I figured the idea here was to keep things level for brew day vs the tiered approach. IDK what you mean by dump valve. There's already a ball valve that can gravity sparge/pitch water into MLT if it was above. I wasn't planning on recirculating the BK for concerns of pump strain, also it's boiling, so what am I going to benefit from circulating boil? And I normally just gravity feed into my plate chiller just below. In the past I mount it 6" below which is enough to prime and come out into the fermenter.
 
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mendozer

mendozer

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You might tip that thing if your BK was full and the HLT was empty. You may also envelope your panel with steam with it being above.

Recirculation in the HLT is helpful to keep temperatures steady. Temperature is measured at the temp probe. If it is teed off the out valve, like mine is as an example, there is no flow really without the pump running and the probe does not read correctly in my case. But wherever you put the temp probe there is variation in temperature throughout the vessel that can be reduced with recirculation.

With two pumps you can stay on one level. If your vessels were the same height than you can optimize the height for all three. Using more than one level you are probably not because you are placing at least one vessel higher than it needs to be for working and also straining the pump more. You can optimize for the times your 2 pumps are working properly (should be the majority and really most of the time) vs the one time a pump breaks. In other words don't focus on the minor exception, particularly since even if one pump breaks you have two.

If you use one pump for just water, you need at a minimum five hoses as you posted, two for the water (out, in) and three for the mash (in, out to HERMS coil, out of HERMS coil to MT). You do also need to make sure that they can reach the BK, so decide on pump location and size accordingly. They may also need to run to a chiller.

Consider how you will be chilling your wort and whether you need space for the chiller.
There shouldn't be too much steam coming from the MT or even the HLT as they're sub 170 degrees. The boil of course and I intend to keep the panel away from that. I recently saw the TV mount idea and I like it, so I may do that. I tried finding some form of calculation to figure out leverage and tipping points. all I came up with was as long as the central mass is equal to the boil kettle mass and the distance to the center of gravity is fixed at that 18" or really 18 +9" then it shouldn't tip. The panel is also 43 lbs so if that's swung over there at a higher point that helps. And I currently use a keg for BK but I'm scouring craigslist for a 10 gallon pot with valve since 15 has always been overkill anyways. I don't brew 10 gallons at a time and if I ever came to that, I can just use the keggle i suppose. my plate chiller will be just below. no need to pump that one, or at least i haven't in the past. I just soak it in starsan during brewing after shooting water into it back and forth a few times to get into all the plates.
 

Deadalus

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Yes the steam will be coming off the BK. and moisture from the HLT. I have my panel on a telescoping arm, left right up down in out. I would caution using a 240V panel as a counterweight. I have three keggles, all vessels being the same on the outside, the HLT is heaviest due to the coil. Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon, so the HLT is actually the heaviest when the BK is empty. I also happen to have a dining room table built like you're planning, except you are planning on wheels at the bottom of the legs. The table is tippy. No problems with dinner but a full HLT on one side, it would go down. I can push on the edge to make it tip. I understand wanting to repurpose your stand but you may he creating an opportunity for a bad spill.
 

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mendozer

mendozer

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hmm that's good input. I was even looking on craigslist to find a 10 gallon kettle so i wouldn't have to use my heavy keggle, making it even more lopsided for the HLT. I suppose I can put a black iron pipe flange on the bottom of the shelf piece and screw in a pipe for added rigidity just in case. or hell just make the entire shelf two steel pipe legs to the floor and hot even deal with the pricey heavy duty hinge. My current stand will suffice temporarily but I'll have to make something new anyways to accommodate the new HLT so i might as well make it as custom as possible and floor space is a premium when not brewing.
 
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mendozer

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i snagged a Bayou 10 gallon pot that has a false bottom with it. So that will become my new MT. My existing 10 gallon HLT will become my new BK (save the 15 gallon keggle for the rare big batch). This makes the stand plans even more compact now that I don't have to store a 24 inch tall keggle.
 
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