Meet Thing 1. A 5Kw Induction All In One...

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brewman !

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Meet Thing1.

Thing1 has:
- 5 Kw Induction heating
- an 11 gallon boil kettle
- a 8 gallon grain "basket"
- a CraftBrewPi controller
- a March pump
- a custom welded SS frame with wheels
- a 4F/minute heat rate for 6 gallons without a lid. The boil is vigorous.

I built Thing1 because I wanted an all in one brewing system for kitchen brewing and I wasn't happy with what was being offered on the market - the GrainFather, Robobrew and Mash and Boil.

I love the concept of the GrainFather - automated, compact, portable, enables hands off brewing in the kitchen, etc. I just don't like how some things were implemented on the GF and the other all in ones for that matter. So this is my custom GF if you will, a GF on steroids, the ultimate kitchen brewing system.

I'm a busy guy with kids. I don't have time to sit alone in my basement and brew. My brewing has to occur when I'm multi tasking and that means I need to brew where my family is, in the kitchen.

What I didn't like about the current all in ones:

- the grain baskets were too small
- the boil kettles were too small
- the heating elements were under powered
- they use a small custom pump prone to plugging
- the controllers offered limited programmability and connectivity.
- they sit too low. (I'm 6'1".)
- they all have niggling issues, like the hop filter on the GF falls off, etc.

I would have been fine brewing with stand alone kettles and an induction plate. The 3500w plates have decent power but there doesn't seem to be an easy way to wire a controller into them. And the coil diameter is small relative to most brewing pots. And I don't really have counter space to set up a bunch of kettles. So that was a non starter.

I also thought about using a radiant element assembly from a ceramic stove top to heat a kettle. The biggest one I could find was 3,000 watts, which would have been OK. But I worried about scorching the wort due to possible high boil kettle bottom temps. The boil kettle bottom temp should be the same on the inside surface whether using a radiant element or induction, but the difference is that induction warms the pot bottom directly whereas a radiant element gets really hot to heat the pot bottom.

I also considered using a hot water heater element in a kettle, but they generally increase the underlet volume by a lot. And I don't like BIAB. Thus I decided to give induction a try.

So I bought a stand alone induction power supply, figured out the coil design and then built a stand on wheels around it. Then I tied the pump into the stand for convenience. And then I integrated CraftBeerPi as the controller. Wala... Thing1 was born.

The mash underlet water volume on Thing1 is a bit less than 1 gallon. More than I'd like but it leaves a bit of water out of the mash for fly sparging.

The underlet volume on Thing1 is governed by the height of the hop screen in the bottom of the brew kettle. If I remove the hop screen I can set the grain basket right on the bottom and the underlet volume is essentially zero. I also thought about using a bottom drain on the kettle but decided against it because it was convenient for electrical reasons to mount the induction power supply right beneath the induction coil.

Thing1 has a larger footprint than a GF. A GF fits in a 15" circle. Thing1 has a 20x24" base. But Thing1 is on wheels and sits much higher. I'd probably build a stand for a GF if I brewed with it., so that negates any size disadvantage that Thing1 has.

I love that Thing1 is on wheels. It has a 5 foot cord and I wired a 240V GFCI protected outlet under the sink in my kitchen. I can roll Thing1 up to the sink for filling, chilling and cleaning and yet roll it out of the way if I want to prep a meal or wash things. Multi tasking, remember ?

I was worried about scorching with such a high power heating system. I measured the underside pot temp on Thing1 at full boil (208F where I live) and found it to be 240F. The underside pot temp at less than boil is typically 25ish F higher than the liquid inside.

Thing1's induction coil is 12 inches in diameter. 5,000 watts / 113 in^2 = 44.2 watts/ in^2. Ultra low watt density hot water heater elements are supposed to be 50 watts/in^2 or less, but when I calculate their area, I get more like 80 watts/in^2.

Thing1's stand is 14.5" high. The top of the boil pot is 32" high. I'm 6'1", so lifting the grain basket isn't a problem. I think this is the perfect height for both lifting the grains out and for watching the brewing process.

The 3 way valves on the pump are great for priming the pump and I can pump from an HLT to the mash bucket to fly sparge or from the boil kettle to the chiller, all with only 1 pump.

The base without the kettle weighs about 25 pounds, so there is no problem hauling it up a flight of stairs. It takes 2 trips to move it, but so would a GF with base and at least the boil kettle has handles. GFs have no handles.

The wheels make Thing1 easy to move. Everything stores nicely in a closet.

The boil kettle just sits on the base. Any induction kettle will work. The kettle has handles so it is easy to lift up to a sink to drain out.

I'm still tweaking Thing1. I've been out of brewing for a long time. Thing1 makes brewing SO easy compared to what I used to do. (Propane hermes with keggles, manual control !) I'm very happy I built it.

20190122_223029.jpg


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brewman !

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If I had to do it again, I might turn the pump upside down for more head on the inlet and for easier priming. It works OK as it is though. It is nice to have the 3 way valves high like they are.

The RPi3 in the control box is running CraftBeerPi. Very inexpensive, easy to set up and versatile. I love using a tablet to control things.
 
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Pick up in the bottom of the boil kettle to keep hops out of the chiller. I could actually mash in this vessel.
20181225_182946.jpg
 
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Screen in the bottom of the grain basket. I'm going to put a stand pipe in the middle ala the GrainFather. I'll use GrainFather or RoboBrew parts.

20181224_085741.jpg
 
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brewman !

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I’d like to know about the induction plate you are using for one.
It's not a plate. I bought a stand alone induction power supply and then wound an induction coil to work with it.
 
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Jbrown57

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Sweet build.
Any info on the final filter coil below the screen?
I have been looking for one. Where did you source it?
Jb
 
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Sweet build.
Any info on the final filter coil below the screen?
I have been looking for one. Where did you source it?
Jb
You mean the hop filter in the bottom of the boil kettle ? I built that from scratch. The SS mesh came from a bathroom water supply line. The rest is just a copper tee with a short piece of pipe for nipples.

I like the quote in your footer. "Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence. Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision."

It took a bit of belief and persistence to put this thing together and get it working.
 
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Here is what the CraftBeerPi controller screen looks like. You can access the process from any browser and view and control it from multiple browsers at once.

CraftBeerPi operating.png


It is an open source project, so you can tweak things if you want.

There are charts and logs for temperatures and duty cycles. It is very easy to add another pot, heater, pump or temp sensor. There are tons of software add ons, including various different types of PID loops, complete with an Autotune app.

If that isn't enough, the development manual gives instructions on how to write your own addons in Python.

You can actually set up 2 controllers that use the same temp sensor and heater, but for different purposes. I have 1 controller set up for mashing and another for boiling and they use different PID algorithms and tuning ! They both control the induction coil ! (This is not shown in the screenshot I took. I'll grab a new one the next time I fire it up.)

On the left are the brewing steps. CraftBeerPi will import steps from the more popular brewing software apps or you can edit a brew process right in the browser. Because you can access CBPi from any browser, you can upload and edit brewing steps to it straight from the computer you run your brewing software on.

I generally run Thing1 from a 10 inch Samsung tablet. I works great. You could run a display, keyboard and mouse right from the RPi too. It is, after all, a full fledged computer running Linux. I personally like the control UI being wireless and away from the mess of the actual brewing.

CraftBeerPi is very easy to set up on an RPi and wire into a brewing system. Way, way easier than building a panel.

www.CraftBeerPi.com

PS: CraftBeerPi can also run fermentors.
 
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The 3-way ball valves are a great idea for chilling/sparging. Hope I can use this solution for my next project.

Hope to get some info after the first batch.
 
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The 3-way ball valves are a great idea for chilling/sparging. Hope I can use this solution for my next project.
I got the idea from someone who put a 3 way valve on the outlet of a GF. I took it one step further and put one on both the inlet and outlet. They are also great for draining the system. Just put a tray beneath and open them up.

FYI, there are 2 different types of 3 way valves. This one will connect three ports. The other type will only connect 2 adjacent ports.

I placed the pump so that the inlet cam lock was roughly in line with the back of the stand. This means the catch tray has to be placed right next to the wheel to catch the drain off from the inlet tri valve. If I did it over, I'd center the pump on the frame so the catch tray isn't tight to the wheel. I might change it someday.

Hope to get some info after the first batch.
I'll keep the thread updated.

Presently the induction coil gets very hot. Like 300F. I need to add some air flow to the case to cool the induction coil. I'll brew as soon as I get that resolved. I've done several test boils and this is the only issue that has come up thus far, with this iteration. There were some implosions prior to this iteration...
 
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I don't see your Pi in any on your pictures. Do you have any pictures of how you have the Pi wired into your system? Separate enclosure from your induction unit?
 
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I don't see your Pi in any on your pictures. Do you have any pictures of how you have the Pi wired into your system? Separate enclosure from your induction unit?
The RPi3 is mounted to the front panel of the control box, on its side. That is why you don't see it. But it is in there.

As for wiring, here are the connections:

Power
+5V supply in the control box goes to 5V pin on the RPi.
Supply ground goes to the common supply ground point.
Common supply ground goes to one of the ground pins on the RPi.

One Wire Temp Sensors
The One Wire VCC wire goes to a 3.3V pin on the RPi. You'll fry the RPi if you connect the One Wire VCC to 5V !
The One Wire Data wire goes to a GPIO pin. (CBPi dictates which one.)
The One Wire Gnd wire goes to one of the ground pins on the RPi, not to the common ground. This is for noise immunity.
You need to tie the OW VCC to OW Data with a 4.7K ohm resistor. I did this on one of the jacks I used to connect the sensors to the control box

I wired 2 temperature sensor jacks (1/8" stereo jacks) into my control box so that I can watch 2 temps at once. I might add more.

SSR
Vcontrol goes to a GPIO pin.
Vcommon goes to the common ground
CBPi lets you select which GPIO pin you want to use.


Opto isolated relays (I used 2 of them)
Vcontrol goes to a GPIO pin.
Vcommon goes to the common ground
CBPi lets you select which GPIO pin you want to use.

It is very simple to wire an RPi into a brewing system like this. Not much more work than wiring up a PID controller. 11 wires (5 of them grounds) to connect power, 2 temp sensors and 3 relays. Way, way less work than wiring up a manual panel. Here is the official CBPi hardware page. http://web.craftbeerpi.com/hardware/

I don't use the SSR right now. I might use a special RIMS heat exchanger for heating the mash in the future.
One of the relays is used for the pump.
The other relay turns the induction power on and off. The board itself is powered as soon as the unit is plugged into the outlet. The relay just closes a connection to enable output to the coil.

You can buy a CBPi adapter board for the RPi. It would save some space. It would simplify things even further. It includes a regulator to accept up to 12V for the RPi power. I didn't see the need for it as wiring the board directly was so easy.

FYI, CBPi can do PWM output from a GPIO pin.

I was worried the magnetic and electrical fields from the induction power supply board would cause problems with the RPi. But they haven't. I was also worried that the enclosure would kill the Wifi range. I can't comment on that much since my router is only 20 feet from the kitchen, but it works that far.

I didn't run any of the RPI ports (USB, Ethernet or HDMI) out of the case. I didn't see the need. As long as the board boots (it always has) and it connects to my network via Wifi, I can use remote tools like ssh to do anything I need to. The only wire that connects Thing1 to the outside world is the power cord.

The knob you see on the front panel in the pictures controls a 10 Kw variable power SCR. I need to test it more before I talk about it.
 
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brewman !

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Wiring photo?
See the 2nd image in the first post in this thread. The blue board is the induction power supply. I wired everything else. The RPi is along the bottom side of the enclosure. You can just see a few of the black push on pin connectors.
 
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A better angle. I told you it was in there. Took 2 hours to wire it and test it. Inexpensive too.

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Winding the induction coil. I twisted the cable together as well.

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Thanks for that. I hang out here and over at the CBPi forum looking for panel ideas. It's really interesting to see the different ways the Pi is being implemented in brewing controllers.
 
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Nice. In case there isn’t any, you might want to add circuit protection. Perhaps you are counting on an external breaker (GFI I hope), but it will not protect lower current items like the power supply.
 
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Nice. In case there isn’t any, you might want to add circuit protection. Perhaps you are counting on an external breaker (GFI I hope), but it will not protect lower current items like the power supply.
Huh ? What am I supposed to be protecting from what ?
 
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Huh ? What am I supposed to be protecting from what ?
Assuming your breaker is 30A, then all the wires “downstream” need to support that amount of current. Assuming you branch into smaller wires, and there is a short circuit fed by those wires, either those wires are going to become miniature heating elements, or the devices they feed are going to see far more current than they should in a fault situation. Either of which could cause an electrical fire.
 
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Assuming your breaker is 30A, then all the wires “downstream” need to support that amount of current. Assuming you branch into smaller wires, and there is a short circuit fed by those wires, either those wires are going to become miniature heating elements, or the devices they feed are going to see far more current than they should in a fault situation. Either of which could cause an electrical fire.
This thing is fed by a 20A rated plug on a 20A GFCI. The "downstream" AC wires are 14 ga. A short would trip the breaker, period, end of story. One could overload a 14 ga wire with 20A, but not to the point where it would become a heater, as you describe it. The AC wiring is not in contact with anything flammable. The case is metal. Should a wire get hot the insulation will melt off, the wire will droop and short out, causing the breaker to flip.

I could have put 15A breakers on the downstream AC circuits, but I'm OK without them.
 
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No heat sinks and no issues with the Pi getting too hot? I got overheat warnings continuously until I put a fan over the top of mine.
It ran fine. I thought I might have to put on heat sinks and a fan, but it seems OK. I didn't check the temp though. Maybe I will next time.

The induction coil gets hot. I ordered fans for the enclosure. I should have them on by next weekend.
 
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FWIW, I love the stand on Thing1. I hate the height of the all in ones.

I think all in ones are too low to be sitting directly on the floor, especially if you want to use the controller, especially on the Mash and Boil and RoboBrew, where the controllers are built into the base. You essentially have to kneel on the floor to set things up. The Grainfather is a bit better. With CraftBrewPi, I can have the controller wherever I want it.

The top of the boil kettle on Thing1 is 32 inches, counter top height. This puts it at a nice height to stir and watch the mash and still makes it easy to pull out the mash bucket. Some people put their all in ones on a counter. Then they need a step ladder to mash and pull out the mash bucket.
 
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I could have put 15A breakers on the downstream AC circuits, but I'm OK without them.
Indeed you will be OK, but as you know this doesn’t adhere to documented safety practices. In addition, as you know, the 5 kW induction circuitry (assuming that’s the input requirement) will exceed the rating of both the plug and feed circuit. The pump and DC power supply increase that overage further. It will certainly work, but erodes the SF engineered into the components.

One additional comment: your system would benefit from a kettle with an induction-friendly kettle. The Bayou has minimal ferro-magnetic properties but is very thin. A legit clad kettle may help your induction coil run cooler.

It’s your system, and it’s got some really cool and unique ideas incorporated. I don’t know of anyone building their own induction coil. Plus taking time to post up your build and share ideas is always commendable. Trust this feedback is not a condemnation of you, your system, or your efforts... Just ensuring that others reading this understand certain approaches don’t follow standards.
 

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I also considered using a hot water heater element in a kettle, but they generally increase the underlet volume by a lot. And I don't like BIAB. Thus I decided to give induction a try.
How does the basket function differently than a bag?
 
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1) When you lift a bag, it disturbs the grain bed which results in more material in the boil kettle. This affects the beer character.

2) It is harder to get uniform flow through the grain bed because liquid can escape the side of the bag before reaching the bottom. Even if the side of the bag is pressed against the boil kettle, the depth of the bed won't be uniform, which also interferes with uniform flow.

3) There is no way to put a stand pipe in a bag. Stand pipes can prevent elements running dry if the mash stops flowing.

4) You can't sparge a bag at least without hanging it from something. And even then nothing keeps it in the right shape or from extending larger than the boil kettle diameter. With a mash bucket it can sit on top of the boil kettle and it drains perfect into the boil kettle.

5) There is no way to throttle the flow out of a bag so as to allow true fly or batch sparging. I can throttle or stop the flow from my mash bucket.
 

lump42

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1) When you lift a bag, it disturbs the grain bed which results in more material in the boil kettle. This affects the beer character.

2) It is harder to get uniform flow through the grain bed because liquid can escape the side of the bag before reaching the bottom. Even if the side of the bag is pressed against the boil kettle, the depth of the bed won't be uniform, which also interferes with uniform flow.

3) There is no way to put a stand pipe in a bag. Stand pipes can prevent elements running dry if the mash stops flowing.

4) You can't sparge a bag at least without hanging it from something. And even then nothing keeps it in the right shape or from extending larger than the boil kettle diameter. With a mash bucket it can sit on top of the boil kettle and it drains perfect into the boil kettle.

5) There is no way to throttle the flow out of a bag so as to allow true fly or batch sparging. I can throttle or stop the flow from my mash bucket.
Makes sense, thanks
 

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...

4) You can't sparge a bag at least without hanging it from something. And even then nothing keeps it in the right shape or from extending larger than the boil kettle diameter. With a mash bucket it can sit on top of the boil kettle and it drains perfect into the boil kettle.

5) There is no way to throttle the flow out of a bag so as to allow true fly or batch sparging. I can throttle or stop the flow from my mash bucket.
You can sparge a bag by putting it in a bucket of water, stirring well, removing the bag, and dumping the sparged wort into the BK. This is functionally equivalent to a batch sparge.

You can't do a "true" fly sparge as you say, but you can do a perfectly legitimate batch sparge - see the previous paragraph.

You seem to have a misunderstanding about how batch sparges work. Unlike fly sparging, run-off flow rate is irrelevant. Once you stir sufficiently to homogenize the wort during the batch sparge, channeling doesn't affect the lauter efficiency.

Brew on :mug:
 
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So if one has to move the bag to a bucket to spage it, why not just mash in a bucket over the boil kettle to begin with ?

I designed Thing1 to brew the way I want to brew.
 

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So if one has to move the bag to a bucket to spage it, why not just mash in a bucket over the boil kettle to begin with ?

I designed Thing1 to brew the way I want to brew.
people are just trying to share knowledge with you. Thats what this forum is for.
No one is telling you to do something you dont want to do here. The electrical advice was as much for others who would see this thread and attempt to build something of their own as it is for you. (I know your an EE ). But on a forum people dont automatically know what knowledge a person does or doesnt have or what rules they do or dont know but choose to ignore. Sometimes sharing knowledge or even clarifying terms or even criticism can be helpful if a person doesnt already know everything about the topic at hand. I know I took a lot of criticism for some of my opinions and projects here.. I am one to do what I want and learn the hard way as thats whats worked for me over the years.
But as time goes on I value others thoughts more here since they can save me from making mistakes they have already learned from..

BTW
I think your "Thing" is pretty cool..
 
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lump42

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3) There is no way to put a stand pipe in a bag. Stand pipes can prevent elements running dry if the mash stops flowing.
I was thinking about this again. If the stand pipe is just protection from a stuck mash/ pump running dry. A stand pipe could be built to the side of the kettle, if someone wanted to use a bag instead. Bag may not give the same flow through when recirculating, but a few stirs could do the trick if someone was trying to do this on a tighter budget.


So if one has to move the bag to a bucket to spage it, why not just mash in a bucket over the boil kettle to begin with ?

I designed Thing1 to brew the way I want to brew.
I think the difference would be that if the bag or basket were placed in a bucket to sparge, the second runnings would be homogenized (including what's left behind). With your's and other all-in-ones, they are designed more for no sparge or fly sparge, which makes since to have the basket to control the flow rates.

The "Thing1" looks rad. The only thing I would change would be to replace, paint, or seal the plywood top (for personal aesthetic preferences). Glad you've been able to fit brewing into the family life. It gives me hope.
 
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I was thinking about this again. If the stand pipe is just protection from a stuck mash/ pump running dry. A stand pipe could be built to the side of the kettle, if someone wanted to use a bag instead. Bag may not give the same flow through when recirculating, but a few stirs could do the trick if someone was trying to do this on a tighter budget.
Good idea. You could get a pieces of SS, aluminum or plastic triangle or U shape of the various lengths and put one the right length between the bag and the kettle wall. Bingo, you've got a route for excess liquid to get down to the kettle element if the mash sticks.

You can obviously start brewing with a bag and add the grain basket later on too. I used an elcheapo boil kettle from my LHBS. You can also buy a replacement grain basket from a Robobrew. They aren't that expensive.

The grain basket isn't getting heat applied directly to it, so it doesn't have to be thick or anything. And it doesn't have to be insulated. And it doesn't need a valve. In fact, you could use a food safe plastic bucket. Drill holes in the bottom to act as the false bottom. Hang it from the boil kettle with a stick and some wire. Or set it on some pieced of aluminum in the boil kettle.

In the old homebrewing days, we used to make mash tuns by putting one plastic bucket inside another and drilling the inside bucket to make the false bottom. (See Dave Miller The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing, 1988) BTW, I did my first ever full boil in a plastic bucket with a heat stick. It works.

I didn't understand the want/need for a standpipe either until I read this thread and noted the trouble they had with stuck sparges and efficiency when they didn't get the grind right.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/...o-from-co-brewing.575659/page-37#post-8506017

In fact, I asked why it was even used.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/...tandpipe-and-mash-screen.599106/#post-7841472

The standpipe is actually ingenious.

First it prevents a big vacuum from forming under the mash. I didn't understand that actually happening until I ran Thing1 and saw the difference in water level between outside the mash cylinder and the water at the top of the mash bucket, when I am running without a stand pipe. That differential head is the suction that the pump is putting on the grain bed. WOW. That suction collapses the grain bed tighter and further restricts flow. Which increases suction. Which restricts flow... until the bed gets stuck if it gets too bad.

So I'm guessing that a grain bed with a stand pipe flows quite a bit more than a bed without a standpipe because there is no suction acting on a bed compressing the grains with a standpipe.

You can take this one step further like the Braumeister does and flow through the bed backwards, from bottom to top. That bed will never stick and will flow much more than if it was top to bottom. There is actually an engineering term for a bed like that, it is called a "fluidized bed" because the bed particles (grain in this case) are actually "floated" by the fluid.

I thought about building a system with a reverse flowing bed but didn't like that the volume of water used in those systems is pretty much constant (because the height of the mash cylinder is fixed) thus you don't have control of the mash/water ratio, ie mash thickness.

Just to put some numbers to this suction thing, 27 inches of water is 1 PSI. Wort has a higher density than water, so maybe 24 inches of wort = 1 PSI. (Guessing here, could calculate it, I'm too lazy.)

So if the grain bed has 6 inches of suction on it, that is 1/4 PSI. Doesn't sound like much except a 12" diameter bed is 113 in^2. 1/4 PSI on that bed is 28 pounds of force pulling the grain particles closer together.


The second thing the standpipe does is allow a much faster recirculation rate. With my old HERMs getting the grain bed to warm up quickly was always a problem because the flow through the bed limited how many BTUs you could extract from the HERMS coil. Big grain bill = deep bed = slow flow = limited BTUs = slow heat up. But with a stand pipe you can run the pump full flow and the excess goes down the stand pipe. That means there is always lots of fluid moving past the heating element and the mash temp is never heating limited, it is always flow limited. And with a non suctioned mash bed the flow is better too. So I'm guessing that a mash with a standpipe will heat up much, much faster.

The 3rd thing about a standpipe mash is that if you set up the standpipe correctly, you can walk away and not worry about the grain bed flow going awry. The pump will never suction the bed into sticking. The element will never run dry. The heat flow will always be fine. The big design goal for me with Thing1 was unattended brewing and a stand pipe helps that happen.

There are 2 other things I like about using the mash bucket.

1) There is a water reservoir between the mash bucket and the boil kettle wall. This volume is insurance against the heating element running dry. The pump would have to completely suck that volume out before the element runs dry.

This is part of making the stand pipe work well. A stand pipe without a volume of water between the mash and the kettle is better than nothing but there is no additional fluids to draw on to make the stand pipe overflow like there is with the mash bucket inside the boil kettle.

But obviously that volume also messes with the mash thickness too.

2) The grain doesn't sit against the wall of the boil kettle. The grain bucket is surrounded by water which is presumably at mash temp or maybe even a bit higher. In fact, heat can be conducted into the mash through the walls of the mash bucket instead of it being lost to the walls of the mash tun.

FYI... it is pretty easy to apply heat in difficult places with induction heating. One could wind a coil around the perimeter of a vessel and heat the walls of the vessel too. This would mimic the steam heat jacket that is used in commercial breweries. Our small vessels have small volume to surface area ratios, so we don't really need to do this. But it is still an option.

The "Thing1" looks rad. The only thing I would change would be to replace, paint, or seal the plywood top (for personal aesthetic preferences).
I don't like that plywood either. That plywood is actually a test piece because it is hard to find a material that isn't ferromagnetic, doesn't conduct electricity and stands up to the heat that occurs between the induction coil and the boil kettle.

Induction cooktops use a type of ceramic glass. It turns out to be a special glass. I haven't found a source for that glass, nor can that glass be cut after it is manufactured.

I tried high temperature plastic and experienced a meltdown. The fiberglass that holds the induction coil to the underside of the plywood base would also be a good material, but I can't get it without buying a full sheet and it is somewhat expensive.

BTW, there is a layer of insulating silicone pad between the induction coil and the plywood.

Glad you've been able to fit brewing into the family life. It gives me hope.
I'm glad this might have given you some ideas.

I'm still testing that, but it appears Thing1 will make it way more viable. The fact I can mill the grain, get everything out and set up and have the mash water up to temp before the actual brew day starts makes a big difference in the time block I need to set aside to do a brew.

I can mill my grain a day or more before and have Thing1 rolled into the corner of the kitchen ready to go. Before I go to sleep or work I roll Thing1 up and plug it in and put in the water. I start heating the mash water before I wake up or get home. When I get to the kitchen all ll I have to do is mash in and adjust the flow and I can then walk away and leave it run the mash unattended for 60 minutes or more. It doesn't require constant attention like my old brew rig did.
 
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lump42

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I didn't really understand the need until this thread. I thought they were structural support. Also didn't realize the Braumeister was bottom up. If someone was sticking with a bag for a while I guess another solution may be a Brew Boss-esqe COFI outflow pipe. The return is a pipe that goes down the center of the mash with multiple holes down the length. That would keep the mash from getting compacted and still allow circulation. I've been contemplating a similar system, but lack welding, electronic, coding knowledge and the funds to finish a system all at once. So, mine won't look nearly as nice a Thing1.

As far as the top, I don't know of many plastic sheets that can take 240+ temps without being costly. You could look at either scrap butcher block countertop, extra large bamboo cutting board, or slab of hardwood. For small projects like this, I've gotten scraps from a local sawmill or custom cabinet shop. Scraps are more available now that the trend is live edge furniture. Nice wood would soften the appearance of the welded steel. I don't know how close the coils need to be to the pot, but if the nicer wood is too thick, the back side could be routed out.

Right now to fit my brewing in to family time has led me to be loose with my process, mostly longer mash times and chilling times when I can't get the brew to sync exactly to nap times and cleanup after bedtime. I'd go with a all-in-one but really prefer the speed and extra power from 240v. So I'm aiming at something either like this or high gravity/ clawhammer systems and just using a timer or PID to control temps before I wake/ get home.
 
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I didn't really understand the need until this thread. I thought they were structural support. Also didn't realize the Braumeister was bottom up.
See here:

You actually twigged an idea for me. I could possibly reverse flow my mash bucket if I put the standpipe right through the bottom of it. Hmmmm...

If someone was sticking with a bag for a while I guess another solution may be a Brew Boss-esqe COFI outflow pipe. The return is a pipe that goes down the center of the mash with multiple holes down the length. That would keep the mash from getting compacted and still allow circulation. I've been contemplating a similar system, but lack welding, electronic, coding knowledge and the funds to finish a system all at once. So, mine won't look nearly as nice a Thing1.
Baby steps. Do what you can to get going and refine as resources allow. what about using a plastic bucket ? The Robobrew standpipe is available as spare aprts and it is inexpensive.

As far as the top, I don't know of many plastic sheets that can take 240+ temps without being costly. You could look at either scrap butcher block countertop, extra large bamboo cutting board, or slab of hardwood. For small projects like this, I've gotten scraps from a local sawmill or custom cabinet shop. Scraps are more available now that the trend is live edge furniture. Nice wood would soften the appearance of the welded steel. I don't know how close the coils need to be to the pot, but if the nicer wood is too thick, the back side could be routed out.
The plywood works for now.

Right now to fit my brewing in to family time has led me to be loose with my process, mostly longer mash times and chilling times when I can't get the brew to sync exactly to nap times and cleanup after bedtime. I'd go with a all-in-one but really prefer the speed and extra power from 240v. So I'm aiming at something either like this or high gravity/ clawhammer systems and just using a timer or PID to control temps before I wake/ get home.
At least you are brewing. I stopped brewing for years and really, really missed it. I'll probably be brewing this weekend. I love brewing when it is cold and stormy in winter.
 
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