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Reverse Polarity Brewery - Kal Clone

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milldoggy

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I have been building my brewery over the last 4 months. It is an all electric system built following Kal's fantastic directions. I used keggles for the BK and HLT and a cooler for the MLT. I also used Copper for hex and did not use the hop stopper. I chose to use a spider. The keggles are all welded. I used a 1 in half coupler for the elements. My MLT uses a 4 pipe copper manifold I also went with camlocks and 90 elbows following Bobby's method. I also went with Chugger pumps.

I broke it in two weeks ago. I got around 84% eff. It was my first AG batch ever, so I guess I cant complain. It went very smoothly.

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Scut_Monkey

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Nice! I'm doing a very similar thing. I too am building Kal's control panel and I'm also using keggles and chugger pumps. 3 keggles total. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that went with the Auber timer.

Congrats on the first AG batch. You were definitely spoiled with that equipment.
:mug:
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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Well I am at 3100 for everything, tools,parts, things I broke. Welds were free. I have a spreadsheet I could add the stuff up. I would guess 1000-1200, pretty close to what Kal sells his kits for. If I was to do it again, I would buy his kit. You still have cables, plugs, rtds.
 

KoedBrew

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Wow...Nice! I wouldn't even know where to start with something like that.

Looks good, you'll have to let me see it in action some time :)
 

chuggerpumps

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Nice Syste,m!

Be careful putting 90 degree elbows on the inlet side ...this may cause restriction of flow to the pumps ...always plumb inlet side with the least restriction possible ..in order to avoid cavitation

MIKE
 

samc

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Nice Syste,m!

Be careful putting 90 degree elbows on the inlet side ...this may cause restriction of flow to the pumps ...always plumb inlet side with the least restriction possible ..in order to avoid cavitation

MIKE
Not having a 90 in many instances will cause a kinked hose which is far more restrictive. Mine works fine with a 90. Surprised at how much quieter the Chugger is compared to the March. The threads on the head are another story.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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chuggerpumps said:
Nice Syste,m!

Be careful putting 90 degree elbows on the inlet side ...this may cause restriction of flow to the pumps ...always plumb inlet side with the least restriction possible ..in order to avoid cavitation

MIKE
Mike, thanks for the info. I really don't need the 90s on the inlet, I will take them off. I have 90s on my hoses. I only heard a slight cavitation when the temp was approaching boiling. I did notice the wort pump sounds slightly different than the water, even when running the same temp water, could the head be slightly misaligned? I did not take them apart. They are as is from you.

Btw great pumps, no issues with the threads, just some extra tape and no leakes.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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Currently I just open the garage door and turn on a box fan. For winter, I am working on a series of fans so i only have to crack the door. Here is a prototype.

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adivito

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Did you have any problems using 1" npt couplings for the elements given they are nps?
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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adivito said:
Did you have any problems using 1" npt couplings for the elements given they are nps?
No, they seal great. I used some pipe tape and suggest getting a element socket. I applied a good amount of torque to get them to the oring between the box. Not a drip.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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Oh make sure you get half couplers, you cannot weave the element through a full coupler, or at least that is what I read
 

GatorDad

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Those look like COMAIR/ROTRON fans. Nice...

Currently I just open the garage door and turn on a box fan. For winter, I am working on a series of fans so i only have to crack the door. Here is a prototype.
 

beerrepository

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You have the exact system that I want to build. I had a question. When you are sparging with the copper manifold in the coolor, do you have any problems with stuck sparges? I didn't know if recirculating with the manifold would be more problematic than using a false bottom.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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Through 9 batchs, not problems. I have even done a batch with 75 percent wheat. I did use 1lb of rice hulls for a 10 gallon batch. I had the flow slow a tad when I was recirc'ing once, I could see the hose from the cooler not filled at the output from the cooler. I shut the pump off, stired and it was back to normal.

If you have any questions, let me know. I might actually have 20 ft of sjoow cable left. I thought about expanding to 50 amp though, so I might need it.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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I have replaced my pickup tube in the bk with a 1/2 hard copped 90 that goes into a T that I attached a stainless braid to. The braid makes a circle around the bottom, about 1 to 2 ins from the edge. With my whirl from the return and letting sit once I hit 80, I leave a ton of break material.

I also removed the 90s from the input of the pumps and rotated the heads so the input is pointing down. I have not no problems with the pumps cavitating when pumping boiling liquid.
 

kellzey

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Sweet.

Can you post interior photos of the cooler and keggles?


I'm in the process of doing a 2 PID and Timer system (very similar to Kal's less the amp meter and volt meter.)

My spreadsheet shows $1500 for all of the control panel parts, two March pumps, two heating elements, RTD sensors, and all of the power cords and wires for the main power, pumps, and heating elements.

Still need to do the recirculation heating coil, some weldless fittings, and the brew stand.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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I have more photos over on kals forum. I can post more over here tonight
 

beerrepository

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Did you solder the copper manifold? Currently mine is just dry fitted together which makes cleaning easy, but I worry about pieces coming apart during re-circulation.

Unfortunately with shipping, that sjoow on ebay is even more than what the seller on amazon wants, even though it is 50' instead of 25'. I have a friend who is a commerical electrical engineer, might have to see if he can get a deal on it.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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I have not sweated it yet, but I thought about doind the end pieces. I also thought about using some other pieces of copper to wedge it at the sides and end, so it holds in place, so it won't move. I have not had an issue with it budging yet. I think the grain packes in around it and helps hold it in place.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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Swapped out my cooler for a new mash tun. Got a 20 gallon al pot from ebay for 65 bucks. Got a 30 gallon Blinchman false bottom that fit nicely in it. Guy in the club sold it to me for 70. Had to do some mods to it, new dip tube hole, edge grip seal.

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Hoppopotomus

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Great work milldoggy! I'm starting my build very shortly, so it's great to see what others have done with Kal's creation. I'm still in the process of ordering parts, but it will make a good winter project for me. I may be coming to you with questions. Happy brewing on that awesome new system! :mug:
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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Let me know if you have any questions. I learned a lot during my build that I wish I knew ahead of time.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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Upgraded my hop spider to a hop taco. First batch worked pretty good. Going to try a whirl pool and a rest of a few minutes next time to see if that will force the hops on the top of the hop strainer. Also won a new chugger pump. It seems to have a lot more umph. Maybe this will give me a better whirl pool.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/hop-quesadilla-305073/
 

Double_D

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I have a question about the first picture here. Is this a modified version of Kal's power supply? I'm waiting on a pot with the same heating element fitting right now and was curious if you were able to just plug and play or if you had to do something special.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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Followed kals box design. I actually put the cover on backwards, so I pounded down the edges, but other than that, it is the same
 

duckdogs

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Nice Syste,m!

Be careful putting 90 degree elbows on the inlet side ...this may cause restriction of flow to the pumps ...always plumb inlet side with the least restriction possible ..in order to avoid cavitation

MIKE
Just open the valve for a count of Oo idk 10 seconds and turn the pump on..or until you can see the fluid going threw the pump it looks like you are using silicone hose easy to see threw.
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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I took off the 90s on the inlet and rotated the head. Worked much better
 
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milldoggy

milldoggy

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well, we moved last year. Been spending the last 11 months remodeling. Entire first floor and a lot of the second. Pretty much done, so it is on to setting up the brewery. Spent the last week rerunning plumbing. Got the water and sewer done. Just need to install the vent for the pump. Moved some of the outlets. Hung the hood. Had to patch the existing vent hole and cut a new 6 in hole. Here is where I am at. Found an amazing sink, thing is huge.

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