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Sawdustguy

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Welding was easier than I thought it was going to be but there's definitely skill involved in making a good looking weld. This is about as good as I could manage.
Not a bad a weld. Remember, a grinder can make an ugly weld into a pretty weld.
 
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Sizz

Sizz

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Not a bad a weld. Remember, a grinder can make an ugly weld into a pretty weld.
Any tips on grinding inside corner welds? I couldn't get to most of it unfortunately. Lots of rustoleum hammered paint helps...

 

Bobby_M

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That was my one peeve with using angle stock. There really is no way to grind the inside corners. I went as far as my worn out (smaller diameter) wheel would go and called it a day. I suppose you could use a small disc on a dremel but there are bigger fish to fry.
 
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Sizz

Sizz

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Here's how I plan on mounting everything. I see most people mount their RIMS heater horizontally but I'd need to go vertical due to the space limitations. Will this config hinder the pump flow? I remember reading some posts about tubing going too low and slowing the pump down, but I can't find that info now.


 

Sawdustguy

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Here's how I plan on mounting everything. I see most people mount their RIMS heater horizontally but I'd need to go vertical due to the space limitations. Will this config hinder the pump flow? I remember reading some posts about tubing going too low and slowing the pump down, but I can't find that info now.
The March 809XX-HS has a max head of 12.1' and the regular has a max head of 4.3'. Either way I think you are ok.
 

slimer

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Mine's vertical, but make sure the heating element is on the bottom so you don't have air pockets around the element.
 
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Sizz

Sizz

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Got the kegs from the welder. Welds look ok but there's dark stuff that's hard to get out. I guess a polish is required?






I spent most of the weekend rigging up everything and fixing leaks. I did a trial run with just water. Overall everything is working as planned except for pump priming issues. I will probably move my pumps lower a few inches which will make the lines slightly vertical and allow air to escape. The recirc mode held the rims temps within several degrees and the MLT temp within a few tenths. The tankless sparge mode worked well and provided a steady stream of 170F water at a flow rate of 1qt/min. I did not like swapping lines so I foresee more valves in the near future....

 

BrewBeemer

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Kegs are at the welder and should be done in the next couple of days. In the mean time, I played around with a MIG we have at work and made the brewstand frame out of 2" angle. I'm going for small and simple as you can see.








Welding was easier than I thought it was going to be but there's definitely skill involved in making a good looking weld. This is about as good as I could manage.
On the last photo on post #80 I see a lot of cold weld buildup farther back in the photo caused by too slow of travel with only buildup on the surface with too low of heat causing no 'wetting' into the apparent base metal for fusion not alone any penatration hence a joint that can be broken apart by hand twisting apart alone, just stuck together. To make a good weld by grinding I would of fired you before the weld cooled. Sorry worked industrial construction requiring a welding certification and crew under me for each new job. Nuff said as i'll get reamed being a certified welded in my past. With 400 pounds plus of equipment with boiling water this is a no issue when dealing with a burn unit victim. I may be harsh just me but do not beat around the bush with coated B/S.
 
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Sizz

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To make a good weld by grinding I would of fired you before the weld cooled.
Good thing I'm an engineer and not a welder then. :D

I appreciate the input but I'd have to disagree with you. I probably added too much material and piled it all up but I think what you're criticizing is aesthetic and not structural. I beveled all of the edges a lot so there should be plenty fusion. There is no way this is coming apart. The first thing I did was test weld strength on a test piece. I unintentionally got to test the weld strength again when I discovered the effects of contraction for the first time. I tried to pry the beams apart by hand with no luck. I ended up cutting it with a horizontal band saw and starting over.
 
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Sizz

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Decided to celebrate my birthday by taking the day off and making a batch for the first time using the new system. The last part, a 15" false bottom from Sabco, came in today. It was pricey but I was very impressed with the quality. It's extremely thick and fits the keg snugly. Getting it out either requires either tipping the keg or jabing something thin like a paperclip in one of the holes and lifting it out.




Tennis season is starting soon so I decided to do a 10 gallon batch of my team's favorite beer, Biermuncher's Centennial Blonde. Everything worked out well so I'm officially calling this project complete! My biggest concern, the inline heating of sparge water, worked perfectly and the final runnings measured at 1.007. It was pretty cool seeing dark wort come out first and transparent water at the end. It was painful sparging slowly instead of the double batch sparge i'm used to. I guess it's worth it, as my efficiency was at 83%, better than the low 70's using the cooler.

Lessons learned today:

1) A 5500w element can not only get you to a boil quickly but also produce a massive boil over, even with fermcap. Next time, set duty cycle to 60% before it's too late.

2) A shop vac can clean a MLT like no other. No need to lift a keg into the yard and dump. Shop vac has wheels and a large dump valve.

3) A counterflow chiller will beat a 5500w element at 60% duty cycle. If temps are dropping slower than expected during the cooling phase, make sure bk element is actually off. (Oops, unfortunately took me 20 mins to realize).

4) Easiest way to prime a pump is to turn pump on, and loosen the output side so air can escape. When liquid starts to squirt out, tighten clamp. I guess a bypass or float valve would be ideal, but not necessary.

5) You can kink the end of a silicone tube to prevent most spillage when swapping lines.

6) Using the RIMS heater as an inline fly sparge water heater also takes care of cleaning that side of the system.

7) HLT's are optional. :D


Overall I'm very happy with the system. It provides all of the benefits of a traditional 3-vessel dual pump system with only 2 vessels and one pump. I'd like to avoid swapping lines so I have a lot of valves and tees ordered. Other than that, I don't think I'll be making any changes.


 

cyberbackpacker

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Congratulations! I am sure this build will inspire many others.

Keep us posted in regards to taste, etc. as I am sure there are those that want to hear about any potential scorching of the wort.

Prost!

:mug:
 

eccsynd

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Congrats on a successful run on your new system. I agree with cyberbp, your innovative design will inspire. HLT's a thing of the past?

Oh, and Happy Birthday! :mug:
 

samc

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Put a thin SS bolt through your false bottom and it will make it easier to move it around and pull it out. SABCO needs to put on the thinking cap!
 
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Sizz

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Thanks! There's no chance of scorching since I capped the heater at 50%, so it was performing like a 2750w element during the recirc phase. Gotta love the flexibility of the BCS. Plus the mash was already at temp so it shouldn't have required much heat. I'll test the step mashing & scorching capabilities next time I do wheat w/ protein rest.
 

Sawdustguy

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Good job! I am happy everything worked out for you. Didn't you move to a low density element also? Very nice innovative build.
 

MrNate

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My biggest concern, the inline heating of sparge water, worked perfectly and the final runnings measured at 1.002. It was pretty cool seeing dark wort come out first and transparent water at the end. It was painful sparging slowly instead of the double batch sparge i'm used to.
Congratulations and happy birthday! Got a couple of questions for you if you don't mind.

1. Did you have the element throttled back at all during the sparge? If so, what wattage were you running it at?

2. What was your estimated flow rate for sparging?

3. Did you end up going with the 1 1/2" pipe or did you stick with 2"?


Thanks for posting all this - it's been helpful.
 
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Sizz

Sizz

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Congratulations and happy birthday! Got a couple of questions for you if you don't mind.

1. Did you have the element throttled back at all during the sparge? If so, what wattage were you running it at?

2. What was your estimated flow rate for sparging?

3. Did you end up going with the 1 1/2" pipe or did you stick with 2"?


Thanks for posting all this - it's been helpful.
1. I had the heater at 60% for sparge mode. This produced mid 160's temps from 80 degree ground water. I still haven't quite figured out tuning of the PID control for sparge mode, mostly because the flow rate is so slow. I found the duty cycle mode much easier to implement and produced a more consistent temp. I assume I'll need a slightly higher wattage setting during the wintertime.

2. Using my trusty measuring quart and a stop watch, I measured 1 quart filled in 1 minute. Seems spot on since the sparge took 50 minutes to get 12.75 gallons (51 qt).

3. I stayed with the 1.5" piping. I did switch to a longer, higher power density element which required an additional coupler and nipple to extend the piping. It's documented somewhere in this thread a couple of pages back. My parts list needs to be updated.
 

MrNate

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Just went back to your parts list... Man, I was going to use CPVC for this but your source for SS is unbeatable! 304 SS tees cheaper than CPVC, nipples about the same price. I'm rethinking now.
 

BrewBeemer

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Good thing I'm an engineer and not a welder then. :D

I appreciate the input but I'd have to disagree with you. I probably added too much material and piled it all up but I think what you're criticizing is aesthetic and not structural. I beveled all of the edges a lot so there should be plenty fusion. There is no way this is coming apart. The first thing I did was test weld strength on a test piece. I unintentionally got to test the weld strength again when I discovered the effects of contraction for the first time. I tried to pry the beams apart by hand with no luck. I ended up cutting it with a horizontal band saw and starting over.
There would be no reason to "pile it up" wasting materials and time with proper bevel and prep, I see you also discoverved the world of thermo shrinkage with your preweld gap spacing first hand.
Well hats off for an engineer with hands on, I once insisted then handed my Tig torch and hood to an "engineer" at the Livermore Radiation Lab once. He made a great impression in front of all his fellow "engineers" with his Tig mess that made me enjoy my welding jobs all the more for the next two years afterwards.

On posting number two the picture of your electrical panel, this is the first time I have ever seen a two screw connector put in backwards an instant failure by an electrical inspector in my area, 30 year IBEW union electrician speaking here. Done getting on your case, must add your RIM's system is compact and sano. Harsh and to the point a no B/S person just my nature boss.
 
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Sizz

Sizz

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There would be no reason to "pile it up" wasting materials and time with proper bevel and prep, I see you also discoverved the world of thermo shrinkage with your preweld gap spacing first hand.
Well hats off for an engineer with hands on, I once insisted then handed my Tig torch and hood to an "engineer" at the Livermore Radiation Lab once. He made a great impression in front of all his fellow "engineers" with his Tig mess that made me enjoy my welding jobs all the more for the next two years afterwards.

On posting number two the picture of your electrical panel, this is the first time I have ever seen a two screw connector put in backwards an instant failure by an electrical inspector in my area, 30 year IBEW union electrician speaking here. Done getting on your case, must add your RIM's system is compact and sano. Harsh and to the point a no B/S person just my nature boss.
Thanks! I appreciate the honesty. I must admit, I intentionally put it in upside down because I didn't want to come in from the other way. I'm assuming I'd have to remove some drywall? Anyway, this is temporary as we're looking for another house. Come on basement! I'll do it right next time. If those are the only two issues then I did good considering I had zero experience and help. :mug:
 

Dog House Brew

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No getting on your ars here. Anyone that can do all and give things a shot w/o farming out..............that's rock. This is were I'm going when we move and get a basement. I hear ya there. I hate brewing in the elements. The knowledge that comes from the people on this board blows my mind sometimes. Awesome build and I got some education for free. :rockin:
 

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Does the BCS actually control the pumps on/off when it senses the temp needs adjusted during mash or due you manually turn the pump on when heating element tuns on?
 

pickles

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Oh that makes sense. I am leaning toward using a PID to control the mash temps since it appears to be cheaper than the BCS. Besides the ability to monitor multiple temp probes are there other features the BCS offers?
 

Sawdustguy

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Oh that makes sense. I am leaning toward using a PID to control the mash temps since it appears to be cheaper than the BCS. Besides the ability to monitor multiple temp probes are there other features the BCS offers?
Visit the web site. There is a host of things that the BCS can do, and the website lists them all.
 

JBStith

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Hey Sizz,
How is the on-demand hot water working out now that ground temps are much colder. I've taken a lot of inspiration from your build because I like the RIMS circuit and compact form of your brewery.

With your experience, do you think one could build a longer RIMS tube incorporating two elements to achieve 180ish degree on-demand hot water (keeping in mind that flows rates would be for sparging at about 1qt per minute)?

Ideally, I would like be able to control both elements using a single PID with two SSRs or one SSRD, but haven't looked into that very deeply yet. I would like to use one element for the RIMS cycle (or both at a low percentage) and would then like to be able to activate the second element (or both elements at a high percentage) for sparging.

I'm just in the planning stages right now, but like the thought of eliminating the need for a dedicated HLT and having a very compact and possibly portable system.
 

cyberbackpacker

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Was wondering how your system is treating you?

I am building my rig (BCS controlled) and was going to run a "direct fired" MLT with the element installed directly in the MLT but below a false bottom. However now that I have the element installed, I would have to have 3 gallons below the false bottom at all times-- and that just will not work for me.

So I have returned to your hlt-less design.

Have you used it here recently with the colder ground temps?
Have you done any step mashing yet?

Would it be possible to get a copy of your BCS-control so I can use/adapt it for my system?

Thanks.

BTW your pm box is full!
 

JBStith

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Bump...

Any feedback at all on how the on-demand hot water / RIMS is working out these days? I am still very interested in something like this provided it would allow my to get of of my HLT. Brewing space will soon be at a premium in my household and I'd love to here any thoughts about how things are working out with your (Sizz) system.
 

danbass

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I'm also curious how this is going. I'm building a system based on this prototype and will be starting the plumbing and control box later this evening. I would have started earlier, but my local lowes didn't have 10 gauge solid core wiring. *sigh*

Suppose I should get a build thread going.
 

ScubaSteve

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So it seems like the pump was able to handle pushing fluid through the rims when in a vertical position. Sizz, how high were you able to raise the output before the march pump started giving you trouble? I am building a rig, where I have a 3-way valve at the output of the pump. I would be able to select between a RIMS element in vertical position (using LD element, this will be approx 16 inches tall/1.5" wide), or a chillzilla CFC. I want to be able pump the wort through the rims or up the CFC "corkscrew" to a keg approximately 4 feet in the air. Do you guys think the pump will handle pumping through either of these units?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm currently in Afghanistan. Otherwise, I'd just go out to the garage and figure it out for myself!:mug:
 

limoges

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For on water on demand temps see post #101.
 
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Sizz

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Sorry for the lack of updates. My little boy was born Sept 25th and between him and the holidays, I haven't done anything since the first maiden brew session. I plan on brewing as soon as the weather gets out of the 30's. I still have a bunch of valves and tees ready to go in to eliminate hose swapping. I predict the sparge water boiling issue will be even worse due to the colder water but the temps should even out in the MLT, like a steam infusion system, i hope.

Cyberbackpacker, I haven't automated the system yet with the BCS. I'm still in manual mode.

ScubaSteve, I don't remember the exact head pressure rating for the 809 but you should be good to go based on the brief tests I did when I first got them.
 

kitemanks

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Congrats on your baby boy! I looked for the answer on earlier threads... maybe I missed it. What type of element and watt are you using on the boil kettle? And more importantly to my help my rig, did you teflon tape the element in the SS set up you have?? I basically coppied your SS in line heater but I'm staying with 120 V element. I noticed during a test brew that I was drawing in air from somewhere. After tightening every other joint that had Teflon tape, I'm thinking it was the element. I wrapped it in Teflon tape to avoid Gailing but noticed some of it had melted. I had burning on my low watt density element which was a result of the air in the line. I'm hoping I can get away with no tape on the element. A magenet stuck to it so maybe no gailing.... that is it isn't stainless??


Thanks
E
 
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Sizz

Sizz

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Thanks Eric. The boil kettle element is show in the pic on post #2, first page. It's a 5500watt ultra low density, Camco 2963. I did not use teflon on the element threads. The rubber gasket has held up well. The only leaking issue I had was from the pipe coupler. I had to take it apart and re-apply more teflon.
 

DiNap44

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Congrats Sizz on your new baby.

Just wondering about your control box. I noticed you have 3 40A SSRs. What is the 3rd one used for? In your parts writeup you only accounted for 2.

Best of Luck with your boy and your Rigg.

TD
 

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