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Sanke MLT stainless braid

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Bobby_M

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I've been talking about my plans and I finally had a free night to make it happen.

I plan to recirculate my mash because I'm direct firing. I suspect the only way to keep it flowing might be to use a false bottom but I wanted to try this out first.
I picked up a 1" diameter x 18" long stainless braided hose meant for water heater connections and did the usual disassembly to extract the innards.

I installed a 1/2" MPT to 5/8" tubing compression fitting into my MLT's bulkhead and then mocked up the various fittings to get it to lay flat on the bottom. Then I soldered it up.



Next, I drilled holes in the bottom of the piece that sits at the very bottom concave of the keg.


I made a coil from some 16gauge stainless wire and slipped it on. This is going to keep the braid from making direct contact with the pipe which would block off some of the open area. I want every hole in the braid flowing and able to drip the goods down to the pickup area.



I finally fed the braid over the tube, wrapped the ends with some teflon tape to keep the fraying under control while I hose clamped the ends.


In case it's not clear how I expect this to work; the entire braid is sitting flat on the bottom of the keg. Sweet wort will flow into the holes in the braid and make it's way down to the lowest point where the holes are drilled in the pipe. Siphon will pull it through the pipe and out the bulkhead...Weeeeee. This is just like the cooler based MLT "filter" only it's sitting over the dip tube of sorts so it won't get knocked around much.
 

e lo

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Just saw this thread, Bobby -- that's a really neat idea! I'll be curious to hear how it works.
 

e lo

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Oh, and I'm picking my my keg from the welder tomorrow, and will be installing your stainless dip tube fitting and sight glass this weekend. I'm excited!
 

Dude

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If oyu have any doubts if that is going to work, don't worry, it will. I don't have the copper inside mine, but I have the stainless spring inside the SS sleeve and it works awesome.

One question, will that teflon tape hold up? Will it affect off-flavors or anything? I know star-san doesn't really ever touch the boil kettle, but some cleaning agents may break that teflon down considerably. I know Star-san will eat through that stuff like nothing.
 
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Bobby_M

Bobby_M

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Hmm, good point. I was being overly careful not to start fraying the ends of the braids but I could easily take the tape off. In fact, I soldered the end cap on and then realized cleaning the inside of that pipe once in a while might be nice. I think I'll use a threaded cap or plug instead. Off to Lowes again.
 

WortMonger

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Sweet. I am planning something very similar (but much shorter) for my MT drain/steam injection manifold. I may not need it for steam diffusion though since I have a false bottom and plan to stir while steaming, but just in case I would like it there. It would be nice to keep the littler grain pieces out during vorlauf and transfer to kettle as well. Very cool install Bobby_M. I like the SS compression fittings.
 

mr x

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I don't think you would even need the ss screen over the pipe. None of us guys using MLT manifolds have any issues
 
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Bobby_M

Bobby_M

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This isn't exactly a manifold though, it's just a pipe. I don't think I have enough locations/surface area for slotting or drilling, at least not enough in the part that is low in the valley of the keg. The braid allows for separate up higher than the lowest pickup point, but doesn't lose siphon. This is all in theory, I haven't tested it yet.
 

raceskier

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Bobby,

That's pretty cool. Don't worry about the Teflon, it is inert below about 500 deg F. (Dude, are you sure it was the Starsan? It would take some really nasty , nearly unobtainable acids to even etch the stuff. It is however in tape form very fragile and tears easily.) I would take a close look at your hose clamps. I had a nasty surprise with a small stainless steel hose clamp. The band was stainless, but the screw turned out to be plated non-stainless steel. It rusted the first time I dunked it in Oxyclean.

I'm going to try something similar, but I was thinking of running the manifold around the perimeter, to take advantage of whirlpooling the cold break and hops to the center of the kettle.
 

mr x

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raceskier said:
The band was stainless, but the screw turned out to be plated non-stainless steel.
You are quite right, I have yet to find a SS hose clamp with a SS screw.
 

WortMonger

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Same problem here in all my hoses using SS Screw Clamps. I am moving to SS crimp type ones for next time. The stupid ring on pressure relief valves for keg taps are the same way. 100% SS Sanke tap and a frickin steel ring that rusts after a week in water.
 
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Bobby_M

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The clamps I got from Mcmaster are all stainless. I've had one in my boil kettle for 12 batches or so and no rusting of any kind. It's the home depot crap you have to look out for. Now that the topic came up though, I don't recall where THOSE specific ones came from. Oh, well, I'll keep an eye open for rust.
 

Dude

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raceskier said:
(Dude, are you sure it was the Starsan? It would take some really nasty , nearly unobtainable acids to even etch the stuff. It is however in tape form very fragile and tears easily.)
Positive. Charlie Talley(sp?) himself said star-san would eat right through teflon.

Now, why you'd ever have star-san in your MLT/boil kettle is beyond me, just saying.
 

WortMonger

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Dude, I am 100% positive you have the right guy but the wrong product :D.

I just found my notes on the podcast with Charlie Talley of Five-Star Chemicals. This one is from BrewingNetwork.com. He says that you shouldn't use PBW on Teflon or your wife would get really mad, as it will lift it right off the pan. He goes on to say Buna and Viton are fine, but others it will destroy overtime.

This is the another podcast where he talked about the bleach/water/vinegar no-rinse homemade sanitizer and then about his product Star-San. It was on BasicBrewing.com. Both were very enlightening as to the chemicals and their product.

Edit: I have found my notes from the podcasts and wrote them down if anyone would like to read them here they are.
 

Lil' Sparky

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Nice thinking Bobby. I think this is going to work great. Have you tested it with water to see what kind of flow rate you get with the pump?
 

mr x

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Bobby_M said:
Don't forget the lube when you go to a boating store because you're going to be bent over the counter. Serious markup.
Not always. My local guy has some heavy markup, but when I take into account shipping, it's no different. And there are places around the province that sell for much cheaper. Around Nova Scotia anyway. Lots of marine suppliers means better prices.
 
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Bobby_M

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It's about location I suspect. I have a Mcmaster location so close that shipping is cheap. Most boating places around here are highly inflated. It's still a good source if you have nothing else though.
 
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Bobby_M

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Lil' Sparky said:
Nice thinking Bobby. I think this is going to work great. Have you tested it with water to see what kind of flow rate you get with the pump?
I've been focusing most of my scant time on the stand and burners. I literally spend like 15 minutes in the garage a night. Pathetic. I have to break the whole thing down one more time for a better paint job, then it's on to testing. I might just do a simple 5 gallon batch of pale ale to test things out.
 

springer

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guess its because I live on the Hudson river that every auto Parts store has a boat section. So much comp that the prices are not bad.
 

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A little OT, but how in the hell did you polish your keggle up like that? It looks fantastic!
 
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Bobby_M

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I'm finally bumping this to confirm that it indeed works fine as a separation medium for constant recirculation. I was flowing it with the march pump's valve about half open the whole time and it even flowed well at full open during runnings. I'm still converting over to a false bottom but only because I want to leave my options open for fly sparging and I'd feel a little better with liquid only in the bottom of the keg.

I hit 92% mash/lauter efficiency today on a 1.051 beer.
 

Lil' Sparky

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Are you going to use a full false bottom? I'm about to upgrade mine to a 15". I hope that it'll work better with recirculating the mash. The 9" or 10" FB I've got right now wants to stick during recirculation sometimes, especially when using wheat.
 

WortMonger

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I am definitely adding a braid to my system. Last beer I made had 5# of wheat and I had to blow into the drain tubing to unclog the dang thing, twice!!! So, this sounds just like the ticket under my false bottom to solve my reoccurring problem. I gravity drain so I don't have the suction of a pump working for me, but this is going to work so much better I feel with the braid.
 

AnOldUR

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. . . This is all in theory, I haven't tested it yet.
Bobby. Did you get a chance to test this or did you go straight to a false bottom? Just did a hack version motivated by your idea. Mainly wanted to prevent crushing the braid and to hold it in place during stirring. It'll be going in a cooler MLT for batch sparging. Enough holes? Think it'll work?
:confused:



 
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Bobby_M

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Yes, it worked very well for me. If I convert to an electric element RIMS heater, I'd go back to using this instead of the false bottom.
 

AnOldUR

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Just finish up this project for now, but an electric element RIMS heater might be in the future. The stainless steel liner in this old 10 gallon Igloo kept calling me. I think it's a good candidate for the electric upgrade. I'd be interested to hear your plans.





 

bendavanza

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I bought all stainless clamps at Elliot's, which is an ACE hardware store. But when I was at the home depot the other day, the clamps they had for sale now were also marked as all stainless on the box, screw, strap, housing etc.
BTW I like that old igloo cooler.
 

FailureDrill

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Just wanted to thank Bobby_M for posting this design. :rockin: I have used one of these for my last four (and first four) all grain batches. Started at 69% and just hit 77% as my process gets more streamlined using his No Mash Out Double Batch Sparge technique (hell, thanks for that info too). I've made a Belgian Wit (50% wheat) and a Porter with a bunch of Flaked Barley without any ill effects or stuck sparges. Simple, easy to clean and durable design. I see no reason to change, as I think my efficiency is mostly limited by the grind coming from my LHBS. Of course, at the rate this hobby is taking over my garage, it's likely that won't be a problem here very soon.

Tag
 

jferguson78

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Hi - So I have a keggle and would love to turn it into a mash tun so I can try out all grain brewing. As the price of false bottoms seem insane to me, this looks like it would be a good option.

I do not have a pump though and was wondering if it would work if it was just being gravity fed. I was also wondering what people thought about doing something like this along with an inverted vegetable steamer (such as the one in the attached picture) in place of a false bottom.

Now that this has been in use for a few years, is there anything that you would do differently with it? Would you mind sending me a parts list and/or any helpful tips? Thanks in advance!

Jesse

Progressive_International_11_Inch_Stainless_Steel_Steamer_Basket.jpg
 
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