Spike Complete System

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Bohern

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Do you know how many turns you set the flow control to for sparging? for instance, my flow control valve is at the closed position when the clip is at the bottom...half turn is pointing up
about 3/4 turn on the wort pump and 1/2 turn on the water pump during the sparge. also the ball valve on the return at top of the mash tun is maybe a 1/4 open for the sparge water. This is for Blichmann riptides of course.

EDIT: once I found the sweet spot i made marks with a sharpie marker.
 

juggabrew

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Holly cannoli...1.045! with 10.75gal into BK (I checked three times with refrac) Added two pints of HLT water to BK and now at 1.043. Haha this system finally worked for me. now I need to figure how to not boil off too much. Est post boil should be 1.045 and this is a kolsch
 

Bohern

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Holly cannoli...1.045! with 10.75gal into BK (I checked three times with refrac) Added two pints of HLT water to BK and now at 1.043. Haha this system finally worked for me. now I need to figure how to not boil off too much. Est post boil should be 1.045 and this is a kolsch
With my 20 gal BK I get about 1.5 gal per hr boil off. If you have a 15G I am thinking 1 to 1.25 for a hour.

all I can tell you is that I love my system, I can predict my gravity reading with one point or so depending on batch size and grain bill. That is one thing I have down like a rock.
 

juggabrew

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Honestly, I was a little down and thought about selling and downgrading. also because we’re moving to Boston in the near future. But this has re kindled the love And I’ll adjust accordingly. Thanks for the help Bohern.
 

Bohern

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Honestly, I was a little down and thought about selling and downgrading. also because we’re moving to Boston in the near future. But this has re kindled the love And I’ll adjust accordingly. Thanks for the help Bohern.
anytime man, very happy to help where I can.
 

Gozie Boy

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Just picked up the 20G trio+, hoping to have it all set up soon. Great data in this thread. Now the joy of adjusting all the recipes to fit this and trying to build an equipment profile.
Did you ever nail down an equipment profile for your 3x20 Spike rig, and if so could you share it? Thx
 
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So I've got the 30gal setup with ball valves, every so often I take my ball valves apart and clean them. This past time I found some mold in a couple spots of the valves for my boil kettle, maybe it had been longer between disassembling or maybe I just didn't have a good thorough cleaning last brew day. Anyhow I have now soaked in hot pbw and scrubbed good and got everything clean. Is there any further cleaning I should do before my next brew day?
 

Bohern

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I have a process question for you all.

I have a double IPA i have done 5G batches of but now want to do a 10G batch on my 15G system. my fears are that I can mash it, my eff will take a major hit with the tun being so full.

Have you all done a big beer doing this and what was your process? Two mashes, add DME to the BK or what?
 

4_Sons_Brewing

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I just did an IPA with an OG of 1.065 in my 15 gallon Spike Trio and had no issues. I don’t think you’d have an issue going to enough grain to get you to 1.075 or 1.080. Adding a pic of my mash tun during the original mash. Looks like plenty of room left. View attachment 751484
 

Bohern

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I just did an IPA with an OG of 1.065 in my 15 gallon Spike Trio and had no issues. I don’t think you’d have an issue going to enough grain to get you to 1.075 or 1.080. Adding a pic of my mash tun during the original mash. Looks like plenty of room left. View attachment 751484
I am doing a 1.080 beer that on the 5G batch size uses 1lb of corn sugar in the recipe to get to the 1.080. just worried about a low eff hit with so much grain cause this is a hazy and i have lots of adjuncts
 

Jesse Runowski

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I have a process question for you all.

I have a double IPA i have done 5G batches of but now want to do a 10G batch on my 15G system. my fears are that I can mash it, my eff will take a major hit with the tun being so full.

Have you all done a big beer doing this and what was your process? Two mashes, add DME to the BK or what?
I'm with ya on this one, I had horrible efficiency problems when brewing 5 gal batches of high adjunct hazy recipes. The higher the adjunct the lower the efficiency. I remember doing a 30% (oat/wheat) recipe and got around 60% efficiency. That was for a 5gal batch, if I doubled that grain bill for 10 gal chances are I would be in the mid 50s eff if I was lucky. I wasn't a fan of adding a lot of corn sugar to increase the OG because to me it thinned out the body too much.

I set out to fix my efficiency issues before trying to tackle 10 gal batches. I still haven't tried a 10 gal batch, but I have increased my efficiency greatly. I haven't had two 5 gal fermentors free in awhile :) Below is my process for mashing high adjunct hazy 5 gal batches. This is just the process I found that works for me, i'm sure some will disagree and or have better methods. Hoping this helps to increase you efficiency so you can squeeze more into that mash tun.

I mash in thick, about 1.25 qt/lb. Immediately after mash in I let the grain naturally settle by not turning on the pumps for 10 mins. I've never had an issue with temps dropping. After 10 mins I slightly crack the mash tun NPT inlet valve (20% open maybe) and turn on the pumps to let it recirc for 10 mins. After 10 mins I stop the pumps and stir for 2-5 mins. Its good workout. I then let the mash naturally settle again, this time only for 5 mins or so. I then crack the NPT about 20% again turn on the pumps and let it recirc for another 10 mins. I repeat this pattern for a 60 min mash. When it comes time for the sparge, I sparge as slow as possible. Aiming for around 1-1.5 hours. I keep a close eye on my HLT volumes and stop the water pump once I've hit my calculated sparge amount. My goal is to transfer every last drop of liquid in my MT to my BK and reach the calc volume. I know spike recommends to keep 1-2" above the mash the entire time. I just get better eff this way, i learned this sparge method from TheMadKing. He started a thread on this process, great info in there. - link below.


The process above has helped me go from 60% eff on a 30% adjunct bill to around 75-78%. My goal is to hit 80% one day. I've used the process above on a Kolsch recipe and hit 92% eff.

Not sure if this answers your question at all but best of luck!
 

Bohern

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Thanks man that helps and yes you hit the nail on the head, I am trying to avoid adding too much corn sugar or DME to make up for the eff hit.

My gut tells me just to do two mashes, it the long route but may the most reliable option without adverse affect on quality.
 
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cryptohomebrew

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I'm considering buying a Spike Trio. There seems to be overwhelming support for the system based on this thread but is there any real issues or regrets that any current owner can share?
 

JayDog

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I'm considering buying a Spike Trio. There seems to be overwhelming support for the system based on this thread but is there any real issues or regrets that any current owner can share?
Love my trio setup. My only regret was going 15 gallon kettles. I should have stayed with 10 gallon as I only make 5 gallon batches. Rarely make any big abv beers. To make a low OG beer I have to make a 10 gallon batch. But that's just my personal preference. The system itself is great.
 

Bohern

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I'm considering buying a Spike Trio. There seems to be overwhelming support for the system based on this thread but is there any real issues or regrets that any current owner can share?
I love mine, I am glad I bought it. It is very consistent and I nail my numbers all the time too. You may hear someone complain that the herms coil leaks but I have found that is only true if you don’t make sure it is pushed in and seated.
I love the customization too cause I got a 20G BK while getting 15g MT and HLT. Spike also welded a 1.5 inch TC on my kettle so I can use my own steam condenser.
 

Zenmeister

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I've had my system since late 2018 (before it was called a Trio), a 20 gallon one. Issues were minor: The Herms coil leaking (fixed as noted above by making sure it is properly seated) and, ummm, I can't think of the other ones. I originally go it to do 12 Gallon batches but am really glad I went with the bigger 20 gallon system. I recommend go bigger to the 20 gallon system, unless you see a lot of 5-gallon brews in your future.
Brew day takes about 6.5 to 7.5 hours, system is easy to clean and rock solid. I have run about 60 batches on it and everything continues working well.
I am going to be posting a three year review soon. Needless to say it will be pretty positive.
 

cryptohomebrew

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I've had my system since late 2018 (before it was called a Trio), a 20 gallon one. Issues were minor: The Herms coil leaking (fixed as noted above by making sure it is properly seated) and, ummm, I can't think of the other ones. I originally go it to do 12 Gallon batches but am really glad I went with the bigger 20 gallon system. I recommend go bigger to the 20 gallon system, unless you see a lot of 5-gallon brews in your future.
Brew day takes about 6.5 to 7.5 hours, system is easy to clean and rock solid. I have run about 60 batches on it and everything continues working well.
I am going to be posting a three year review soon. Needless to say it will be pretty positive.
This is great to hear. How did you brew before committing to a system this expensive?
 

Zenmeister

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Just before this I had been using the Grainfather for about two years. (Essentially one of the first solo systems.) A great product that got me into all grain brewing, but I started to want to brew bigger quantities. I was having a hard time deciding between the Spike and waiting for the SS Brewtech system to come out, but got the Spike in November, 2018. In hindsight I am so glad I got the Spike system.
 

cryptohomebrew

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Just before this I had been using the Grainfather for about two years. (Essentially one of the first solo systems.) A great product that got me into all grain brewing, but I started to want to brew bigger quantities. I was having a hard time deciding between the Spike and waiting for the SS Brewtech system to come out, but got the Spike in November, 2018. In hindsight I am so glad I got the Spike system.
Great to hear. This will be my second year on the mash and boil and im at the point where i want to be able to fill a 5 gallon keg and then have like a case of bottles. Its getting harder and harder to talk myself out of not buying the Trio.
 

redarmy990

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hi guys,
just interested on what gap you all set your grain mills to.

I followed Kal on his clone and set at .045, but got terrible numbers today. {first time using system} OG should have been 1.055- ended up at 1.035
thanks all
 

Bohern

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hi guys,
just interested on what gap you all set your grain mills to.

I followed Kal on his clone and set at .045, but got terrible numbers today. {first time using system} OG should have been 1.055- ended up at 1.035
thanks all
I use .045 as well, just helps with easy flow and consistent temps during the mash.
 

Bohern

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I adjusted mine this week to .034. Planning to brew this weekend and hoping for a little better efficiency. I’ve been hit and miss since I got the new system. I’ll report back…
I quit chasing efficiency long ago, i got this system for it's repeatability on hitting the number. I just value the consistency of the system as being the most important part of it's function.
 

4_Sons_Brewing

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Has anybody successfully used a TV mount for the 30 Amp panel? I saw some mount information in pages 6-7 but they were for the 50 Amp panel. the 50 amp panel seems quite a bit larger than the 30 Amp.
i mounted my 30a panel with a TV mount. I went with a heavy cut mount from Amazon to be sure, but it works great.To be sure I didn’t leave it mounted until I had a chance to run through a brew day and watch it all day to make sure it didn’t budge… it didn’t and has been hanging there ever since.
 

Bohern

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On a side note if you buy the prepunched and predrilled panel kit from Ebrewsupply the build time for me with 0 electrical experience outside of changing a few house fixtures, was 16-20 hours. I worked on it at night for a couple hours when I had time. It was fun and a learning experience. I feel confident that if I needed to replace any part for repair I could. Which is nice. Because I choose the painted enclosure I saved $550 which is about $27.5/ hour I worked on it which is a hell of a lot more than a stay at home dad makes per hour : p

before i bought the spike system I would definitely consider pricing out everything separately and then making a decision. The panel really isn't hard to build and Ryan @ ebrewsupply has been great in my experience.

I also have come to the opinion after using spike v2, Blichmann, SsBrewtech, and Bayou Classic kettles that the boil kettle and hlt kettle need to be able to hold liquid and that is it. If doing it again I would find the least inexpensive yet still quality kettles for those two spots.

Kettles - Spike, SsBrewtech, Blichmann, Update International Etc.

Mash tun - This is the only kettle where I think the name brands actually matter unless you are pro at diy mash tuns which I never was.

Fittings - Bargain fittings, brew hardware (all the same Chinese stuff)

Pumps - wherever they are on sale or used

Panel - Ebrewsupply (where I think spikes are from)

Coil stainless brewing (where spike used to source theirs)

Just my two cents... piecing out is a bit daunting butI have no doubt you can save $750 - $1000 parting it out which is 4-5 ssbrewbuckets or possibly a couple of spikes new conicals.
This is giving me the confidence to try and build the control panel. I've read a manual and watched a number of videos and it seems like a great learning experience. Appreciate the advice on cost savings as well!
 
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