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Two Tier / One Pump / Fly Sparge Brew Sculpture Questions Questions

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thomashp

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I am ready for a brew stand. I've been going gravity for a while and more recently have started doing 10 gallon batches. I'm already tired of picking up 10 gallons of liquid.

Here is my current setup:


I'm getting a pump and building a brew sculpture. I really only want to get one pump right now and I still want to fly sparge so I need a two tier setup. My question is really which vessel should I elevate. I've been searching this forum and the web and there doesn't seem to be a real consensus on which setup is better. I can see some pros and cons of each setup, but not having used a pump for brewing yet, I'd like to hear from some fellow brewers that have experience with these setups and can tell me the real deal.

Here are the setups I'm considering:


Which one is better in your opinion? Let me know the pros and cons.
 

CoalCracker

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I just built option one. I run a HERMS system and this way I can recirculate on one level. Option two will work well too. I prefer to gravity drain the mash tun into the brew kettle. Option three would require you to pump from your MLT to your BK. Not fond of that idea. Any will work. It pretty much is personal preference. I recommend option one though.
 

Fat_Bastard

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I would prefer option 3 for my pick.It matches better with my methods.I prefer to measure my runnings from the mash tun before I add them to the brew pot.That way I know exactly how much I have and how much sparge water I need for my batch sparges.
 

Cuzco_Brew

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I have a 2 tier setup in which I pump from the MLT and gravity feed from the HLT. Works great for me.

I had it set up the other way around to start with, as I was concerned pumping from the MLT might compact the grainbed too much and lead to a stuck sparge.

I made the switch as I was having cavitation problems pumping hot sparge water. The bottom tier of my setup is quite low, this was contributing to the cavitation issues I think. I have no such issues pumping boiling wort from the BK which about 2 feet higher.
 

Bobby_M

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I would prefer option 3 for my pick.It matches better with my methods.I prefer to measure my runnings from the mash tun before I add them to the brew pot.That way I know exactly how much I have and how much sparge water I need for my batch sparges.
<An unintended advertisement> You wouldn't need to measure runnings externally if you put a sight glass in your BK. </>

Also, runoff volume is pretty predictable and even more so once you learn your system's dead space losses.
 

Bobby_M

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I like option 3, but with the lower tier at the same height as the lower tier in design 1. The MT and BK only have to be high enough to allow for some head pressure on the pump input which can be just a few inches.
 

bigljd

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One advantage to option 1 or 2 is that you are pumping water thru your pump instead of wort. The hot sparge water is actually cleaning the pump for you as you sparge, so you'll have one less thing to clean (unless you plan to use the pump later at the end of the boil - then ignore this post since it won't help you).
 

HHP

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I am planning a two tier, one pump wooden brew sculpture for my electric system.

My plan is to lower the MLT only, that way the BK is up at chest height for easy access, and gravity drain into fermenters.

 
OP
T

thomashp

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I am planning a two tier, one pump wooden brew sculpture for my electric system.

My plan is to lower the MLT only, that way the BK is up at chest height for easy access, and gravity drain into fermenters.

So that's the 5th option now... There's too many choices!
 

kladue

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IMHO the 5th option would be optimal with MT low enough to easily dough in, and use pump to lift the coolest liquid (150-160 degrees) in the system up to the BK. This setup keeps the heavier MT low enough to handle easily when you have to dump the spent grains, the other containers should end up empty at end of brew cycle.
 

ikonis

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Here's my stand if that helps your decision.


HLT is on the upper tier.
I run the runoff through the RIMS tube to get all the wort out that I can. Gravity of course from the HLT.
 

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