Wood Frame Brutus RIMS Project

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rhutter

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Detailed step by step project pictures are shown in this gallery (reverse chronological order): https://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=882

My goal for this project was to produce a Brutus style RIMS system, but without welding equipment or knowledge I was limited to either a wood frame or a bolt-together metal solution. After looking at some other wood rigs, like the one by ScubaSteve, I decided to go that route and make use of heat shields to protect the frame. I used this forum as well as the plans Lonnie Mac published in BYO for deciding on what components to use and how to assemble everything. I definitely couldn't have done this without those plans or this forum, so thanks to everyone who helped with questions while I was working on it, and thanks to my dad for letting me use the tools I didn't have for this project!

I was able to test fire it yesterday and get all the automation working and ensure the heat shields were working effectively. On full blast the upper frame wood is still not even hot to the touch, just warm. That's with a kettle on it forcing the heat to come out more towards the sides, too. Just waiting on the kettles I ordered last week to finalize the system.

If anyone has any questions let me know or if you want to build something similar and need more detailed blueprints I can help you out.

Here are the specifics of the components used:

Frame:
  • 1/8" 1.5x1.5 SS Tubing for Kettle Support
  • 1/16" 1x1 SS Tubing for Burner Support
  • 2x6 Boards for Upper and Lower Frame
  • 4x4 Boards for Legs
  • 3/4" Angle Iron for SS Supports

Gas System:
  • Hurricane LP Burners
  • Baso H19 Pilot Safety Valves
  • STC 2W160 3/8" 2-Way Solenoid Valves
  • 11" W.C. LP Regulator

Temperature Control
  • Love TS Temperature Controllers

Fluid Transfer
  • March H315 Pumps
  • Blichmann Therminator Wort Chiller
  • 1/2" Silicone Tubing
  • Brass Quick Disconnects

Control Panel
  • 8x8x4 Junction Box from Lowes
  • 5x 2P Toggle Switches
  • 2x 2P Maintained Switches

Some Project Pics:


Completed Stand


Completed Stand


Pumps Mounted


Control Panel Finished


Control Panel Wiring


Control Panel Template


Gas Piping Installed


Exploded View of Gas Line for Automated Burner


Basic Stand Construction
 
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rhutter

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A few more project pics...


Upper Frame Assembly


Test Firing with Sample Heat Shield


Staining and Painting


Frame Assembly
 

dannedry

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WOW! That's one beautiful rig you've got going there... Excellent craftsmanship! I have recently begun slowly purchasing parts to eventually build myself a similar setup, minus the electronics. For sure looking forward to stepping up to all grain this summer! One question though, what is it that you stained or painted the inside of the upper wood frame with? Looks to be different from the rest of the frame...
 
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rhutter

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One question though, what is it that you stained or painted the inside of the upper wood frame with? Looks to be different from the rest of the frame...
You're right, it's actually Rust-Oleum High Heat enamel paint. Not that it can protect the wood from fire damage, but it is meant to not flake off or bubble like the lacquer would if too close to the flame. It's the same stuff you would re-paint your grill with.

Best of luck to your rig construction!

Rob
 

dannedry

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Are those grooves carved into the wood frame for the square steel tubing? If so, what did you use to do that? They look very shallow! Is that the only thing holding the square bars in place? Thanks for the info!!!
 
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rhutter

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Are those grooves carved into the wood frame for the square steel tubing? If so, what did you use to do that? They look very shallow! Is that the only thing holding the square bars in place? Thanks for the info!!!
Yes, those are shallow grooves cut with a radial arm saw. A router would have been a better way to do it but this way worked as well, just took an hour or so. They make it so the steel just slides into place when the upper stand is put together, but what holds them on are self-tapping screws that come up on the underside of the angle iron and into the bottom of the steel tube.
 

dannedry

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Looks like he has angle pieces supporting the square tubing?
Yeah, but I cant see if the the cross bars are fixed to the angle iron, or if they are just held in place (no side to side motion) by the grooves...
 
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rhutter

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Yeah, but I cant see if the the cross bars are fixed to the angle iron, or if they are just held in place (no side to side motion) by the grooves...
Here's a shot when I was attaching them - the rig is currently upside down and if you look closely you should be able to make out the self-tapping screws holding them on.

 

Lonnie Mac

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Excellent looking build!! I can't wait to see this in action. Please post more pics when the pots come in!
 
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rhutter

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Thanks! I read through your BYO write-up several times during the build - that and your parts list were key resources.

The kettles arrived yesterday so I hope to get all the tubing and disconnects setup this week and start brewing shortly thereafter. More pics to come...Take care.

Rob
 
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rhutter

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that's pretty slick the way you can move it out of the way to save storage space. how much did it cost?
Junction Box from Lowe - $20
Switches - $25
Monitor Arm (eBay) - $35
Love Controllers - $65/each
Wires, connectors, and conduit another $50 or so

It took awhile to find a monitor arm that locked at all the joints, but turned out to be cheaper than most so that was good. It does save a lot of space - can still fit the car in the garage.

Rob
 
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rhutter

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Very Nice! I like it! Do you have a pic of the Disconnects you used?
These are what I used to connect to the tubing: http://www.mcmaster.com/#6739k64/=6jaw5d

These will be threaded into the valves and elbows on of the kettles and stand components: http://www.mcmaster.com/#6739k59/=6javjm

They were what a lot of folks on here were recommending if you didn't want to shell out big $$ for the SS ones. I had brass fittings for my gravity-fed system for years and they were fine.

Rob
 

InfernoBrews

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Ok your stand got me hooked. I ordered everything today. Except the wood. I am going to make a few changess though.
Would you be able to tell me how high lond and wide you built?
I plan in making a 2 tier though. I'm just unable to decide how high to make it.
Thanks
 
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rhutter

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Ok your stand got me hooked. I ordered everything today. Except the wood. I am going to make a few changess though.
Would you be able to tell me how high lond and wide you built?
I plan in making a 2 tier though. I'm just unable to decide how high to make it.
Thanks
Awesome, glad your project is underway! The stand is 24" wide, 60" long, and 24" high. It is on caster wheels so add 1.5-2" for those. I made it that way because it fits in an area of my garage that is perfect for storing it, but you could probably cut the length down a few inches if you wanted to. I wouldn't make it any narrower since it is a wood frame after all and that would put the burners closer to the frame.

If you support the steel with angle iron then you don't really even need to notch the wood like I ended up doing, but it definitely makes it easier to attach the steel since it's already set.

Post some pics of your progress!

Rob
 

InfernoBrews

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Thanks! and most deff will post some pics as it moves on.. hoping to maybe start building this weekend!
 

InfernoBrews

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Well my items arrived today and i got the wood and have all the pieces cut just gotta start assembling..
 
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rhutter

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Well my items arrived today and i got the wood and have all the pieces cut just gotta start assembling..
I'm not sure if you have access to a drill press or not but if you do and can measure out where your holes are going to be and get good straight holes drilled in the frame pieces before assembling anything then everything will fit together nicely later on.
 

dannedry

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Any updates on your stand rhutter? How soon till you fire it up and brew up your first batch?
 
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rhutter

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Any updates on your stand rhutter? How soon till you fire it up and brew up your first batch?
My kettles arrived last week but unfortunately the false bottom I ordered was on back order. I found a home brew supplier that had one in stock so I canceled the first order and ordered from them - hopefully it should be here next week. If not I still have a Bazooka T screen that I can attach to the pickup tube on the MLT and use that, I'm just a little worried about scorching the wort since it's direct fired. I'll definitely post some pics of the kettles mounted and the first brew day, hopefully very soon. I'll probably just do a test run with water to make sure the pumps work OK and I get familiar with controlling it.

Rob
 

InfernoBrews

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I'm not sure if you have access to a drill press or not but if you do and can measure out where your holes are going to be and get good straight holes drilled in the frame pieces before assembling anything then everything will fit together nicely later on.
Yep im Fortunate My family Owns a Cabinet Shop. So I have Access to just about anything i want or need!
 

troutab81

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My kettles arrived last week but unfortunately the false bottom I ordered was on back order. I found a home brew supplier that had one in stock so I canceled the first order and ordered from them - hopefully it should be here next week. If not I still have a Bazooka T screen that I can attach to the pickup tube on the MLT and use that, I'm just a little worried about scorching the wort since it's direct fired. I'll definitely post some pics of the kettles mounted and the first brew day, hopefully very soon. I'll probably just do a test run with water to make sure the pumps work OK and I get familiar with controlling it.

Rob
rhutter, do you have an approx cost all in for all materials, etc?
 
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rhutter

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rhutter, do you have an approx cost all in for all materials, etc?
All said and done, minus the kettles it came in a litte over $2K. However, that's with shipping included and most stuff I had to mail order. I also ended up buying some plumbing pieces that I thought would work and didn't, so I had some waste added in there.

The killers were the Baso pilot safety valves, around $150/each. If you're not worried about the pilot and burner blowing out and will always be around when you are brewing to monitor it then you could leave them out, but I would rather be safe than sorry so I included them.

Little stuff like the quick disconnects, general hardware (carriage bolts, drill bits, angle iron, washers, etc) add up too. I have all my receipts so maybe I should post a general parts list...

I don't think there's a cost savings to doing a wood version vs. a steel one. It might even be more for a wood frame since you add in hardware, heat shields, and paint/stain/lacquer/brushes/mineral spirits. In the grand scheme of things the frame cost is nothing compared to all the extras like gas system, electrical, plumbing.

Rob
 

InfernoBrews

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Looking good. You said you were doing two tier...is your HLT going to be elevated and the MLT and brew kettle on the same plane?
Yep Right! I have also made some other Changes for the stand.. Still Basically what you have but using steel pipe (1" Gas line) for my keg supports and 1/2" Conduit for the Burner Supports.. Reduced the Cost Alot. and is just as Strong! I will be working on it again today after Work and will post some more pics as the build progresses tonight!!
 

InfernoBrews

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All said and done, minus the kettles it came in a litte over $2K. However, that's with shipping included and most stuff I had to mail order. I also ended up buying some plumbing pieces that I thought would work and didn't, so I had some waste added in there.

The killers were the Baso pilot safety valves, around $150/each. If you're not worried about the pilot and burner blowing out and will always be around when you are brewing to monitor it then you could leave them out, but I would rather be safe than sorry so I included them.

Little stuff like the quick disconnects, general hardware (carriage bolts, drill bits, angle iron, washers, etc) add up too. I have all my receipts so maybe I should post a general parts list...

I don't think there's a cost savings to doing a wood version vs. a steel one. It might even be more for a wood frame since you add in hardware, heat shields, and paint/stain/lacquer/brushes/mineral spirits. In the grand scheme of things the frame cost is nothing compared to all the extras like gas system, electrical, plumbing.

Rob
Im already up to about $500 that includes my kettles too..and all of their little additions!
 
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rhutter

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wow you are really moving right along! My project took almost three months, looks like you'll be done in a week at this pace!
 
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rhutter

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Kettles arrived last week and I was able to do a test run today. I just ran water through everything to test for leaks, make sure the pumps worked, and to time the wort chiller cool down.

Everything went well, no issues with heat affecting wood frame - I ran it for about 1.5 hours just to be sure. I found two pinhole leaks in the gas line that I fixed during the week, so that's all buttoned up. The brass QDs from McMaster Carr are great, no leaking at all.

Here's some updated pics...


Cutting silicone tubing to length


Cutting silicone tubing to length


Holes drilled for street elbows and thermowell - HLT


HLT burner lit


Test mash (just water) recirculating
 

InfernoBrews

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This might be a dumb question.. but is there a reason why your pumps are verticle? would it work better horizontal? I know the heads can be rotated on the March Pumps.. I was just curious since i have seen numerous done both ways.. Looks good!!!! Now the Excitement to brew the first batch!:ban:
 

mariojr

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The 'out' on the March should face up to allow air to escape the head for easier priming.

But it seems to work any direction just depends on your system.
 
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rhutter

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This might be a dumb question.. but is there a reason why your pumps are verticle? would it work better horizontal? I know the heads can be rotated on the March Pumps.. I was just curious since i have seen numerous done both ways.. Looks good!!!! Now the Excitement to brew the first batch!:ban:
Pretty much just went off of what others were doing. Like others say I think you can really mount them horizontal or vertical depending on your preference.
 

willynilly

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This thing is beautiful... the shine of the Blichmans, the dark wood... GAHHHHH

Amazing
 
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