Ag Gear Specs - I Need Some Help!

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

Chatty

Well-Known Member
Joined
9/9/03
Messages
144
Reaction score
0
G'day lads, just after a bit of help to help an isolated soul make the leap into AG. Needless to say, it is nigh on impossible to actually speak to someone regarding their AG brewery and guide myself down the path of successful AG brewing. :huh:

I am thinking of going down the SS keg route for the HLT and kettle, with a 5 gallon rubbermaid for the mash tun. At this early stage herms isn't on the horizon, but will be no doubt once the bug kicks in.

Anyway, my questions mainly centre around the minor things, mainly

1. Taps - what size are your fittings and are they fixed or are the hoses changeable for the purposes of wort transfer etc.
2. Lines - what have you used for your lines (diameter and material) and are they just attached with standard hose clamps.
3. What have people used for the HLT - electricity or gas? any regrets?
4. How did people cut the SS kegs? I have come across angle grinder discs specifically for SS - are they are any good?
5. The fittings on the kegs - compression fittings or welded?


Paul
 

Batz

Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav
Joined
8/8/03
Messages
12,731
Reaction score
1,417
Chatty
Buy the 10 gallon rubbermaid , I got the 5 gallon first up as everything I read said to go smaller not bigger , BS , you need the 10 gallon jobby

Also a credit card comes in handy

batz
 

Jazman

Fishweide BrauHaus
Joined
1/5/03
Messages
1,630
Reaction score
4
dont fotget those nasa burners from globe importers in adelaide
 

Doc

Doctor's Orders Brewing
Joined
7/12/02
Messages
7,713
Reaction score
40
Location
Sydney
Chatty said:
Anyway, my questions mainly centre around the minor things, mainly

1. Taps - what size are your fittings and are they fixed or are the hoses changeable for the purposes of wort transfer etc.
2. Lines - what have you used for your lines (diameter and material) and are they just attached with standard hose clamps.
3. What have people used for the HLT - electricity or gas? any regrets?
4. How did people cut the SS kegs? I have come across angle grinder discs specifically for SS - are they are any good?
5. The fittings on the kegs - compression fittings or welded?
Hi Paul,

1. Taps are 1/2"
2. Lines. The tubing from a hand held portable shower rose available from most hardware stores, and hot water PVC tubing.
3. HLT is a 30 Litre hot water urn. Hook it up to a timer to come on at 5:30am and its ready for dough in at 7am when I get up.
4. Dremel tool.
5. One of each (welded and compresion fittings). Both work well. Neither wins over the other. They both do the job.

Check out the setup of my ghetto brewing in the Gallery.

Beers,
Doc
 

pint of lager

brewing on the verandah
Joined
9/5/04
Messages
2,287
Reaction score
11
Chatty,

Most people's gear tends to be a mixture as to what they have lying around, what skills they have (or their beer drinking mates have), and how deep their pockets are.

1. I have one tap, a 3/4" ball valve between the boiler and the cfc, because that is what we had in the shed

2. The line between the boiler and the cfc is plastic with ss outer braid, this means the boiler can be moved and gently tipped to drain all the wort from the hops (which are usually pellets as whole hops would block the small diam flexible coupling and I have no hop back in the boiler). There is the correct copper fitting brazed to the end of the tap which allows me to unscew the cfc and flush it with sanitiser prior to running wort through it

3. use gas or electicity, whichever you find easier setting up. Most people go the gas path, as it is easier to set up.

4. cut the kegs with standard metal cutting disks on the angle grinder

5. The boiler has a ss pipe welded to it, with the right thread to screw the 3/4 " ball valve onto. The neighbour here miged it in.

Finally, even though you are ag isolated, you have a huge resource of people on line to give advice. I suggest you do mini mashes with cheap kitchen equipment to get the procedure straight in your mind, then move to all ag using easy pale ale recipes before you launch into the barleywine of your dreams.
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
Joined
18/12/02
Messages
3,699
Reaction score
11
Ok i have built - sourced my own AG as has all All Grainers.
I use a 10 gallon Rubbermaid 36ltr cooler as a mash tun
I source and sell ss fittings that i use - with 1/2inch SS Nipples taht conect to 12mm hose to the elbow of the ss false bottom.
If u use 3/4inch SS Ball lock valves with a female end - u can screw a 3/4 inch male nylex hose snap lock fitting into it.
This is waht i use as i can use 1/2 inch rain water/drinking water hose with female nylex snap fittings to conect/disconect my brewery apart.
Makes it easier to clean etc.

OK - HLT - i use a 30 ltr Urn - finding this a little limiting for double batches.
Kettle - i use an aluminuim copper washer 70ltrs electric.

IMHO the best system would be a 50 ltr HLT, 50 ltr Mash tun and a 70 ltr kettle.
 

Justin

Well-Known Member
Joined
4/11/03
Messages
1,517
Reaction score
14
Chatty, use those stainless cutting disks on your angle grinder. I'm assuming they are the super thin ones (~1-2mm thick). These are the beez neez of cutting disk for this job, plus they have no trace of ferrous metal in them that may contaminate your stainless and cause it to rust. Also, either some pickling acid (10% nitric acid if I remember rightly) is a nice think to have to stop your cuts and holes rusting, or patience will do (keeping your kegs away from moisture) to allow the stainless to repassivate itself (ie. get back it's rust resistant properties).

Oh, and what the others said above.

Good luck, JD
 

Chatty

Well-Known Member
Joined
9/9/03
Messages
144
Reaction score
0
Thanks all for your replies - pretty helpful gents. Has anyone found it useful to have a fixed line running from the mash tun to the kettle, or is dropping it in with a length of hose all right? I ask this from an aeration point of view (and probably an aesthetic one as well - might as well put a bit more braid in the system...) :p

Also, is food grade PVC hose all right at high temps or is there a specific heat tolerant type that is necessary?

As a final request, could anyone that can post a picture(s) showing a close up of their fittings? Mainly so that I can get an idea of how everything is attached to hoses/cfc's/mash tun etc.

Thanks for the help already gents, i'll post the results in (hopefully) a few weeks. B)

Chatty
 

roach

brasserie de cancrelat
Joined
23/4/04
Messages
724
Reaction score
2
you want to run a hose from the mash tun to base of the kettle. Otherwise you risk Hot Side Aeration. You only want aeration from the kettle to the fermenter so that the yeast has some oxygen to eat with the wort.
 

Hoops

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/11/03
Messages
1,289
Reaction score
2
roach said:
You only want aeration from the kettle to the fermenter so that the yeast has some oxygen to eat with the wort.
As long as the kettles contents are cooled ;)
 

Batz

Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav
Joined
8/8/03
Messages
12,731
Reaction score
1,417
I going to stick my neck out here and say that I wonder if HSA is what it's cranked up too be.
The first brews I did I sparged into a bucket , from a fair distance , then tipped the bucket into the kettle , never had the so called carboard tastes.

I by no means state that HSA does not affect a brew , but I personally don't worry about it at all anymore

Batz
 

Hoops

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/11/03
Messages
1,289
Reaction score
2
I have poured hot water/wort into my kettle from a height and never seemed to get HSA. From what I remember reading aeration before the boil is not as bad as aeration after the boil as oxygen is driven off during the boil. I am not too concerned about it before the boil.
Hoops
 

Green Iguana

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/3/04
Messages
253
Reaction score
0
Chatty...have a look at my new brewery setup in the gallery...closeups of connections + detailed explanations.....

cheers
 

roach

brasserie de cancrelat
Joined
23/4/04
Messages
724
Reaction score
2
Batz and Hoops - I have always been pretty sceptical about HSA, but if I was beginning an AG set up I would design it to minimise it. However not worth stressing about it and the message is prolly 'just do it' and get started.

Hoops - yes good point re ensuring wort is cooled b4 dropping into the fermenter
 

Batz

Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav
Joined
8/8/03
Messages
12,731
Reaction score
1,417
Too bring this thread back

I started my AG with a 20 lt urn , 5 gallon rubbermaid , and a simple keg kettle , nothing else.

It's a bit more mucking around but I did lots of brews this way , don't wait to you have all the fancy stuff

Batz
 

jayse

Black Label Society
Joined
25/7/03
Messages
3,402
Reaction score
12
I was pretty much the same batz, except no HLT i just used the kettle, but i did make a Hybrid CFC like the copper coil in a pvc pipe job palmer desribes how to build.
For sparge i heated the water in the kettle and transferred it to a fermentor, so i could collect the wort in the kettle. lifing the fermentor up high enough with hot water in it was not the greatest but it worked no probs at all.
I found after doing some partial mashes and going over the process, the brewery becomes a process not a set of equipment, You could do 20litres of all grain wort with stuff a lot of people already have.

The HSA thing i just take as it does technically happen so therefore avoid it as much as possible, weather you taste any difference in a beer if you didn't avoid it is another matter.

Good luck with the new brewery, and search the web for some more pictures and pages on home breweries, theres thousands of systems out there, thats how i learnt how everybody else was doing things.


Jayse
 
Top