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Beerbelly Mash Liquor Return Dish

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Malted

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I think it is a great product but have not used anything else to compare it to.
I found that I needed to add a second rubber o-ring to the shaft to stop the dish sliding down.
I ran a hose from the barb to the dish in a loop to allow for different sized grain bills. However the loop in the silicon hose would turn the dish to the side like in the picture. I had to twist the silicone hose to get the dish to remain in the centre of the MT.
Don't try to adjust the height of the dish once you have mashed in, it is messy and is a bit hot on the fingers diving around in the grain to push the o-rings down.
Don't put the return dish immediately above a tap/valve/thermo probe etc as the shaft may be pushed to the side by the obstruction. It is hard to get the dish to stay in the centre of the MT if the shaft is not properly vertical, on an angle and the dish wants to swing to the side. Shaft vertical, dish horizontal. It probably doesn't matter if the dish is not in the centre but it seemed to matter to me, I wanted to avoid channeling etc.

 

hsb

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I dig out the Marigolds to adjust height when I sparge.
It would be preferable to be able to adjust the height from above, not below.

I also find it a bit fiddly hitting the sweet spot to get it over the centre of the mash but it's never a big deal, I don't loop the silicon tubing, I always run 20l batches.

All in all, it's still the premiere out of the box solution for a mash return ive seen. Works a treat for me. To go better, you'd need to make your own IMO. It's worth it in a recirculating set up unless you're going with the DIY solution.
 

adraine

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I have been looking at this and the Bilchman auto sparge and im leaning this way i think. Im in the midst of designing my 3 or 4v herms system and i dont want to buy it all and change my mind later.

Maybe if they put a larger pipe section with internal oring grooves top & bottom over the height adjusting rod it would be easier to adjust & stop the swing to the side.

Could be a DIY mod if BB cant see the value of improving it.
 

billygoat

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I had one but found it a pain in the arse for all the reasons that Malted pointed out. He has summed it up well.
I sold mine after using it half a dozen times.
 

adraine

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I had one but found it a pain in the arse for all the reasons that Malted pointed out. He has summed it up well.
I sold mine after using it half a dozen times.

What do you use now?
 

Malted

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Could be a DIY mod if BB cant see the value of improving it.
Maybe add a wingnutted bolt to the vertical tube (thus tightening onto the vertical rod) above the dish level rather than the o-rings below the dish level? Might make height adjustments and alignment easier?
 

mfeighan

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i just use a short bit of silicone with a copper 1/2" elbow shoved in, goes in center always
 

adraine

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Maybe add a wingnutted bolt to the vertical tube (thus tightening onto the vertical rod) above the dish level rather than the o-rings below the dish level? Might make height adjustments and alignment easier?
That would work but you would have to extend the tube and make the wall thickness more to get a thread in it.
 

billygoat

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What do you use now?
I made up an adjustable wort return based on the principle of the shower arm you see in Bunnings.
I used compression fittings. You don't tighten them up fully so you can turn them.
On the end I used a "H" pattern wort return which I use for sparging and on my Herms.
The arm can be adjusted up and down and sideways.
You could probably use a shower arm but I think most are too long.

Waxman_7657750B_Adjustable_Shower_Arm.jpg
 

jlm

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The only thing to add to malted and hsb's comments are that it's a bit of a pain in the ass cleaning out the mashtun with it in there. That's in my current 36L cooler that I use now. In my up and coming brewery upgrade I'll be mashing in an 18 gal keg, when I get the tig work done I'll set it up with a cam lock for quick and easy removal.
 

sim

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If you DIY - slotted spoon minus the handle and some stainless tube joined with some silicon washers, as seen here, works a treat. Its removable (goes through the lid) so not a worry with dumping out the grain, and adjustable. Sorry to blow my own horn, just rather chuffed with how well it works. Nice and cheap too.
 

dicko

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Mash_Tun__5__Small_.jpg Mash_Tun_6_Small.jpg


You can make one out of a Stainless Steel Camping mug like the above.

Cheers
 

Malted

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I am thinking plumbing (specifically the elbow and hose arrangement) in the same manner as Dicko's would make the best use of a Beerbelly return dish; that'd keep the bugger centered but still allow adjustment up and down for differing grain bill volumes. Neat solution Dicko!
 

Cocko

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I use one and find it works great....

As Malted said, to coil the hose can interfere with the lid etc... I will be looking at an elbow solution now! Cheers D!cko!

I have found the recent addition of a camlock for removal for cleaning etc has been very handy.

IMG_0617.JPG

IMG_0618.JPG
 

Malted

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I think we are onto something good here! Plumbing like Dicko's and Cocko's combined and it is all sweet! With the cam lock you could pull it out to adjust the height if needed.


Edit: oh that's right I sold my 3V system! :lol:
 

Thirsty Boy

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i dont seem to have the trouble adjusting the height you guys do - mine hold its height nicely without the oring and i just slip it up and down as required.

Even with the oring - i only use it under the adjuster, so you can pull it up via the hose (no restriction going up) and push it down with your mash paddle.

I like the camlock.. might give that a go.
 

Cocko

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Ok, I have some spare fittings about and have tested the right angle design...

Please note: My personal problem was that doing a loop with the hose from the inlet to the dish was above the lid height, using one of Ross' 70L pots as a MT and the lid being barely thicker than foil it was not letting the lid close.

Please excuse the 45* fitting, as I only had one F to F 90* elbow, so used it to to change thread... anyway..


It is awesome! pic of as low and as high as can:

IMG_0619.JPG

IMG_0620.JPG

Cheers again Dicko.
 

Wolfy

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You can make one out of a Stainless Steel Camping mug like the above.
Mine is much the same, Ikea double-boiler insert, all-thread, wingnut and a short length of stainless tube:


'Inspired' by the Beerbelly product, cost about $10, with no welding/fabricating requirements.
 

dicko

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I am thinking plumbing (specifically the elbow and hose arrangement) in the same manner as Dicko's would make the best use of a Beerbelly return dish; that'd keep the bugger centered but still allow adjustment up and down for differing grain bill volumes. Neat solution Dicko!
You could use a threaded stainless rod and two wing nuts in place of your tube so the sliding part can be tightened up.

I set the height on mine to suit the mash and sparge levels...it is no fun adjusting it when the mash is underway.
I also only tighten the nuts by hand and everythig seems to stay in place but I can swing the cup out of the way for stirring the mash if necessary.
Post some pics when all is completed

Cheers

Edit; apologies wolfy I didnt read you post before posting...great minds think alike :lol:
 

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