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Crazy's Brew Shed

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Crazy

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Hi all

Thought I might share a few pic's of the new All Grain sculpture and brew shed.

brewery.jpgsparge.jpg

This is the fermenting fridge with a both heating and cooling omron temp controller.

fermenter.jpg

Then onto the cold conditioning fridge and storage for yeasts (under shelf) and brewer nutriants (in door)

cc_fridge.jpg

And finaly after the first 45L batch fermenting in the kegs, we decided that a forklift would greatly assist in the brewing process, especialy after a few of the beers out of the cc fridge.

forklift__side.jpg

Now for the reason for being in the fermenter and not gear and equipment. Before the sculpture I was using a 20L pot as a mash tun with a sloted s/steel pipe as a manifold. I was geting about 75 - 80% eficiancy from this setup. The batch size in this however was limited to about 5kg of grain.

Now I use a fifty litre keg with a false bottom for the mash tun and my eficiancy has fallen to between 55 and 65% although I can now mash probably 15kg or more of grain (9-11kg is the norm). I also use a march pump to pump the wort from under the grain bed through a heat exchanger in the hlt to regulate the temp.

I brew mainly dark ales and the occasional english bitter and with the next brew to be a belgan strong ale I would like to try to improve this eficiancy.

Sorry about the length of the post and perhaps any spelling mistakes as I havn't work out how to spell check yet.

Regards Derrick
 

johnno

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Groovy setup crazy.
That room you brew in is about the size of my backyard.

As for your efficiencies dropping. I found the same thing when i moved to AG. Previous to that I was using between 2 - 3 kilos of grain in part mashes and was getting pretty good efficiency.
My efficiency is slowly improving i have found by tweaking a bit here and there. I imagine once i get it proper i will add new equipment or some other change will happen. :D
Good luck with it all.

johnno
 

Darren

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Hi Crazy, Try adjusing your water to grain ratio up (ie more water) You will probably get better efficiency that way. Stiring to ensure there is no dough balls will also help.
set-up looks great.
cheers
Darren
 

markws

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Crazy,

Tidy set-up.....your shed is bigger than my house!!!!!!!!

Cheers

MWS
 

Ross

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Very impressive crazy - Good to see so many Brisbane Ag's these days... :chug:
 

AndrewQLD

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Crazy, I have a similar setup to you and have experienced similar problems, I have found that using the pump you tend to sparge a lot faster, this does effect the efficiency. Try sparging slower and throttle back the pump, if your not taking at least an hour for 15 k of grain to sparge then I think your going to fast. I normally batch sparge and my eff has been around 69%which is still not as high as I want it.
Also the more grain and higher the gravity brew that you do will also mean less eff.

Cheers
Andrew
 

Crazy

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Thanks all

The pump is mearly for temp control and I gravity sparge. I havn't however been taking an hour to sparge (about 20min to half an hour) so I may give this a go.

Regards Derrick

PS the shed dosn't feel that big when all the tools are out and there are bits of beer stuff in varying degrees of construction all over the place. :huh:
 

Borret

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Mate there's more room in the brew room than Jabba's Sail Barge. Nice work. Must be nice having an area totally dedicated to brewing. You look like you've got a nice simple but functional setup. Top Stuff.

As far as efficiency you have brought up a question I have always wondered about. It appears you have a HERMS setup? yes. I know that only small temperature adjustments are used but what temperature does the actual heat exchanger run at?
I am no expert but from my way of thinking if a heat exchanger itself is running at a much higher temp then the recirculating mash wort which contains all your enzymes in solution is actually hitting mash out temps as it passes through which will destory the enzymes and lower conversion efficiency. Would this be a possibility or am I being misguided in my approach.
I have just started AGing on a false bottom and nearly fell over at 81% mash effic on the first go. Beginners luck maybe. Hope yours improves

Cheers

Borret
 

Peter Wadey

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Hi Crazy,
Dedicated brewing space....I'm green with envy.
I had to fight the wind out in the backyard last Sunday.
Almost blew me away!

Crazy wrote:
I havn't however been taking an hour to sparge (about 20min to half an hour)
That will do it. I concur with Andrew, sparge slower to increase your extraction.

I get 85%+ for (recirc + sparge) time of an hour.

Happy brewing,
Pete
 

Crazy

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Borret

The heat exchanger is just an imersion chiller that I used to use in the kettle before I welded another keg on top to almost double the capacity. It lives in the HLT and while mashing I keep the water at about sparge temp, ready to start sparging. I generaly do three or four temp rises depending on the recipe and each takes about five minuits of pumping. Because it takes this long and the temp in the HLT is not that high I don't think I am raising the temp too high for the enzimes but I could be wrong. <_<

81% on your first try, you would have to happy with that. I would be happy with about 70 at the moment. :rolleyes:

Regards Derrick
 

Ross

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strange how diffferent peoples sparging varys so much - I batch sparge & it doesn't make any difference whether it's done fast or slow - still get 75% everytime...
 

Crazy

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Ross said:
strange how diffferent peoples sparging varys so much - I batch sparge & it doesn't make any difference whether it's done fast or slow - still get 75% everytime...
[post="77101"][/post]​
Ross

By batch sparge are you draining all wort each time before you sparge again or is all your total liquid in the mash tun at one time?

Regards Derrick
 

Ross

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Crazy said:
Ross said:
strange how diffferent peoples sparging varys so much - I batch sparge & it doesn't make any difference whether it's done fast or slow - still get 75% everytime...
[post="77101"][/post]​
Ross

By batch sparge are you draining all wort each time before you sparge again or is all your total liquid in the mash tun at one time?

Regards Derrick
[post="77103"][/post]​
2 sparges - collect equal volume each time to achieve boil volume...

Cheers Ross
 

tangent

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Crazy, what's the dealo with the forklift?
Home-made?
Counterweight?
Looks great! Many a dodgey back out there be keen on that in their shed.
You should be on the Inventors on ABC mate!
How much for 2 in SA?
 

Crazy

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tangent said:
Crazy, what's the dealo with the forklift?
Home-made?
Counterweight?
Looks great! Many a dodgey back out there be keen on that in their shed.
You should be on the Inventors on ABC mate!
How much for 2 in SA?
[post="77217"][/post]​
Tangent

It's the third generation made from dits of steel laying around the shed and a cheap boat winch. It's not counter ballanced, the wheels come out the same distance as the tines.

Regards Derrick
 

tangent

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You should be knocking those out for sale mate!
 

tangent

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I just saw something similar to what you made Crazy,
$1200
You might want to go into production after all...
 

Crazy

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Tangent

The one it is roughly modeled on is about $1200 and was designed for lifting large circuit breakers and the like into switchboards.
 

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