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Justin

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Hi fellas,

Just thought I'd throw this out for discussion and thoughts. Might be kind of relevant too to all those new "REAL" brewers :)ph34r: ;) ) who are getting their pumps soon also and will no doubt be changing their brewing system configuations to suit their newest toy.

I've been planning on a brewery revamp for a little while now and for the past week or two I've been drawing and planning the various combinations and arrangements possible trying to decide on which one I would like to build. I've AG'd for a couple of years now so I know how and what to put together but I'm just trying to find the exact configuration I would like to build now that I have a pump.

I currently have a three tier that gravity feeds all the way to fermenter. While this is a nice system it is high and big (wooden frame) and I'd like to have the option of doing a double batch-so the esky will be retired and a third keg steps in for the tun (esky will still run on the small batches). Although it was never the plan when I built the three tier, I tended to mash in with my esky on the ground and then lift the 19L of mash in the tun to the right level. I thought I'd mash in with the esky on the stand by building a step to stand on but it never happened. 19L isn't heavy but I'm not going to be lifting a double batch :blink: .

So time to build the new system. I've got a pump that I plan to use, I have no plans for a rims or herms. Direct firing will serve all my purposes. My requirements are that my tun is low enough for one bloke to stand next to and mash in safely and easily see the mash level (I fly sparge)-I may consider a small step of 30cm in height that folds into the frame. But I'd like the system low and compact. Gravity feed to fermenter would be nice but I can always pump.

Here are the designs. What are most people using and what are your grievences with it. I know everyone wants different things but I just felt like a bit of a discussion.

Cheers, Justin

Design 1. A low three tier. Kettle just height enough to clear fermenter. Compact system, MT shouldn't be too high if I can minimise space between HLT and MT and fit a burner between the two. Perhaps best if a small step is included.

low3tier.jpg
 

Justin

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Design 2: The traditional two tier.
Two possibilities with this design, both functionally the same. I could see in this tun if my kettle is low enough to the ground (hey I'm only little :p ) so I'd probably have to pump to the fermenter as well. Takes up a bit more space in the horizontal plane. Well proven, popular design. But on the larger size.

2tier1a.jpg


2tier2.jpg
 

Justin

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Design 3: The one tier.
Asthetically the most pleasing but I only have one pump. This means I'll have to change to batch sparging (I could use a grant but I don't want to bother double handling the runnings). Will need to change pump from mash tun to kettle, hlt to tun. More pump priming. A bit more clumsy than the other two because of this reason. Advantage is the low height, but still wide in the horizontal. Looks beautiful though, doughnit!

I think I like the idea of the small low three tier but I can't decide yet. This weekend I'm going to be mock building my system for height and layout and see which feels the best.

So what about you other new march pump owners? Are there going to be some flash new systems on this forum soon.

Cheers, Justin

1tier1.jpg
 

Justin

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Here is my current system just for show.

Plus here is the website to the low three tier that is swaying me this way. Beautiful little system. Worth a look through the rest of the site. (http://hbd.org/hollen/)

Pic showing whole system:
http://hbd.org/hollen/lrims/P0004144.JPG

Oh, my HLT is electric too so it can basically sit on the ground which saves me a few inches in height.

Cheers, Justin

full_setup__small_file_size_.jpg
 

Gout

Bentleigh Brau Haus
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I have HLT up top and the mash and boiler on the lower level. I love to be able to look into the mash tun and also the boiler... also like them at the lower heights (dont like it above the hips, and worse is head height)

I let hlt drain into mash tun, and pump from mash tun to boiler etc

small pump to run the CFWC
 

Darren

Beer Dog
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Mine is the same configuration as Gouts. Also saves lifting the tun full of spent grains (which BTW is going to more than twice as heavy as your original esky when you consider the weight of the keg). Also allows you to easily stir the mash without getting on a ladder. If your kettle is lower than your tun you will also be able to drain to your kettle by gravity if you wish (after all there is no need to sparge any faster than you can boil)
cheers
Darren
 

ausdb

Copper kettles don't kill people....
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I have the Brewsink 0.8 beta (tm patent pending) its pretty flexible as I can mix and match to suit what size batch I am brewing.

IMG_4795.JPG

The kettle heats the mash and sparge water which is pumped up to each vessell as needed. If I am doing a mashout then I heat the mashout water in the lettle as well an pump that into the mash tun when its needed. I always heat a bit more mashout water anyway and put some 1shot in which gets pumped through the CFC to sanitise and then into a bucket or the fermenter. The pump is a $60 mag drive washing machine one and its still going!

EDIT at the end of the session, I take the mash tun and sparge tank off and run the CFC waste water into the sinks for washup!!

Cheers Ausdb
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
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Ok - Justin...

why dont u rotate your wooden bench set up 90 degrees right.
then u can have HLT and MT on same level - Kettle on the step CCCFWC under the kettle and will most probably have to pump into the fermenter.

I personally would have the HLT pump into the mt and gravity feeding into the kettle from the MT - i underlet into the kettle. This also helps to stop stuck sparges by the pump compacting the bed.

i use CCCFWC so i pump thru that into the fermenter.
Ensure that u have enough height under the kettle for the CCCFWC or make allowances for one later on.

Hope this helps.
 

Hopsta

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Hey Justin,

Im in the process of designing and getting all the bits and peices for my AG setup, the design i've decided to go with is the 2nd pic u posted, reason being i will be using a 36ltr round drinks cooler as mash tun and 1 NASA burner which i will be able to slide from HLT to Kettle without having to worry about melting my mashtun. The pump (cant wait for it to arrive) will pump from HLT to mashtun. The whole system will be high enough for gravity feed from mashtun to kettle and through CFWC to fermenter. Thats the plan anyway! Looks good on paper cant wait to get it all up and running!

Cheers
Hopsta

P.S if you can think of any improvments or ways i could better the design i'm open to suggestions. So far i only have a mental picture and a scribble on paper :blink:
 

ausdb

Copper kettles don't kill people....
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Hopsta said:
Im in the process of designing and getting all the bits and peices for my AG setup, the design i've decided to go with is the 2nd pic u posted, reason being i will be using a 36ltr round drinks cooler as mash tun and 1 NASA burner which i will be able to slide from HLT to Kettle without having to worry about melting my mashtun. The pump (cant wait for it to arrive) will pump from HLT to mashtun. The whole system will be high enough for gravity feed from mashtun to kettle and through CFWC to fermenter. Thats the plan anyway! Looks good on paper cant wait to get it all up and running!
Why not just insulate your HLT and pump into it from your kettle? a NASA has more than enough oomph to heat your sparge water quicker than you need the kettle space for when you are waiting for the mash to convert. If yo are worried about your sparge water being a bit cold just overshoot from the klettle and cool it down with some makeup water

Ausdb
 

warrenlw63

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G'day Justin.

Sounds like you've got some research on your hands. :D

Not sure if I'm preaching to the converted here. However this site (Barleys in the Netherlands) is a virtual wealth of system configurations. It's been bandied about on this site a few times.

Barleys.nl

Only downfall is it's also a wealth of popup ads. :blink:

Good luck with the new setup and keep us all updated in your usual informative way. :super:

Sad the old frame is going though I'm sure she served you well... It was the basic inspiration for mine. :beerbang:

Warren -
 

Justin

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Thanks fellas.

Yeah Warren, sad to see her decommissioned because it did work well but I'm looking for something smaller now. Just a necessity really, I may pass it on to another brewer if they are interested and give her a new lease on life. I've browsed over Barley and Jean Sebastians sites for a long time now, also on the HBD Picture Gallery amoung others (below). I've probably seen every configuration out there but was just fishing for other opinions on what people like in the different setups.

I'm a big fan of gravity feed to the kettle so whatever system I decide to go chances are good that the MT will be higher than the kettle so I don't have to pump here. But maybe I'll go with a single tier. Thing is I've got all the fittings basically so I can probably trial run several options just by arranging the vessels for the day-just means I have to brew more :D. They each still have pro's and con's for each design. I might try to list the pro's and con's for myself and see which one is going to fit me the best.

Thanks GMK, I had thought about that idea way back when I built my three tier. Problem is it is still quite big even on it's side. I'm really trying to compact everything down into a tight little unit.

I've got the toys to make a nice system like I always wanted. I've got three tel-trus, a thermostat (although very tempted to update to a nice digital one with a wire probe as opposed to my copper capillary), march pump, sight glasses, three converted kegs. I plan to make my new frame from steel this time, mostly for looks and I can get away with a smaller frame too with steel. I won't hard plumb it but will buy more silicone tubing from G&G, maybe PVC braid? Going to stay with my immersion chiller but maybe mount it inside my kettle. I'm a bit pissed off that I missed 15m of 3/8" copper tube for $20 (+postage) on ebay yesterday. It had a "buy it now" for $20 but the guy didn't get back to me quick enough with a postage quote (would have been less than $20 no doubt) and it sold. Spewing :angry:

http://brewery.mvlan.net/folder/011/Homebr...es%20Directory/

http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi

http://www.brew-beer.com/breweries.htm

http://members.tripod.com/richard48066/index2.html

Cheers, Justin
 

Hopsta

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[/quote]

Why not just insulate your HLT and pump into it from your kettle? a NASA has more than enough oomph to heat your sparge water quicker than you need the kettle space for when you are waiting for the mash to convert. If yo are worried about your sparge water being a bit cold just overshoot from the klettle and cool it down with some makeup water

Ausdb
[post="73676"][/post]​
[/quote]

Thats something i didnt consider, not a bad idea either. We have a thick foam sheet at home (used for doing situps on hard surface so you dont hurt ur lower back) could be a good insulator.
 

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