Help designing Brew Stand

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

OneEye

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/8/11
Messages
330
Reaction score
90
Hey Guys. I'm currently brewing BIAB beers using a 40L crown urn. I've just got my hands on a 26L rubbermaid cooler and my ultimate goal now is to use the urn to heat up my strike water, mash in the cooler, sparge from the urn and then boil in the urn. Confused yet?

What I am thinking is having a two-tier setup with the mash tun above the urn. I have a little brown pump which I plan to use to pump the strike/sparge water to the mash tun. I guess one of the things I'm concerned about it knowing when to stop recirculating the mash? Are there any other problems with brewing this way? I was considering swapping the two tiers around and pumping from the mash tun but I was concerned about keeping the pump primed and getting a stuck mash.
 

Phoney

Well-Known Member
Joined
29/12/08
Messages
2,187
Reaction score
234
Location
Sydney, Innerwestside
What advantage do you see adding in a second vessel? At that size mashtun & kettle, you will still be limited to single batches. I'm curious as to what you're hoping to achieve.
 

mika

Lupulin Threshold Shift Victim
Joined
6/11/05
Messages
2,990
Reaction score
6
Presumably get's rid of the bag from the setup, if going for conventional manifold in the rubbermaid.

Presuming you want to get away from the bag;
Everything you've described sounds fine. Recircing the mash is just draining a litre or two off at a time and returning via the top of the tun onto an old lunch box lid or piece of foil so you don't disturb the grain bed. You'll usually see the wort become less cloudy (not always) and notice a lack of grain particles floating in the sample. Personally I wouldn't use the pump for recircing or transferring the mash, YMMV.
 

OneEye

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/8/11
Messages
330
Reaction score
90
Getting rid of the bag is one of the main reasons. No more lifting up 6-7 kg's of hot grain. I can't install a pulley or anything like that into my rental place. Also shooting for better efficiency! Plus... I want to use a mash paddle! :D
 

bum

Not entitled to an opinion
Joined
19/2/09
Messages
11,585
Reaction score
909
I think you're right, If you're going to pump anything then pump the strike/sparge water.

moosebeer said:
my ultimate goal now is to use the urn to heat up my strike water, mash in the cooler, sparge from the urn and then boil in the urn.
What are you planning on doing with the first runnings while you sparge?
 

Truman42

Well-Known Member
Joined
31/7/11
Messages
3,966
Reaction score
605
You could place your mash tun and urn on a single level. Drain your urn (HLT) down through your pump and back up into your mash tun for your strike water. Then take the hose off your urn (HLT) and connect it to the outlet on your kettle and recirculate via your pump while mashing. But unless your using a herms or rims you will lose temperature. But you could do this at the end of mash to filter and clear the wort through the grain bed.

Then swap the hose back to the HLT to add the sparge water at mash out. And put the outlet into the mash tun over in to the urn when your ready to boil. Eventually your going to get sick of swapping hoses like I did so you will by a 3 way valve.
Only problem with your setup either way is your going to have to add all of your sparge water to the mash as you have nowhere to drain your first runnings at mash out. Ive never done this so cant comment on how efficient this is but I dont think its going to work like that.

Of course you could add a third vessel (A 25 litre pail) to drain the MLT at mash out into. Add your sparge water from the urn then pour (or use your pump) the wort from the 25 litre pail into the urn to start it heating up for the boil while your sparging. My dad did it this way with a 2 v system and it worked well for him.

So it would become a single level 3v system though. have your pump mounted below all of this and your outlket from the pump long enough to reach into any of the vessels and you can swap hoses as you need to and everything goes via the pump. But as I said then you will want to get 3 way valves or another pump and a herms or rims and all of that.
 

bum

Not entitled to an opinion
Joined
19/2/09
Messages
11,585
Reaction score
909
Or piss the pumps off completely and use the miracle of gravity.
 

Truman42

Well-Known Member
Joined
31/7/11
Messages
3,966
Reaction score
605
bum said:
Or piss the pumps off completely and use the miracle of gravity.
Yeh you could put the Urn at the top, MLT in the middle and pail below this. Drain from HLT to MLT then at mash out drain to the bucket. Drain Sparge water to the MLT for sparging.
Move urn once empty to the lower level and swap with pail on the middle level. Drain pail into Urn then after sparging drain MLT into urn and start boiling. The only thing you have to lift thats heavy is a 12 -16 litre pail of 1st runnings.
 

JDW81

I make wort, the yeast make it beer.
Joined
19/1/11
Messages
2,253
Reaction score
876
moosebeer said:
Getting rid of the bag is one of the main reasons. No more lifting up 6-7 kg's of hot grain. I can't install a pulley or anything like that into my rental place. Also shooting for better efficiency! Plus... I want to use a mash paddle! :D
Out of interest what efficiency are you currently getting? Also, no reason you can use a mash paddle with BIAB.
 

OneEye

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/8/11
Messages
330
Reaction score
90
At the moment I'm consistently getting around 65% efficiency.

I wish I could draw a diagram on here, would make it so much easier! haha

The Mash Tun is filled with strike water via the pump. I dough in and leave it to rest for an hour. In the meantime I'm heating up water for sparge in the urn. After the hour I vorlauf into a two litre jug and when it starts running clear I let it run into the urn which has my heated sparge water in it already. It's all pumped up to the top of the mash, filtered through the grain bed and back into the kettle. So eventually my sparge water will turn into wort.

I guess being the gadget man I am I'll eventually add a third vessel when money allows for another pot and burner or another urn! Gotta love this hobby!
 

bum

Not entitled to an opinion
Joined
19/2/09
Messages
11,585
Reaction score
909
So you're planning on sparging with diluted first runnings?

Any you're so sure of your water calcs that you won't have too much sparge "water"?
 

thenymang

Member
Joined
16/8/11
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
moosebeer said:
Getting rid of the bag is one of the main reasons. No more lifting up 6-7 kg's of hot grain. I can't install a pulley or anything like that into my rental place. Also shooting for better efficiency! Plus... I want to use a mash paddle! :D
An alternative for a pulley system is to use a large funnel with a slightly wider diameter than your urn. You would still need to lift the bag, but only for a couple of seconds while you put the funnel in place. Then rest the bag on the funnel. I have a funnel like this that is exactly the right size for my crown urn and it cost about $15.

You could even do a bit of a rinse of the grain with hot water to get a bit more wort out and increase your efficiency. Not sure exactly how many additional points this will get you though (and you'd need to boil a bit longer to keep your water volumes on target).

For a mash paddle, i got a paint stirrer at Bunnings which looks like a large potato masher. Works a charm by plunging it up and down - it really churns up all the grain in the bag, compared to a long spoon i used previously.
 

Latest posts

Top