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Help planning a 120L System

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Guysmiley54

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Hey guys,

I'm working on a plan for a 120L system and I'm really not sure which way to go...

I'm currently a single batch electric BIAB brewer so I've never really had to think about the mechanics of my equipment that much so far.

I'm considering this setup so far...

HLT - http://craftbrewer.com.au/shop/details.asp?PID=4769
Mash Tun - http://www.ibrew.com.au/collections/blichmann-boilermaker-brewpots/products/30gal-boilemaker-brewpot
Kettle - http://www.ibrew.com.au/collections/blichmann-boilermaker-brewpots/products/55gal-boilermaker-brewpot

I have a working budget of around $3000 so I think including pump(s) and burners (electric?) etc, this is achievable.

The big Blichmann kettle is bigger than I will need... I can't seem to find anywhere that sells a 150L pot though. What would be the best plan to heat? Electric in HLT, gas fired kettle? The logistics are giving me a headache!!

If anyone can come up with a better idea (2V recirculated?) to for a system of this size please chime in :)

Cheers :)
 

AntonW

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Hello,

Going through a similar process myself. This is a massive project. Good luck.

You need to know that it takes 4.2 joules of energy to heat 1 gram of water by 1 degree celsius. 1 watt gives you a joule a second and the most that a normal power circuit can give you is 2400watts. Do the maths and save yourself a lot of trouble. Or get a 32 jet mongolian burner and a decent heatshield.

Unless you have 3 phase power (and I don't even know if that's useful for heating things), or 2*15 amp circuits, it'll take more time that you've got to heat your strike water. So go with gas.
Fortunately, there is a wealth of gas control knowledge you can draw on. This problem was solved long ago for home heating.

And do you really have to have a 120 litre system? Can you dilute a high gravity wort instead? If you went with 100 litre pots you could still boil 80 litres and dilute it to 100 litres without too much trouble, and it'll chill a lot faster. Sorry if you've considered this and you're actually looking to finish with 200 litres!

Anyway, I'm not far enough down this path to offer definitive advice but happy to help if you can't find what you're looking for on AHB forums.
 

Helles

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I have a 100lt Herms could get 120lt out of it but only just started doing 100lt batches up from 80lt
80lt HLT KK Electric element Some times need to add 5lt or so for sparge
80lt MT Gas fired for mash out and HERMS for temp control and step mash fits 20 kg easily 25kg at a squeeze
150 lt Kettle Gas fired Italian spiral burner with Medium pressure reg Boils 100lt easy Usally boiling just at end of sparge
HERMS is copper coil in HLT (soon to be separate in 4v)
Digitally controlled Mash temp with pump through HERMS March pump
Also 2 tier , Sparge water is pumped Mash is gravity drained
HLT digitally controlled temp
Although pretty rustic rig made from old CUB 80's
Works well

Dont think this actually helped but its the way i brew
 

Guysmiley54

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AntonW said:
Hello,

Going through a similar process myself. This is a massive project. Good luck.

You need to know that it takes 1 joule of energy to heat 1 gram of water by 1 degree celsius. 1 watt gives you a joule a second and the most that a normal power circuit can give you is 2400watts. Do the maths and save yourself a lot of trouble. Or get a 32 jet mongolian burner and a decent heatshield.

Unless you have 3 phase power (and I don't even know if that's useful for heating things), or 2*15 amp circuits, it'll take more time that you've got to heat your strike water. So go with gas.
Fortunately, there is a wealth of gas control knowledge you can draw on. This problem was solved long ago for home heating.

And do you really have to have a 120 litre system? Can you dilute a high gravity wort instead? If you went with 100 litre pots you could still boil 80 litres and dilute it to 100 litres without too much trouble, and it'll chill a lot faster. Sorry if you've considered this and you're actually looking to finish with 200 litres!

Anyway, I'm not far enough down this path to offer definitive advice but happy to help if you can't find what you're looking for on AHB forums.
Thanks for the reply,

My next step was to do the math on the electricity and it sounds like 3 phase would almost certainly be required. You asked if I really need 120L, this project may be intended to brew around 1200L a year of beer on contract for a specific purpose. To that end, 3 phase may be an acceptable solution if it is the best one. Having said all that... Gas seems the easiest and cheapest install.

Looking at the numbers again I wonder if could get anything close to this batch size without HLT and MLT being at least 120L, Even a smaller batch and dilution at the end wouldn't help me much with 100L pots.

If that Ebay link is any good I could grab 3 of those 140L and pimp them out with Beerbelly fittings...

Quite a project indeed! There isn't much on the market at this size. Braumeister have the 200L system, but that is VERY expensive and fermenting more than 120L at a time opens up new challenges (as far as I can see) anyway...
 

Guysmiley54

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helles said:
I have a 100lt Herms could get 120lt out of it but only just started doing 100lt batches up from 80lt
80lt HLT KK Electric element Some times need to add 5lt or so for sparge
80lt MT Gas fired for mash out and HERMS for temp control and step mash fits 20 kg easily 25kg at a squeeze
150 lt Kettle Gas fired Italian spiral burner with Medium pressure reg Boils 100lt easy Usally boiling just at end of sparge
HERMS is copper coil in HLT (soon to be separate in 4v)
Digitally controlled Mash temp with pump through HERMS March pump
Also 2 tier , Sparge water is pumped Mash is gravity drained
HLT digitally controlled temp
Although pretty rustic rig made from old CUB 80's
Works well

Dont think this actually helped but its the way i brew
So you heat your strike water in the MT? What is your liquor to grist ratio? How do you get the extra water to get up to 100L boil? I assume it's from the HLT... is the KK element beefy enough to handle it?

Thanks for the help :)
 

dago001

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Can't help a lot with your issues, but I can say that I struggle to boil, 60 litres with a 3.0 kw element in an 80 litre pot. So assuming that you will have a pot approx double the size, you will be looking at maybe 2 x 3.6 kw elements, which would mean 2 x 15 amp power supplies to run the boil. My guess is gas would be the best way to boil, unless you can get a couple of 32 amp (or maybe 1 x 32 amp and 1 x 15 amp) supplies to your brewing area.
Unless multi step temp mashes are required, I wouldnt worry about herms or rims. A well insulated MT at the size you are talking about, wouldn't lose much heat.
Sparge water can be either electric or gas - depending on which way you decide to go with your boil. If you go with electric, you should have a enough power to suplly your HLT, if you go gas the same applies.
Anyway - all the best with your endeavours, it's got to be better than infected beer ;) I'm probably just talking out of my a@se, which I have been known to do sometimes.
Cheers
LagerBomb (2 metres tall and bullet proof)
 

stux

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Braumeister make a 500l version now ;)

You can run three elements with three phases. I believe Qldkev has a three phase electric 140L pot

Think it's *just* 3x2.4KW
 

kegs23

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my set up is a 70l hlt stainless
2x 38l mash tuns with false bottoms
140l pot aluminum
plus an extra 50l pot spare but use for single batches

2x 4 ring cast iron gas burner from the camping store with rambo med gas regulator

this is all set up on a 3 tier gravity feed rack,

takes about 4.5hrs to make 100L in one batch
about 3hrs to make 23L
and takes 1.5 hrs more to make each 23L after the 1st batch,,,,,i did 1 double batch and four more singles in 9hours
i use 2 mash tuns and batch sparge so when one is filling one is draining
 

Guysmiley54

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LagerBomb said:
Can't help a lot with your issues, but I can say that I struggle to boil, 60 litres with a 3.0 kw element in an 80 litre pot. So assuming that you will have a pot approx double the size, you will be looking at maybe 2 x 3.6 kw elements, which would mean 2 x 15 amp power supplies to run the boil. My guess is gas would be the best way to boil, unless you can get a couple of 32 amp (or maybe 1 x 32 amp and 1 x 15 amp) supplies to your brewing area.
Unless multi step temp mashes are required, I wouldnt worry about herms or rims. A well insulated MT at the size you are talking about, wouldn't lose much heat.
Sparge water can be either electric or gas - depending on which way you decide to go with your boil. If you go with electric, you should have a enough power to suplly your HLT, if you go gas the same applies.
Anyway - all the best with your endeavours, it's got to be better than infected beer ;) I'm probably just talking out of my a@se, which I have been known to do sometimes.
Cheers
LagerBomb (2 metres tall and bullet proof)
Thanks for the info LagerBomb :p (Cheeky bugger!)
 

Guysmiley54

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Stux said:
Braumeister make a 500l version now ;)

You can run three elements with three phases. I believe Qldkev has a three phase electric 140L pot

Think it's *just* 3x2.4KW
The 500 looks amazing!! How much I wonder... Probably a bit much for the project in mind but maybe useful down the track if things progress well for me...

I'd be curious how little labour goes into making a batch on the 50L version. If it's not a crazy amount of work, it might be feasible to do two over gravity batches and dilute 100L into 120L. Any one with a 50L Braumeister care to comment on experiences and expectations for back to back batches? One benefit would be to grab the short pipe and still do singles for my personal brewing adventures!
 

Guysmiley54

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kegs23 said:
my set up is a 70l hlt stainless
2x 38l mash tuns with false bottoms
140l pot aluminum
plus an extra 50l pot spare but use for single batches

2x 4 ring cast iron gas burner from the camping store with rambo med gas regulator

this is all set up on a 3 tier gravity feed rack,

takes about 4.5hrs to make 100L in one batch
about 3hrs to make 23L
and takes 1.5 hrs more to make each 23L after the 1st batch,,,,,i did 1 double batch and four more singles in 9hours
i use 2 mash tuns and batch sparge so when one is filling one is draining
That's a clever concept, using two mash tuns. The flexibility between single and quads(?) is very cool! Something to consider for sure.

Could you squeeze 120L out of a 140L Kettle? Where did you find the 140L pot?
 

Helles

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Guysmiley54 said:
So you heat your strike water in the MT? What is your liquor to grist ratio? How do you get the extra water to get up to 100L boil? I assume it's from the HLT... is the KK element beefy enough to handle it?

Thanks for the help :)
Yes all is set on a timer
HLT turns on and pump at the same time MT Strike water is pumped through HERMS to preset degrees
Usally use 2.8lt/KG
Filtered water is added to Kettle How much depends on Gravity of mash @ end of mash
I check this with refractometer on the way to mash out SG of mash 1080 should get 100lt @1050 give or take
KK element is in old 80lt CUB keg filled to the Brim and does pretty well
I do heat HLT water to 75'c the night before and add brewing salts to mash water
Heating the night before is not needed takes about 2 hours and heats MT strike water through HERMS
Aswell as mixing in brewing salts which is why i heat the night before
If you dont heat the night before you just need to know how long it will take

Hope this helps
 

Guysmiley54

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Ah... a timer would help fix any problems with strike water ramp times. I assume you'd have to refill it for sparge water, what do you do there? A long mash I guess...
 

Helles

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Single step infusion mash for 2 HRS or else it isn't converted Mashout @75-76'c
Dont refill sparge water until during sparge
Add water to MT+salts the night before and HERMS heats it in the morning to preset temp
But do top up sparge with filtered water during sparge, slowly to keep sparge temp
 

mxd

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another option for the MLT I would look at a 150 ltr esky, $200
for the HLT try and find a instant HWS that can get to mashout temps ? Or nasa burner and the pot from craft brewer (heat you stirke water in the MLT (through HX might need 15 amp element in 8 ltr pot) for mash in) $400

then a 150+ ltr gas fired Kettle from ?? (200 ltr drum and gas burner)
 

QldKev

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Guysmiley54 said:
That's a Triton pot, they are an excellent quality pot for commercial use. I've got that exact one as my kettle and prior to that as a big BIAB setup (I've got a thread on here by that name, it was a 100L BIAB). If you don't want to splash out for s/s then I think this is the next best option.


QldKev
 

QldKev

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My system I sometimes brew a 112L batch
82L HLT with 2 x 2200w elements
100L Mash Tun, 1 x 2000w kettle element in HERMS, and 1 x 2400w internal RIMS element
140L kettle, 3 x 2000w elements.

I run the system from 3 1/2 x 10amp outlets
The 1/2 x 10amp is shared with my brewing fridges, and runs march pump, and the all important brew radio and fan.

The other 3 x 10amp outlets are shared over the brew day
Pre-strike: 2 x elements in the HLT, 1 x mill (could be done prior, but since it's spare I use it)
Mash: 1 x HERMS, 1 x RIMS, 1 x HLT (to get the mashout water up to temp)
Pre-boil: 1 x HERMS, 1 x RIMS, 1 x kettle (This is once I have enough water in the kettle to cover elements from first runnings and HLT is up to temp)
Boil: 3 elements in kettle.

I have a water heating time calculator on my website: qldkev.net

I used to run 2 NASA burners under the kettle but since I brew in the main carport of the house, plus living in Queensland wanted something that threw out less heat into the work area. 1 NASA burner running flat out could produce quicker heating in the kettle than I can get with 6000w. (I did have the 150,000btu version, not the 100,000btu ones). I also prefer elec elements over gas as it's quite. As a bonus with elec you can work out how long it will from from mashout temps to the boil, so unlike gas burners you can leave the system for a while.

6,000w in the size kettle I'm using is about correct for me, but I did need to insulate the kettle to get my desired boil level.

I find when doing the 112L batch the HLT is currently the weak link in the system. I need to drain most the water from it for the strike, and once I've refilled it only having 1 element running I need to ensure I have a longer stepped mash to give the HLT time to get up to mash out temps. I'm currently playing with a circuit to allow the sharing of power between 2 elements. So when the HERMS element is off, the second HLT element may use the power (if the HLT is not up to temp). As soon as the HERMS wants power back it drops the HLT element power. An easier way would be to have a larger HLT and initially heat more water; or have a 15amp circuit for the HLT.

Initially I didn't have both the internal RIMS and HERMS on the system, I just had the RIMS. With the flow of the system I was only getting about 0.3c per minute ramp rates, hence needed to add more power to the heat exchanger. If I built the system again I would not use RIMS with it's issues with crap burning on to the element, and would beef up the HERMS with 2 elements.

Not sure where your from, but if your passing by Bundy anytime drop in and we can arrange a brew day to see it in action. Then you can see what bits you like, and any bits you don't.


QldKev
 

kegs23

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i got my 140L pot from craft brewer,there not on the web site but are in store i think(just ring ross)

if im doing a large brew i mill the grain the same in both mash tuns not sure if this makes any different to the mash ,plus then if i dont want to do a big batch i can still do a small one 2 times,

i do cube all my beers then chuck them into the pool to cool down,
i do have a copper chiller but i think that would take about 3hours to cool the work useing my 10.000L water tank to recirculate the water

and i like that it takes about 30-45min of the brew day,,and its good to have a stock pile of cubes in the busy season when your drinking it and not getting any time to make it,
 

Helles

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I use a copper coil to chill
Chilling of 100lts takes 2Hrs
Unless i recirculate then it takes 45min
Most of the heat is lost in the first 20 min
Looking at a plate chiller for an upgrade
 

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