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Jlm's New Brewrig Build

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jlm

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So after 5 or so years of brewing single batches on various combinations dodgy gear (except for my beerbelly kettle...love that thing) on dodgy stands (milk crates for the most part) I'm finally upgrading to a double batch setup. HERMS, some automation, shiny things......the whole box and dice. I've been slowly collecting bits and pieces this year and got my ass into gear this weekend and got started.

First cab of the rank was a stand. Which involved welding. Which I hate, probably because I'm so shit at it. After a few false starts (my much abused cut off saw was twisting the tube in its clamp as it tightened.....Not much of a concern when ripping lengths of uni strut for cable ladder but can cause the amateur welder some frustration) and much foul language I got to this point:
Stand.jpg

The aluminium stand on top came out of the ute I bought a few years ago.....Never needed it. Its held on by 4 bolts and wing nuts so I can take it outside to clean. I just have to pack out the brackets so the weight is put onto the legs.

The space on the left is going to house a control panel, the brain of which will be a brewtroller. Been researching that system a bit and am quite excited about it. The fact you've got other brewers doing the hard work with the code is the selling point for me.

A HX something like Smokomark's will be hanging off the right hand side.

The keg with the socket it going to be my kettle which will be fired by my Rambo burner and have its own stand so I can wheel the HLT and MT away to clean while boiling. The other will be my MT. If I can find another 18 gallon keg (any Tassie brewers know of any around?) I'll be using that for an electric HLT, if not I'll have to chase down a cheap pot from somewhere. I've got a couple of fitters from work coming around in a fortnight to give me a hand with the MT, mainly housing the false bottom:
 

jlm

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FalseB.jpg



Its a Blichmann job from Ibrew. Wasn't confident I could get a domed bottom to sit properly on the ridges of the bottom of the keg. Also not confidant I can get this one in (its going to ned some surgery) with my skills, hence the fitters from work. Also will have a Beerbelly MT return dish (slightly modified) which is in my current MT.
 

jlm

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Soooo.....Pump(s)

Pump.jpg

Around the same time Wallace (I think) posed the question about paralleling brown pumps the plumbers at work installed 2 big grundfoss jobs paralleled for the re-circulating hot water in the building I'm on. When I asked why.....2 reasons, more flow and as a failsafe. 1 pump can shit itself and there'll still be instant hot water (the building is a yoghurt factory and apparently this is pretty important). So the reason about flow had my interest.

So.....2 24V brown pumps, 17L/minute pumping in roughly the configuration you can see in the stand photo. Head height of about 1m, water temp was at about 60 deg. Not bad. I still have to replace one of the hosetails with a full bore job which may give a touch more.

Now to address the concerns which will no doubt be arising from certain quarters. Why not get a march pump? Well I've got one, I bought one of these brown pumps to see how they go, and I was impressed how easy they were to prime compared to the march, which while not difficult can be a bit fiddley. There's a lot less opportunity for air to get caught in the brown pump and seems to be able to push air out a lot more easily than the march. I can also get stainless fittings (except for camlocks sadly) pretty cheap through work at the moment so that sealed the deal.

The backing plate is a gland plate of the main switch board at work which wasn't needed, again, bolts and wing nuts for easy removal.
 

browndog

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The upgrade is looking good, but the view of the back yard is bloody awesome.
 

jlm

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Yeah, much prefer this view to our old place in Brisbane which afforded a sweeping view of....our neighbours yard. And that is my brewing area, I just have to keep it all neat to keep wife happy. Its a bog out there at the moment though, but I guess thats Tassie. Feels good to get the ball rolling, have been putting it all together in my head for a while. Too much excitement for my assistant:

Dog.jpg
 

jlm

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Been getting some welding done in the past couple of weeks, apprentice boilermaker at work has been helping me out.

Boiler and stand:

Boiler_stand.jpg

Stand is not exactly square, but thats what happens when its made from bits fished out of the scrap bin, and when I'm left to do the cutting after a few beers. Still a few more welds to do on that one.

Heat exchanger:

hexclosed.jpg

Hexopen.jpg

Lid is made out of scrap again, having the box folded up and the base cut only cost 36 bucks so was happy with that. The 2 nuts on the side will hold threaded rod which will attach to the side of the stand.

Element inside HEX:

element.jpg

And thermowells! Thermowells! Thermowells!:

Thermowells.jpg

Also have done a bit to the mash tun but can't be assed uploading pics atm. Have an evening of pickling and polishing ahead of me.
 

Bizier

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Looking sexy. I didn't even notice the view because I was smitten by stainless.

I am also going to take up my maintenance department's offer for assistance with fitting my brewery bits and bobs. I still have many things I have put off because they require more accuracy than I can provide with my backyard workshopping.
 

jlm

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Looking sexy. I didn't even notice the view because I was smitten by stainless.

I am also going to take up my maintenance department's offer for assistance with fitting my brewery bits and bobs. I still have many things I have put off because they require more accuracy than I can provide with my backyard workshopping.
I'm on a good wicket with that sort of thing as the young bloke at work has a tig and works for $20 an hour......I'm going to buy a cheap HF TIG welder with my tax return though, I did a few welds yesterday and its sooooo much easier than using my dodgy old stick welder.

The inside of the MT nude:

MTnaked.jpg

And dressed:

MTdressed.jpg

Have a bit of panel beating to do to get it to sit on the brackets we've welded in there (to keep it off the raised section of the base) properly and will be sleeving the outside of the FB with silicon tube to get a good seal around the edge. We also welded a 6mm nut and dodgied up a thumb screw to hold the MLT return dish a bit better than the stock Beerbelly version, but being an impatient bastard I tried to force a screw through instead of waiting til I got to work on Monday to tap it out properly and snapped the bolt in the nut, so that will be remedied this week.

MLT return and thermowell:

MLTreturn.jpg



HX attached to the stand:

HXattached.jpg

As it stands at the moment:

setupsofar.jpg

So took a fair bit of the top of the mash tun too make sure we could fit the false bottom in, and I now realise I've welded the MT return on the wrong side. Depending on how the first batch goes I may weld the top back on and take the top off a bit higher. Hopefully will give the HX a run tonight to see how it goes (I'm not doing any more work today, take a look outside. Once the tide comes up a bit I'm putting the kayak in the water.....)

Still no HLT, probably will look at getting a 75L pot. Until then the 'ol death fermenter will do the job. Hope to do a double batch, batch sparge next weekend. Got a yeast cake of 1007 waiting to be used so more Altbier is on the cards.
 

dago001

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Looking forward to seeing the new rig in a few weeks.
Pretty good view you have there - thats the good thing about Tassie - plenty of great views.
Cheers
LagerBomb
 

jlm

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Finally got around to giving the heat exchanger a run. Getting about 2 deg/minute at the MT return with flow set at roughly where I think it will sit.

Really want to put a brew down but will have to wait.....to many distractions this weekend and I'm not prepared.
 

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