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Big Dog Brewing
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Some stuff I found out today that I had wondered about when building my system, and might be of use to people building their all grain systems:

My manifold (well, more of a piece of pipe really, thought it would be OK for batch sparging) is a piece of crap - that doesnt help anybody else but I had to say it. Stuck completely after only 5 l of flow. Had to bail the lot out into a colander for a manual ladle sparge. If HSA does exist, I will know all about it in a few months. Got 70% efficiency though.

If you have used a rubber seal on the tap outside of the HLT, you need a heat deflector below it, or the gas flame causes the seal to smoke and catch fire and it doesnt smell very nice at all.

A four ring gas burner and a standard pressure but high flow (10 kg/hr) regulator heats 33 l of water from tap temp to 75 degrees in about 45 mins. Sticking the HLT on a fire stoked with jarrah cuts this time in half, but temp control is a bit of a problem.

If you have made a handcrafted HLT stirrer paddle from West Australian jarrah, with calibrated volume markings, only put it in the HLT to stir or measure volume. If you leave it in there while the water heats, the HLT water turns orange and picks up some tannin leaching from the paddle. Ooops, hopefully will add character to the porter.

When doughing in its a good idea to have boiling water available in case you undershoot, rather than frantically rebooting the HLT to try to get the mash temp up.

The four ring burner will get 35 l of wort from sparge temp to boil temp in 30 mins.

An immersion chiller made from about 16 m of 3/8 copper pipe drops 25 l of wort from boil to 40 degrees in 15 mins and to 25 degrees in 45 mins, using Perth tap water.

A full session to make 30 l of wort used a bit more than a quarter of a 9 kg gas bottle.
good work not really any major probs.
i guess you'll be making a manifold this week but i wouldn't worry to much about HSA

iam still using the same burner setup but am planning on going high presuure and more powerful burners to save some time hopefully that way by the end of the brew i might still be sober.

cheers jayse
Welcome to the joys of AG brewing Simon

And wasps build there mud nests in your boiler taps as well
Good tips GL.

And one I seem to forget about every 5 brews is "You have to refil the HLT after mashing in to have water ready for sparging" :p .

Yeah Doc. Before I had done an ag, I thought the correct answer to "how long should you mash for?" was "depends on the diastatic power of the malt". Now, of course I know the answer is "it depends how long it takes to get the sparge water to temp".

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