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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through June 28, 2004 * Keg Conversion: So Confused... < Previous Next >

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Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 181
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 09:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings,
I now have three kegs which I want to convert into a nice AG system. I am planning on making a three tier system. What I need help with is the plumbing. I know that I am going to want a thermometer on the HLT and the MT, and a ball valve w/ barb on all three. What is the best/cheapest way to do this? Should I use a false bottom or a B screen in the MT? I have access to a plasma cutter, aceteylene torch, mig and tig welder. I went to brew tree and their bulk head parts are very pricy. Should I use a cooler instead for a MT? Can I use batch sparging with this proposed system instead of on-the-fly sparging? I know that some of the answers to the above questions can be found on the web, but I'd like to hear it straight from the horses mouth, especially because I am recieiving conflicting information from google searches...

Thanks so so much,
Peter Roman
 

John McElver
New Member
Username: Johnmc

Post Number: 96
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 11:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter
There's probably a bunch of helpful folks in the Upstate NY Homebrewer's Assn, there was when I lived there. Check out a meeting, they used to meet somewhere in downtown Rochester www.unyha.com

At any rate, if you can weld, I'd put a coupling on all three, and an additional 1/2 coupling on the mash tun (for a thermometer) all can be had from www.plumbingsupply.com pretty cheap.

Cooler or not is up to you. Screen vs false bottom is also dealer's choice.

Batch sparging possibilities will depend on your intended batch volume. (Pun intended, but still valid)

John
 

Lennart Persson
Junior Member
Username: Lennart

Post Number: 46
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 03:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi,
If you already have 3 kegs, make one a MT. Insulate it well or heat it somehow, or both, but a keg is good for MT (I whish I had one) A false bottom will last a lifetime but I think a screen is less likely to clog and is cheap too. I have stainless false bottom now but I think I would like a screen type better.

Weld bulkhead fittings if you can, but weldless works fine. Buy either kitz or separate pieces. Weldless is not a bad option, you van take it all apart and clean.

Good luck with your setup, 3 kegs is a very good start!
 

robert rulmyr
Intermediate Member
Username: Wacobob

Post Number: 302
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Like John said, couplings. I have a FB in my uninsulated MT...but I can add heat and recirculate while mashing. My earlier system, I mashed in a cooler with a SS hose screen. I believe it was easier with this 'old' system than my 'new' system. You will like your kegs.

WacoBob
 

robert rulmyr
Intermediate Member
Username: Wacobob

Post Number: 303
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There probably is not a 'best' way to build your system. Even with brass valves, it should last a lifetime. Enjoy.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 3102
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 05:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You can batch sparge with just about any kind of system...I know several people who have systems like you're proposing who batch sparge.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 182
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok,
Firstly, thanks everyone for the input. I think i got a better idea of what Iím going to do. Three-tier, 5 1/2" SS couplings, 2 thermometers, 3 ball valves, and B3's SS false bottom with pickup tube and ball valve/pickup tube. I got a plasma cutter and I hope to TIG weld. I may have to settle for MIG because it seams everyone has them and virtually no one has a TIG. Would anyone recommend sight gauges? Can I ass one later in between the coupling and the ball valve? I plan on using brass ball valves. I talked to a couple of plumbers and they agreed with the lead stripping solution (vinegar & Hyd Prox). What kind of tubing should I get? I saw in Grainger's that nylon tubing can handle 250F. The only problem is that the smallest quantity is 100ft @ $95+. I am currently a summer maintenance employee at my old school district. Itís awesome for scavenging parts resulting from a renovation. I snagged 21 4' 12ga steel leg post. They are square, not round and can handle a great deal of stress. I'm not going to weld my stand because I would like to be able to collapse it and take it back to college. I have decided instead to use nut and bolt to assemble the stand. Iím still trying to figure out how I am going to convert my turkey fryer burner for use in this contraption. I think i might need to get another burner. That's all i can think of for now. I would really appreciate any input.

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

JT
Member
Username: Jt100

Post Number: 252
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 10:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For the tubing, I would go with Norprene (food and beverage). You can find it at McMaster Carr. Just type in Norprene tubing in the search function. I bought some a few years ago and it is still as good as new. As for "assing" a sight gauge....I don't have an answer.
 

Malbec
New Member
Username: Malbec

Post Number: 95
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 12:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

heh heh....he said "assing".....
 

Kent Fletcher
Intermediate Member
Username: Fletch

Post Number: 383
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 01:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter, you say "I got a plasma cutter and I hope to TIG weld. I may have to settle for MIG because it seams everyone has them and virtually no one has a TIG." I take it you mean you know somebody who has a plasma cutter and will do the work for you, right?

Find somebody to do the TIG welding, MIG is a mess. It's actually a fairly difficult weld, because of the difference in thickness between a keg wall and a coupling.

A sight glass (so called even if the tube isn't glass) is useful on an HLT, but only if your rig is going to have the HLT so high that you can't easily monitor water level. If you tee one in between the coupling and ball valve you will suck air into the stream when the ball valve is open.