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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through August 18, 2004 * AG Setup Completed < Previous Next >

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Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 233
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 07:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings,
My welder finished my kegs yesterday and they are assembled and ready to go. I leak tested them and every thing seems ok. I do have some questions concerns though.

1. The diptube that feeds out of my MT is very slow (just using water alone). I am using 1/2" barbs. I have a pump with 1/2" fittings, and 1/2" high temp hose.

2. RUST! The welds on the interior of the kegs are rusting already. What can i do to correct this problem? I vaugley remember something about passivating the metal..?

3. Priming the pump. What is the best way to prime my pump and keep it that way. I use a high temp march pump.

4. Heating the mash. I uder stand that i should add water that is about 170F into my MT, so it levels out to 156F with the grains. After that, should I apply burner heat to maintain that temp or should I some how recirculate? I'm affraid im not going to be able to maintain a stable temp with my burner.

5. Thermometers. I have the fermetap thermometers from B3. What is the best way to calibrate these bad boys?

I think that is about it for now
Im sure I'll think of something later.

Thanks,
Peter Roman
P.S. I will send pics as soon as I can find my Digi Cam.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 234
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 08:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter, what is the flow rate from the mash tun using water?

The rust on the welds may be the result of them being cleaned up with a wire brush made from mild steel rather than stainless. I would scrub them with a nylon pad and Barkeeper's Friend, then let them air dry for a day or two.

Locate the pump at the lowest point in the system. Some people report better luck with the pump oriented vertically (inlet at the top) rather than horizontally. Fill the mash tun with strike water and allow it to drain into the pump before closing the valve and adding the grain. That should prime the pump. When using the pump open the valve at the mash tun outlet fully and regulate the flow only on the discharge side of the pump.

Depending on the mash tun design (manifold, hose braid or false bottom) and the burner's degree of flame control, you may be able to direct heat the burner to maintain or increase the temperature. This will require stirring of the mash; at any rate it shouldn't be necessary when mashing in.

You can calibrate the thermometers against one of known accuracy, such as a good lab thermometer.
 

robert rulmyr
Intermediate Member
Username: Wacobob

Post Number: 338
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 08:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Give it a test run with water...RDWHAHB.

WacoBob
 

Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 235
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 08:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Im going to give it a test run now with cold water. I want to practice moving water from one vessel to the other. I still don't have any ingredients. Can someone give me a smiple fool proof recipe? I am also currently working on how to move the burner from kettle to kettle. I took the rin stand off the burner so now i only have the top section. This way I can manuver the burner under each keg without having to lift it up over the burner. Currently I am using a cinderblock as my burner base. It's cheap but works pretty good. I need to go out and get copper pipe as well for my diptubes. I have 1/2" compression fittings on the inside of each coupler (with attached valve on outside). Now I just need the piping to make the dip. Do I have to worry about rust/iron posioning from the rust? If the weather lets up, I'll make a run out to my LHBS. Also, in regards to my other post regarding CFC's; I think that i will try my luck with my 50" 3/8" immersion chiller. If this is too slow, then I will think about getting a cfc. I've just built so much for this setup, I just want to see it work. At this point I am ready to accept that fact that I may destroy 2-3 batches before I can get good tasting beer.

Going back to work on pumping and burners,
Peter 'the kid' Roman
 

Tom Meier
Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 157
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 08:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You don't want the mash to run really fast anyway. even when batch sparging. it will stick if you runoff too fast.

use promash or another pogram to calculate your strike water temp to hit a certain mash temperature. 170F sounds about right as long as the water is heated in the mash tun and then the grain is mixed in.

To bottom heat in a keg the best way depends on your false bottom.

If the false bottom covers the entire bottom of the keg you should recirculate either by pump or hand and pitcher method, don't run the flame too high, noisy flame is too much.

If the false bottom doesn't cover the bottom of the keg (like a domed or a 10" or a bazooka) then you should also stir to prevent scorching. or don't and risk it.

but if you calc your strike temp right you won't need to adjust
 

Tom Meier
Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 158
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 08:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1/2" soft tubing benders are hard to find. I recommend going with compression elbows or using hard copper pipe with sweated elbows
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 235
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 09:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter, there's no reason to sacrifice a batch for the sake of the system. I would, however, take Bob's advice and do a trial run with cold water to test for leaks and as a means of getting accustomed to the pump. For the first actual beer, brew whatever you like that doesn't have a huge grain bill and lends itself to a single infusion mash.

The rust on the welds is more of a cosmetic issue than anything else, but as I said, Barkeeper's Friend and a nylon pad should take care of it. Eventually you will likely want to have at least two burners; moving a burner from vessel to vessel gets to be a pain. Also ultimately I think you will want to use a counterflow chiller, especially during the summer when the chilling water is warmer, but the immersion chiller should do the job for now if you're patient.
 

Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 236
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 11:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok. Figured out the problem with my diptube. It was pressed nearly flush against the bottom of the MT. This was halting the flow. I cut the dip to proper length and depth so there is no more problem there. After playing with 5 gal of water and moving it between vessels, I have gotten the hang of priming the pump and so forth. Really everything is working great. Two dip tubes and I'm set.

Here is a link to photos of the nearly completed system.

I am missing a DT on the HLT and the kettle, as well as a thermocoupler protecter in the MT. Im going to home depot to see what I can do for copper tubing. Im not to worried about bending copper. I do it all the time. I also have a pipe bender if i should need it, but I doubt I will. I was thinking about making a pickup tube for the kettle similar to that of Denny's. His as you recall was a section of perforated copper crimped at the end. I'm going to try to avoid being lazy and will stick with one burner for now. I know that that isn't going to last for long. I also plan on buying promash tonight. Let me know what you fellas think so far. Is there anything I can improve on?

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Ron Siddall
New Member
Username: Zardoz

Post Number: 10
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 01:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter, you have those nice legs holding up the kegs. Why not put some cross bars under them to hold the burners?
 

Fredrik
Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 1483
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 02:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Looks really cool Peter!!

You welding experts, do you weld with pure silver or what do you use? I might be able to borrow a welding system for some ideas I've got, would you do only gas welding? how about mig/mag electric welding? I know I welded back in school and I recall preferring electric welding?

/Fredrik
 

Vance Barnes
Advanced Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 919
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 03:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you can't find Barkeeper's Friend then look for Zud. Basically the same thing, both with oxacylic acid to kill your rust and passivate the SS. Nice looking setup. Bet you'll buy the extra burner(s) the first time you burn yourself moving the one.
 

robert rulmyr
Intermediate Member
Username: Wacobob

Post Number: 339
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 03:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Peter, what's wrong with being lazy? I have 3 burners, and 3 pumps,,, yes 3 pumps. I love my pumps, converted kegs, cornies, wife & kids...not neccessarily in that order.

WacoBob
 

Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 239
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 07:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What would I be looking at in terms of getting two more 60K btu burners shipped? I can get two turkey fyers for $88. I am already thinking of getting at least another burner. I also need to think about getting/building a good cfc.

I got the demo of pro mash and to be honest, it terrified me. I'm hoping that I can ignore the majority of the variables in the program form my first brew session. Some of those values confuse the heck out of me. I really plan on doing a simple infusion of 3.5 gal @ 158 something, then doing a simple 2.5 gal batch sparge. I'm sure ill have trouble handling even that my first time. Going to get ingredientst this weekend. Hope I pick the right stuff.

Fredrik: I used SS rods in a TIG welder. They work great but your welder really has to know what he or she is doing. TIG is apparently the hardest type of welding (next to underwater welding). If anyone has any comments or improvements, please by all means post your ideas and input. I love to hear the wisdom of you ol'Timers .

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 3324
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 08:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"I really plan on doing a simple infusion of 3.5 gal @ 158 something, then doing a simple 2.5 gal batch sparge"...unless you're dong less than 5 gal., that'll leave you short on volume. That's only 6 gal. of water total, and the grain will absorb some.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 240
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 08:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

so how much should i use total. Im assuming after recalculating for evap and absortion, 7 gal? Denny, you have a lot of experience; What recipe would you offer a first time AG brewer? Remember, I'm 21 so I have a crappy attension span.

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Geoff Buschur
Junior Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 59
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 09:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter,

I have used this recipe to teach several people their first batch of AG. Simple and tastes GREAT!


Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 5.25 Wort Size (Gal): 5.25
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.00
Anticipated OG: 1.051 Plato: 12.71
Anticipated SRM: 10.0
Anticipated IBU: 48.2
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
5.6 0.50 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40
5.6 0.50 lbs. CaraMunich Malt Belgium 1.033 75
5.6 0.50 lbs. Munich Malt Germany 1.037 8
83.3 7.50 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) Great Britain 1.038 3

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.00 oz. Northern Brewer Whole 9.00 38.1 60 min.
0.50 oz. Cascade Whole 5.75 3.2 14 min.
0.50 oz. Willamette Whole 5.00 2.8 14 min.
1.00 oz. Cascade Whole 5.75 4.1 1 min.


Extras

Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.00 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 5 Min.(boil)


Yeast
-----

White Labs WLP002 English Ale
 

Geoff Buschur
Junior Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 60
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 09:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, I forgot.

Mash with 3 gallons dough in water at 166F ( grain @ 70F) for a mash temp of 154F for one hour. Run 4.5 gallons of sparge water @ 172F.
 

Geoff Buschur
Junior Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 61
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 09:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

you can get cheap burners here: http://www.agri-supply.com/catmain/2600058.htm (First item -30295 EA 4 CB135 HIGH-PRESSURE CAST IRON BURNER 170, 000 BTU )
 

Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 241
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Geoff. How exactly do I go about integrating the new burners into my system? All i have is a propane tank, the regulator, and the hose running to the burner. Does the 170k burner come with hoses and the other needed things?

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Belly Buster Bob
Senior Member
Username: Canman

Post Number: 1806
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 01:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Peter "The Kid"...don't take this wrong but........rEAD A FRIGGIN BOOK!!!!!!!!
Go to www.howtobrew.com and read the entire article...takes a couple hours
 

Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 242
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 02:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Actually BBB. I have read, Brewchem, the complete joy of home brewing, the brewmasters bible, the brewers companion, brew ware, the complete handbook of HB, and various other literature. I wish I could have more under my belt but I've only been in this hobby for seven months so far. In reading most those books, I find that their information [very] often conflicts with what I read on this board everyday. I also work in ITS during the year so I have the chance to read as much literature as I can get my hands on. After working with my family in the construction business since I was a child I've learned that it is best to learn from others of experience rather then from a destruction manual. Thanks you very much for the link. Ill start reading immedietly. Im also heading to my LHBS in Rochester today. I plan on purchasing a few 20lb grain sacks.

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 249
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 02:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter, I think you're ready. Go for it; you'll learn a few things in the process but I doubt you'll make any fatal mistakes.
 

Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 243
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 05:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Since posting this morning, I have been reading and noting the link BBB sent me. So far, I will agree that this is the best, easiest to understand reading I have done. So far I have filled up about 10 pages of my composition notebook. The reading helps give me a better idea of what variables I need to consider and what my target values for each are.

After reading though, I have some lingering questions:

1. Crushed malts. I don't have a mill. My LHBS sells 20lbs bags of 'crushed' malts. Will these precrushed malts be sufficient?

2. Regarding batch sparging. Howtobrew.com suggests that the slower one sparges, the greater the extraction of sugars. My question is, since batch sparging suggests that the wort be drained as quickly as possible, why does batch sparging still yeild such a high efficiency?


Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 253
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 05:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pre-crushed malt is fine, but don't buy too much at one time. It should be used within about 60 days of being crushed. As for batch sparging, it violates various aspects of conventional wisdom but works well for most people. When batch sparging, efficiency actually seems to increase if the runoff is drained quickly. I recommend stirring well and waiting about 5 minutes after each batch of sparge water is added. Then recirculate until the runoff is relatively clear and open the mash tun valve all the way when draining it.

As I have mentioned before, of all the aspects of all-grain brewing, sparging seems to be the least critical.
 

Dan Listermann
Intermediate Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 352
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 06:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If stored away from moisture, crushed malt is fine for a very long time. The promary problem with it is when you don't use the whole bag at once. Grist stratifies very quickly during crushing and on into any handling. The flour falls to the bottom of the bag and hulls are left at the top. There is really no practical way to mix uniformly again. A whole bag should be used at one time. If you were to take grist from the top of the bag, you would get a fine lautering mash, but poor efficiency. The bottom would give you the opposite situation.

If the LHBS buys 50 pound bags of grist and repackages them into 20 pound bags, the problem is probably exagurated.

I am willing to be corrected about this.

Dan Listermann
 

Jared Cook
Intermediate Member
Username: Jared

Post Number: 384
Registered: 09-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 06:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter, do you have a scale? Once you get the malt home, how are you going to measure it? I don't have a mill at home, so I buy 50-55lb sacks of grain at the LHBS and use their scale and mill as I need to. I just haul my grain sacks back and forth to the store.
 

don price
Intermediate Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 414
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 07:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's a little advice...most of which has already been mentioned before. It isn't supposed to sound mean or rude but it probably will.

1) Brew a 10 gallon batch. You have built a 10 gallon system and it is nearly pointless for you to practice on half-sized batches. Do you plan on pouring half-pints? Of course not. Be a man and fill it to the rim.

2) Your first batch will be fine. Don't even think about making dumpenbrau. You didn't plan on crashing the first 2 or 3 times you drove a car.

3) Don't get freaked out by the number of variables. Most of them are nearly insignificant for most homebrewers. Mother Nature wants to make beer for you. Trust Mom.

4) Follow established recipes. You are cooking. No one cares who wrote the recipe...you brewed it and that is all that matters. You can brew for years without running out of good recipes. Experiment after you have the technique nailed.

5) Sparging efficiency...grain is relatively cheap...time is priceless...batch sparge generally trades more grain for less time. As a student, maybe that half-hour is worth saving $5 of grain.

6) Put the pledges on a scavenger hunt for brewing equipment. Thay can still collect pennies to buy a keg.

7) Get another burner and regulator. Keep looking and you will find a spare propane tank on the side of the road.

8) Unless your tap water is very cold you really need a counterflow chiller. There is a reason why nearly every 10 gallon brewer uses one. You have assembled 80-90% of a killer system...don't get cheap or stupid now.

9) Building a brewery is a fine engineering and construction project. You do somethings because they are standard procedure - everyone else does that way. You can pull out the books and let science lead you to a solution. Brewing may be the most practical application of your engineering education. Be proud of your beer and your brewery.

10) Last but not least...You can be cheap. You can go fast. You can make it easy. However nothing is cheap, fast, and easy.

Don
 

Peter Roman
Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 244
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 08:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I definetly plan on moving up to 10 gal batches. I just want to do a 5'er so i can get a feel for the system. After that it is on to massive brewing. I plan on starting with the recipes found at howtobrew.com. I'll definetly get another burner as well. I beleive two burners would suffice. My LHBS was closed today for some odd reason. I'll have to find a place in albany to get what i need. Jared, yes I do have a scale. The only thing im missing is a mill and a CFC.

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Vance Barnes
Advanced Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 921
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 07:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

However nothing is cheap, fast, and easy.

Pick two.