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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: pitbull on January 24, 2011, 06:45:15 PM

Title: How automated is your system
Post by: pitbull on January 24, 2011, 06:45:15 PM
Hey forum,
I have a Brutus 10 clone brew system. Works great but I'm thinking of automating it some what. Just wondering what you all do and how you did it...any recommendations? I at least want to maintain a set point on my mash and HLT.
Thanks
btw-how the hell do you add pics?
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: denny on January 24, 2011, 06:55:47 PM
You add pics by posting them somewhere then including a link in your post here.

Automation?  It's hard to automate a cooler!
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: Hokerer on January 24, 2011, 07:21:14 PM
My system is automated to about the same percentage as Blutarsky's grade point average.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: corkybstewart on January 24, 2011, 07:23:01 PM
Not at all, nor will it ever be.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: Kaiser on January 24, 2011, 07:31:25 PM
Much less that I want it to be. I'd love to have a fully automated brewing system but don't have the funds or time to build one.

Kai
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: tygo on January 24, 2011, 07:34:39 PM
My kettle will automatically boil over if left unattended  ;)  Other than that it's all manual for me.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: maxieboy on January 24, 2011, 08:21:02 PM
0% automation here. Gravity and elbow grease.  8)  Just need to figure out a wood fired HLT and BK and I'll be brewing after the apocalypse(well, until the ingredients run out!).
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: deepsouth on January 24, 2011, 08:34:32 PM
i've got none.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: bluesman on January 24, 2011, 08:48:22 PM
I will always keep my cooler handy and working at least part-time.  ;)

But I am in the process of building a single tier direct fired mash brewstand. A clone of the Brutus 10 to be precise. I installed the pumps over the weekend. I still have the controllers and pilot lights to install. This has been a project of mine for about a year now with funds as the bottleneck. I now have 95% of the parts and materials and I'm about 75% of the way through the build. It's been an exciting project. I will have precise temp control over the mash tun and the HLT with a  direct fired recirculating system.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 24, 2011, 09:08:15 PM
I have a pump.  I am the controller. 
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: pitbull on January 24, 2011, 09:29:35 PM
Bluesman, I've seen some of your pics..very nice system..How many gallons? I'm doing 10 gallon batches. What temp controllers are you using? Love to see more pics. Thanks
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: Slowbrew on January 24, 2011, 09:49:24 PM
My system is as automated as The Olive Garden is Italian.  So, not at all.

Paul
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: jeffy on January 24, 2011, 10:20:48 PM
My rig has three burners, two pumps, a whole bunch of levers and quick disconnects, but no solenoids or timers or anything very fancy/automatic.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: tschmidlin on January 24, 2011, 11:00:17 PM
I use a gravity fed 3-tier system, no automation.  I have a pump, it sits on a shelf.  I might hook it up someday.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: oscarvan on January 25, 2011, 01:50:09 AM
Gravity, it's automatic. I deal with severe automation on various professional and not so professional levels..... The LAST thing I want to hear myself say when brewing is: "What's it doing?"

Simple, organic: Heat water, soak grains, boil....done. Ooooohm.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 25, 2011, 01:55:30 AM
Gravity, it's automatic. I deal with severe automation on various professional and not so professional levels..... The LAST thing I want to hear myself say when brewing is: "What's it doing?"

Simple, organic: Heat water, soak grains, boil....done. Ooooohm.

I like that.  My life used to be uber complicated.  Brewing was the release from that nonsense.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: bluesman on January 25, 2011, 02:29:57 AM
Bluesman, I've seen some of your pics..very nice system..How many gallons? I'm doing 10 gallon batches. What temp controllers are you using? Love to see more pics. Thanks

Thanks.

I can brew 12 gallon batches. I have three Blichmann 15's using banjo burner KAB4's. The mash and HLT are regulated by two Love controllers using pilot lights. This way I can precisely heat my strike water and regulate the mash temp with the controllers. I am taking photos the whole way through the process and will post them in my Brutus 10 thread when I'm nearly complete. I'm thinking by summer I should have the full system up and running.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 25, 2011, 04:38:46 AM
I have simple HERMS system.
One pump and one Ranco controller.
Some gravity and some pumping.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: bearcat on January 25, 2011, 03:26:42 PM
My pump developed an issue to where I pretty much eliminated it from my brew day and went back to pouring the sparge water over the perforated tin foil or colander....it felt like the first time and kinda enjoyed it more.   Gave me something to do ... beside drink and that can lead to trouble before clean up.   So I guess I am getting less automated and enjoy it more.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: pitbull on January 25, 2011, 03:28:22 PM
Bluesman, sounds like you are doing exactly what I want to do. Any pics of the gas connections would be great. 3 Blickmanns, wow...
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: bluesman on January 25, 2011, 05:34:19 PM
Bluesman, sounds like you are doing exactly what I want to do. Any pics of the gas connections would be great. 3 Blickmanns, wow...

I am working on the finishing touches to the gas supply system and will have photos. I actually used the system for the first time last weekend but utilized my cooler in conjunction as my controllers aren't installed as of yet. Soon though...very soon.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: lonnie mac on January 25, 2011, 11:51:11 PM
Pitbull my friend I must ask... You built a Brutus Ten. Do you have my plans? It tells you exactly how to automate it.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: lonnie mac on January 25, 2011, 11:53:11 PM
Ah, I just realized you emailed me two days ago! :) I need to answer that!
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: dean on January 26, 2011, 12:17:14 AM
I have a digital thermometer that I use a lot... does that count?   ;D

I do have a March pump and brewstand that I'm working on but I still do things manually... probably always will except for using the pump to move water and wort around.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: rcf5005 on February 06, 2011, 07:34:55 PM
Apartment living for the past few years has prohibited automation. Also, having no money has prohibited automation.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: lonnie mac on February 06, 2011, 07:42:53 PM
I built Brutus Ten in a small two bedroom apartment! :)
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: dbeechum on February 07, 2011, 07:46:28 AM
I'm as automated as the number of people I can get to show up to a brew session and stir!
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: mthogan1997 on February 07, 2011, 02:36:16 PM
Gravity, it's automatic. I deal with severe automation on various professional and not so professional levels..... The LAST thing I want to hear myself say when brewing is: "What's it doing?"

Simple, organic: Heat water, soak grains, boil....done. Ooooohm.

I like that.  My life used to be uber complicated.  Brewing was the release from that nonsense.

Several years ago, I fully automated my brewing. I gradually came to hate brewing so I took my system apart and was ready to quit the hobby because the only thing I really did was clean the equipment - I hate cleaning.  I ran out of beer brewed a batch the old fashioned way just to finish off my grains/hops and haven't looked back. Brewing is again fun and relaxing now that I am the brewer.

I might work on an automatic cleaning system one day.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: beersk on February 09, 2011, 05:48:26 PM
I'm not automated at all.  Simple and to the point, like Oscar said: organic.  Carry the kettle in the house to siphon into the fermenter.  Everything is done by hand more or less.  It's work, but it's fun work with a good end result. Ooooohmmm
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: oscarvan on February 09, 2011, 08:35:09 PM
Quote
I might work on an automatic cleaning system one day.

Hmmmmm nozzles and a single valve..... I like it.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 02:03:16 AM
I think you should add a retroencabulator. I sell those, cheap.

























Sorry, that was a bad joke.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: cheba420 on February 10, 2011, 03:04:45 AM
All manual. Would like to have a pump to do the heavy lifting. Other than that, I like to get my hands dirty! :)
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: tygo on February 10, 2011, 03:32:53 AM
All manual. Would like to have a pump to do the heavy lifting. Other than that, I like to get my hands dirty! :)

Yeah, every time I heft my SS 15 gallon kettle full of 8 or 9 gallons of wort onto the burner I think about a pump.  It's not far but damn that thing is heavy. 
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 01:07:45 PM
All manual. Would like to have a pump to do the heavy lifting. Other than that, I like to get my hands dirty! :)

Yeah, every time I heft my SS 15 gallon kettle full of 8 or 9 gallons of wort onto the burner I think about a pump.  It's not far but damn that thing is heavy. 

That's why I have a three tier gravity system..... it's all down hill....
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: richardt on February 10, 2011, 02:12:06 PM
"Single tier" works just fine.  No pumps here. 
I do use gravity to collect the runnings into the grant and to transfer the wort into the fermenters, so it could technically be viewed as "two-tier" for some aspects of the brewing process.
You just need to use plastic scoops or pitchers to transfer hot water into the mash tun and to perform vorlauf. 
2 quarts at a time, but I don't mind.  By the time I would have my pump and hoses in place, I'm already done manually. 
And it is one less thing to clean.

I use a 5.5 gallon (22 quart) SS pot as my "grant" to transfer the runnings into the 20 gallon SS kettle sitting on top of the banjo burner which sits on the same sturdy patio table as the two round 10-gallon Rubbermaid coolers. 
The patio table is made of steel and tile and weighs >200 pounds.  It won't melt or break and it is easy to clean off afterwards.

There's minimal bending over or standing precariously on stools or ladders.  And less clutter--the 5.5 gal SS pot and the two fermenters and the 5 gallon bucket of Starsan remain out of the way until needed under the table.

There's no need to heft anything more than 4 or 5 gallons at a time during brew day.
Be it pouring the RO water from the plastic carboys into the boil kettle or transferring the first (or second) runnings into the boil kettle (via the 5.5 gallon SS pot) or straining the wort into the fermenter via the BK spigot.

There's no need for me to build a Brutus, IMO.  But they sure are sexy, I'll admit.
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: dean on February 10, 2011, 06:06:06 PM
Gravity, it's automatic. I deal with severe automation on various professional and not so professional levels..... The LAST thing I want to hear myself say when brewing is: "What's it doing?"

Simple, organic: Heat water, soak grains, boil....done. Ooooohm.

I like that.  My life used to be uber complicated.  Brewing was the release from that nonsense.

Several years ago, I fully automated my brewing. I gradually came to hate brewing so I took my system apart and was ready to quit the hobby because the only thing I really did was clean the equipment - I hate cleaning.  I ran out of beer brewed a batch the old fashioned way just to finish off my grains/hops and haven't looked back. Brewing is again fun and relaxing now that I am the brewer.

I might work on an automatic cleaning system one day.

You're a good egg, I like you.   ;D
Title: Re: How automated is your system
Post by: cheba420 on February 11, 2011, 03:35:53 AM
All manual. Would like to have a pump to do the heavy lifting. Other than that, I like to get my hands dirty! :)

Yeah, every time I heft my SS 15 gallon kettle full of 8 or 9 gallons of wort onto the burner I think about a pump.  It's not far but damn that thing is heavy. 
Thats all I'm sayin. ;)