Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2011, 07:20:52 AM

Title: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2011, 07:20:52 AM
So, I've got an electric boil kettle that I'm going to move to mash tun work as an electric direct-fire. The problem is, the diameter of the kettle is non-standard, at least for the false bottoms I can buy off-the-shelf, and I have no idea how to make a false bottom myself, nor where to buy the parts. So, copper manifold seems like the way to go. The question is, what sort of hit am I going to get on my efficiency? Am I going to be more prone to stuck sparges?
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: tschmidlin on March 01, 2011, 07:26:28 AM
Why not go with the braided hose like Denny uses?  You can run a tube from the inside of the outlet to the low point of the kettle and add the hose to that . . . just a thought.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2011, 08:53:21 AM
Why not go with the braided hose like Denny uses?  You can run a tube from the inside of the outlet to the low point of the kettle and add the hose to that . . . just a thought.

That'd be great, but I have no idea where to get braided hose around here. I can find the braided stuff with the rubber lining, like what you use for toilet connections (that's what most of my system uses because I was too lazy to bend all that copper) but I'm not sure where to find the non-rubbery stuff. That's what we're talking about, right? If so, That sounds like a good solution.I guess I could just buy a bunch and put it into a single-layer coil, no?
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2011, 08:58:49 AM
The other question about the braid is, what about channeling? Or should I RDWHAHB. I'll RDWHAHB. I found Denny's post about braids, seems that he just buys the hose I'm talking about and pulls the rubber out. I'll give that a shot. Just to confirm, this is the stuff, right?

http://www.castorama.fr/store/Flexible-double-Gripp--10-L-30-cm-PRDm514113.html?isSearchResult=true&navAction=jump
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: dbeechum on March 01, 2011, 09:08:22 AM
The one thing to watch out for with braided hoses these days is a number of "faux" steel braids that are really just plastic weave.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: euge on March 01, 2011, 09:23:23 AM
Phil if you want a real braid and are not sure pm me.

I see why you want a false bottom. Otherwise a cooler would be a logical choice? Maybe someone there in France can fabricate a false bottom to your specs. Or in the States for that matter.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: tschmidlin on March 01, 2011, 09:29:02 AM
The other question about the braid is, what about channeling? Or should I RDWHAHB. I'll RDWHAHB. I found Denny's post about braids, seems that he just buys the hose I'm talking about and pulls the rubber out. I'll give that a shot. Just to confirm, this is the stuff, right?

http://www.castorama.fr/store/Flexible-double-Gripp--10-L-30-cm-PRDm514113.html?isSearchResult=true&navAction=jump
Re: channeling, I assume you would batch sparge so RDWHAHB.

But keep in mind Drew's post, make sure it is actually stainless braid.  The link you posted looks right, but I don't read French. ;D
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2011, 10:32:28 AM
Phil if you want a real braid and are not sure pm me.

I see why you want a false bottom. Otherwise a cooler would be a logical choice? Maybe someone there in France can fabricate a false bottom to your specs. Or in the States for that matter.

The problem with coolers is that they are $$$$$$ for a big one. 50 qt coleman extreme = nearly 80 euros. Plus I already have the kettle, and the wife is starting to be annoyed at the number of packages we've been receiving lately. The last one topped 70 kilos... She carried it into the house by herself (I was at the office). Anyway.

I have a copper tube with holes drilled in it from a previous thing I tried to do - it's got a cap on one end and I can solder a connection to the other side - and I'll just wrap the whole thing in steel wool. This way I don't have to brave the crowds at the shopping center where the hardware shop is. Does that sound like it'll work?
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2011, 10:34:39 AM
The other question about the braid is, what about channeling? Or should I RDWHAHB. I'll RDWHAHB. I found Denny's post about braids, seems that he just buys the hose I'm talking about and pulls the rubber out. I'll give that a shot. Just to confirm, this is the stuff, right?

http://www.castorama.fr/store/Flexible-double-Gripp--10-L-30-cm-PRDm514113.html?isSearchResult=true&navAction=jump
Re: channeling, I assume you would batch sparge so RDWHAHB.

But keep in mind Drew's post, make sure it is actually stainless braid.  The link you posted looks right, but I don't read French. ;D

I never know batch versus fly sparge. What I do is this: get water to temp, dough in, start a recirc pump which goes back into the mash tun. I have a PID probe inserted into the tube pumping back into the mash tun and maintain my temp that way. I just keep recirculating the whole time. Is that batch sparging? I know, totally n00b question but I am never sure.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: Hokerer on March 01, 2011, 03:06:48 PM
I never know batch versus fly sparge. What I do is this: get water to temp, dough in, start a recirc pump which goes back into the mash tun. I have a PID probe inserted into the tube pumping back into the mash tun and maintain my temp that way. I just keep recirculating the whole time. Is that batch sparging? I know, totally n00b question but I am never sure.

That sounds sorta like a RIMS mash system but the fly vs batch won't come into play until you're done mashing and are ready to draw off the wort.  If you redirect the output of your pump to your kettle while slowly adding fresh water to the mashtun, then that would be fly sparging.  If you redirect the output of your pump to your kettle and completely drain the mashtun (and then refill the mashtun, recirc, and drain again), then that would be batch sparging.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: denny on March 01, 2011, 04:32:27 PM
That'd be great, but I have no idea where to get braided hose around here. I can find the braided stuff with the rubber lining, like what you use for toilet connections (that's what most of my system uses because I was too lazy to bend all that copper) but I'm not sure where to find the non-rubbery stuff. That's what we're talking about, right? If so, That sounds like a good solution.I guess I could just buy a bunch and put it into a single-layer coil, no?

That's the correct stuff.  Cut the ends off and push each end of the braid in towards the middle.  That will expand the braid allowing you to pull out the inner hose.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: denny on March 01, 2011, 04:33:26 PM
I never know batch versus fly sparge. What I do is this: get water to temp, dough in, start a recirc pump which goes back into the mash tun. I have a PID probe inserted into the tube pumping back into the mash tun and maintain my temp that way. I just keep recirculating the whole time. Is that batch sparging? I know, totally n00b question but I am never sure.

This is batch sparging....

www.dennybrew.com
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2011, 04:51:11 PM
That'd be great, but I have no idea where to get braided hose around here. I can find the braided stuff with the rubber lining, like what you use for toilet connections (that's what most of my system uses because I was too lazy to bend all that copper) but I'm not sure where to find the non-rubbery stuff. That's what we're talking about, right? If so, That sounds like a good solution.I guess I could just buy a bunch and put it into a single-layer coil, no?

That's the correct stuff.  Cut the ends off and push each end of the braid in towards the middle.  That will expand the braid allowing you to pull out the inner hose.

Oh! It's like a chinese finger trap.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2011, 04:54:02 PM
If you redirect the output of your pump to your kettle while slowly adding fresh water to the mashtun, then that would be fly sparging. 

Yup, that's what I do. I have an HLT with a spinning sparge arm to handle adding in the fresh water.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2011, 04:54:25 PM
Sounds like it's time for me to post pics of my brewing setup. I'll try to do that tonight.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: tschmidlin on March 01, 2011, 05:20:58 PM
The last one topped 70 kilos... She carried it into the house by herself (I was at the office). Anyway.
:o  They deliver 70 kilo packages?


I'll just wrap the whole thing in steel wool. This way I don't have to brave the crowds at the shopping center where the hardware shop is. Does that sound like it'll work?
I don't think you want to use steel wool, I think you'll end up with too much iron in your beer.  But maybe at mash pH it would be fine.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: denny on March 01, 2011, 05:50:31 PM
Oh! It's like a chinese finger trap.

That's how I usually describe it, but most people are too young to have ever seen one!
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2011, 07:21:47 PM
The last one topped 70 kilos... She carried it into the house by herself (I was at the office). Anyway.
:o  They deliver 70 kilo packages?


I'll just wrap the whole thing in steel wool. This way I don't have to brave the crowds at the shopping center where the hardware shop is. Does that sound like it'll work?
I don't think you want to use steel wool, I think you'll end up with too much iron in your beer.  But maybe at mash pH it would be fine.

Yup, freight delivery. I'd say we get a new wood pallet every three to four months.

For the steel wool, I've seen elsewhere on the forum people say steel wool is fine. Maybe it should be pickled first? Is the iron thing real?
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: tumarkin on March 01, 2011, 07:30:06 PM
stainless steel scrubbies are ok, steel wool is not. yes, the iron thing is real. gives an off-flavor that is blood-like.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: bluesman on March 01, 2011, 07:36:00 PM
stainless steel scrubbies are ok, steel wool is not. yes, the iron thing is real. gives an off-flavor that is blood-like.

+1

Stainless steel shouldn't cost much more.

http://www.briwax-online.com/GMTStainless.html
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 02, 2011, 06:32:24 PM
Quick follow-up: Stainless Steel wool: Would it be in the soldering section, the plumbing section?
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: denny on March 02, 2011, 06:43:20 PM
Quick follow-up: Stainless Steel wool: Would it be in the soldering section, the plumbing section?

You should look for a Chore Boy in the cleaning section of a grocery store.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: tumarkin on March 02, 2011, 09:52:26 PM
Quick follow-up: Stainless Steel wool: Would it be in the soldering section, the plumbing section?

You should look for a Chore Boy in the cleaning section of a grocery store.

+1  Chore Boy is a brand name. Maybe not in France, a more generic term here would be stainless steel scrubbie. They're for dishwashing, not really like steel wool. I'd expect they're available there, but may be a language communication issue to find them. I think you've said your dad sends you packages. If so, they're small & light.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: sharg54 on March 05, 2011, 06:01:45 PM
If your still looking for a false bottom for you kettle you may think about a stainless vegetable steamer tray. The type that folds in on it's self. You can pick them up at most cutlery or cooking shop fairly cheep. They come in a lot of different sizes and all you have to do is drill out the center, flip it over and connect your plumbing to it. They come out easy and clean up is a snap and the holes are fantastic for holding out the grain. I've seen a cooler or two set up that way but I don't see why it wouldn't work in a pot and you could still use your present fly sparge system.   
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: maxieboy on March 05, 2011, 06:14:15 PM
Manifold. End of story, IMO.  ;)
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: alikocho on March 05, 2011, 07:57:15 PM
The other question about the braid is, what about channeling? Or should I RDWHAHB. I'll RDWHAHB. I found Denny's post about braids, seems that he just buys the hose I'm talking about and pulls the rubber out. I'll give that a shot. Just to confirm, this is the stuff, right?

http://www.castorama.fr/store/Flexible-double-Gripp--10-L-30-cm-PRDm514113.html?isSearchResult=true&navAction=jump
Re: channeling, I assume you would batch sparge so RDWHAHB.

But keep in mind Drew's post, make sure it is actually stainless braid.  The link you posted looks right, but I don't read French. ;D

That would be stainless. The 'inox' is the word your looking for.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 07, 2011, 07:45:40 AM
Well, yesterday I took the boy out for his very first trip to a hardware store so mom could have a bit of a rest, and we did some searching. I found zero stainless steel wool (found some regular steel wool, which I didn't buy) but I did find: 1. a nice long flexible water hose thing for a SS braid and 2. a scrubby that is supposedly composed entirely of stainless steel ribbon. It doesn't look like the scrubbies from the US - this looks like a big ball of 0.2 cm wide SS ribbon that's pretty darn thin. I'm thinking it would work well. I suppose the best test is just to leave it in a bucket of water and see what happens?

As for the braid, thanks to Denny's instructions, it was super easy. Fits in there real nice, and seems to draw off liquid no problem. All this new equipment makes me want to do a test brew with something super basic, though, because I don't want to use my specialty yeasties for anything that might taste bad. Probably do a basic SMASH with some old hops just to get the system checked out.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: tschmidlin on March 07, 2011, 08:34:46 AM
All this new equipment makes me want to do a test brew with something super basic, though, because I don't want to use my specialty yeasties for anything that might taste bad. Probably do a basic SMASH with some old hops just to get the system checked out.
A test brew is a great idea - I recommend water to start, you might not want to waste ingredients if you're not confident in how the brew day will go.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: denny on March 07, 2011, 04:39:16 PM
All this new equipment makes me want to do a test brew with something super basic, though, because I don't want to use my specialty yeasties for anything that might taste bad. Probably do a basic SMASH with some old hops just to get the system checked out.
A test brew is a great idea - I recommend water to start, you might not want to waste ingredients if you're not confident in how the brew day will go.

I f you do a test with water, don't be too concerned if your cooler loses heat.  When you have additional mass of the grain in there, it will react differently.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on March 14, 2011, 12:45:02 PM
Tried a CAP Saturday with the new braid ala Denny. No stuck sparge, everything went great. I really like the new setup. I got -85%- efficiency, if my calculations are correct. I need to post pics of my setup soon. I really, really like it.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: denny on March 14, 2011, 03:39:08 PM
Tried a CAP Saturday with the new braid ala Denny. No stuck sparge, everything went great. I really like the new setup. I got -85%- efficiency, if my calculations are correct. I need to post pics of my setup soon. I really, really like it.

Welcome to the Church!
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on April 04, 2011, 08:00:45 AM
So, I'm 2 out of 3 for great mashes with the SS braid. However, yesterday I got a stuck sparge towards the end of the mash with a grain bill of 7# pale and 2# wheat for a kolsch I was doing. I'm thinking I should use my false bottom whenever I do something that might be sticky. Or is there something I should look for?
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 04, 2011, 01:08:55 PM
Or is there something I should look for?

Rice hulls.

You can get stuck sparges with a false bottom with high percentages of sticky stuff.  I know this.

Malt conditioning helps prevent stuck sparges, at least on my system.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on April 04, 2011, 01:19:20 PM
Or is there something I should look for?

Rice hulls.

You can get stuck sparges with a false bottom with high percentages of sticky stuff.  I know this.

Malt conditioning helps prevent stuck sparges, at least on my system.

Totally agree that's the best way to go, however, I have found zero shops in Europe that sell the things. Which is a bit weird, because you'd think that at the very least Germany would have them. Or maybe I'm not searching for the right thing?
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 04, 2011, 01:24:22 PM
Kai might be the best to say if those are used in Germany, my guess is that they are not.

Look on Kai's page for the malt conditioning technique.  I has helped the sparges on my system.  I have a big bag of rice hulls just in case.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: Hokerer on April 04, 2011, 02:31:29 PM
So, I'm 2 out of 3 for great mashes with the SS braid. However, yesterday I got a stuck sparge towards the end of the mash with a grain bill of 7# pale and 2# wheat for a kolsch I was doing. I'm thinking I should use my false bottom whenever I do something that might be sticky. Or is there something I should look for?

If you're using a SS braid, then most likely you're also batch sparging.  With batch a stuck sparge is no biggie.  Stop the runoff, stir up the mash, vorlauf again, and then finish the runoff.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: phillamb168 on April 05, 2011, 08:06:56 AM
So, I'm 2 out of 3 for great mashes with the SS braid. However, yesterday I got a stuck sparge towards the end of the mash with a grain bill of 7# pale and 2# wheat for a kolsch I was doing. I'm thinking I should use my false bottom whenever I do something that might be sticky. Or is there something I should look for?

If you're using a SS braid, then most likely you're also batch sparging.  With batch a stuck sparge is no biggie.  Stop the runoff, stir up the mash, vorlauf again, and then finish the runoff.

Ah, ok, sounds good. I'll do that next time - although I do have a problem with the braid folding up onto itself, but perhaps my braid is too long. Denny, at what length do you cut your braid? Mine's about 18" and kinda coils around there.
Title: Re: Copper manifold vs false bottom
Post by: denny on April 05, 2011, 04:12:11 PM
Ah, ok, sounds good. I'll do that next time - although I do have a problem with the braid folding up onto itself, but perhaps my braid is too long. Denny, at what length do you cut your braid? Mine's about 18" and kinda coils around there.

Mine runs the length of my cooler for no particular reason other than I had been experimenting with different lengths and that was the last one I tried so I left it.  It's "pragmatic"!  I found lengths as short as 6" work equally well.

(http://hbd.org/clubs/cascade/public_html/dennybrew/braid.jpg)