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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: rayallen on May 23, 2011, 02:45:17 PM

Title: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: rayallen on May 23, 2011, 02:45:17 PM
Ok, I will be drawing up plans here soon to build a single tier brew system.

Plan on going to All-Grain in the near future.

I know I will use direct fire because of simplicity, ive been reading but still do not yet completely understand everything.

What I know.

1.) I will have a Mash/Lautner Tun for steeping the Mash/grain to release all its sweet goodness. Will have a stainless kettle screen
2.) I will have a boil kettle to obviously boil the ready wort and hops
3.) I will use a food grade pump to circulate wort from one kettle to the next.
4.) I will have 3 burners ran by a propane tank.
5.) I plan on using somekind of quick disconnects with silicone seals.
6.) I will be using silicone hoses.


What I dont know.

1.) What is the use of the third Kettle the Hot Liquid Kettle aka HLT?
2.) Is a electric panel a must, or does it just make life a little easier + it looks cool.
3.) Food grade pump. Can one pump run the entire system or will I need 2.
4.) Id like to make this a safe indoor setup. what the best way to do so
5.) Is it in order of MLT, HLT then Boil Kettle? Or HLT, MLT, Boil Kettle? Im sure this will be answered when I know exactly what the HLT is for?


Ive been reading about sparging using a system to sprinkle water but ive noticed most home-brewers do not do this, usually only brewing companies. So I assume this is not needed.

List of parts needed

I have 3 cut and drilled 15.5 Sanke Kettles

Need Weldless therms and spiggots with ball valves
Stainless steel screen for mash tun.
silicone hosing
pump
gas burners and lines
propane
Electric panel of somesort if I deside to do so.


Sorry if this comes across as a little slow, so far ive only done stove top brewing. If I can Id like to get this as close to correct on the 1st go. Like ive said ive been reading but obviously im still unclear on several areas.

Any Answers, thoughts, ideas and suggestion are most welcome.

Happy Brewing  :)
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: micsager on May 23, 2011, 02:58:19 PM
HLT is to heat water prior to begining the mash.  Here's basics:

1.Heat water in the HLT to strike temperature
2.Add grain and heated water to mash tun
3.sparge into your boiling pot.
4.cool, move to feremntors and add yeast

I used 2 pumps.  From 1-2 and 2-3.  Gravitly from 3-4.


Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: rayallen on May 23, 2011, 03:09:20 PM
thanks Misager

You answer put it into better simple perspective.

You use a seperate pumps to get the hot liquid to the mash tun, and the wort to the boil. Is this so that you can contoll the speed?

What is the optimal GPH for the pumps? Im in the aquarium hobby and have used lots of pump through the years some ranging from 20gph to 2000gph.

Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: micsager on May 23, 2011, 03:16:45 PM
It was just easier with two pumps, as they were placed in different spots.  You could do it with one.  On a side note, I no longer use this system.  Splurged on a Top Tier from Blichman last summer.  Now it's gravity the whole way.  I just got the stand and burners, those biolermaker pots are cool, but very $$$$$.  I still use my old sankey keggles.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: denny on May 23, 2011, 03:29:54 PM
thanks Misager

You answer put it into better simple perspective.

You use a seperate pumps to get the hot liquid to the mash tun, and the wort to the boil. Is this so that you can contoll the speed?

What is the optimal GPH for the pumps? Im in the aquarium hobby and have used lots of pump through the years some ranging from 20gph to 2000gph.



You don't even need to worry about that.  Just get the March 809 HS pumps,which are the standard pumps for homebrewers.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 23, 2011, 03:41:27 PM
thanks Misager
You answer put it into better simple perspective.
You use a seperate pumps to get the hot liquid to the mash tun, and the wort to the boil. Is this so that you can contoll the speed?
What is the optimal GPH for the pumps? Im in the aquarium hobby and have used lots of pump through the years some ranging from 20gph to 2000gph.
You don't even need to worry about that.  Just get the March 809 HS pumps,which are the standard pumps for homebrewers.
That is what I would say, Denny.

I also have water in both the mash tun and the HLT, added the night before.  The mash tun is preheated with a bucket heater, so that I just add the pre-crushed grain to begin the brewday early in the morning.  The HLT fire is lit a little before the step to mash out, so it will be at temp for the sparge.  Once the brew kettle has enough wort to cover the bottom, that burner gets lit.  These steps cut some idle time from the brewday.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: rayallen on May 23, 2011, 03:46:56 PM
Thanks Denny for the info on the pump.

Also going to get the glass sights while im at it, a few more $s and a nice feature.

Just a thought.

Where do you tend to cool your wort? In the boil kettle? Id assume the HLT is empty seeing its the 1st step in the process, does anyone go from the boil kettle back to the HLT using their wort chiller. Would it not cool faster this way?

Any advice on the use of indoor burners, Im going to have a section of the house near the kitched for brewing. I see that most brew outside or in the garage, but there are some with indoor setups.

Thanks guys for the quick info, im sure I will have more questions as I go along and actually start the build.

Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: rayallen on May 23, 2011, 03:52:23 PM
thanks Misager
You answer put it into better simple perspective.
You use a seperate pumps to get the hot liquid to the mash tun, and the wort to the boil. Is this so that you can contoll the speed?
What is the optimal GPH for the pumps? Im in the aquarium hobby and have used lots of pump through the years some ranging from 20gph to 2000gph.
You don't even need to worry about that.  Just get the March 809 HS pumps,which are the standard pumps for homebrewers.
That is what I would say, Denny.

I also have water in both the mash tun and the HLT, added the night before.  The mash tun is preheated with a bucket heater, so that I just add the pre-crushed grain to begin the brewday early in the morning.  The HLT fire is lit a little before the step to mash out, so it will be at temp for the sparge.  Once the brew kettle has enough wort to cover the bottom, that burner gets lit.  These steps cut some idle time from the brewday.


What is your ideal Sparge temp? On the stove top ive been steeping my grain at 155°F. Id assume a little higher is best for the HLT, maybe 170~° so while you are sparging the temp doesnt fluc to much from the HLT to the MLT.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: denny on May 23, 2011, 04:00:14 PM
Thanks Denny for the info on the pump.

Also going to get the glass sights while im at it, a few more $s and a nice feature.

Just a thought.

Where do you tend to cool your wort? In the boil kettle? Id assume the HLT is empty seeing its the 1st step in the process, does anyone go from the boil kettle back to the HLT using their wort chiller. Would it not cool faster this way?

Any advice on the use of indoor burners, Im going to have a section of the house near the kitched for brewing. I see that most brew outside or in the garage, but there are some with indoor setups.

Thanks guys for the quick info, im sure I will have more questions as I go along and actually start the build.



Yes, you chill in the kettle.

Ray, I'm gonna spew a little heresy here....you're looking at building a complicated system and yet you're not sure what all the parts do or how to use them.  Just maybe you should step back and slow down a little.  How about going with a less complicated system (like my Cheap'n'Easy) while you learn the basics of AG brewing?  Then you'll get a feel for the process and also learn more about what you really need and how to use and configure it once you're ready to step things up.  You can use a lot of the stuff (kettles, pumps, etc.) from a basic system when you go to a more "complicated" system so you really won't be losing anything.  Just this last weekend, I had a chance to brew on a pretty much automated 20 gal. Morebeer system.  By the time the day was over I was wondering why I'd ever want to change from my cooler system!  I'm not saying that everyone would feel that way, but keep in mind that there's more to brewing than the equipment you use.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: tschmidlin on May 23, 2011, 04:09:08 PM
I agree with Denny, it's not a bad idea to build a cheap system and use it a few times to figure out what you really want and need.  Everything from Denny's system can be reused in the new system, and the cooler can be used as a cooler again.

But if you're moving forward, it sounds like you plan to use propane burners indoors, near your kitchen?  The reason most people brew in the garage or outside is because propane burners can produce a lot of carbon monoxide and you want to have good ventilation.  People who brew inside generally use natural gas or electricity.  So my advice on indoor burners is don't use propane or install a high flow ventilation hood.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: denny on May 23, 2011, 04:11:05 PM
But if you're moving forward, it sounds like you plan to use propane burners indoors, near your kitchen?  The reason most people brew in the garage or outside is because propane burners can produce a lot of carbon monoxide and you want to have good ventilation.  People who brew inside generally use natural gas or electricity.  So my advice on indoor burners is don't use propane or install a high flow ventilation hood.

I've even heard of people's insurance policies being cancelled when it was discovered they used propane indoors.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: tschmidlin on May 23, 2011, 04:13:37 PM
You could just keep a canary nearby, and when it dies you open a window. :)
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: denny on May 23, 2011, 04:14:39 PM
You could just keep a canary nearby, and when it dies you open a window. :)

Assuming you can still make it to the window!
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: richardt on May 23, 2011, 04:15:30 PM
Denny beat me to it; but I second his sentiments.

For someone with no AG experience, there's much to be learned about all-grain brewing, e.g., recipes, grain varieties, mash schedules, pH and temps, water chemistry.  So I'm kindly suggesting you do a few group brew days with a bunch of homebrewers first if you haven't done so already.  It gives you a chance to see all types of systems (and they all work, albiet some better than others).

After watching several veteran homebrewers, I realized that bigger, electro-mechanical brewing systems with pumps, fittings, and hoses were not necessary (or even efficient) for producing great beers.  My advice:  "simple is better."  

It has already been said elsewhere on this forum that people are not impressed as much, or at all, by shiny equipment or complicated processes producing bland, harsh, astringent, flawed beers as they are by great tasting beers (that were produced on humble converted coolers and boil kettles sitting atop banjo burners) by brewers who knew what they were doing.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: maxieboy on May 23, 2011, 04:16:25 PM
+1 on Denny's advice. Get 2 kettles set up, build a cooler MT, and go with a single infusion, gravity setup. It's how I started and will probably stick with for a long time. Once you get a handle on the process and are brewing great beer, plan for the fancy rig. I like gadgets and toys as much as the next guy but I also am a huge fan of KISS. Obviously, YMMV. Good luck!
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: rayallen on May 23, 2011, 04:46:31 PM
Thanks guys for the advice , the last thing I want to do is get in over my head.

My main goal now is to able to produce larger batches in a more time efficient manner. Electric stove top is just way to slow for me. Quality of the beer is most important..

I figured I have the three Sankes why not go ahead with setting something up. Why would the cooler be any different than using the sanke Mash tun. Is there a benefit of a cooler mash tun versus a keggle mash tun? Better insulation?

I like the simple is best approach so all the advice will be put to use. Id love to hang out with a group of brewers to check out their systems, but have to find them 1st.

I am a very visual person so I know this would help out tremondously. I know if I can keep a saltwater reef aquarium alive and thriving with its many gadgets and gizmos I will understand this once I see it in action.

Going to watch some videos and tutorials to get a better visual on what will work for me.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: denny on May 23, 2011, 04:50:56 PM
IMO, I prefer a cooler to a kettle for mashing because it holds the heat so well.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: rayallen on May 23, 2011, 05:04:17 PM
Thanks Denny

Ok I will go with that system to start. that would explain why I see some Kettle mash tuns wrapped in insulation.

HLT to Cooler Mash Tun and then into the boil kettle. All gravity on a three tierd system. No pumps no fuss. I like that. Also saves me a lot of $$$ dough. My wife will like that.

This would still alow me to do Mini-Mash as well which is what ive been doing from the start. Onto learning more about all-grain.

Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: bluesman on May 23, 2011, 05:04:35 PM
Thanks guys for the advice , the last thing I want to do is get in over my head.

My main goal now is to able to produce larger batches in a more time efficient manner. Electric stove top is just way to slow for me. Quality of the beer is most important..

I figured I have the three Sankes why not go ahead with setting something up. Why would the cooler be any different than using the sanke Mash tun. Is there a benefit of a cooler mash tun versus a keggle mash tun? Better insulation?

I like the simple is best approach so all the advice will be put to use. Id love to hang out with a group of brewers to check out their systems, but have to find them 1st.

I am a very visual person so I know this would help out tremondously. I know if I can keep a saltwater reef aquarium alive and thriving with its many gadgets and gizmos I will understand this once I see it in action.

Going to watch some videos and tutorials to get a better visual on what will work for me.


I have a Brutus 10 clone (single tier direct fired RIMS system) that I've been building over the last 1 year. It is 95% complete. I've just started the testing and tweeking of the controls (valves, pumps, etc...) It has been an exciting project that is finally winding down to completion. I can't wait for it's maiden brew session.

I also agree with Denny in that getting your process down on a cooler mash tun and brew kettle setup is highly recommended. This will keep you brewing while you can nail down your dream system. I've used Denny's design with a cooler and BK that is easy to use and has made medal winning beer.

Good Luck!
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: rayallen on May 23, 2011, 05:41:16 PM
Thanks guys, this association has been the most valuable and informative tool thus far in my brewing.

Denny I said it once on another thread of mine and will say it again you are the man and I take all your advice and use it to the best of my ability.

Going to visit your website again.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: denny on May 23, 2011, 05:58:05 PM
(http://wiki.openttd.org/images/3/3f/Face-Blush-120px.png)
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: tschmidlin on May 23, 2011, 06:54:29 PM
Id love to hang out with a group of brewers to check out their systems, but have to find them 1st.
You have some choices.  From http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/directories/find-a-club

San Antonio Area Zymurgists (SAAZ)
Helotes, TX 78023-4715
Phone: (210) 695-3415
Email: info@sabeergroup.org
www.sabeergroup.org

Bexar Brewers
San Antonio, TX 78232-5149
Phone: (210) 649-5269
Email: bexarbrewers@att.net

Barley Legal Homebrew Club
San Antonio, TX 78202-2411
Email: workmansfriend@gmail.com

San Antonio Cerveceros
San Antonio, TX 78228-2022
Phone: (210) 274-5573
Email: originalgomez1972@yahoo.com
www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/sanantoniocerveceros

Lager-Rythmics
San Antonio, TX 78212-3530
Phone: (210) 737-6604
Email: Todd@sahomebrew.com
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 23, 2011, 07:23:20 PM
IMO, I prefer a cooler to a kettle for mashing because it holds the heat so well.
Ray,
I chill the wort in the boil kettle as it is sanitized from the boil.

Coolers are great for single infusions.  I still have mine, and use it on occasions for low gravity beers with low mash volumes, which will drop a lot of heat in the kettle.  With the kettle though, you can add heat as needed, and I also wrap it in insulation to help maintain heat when the fire is off. 

You should be able to find some others in the SA or Austin area that brew on a 3 keg system.  Look up the club index on this site and you should find one.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: Hokerer on May 23, 2011, 07:28:48 PM
Lager-Rythmics
San Antonio, TX 78212-3530
Phone: (210) 737-6604
Email: Todd@sahomebrew.com

Love that one, must be a bunch of math geeks :)
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: rayallen on May 23, 2011, 07:56:53 PM
Thanks Jeff Excellent info. I see that like many things in the obsession (no longer call it a hobby) its all a matter of opinionm and everyone has their preference.

 Ive been looking at pics and build threads all afternoon and see that some prefer cooler mash tuns and some the kettle insulated or not insualted. Either way works but the cooler is better insulated, because thats what it was built for to begin with. I could use the sanke keg but it would be best wrapped in insualation, this would allow me not to have to have a burner under the mash tun to hold the temp.

Thanks tschmidlin for the links to the clubs, Havnt really figured out all the links and goodies AHA provides.

Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: jeffy on May 23, 2011, 09:32:37 PM
I use a converted keg as a mash tun, but I also can recirculate the mash through an electric heater while it rests, so I don't lose any heat.  The advantage to using stainless kegs as vessels over a plastic cooler is that you can light a fire under the keg, making multiple step mashes much simpler.
I used to cool the wort through a counterflow chiller directly into carboys, but now I redirect the cooling wort back into the boil kettle at an angle and cool the whole volume, at the same time making a whirlpool in the bk.
But, like everybody else says, brew some all grain on a simple system and then decide over time what you want to do with all your new stuff.
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: Will's Swill on May 24, 2011, 05:14:04 AM
Denny,

Tell us more about your experience on the MoreBeer system.  Was it just so automated that it took the fun out, or did you find other issues?
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: oscarvan on May 26, 2011, 03:18:35 PM
I'm a simple three tier gravity single infusion guy, OK I went a little overboard with the setup, but you can do it with just about anything. Lots of people make three tiers out of 2x4's and plywood. Just keep the flames away from the wood. As far as propane inside.... CO is one problem, as the burners use massive amounts of air. The other big problem is moisture. A ton of water is produced burning all that gas. Ventilation helps for the combustion air, but the wife will NOT be happy with the windows dripping. Out in the garage you are.

My pics here: http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: denny on May 26, 2011, 03:27:46 PM
Denny,

Tell us more about your experience on the MoreBeer system.  Was it just so automated that it took the fun out, or did you find other issues?

It was extremely hard to control mash temps.  Now, this was only the 3rd batch brewed on it and I'm sure more experience would help.  I also found a lot of what I would consider "stupid design stuff" about it.  For instance, disconnecting a QD would cause it to drip all over the control panel.  Temps probes and valves awkwardly positioned.  For all the good stuff about it, there were an equal number of "why the heck did they do that?" things.  As I said, maybe with more experience you could overcome or get used top some of those things, but it was a bit disappointing.  I left that day thinking "why would I not want to use the Cheap'n'Easy system I have now?".
Title: Re: Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
Post by: Will's Swill on May 27, 2011, 06:39:22 PM
Gotcha, thanks, Denny.

Oscar, are you using a garden hose for your supply line?  That seems surprising given all the upgrades you got going there...  ???