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Messages - dcbc

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 19
1
Equipment and Software / Re: Share your brew stands!
« on: January 06, 2015, 03:07:18 PM »

2
Pimp My System / Re: 25G RIMS Burner Help
« on: September 17, 2014, 08:09:33 AM »
I run the 20 tip jet burners with a 4" space (not adjustable) space and it works well.  I reduce from 3/4" pipe to 1/2" and have never needed to run them wide open (15 gallon boil volume in 20 gallons pots).  They are overkill for my system, but I designed it to be able to be easily upsized to 2x the batch size I'm doing now.  I left the wind shrouds open a few inches in the front to make sure there was decent air circulation around the burner. 

As for ASCO valves, pipe size is the thread size.  Orifice size is the throughput.  I'm using the Blichmann supplied 1/4" valves on mine (not on the boil kettle) and it works fine though not having to squish the line down to 1/4" from an already reduced to 1/2" line would be better.  But mine is direct fired, so I'd be turning the valve down low on the MLT anyway.  HLT gets my sparge water up to temp fine. 

3
Equipment and Software / Re: Asco Valves for RIMS
« on: September 17, 2014, 07:55:25 AM »
Probably an ideal solution.  Looking into my stand (I have a pair of Blichmann Tower of Powers), I use the provided 1/4" valve from Blichmann that is a ASCO 8262H078.  These are much less expensive ($60) but still rated for fuel.  Like I said earlier, even with my 3/4" to 1/2" line being choked down to 1/4" and back up to 1/2" to go to my 20 tip jet burners, it works fine for 12 gallon batches since I'm not not using those burners to boil.  For the direct fired RIMS, it may work even better since I can run the burner wide open after the valve and not scorch while recirculating (constantly).

Your setup will give you plenty of volume I'd bet.  I'm running 3/4" from the meter approximately 40' to the stand where it gets squashed down to 1/2" for about 2' before the burner (I'm talking about my BK burner that is unrestricted) and burner fuel volume isn't an issue at all.  I never run it wide open.

4
Equipment and Software / Re: Asco Valves for RIMS
« on: September 17, 2014, 07:42:40 AM »
The 1082G037 doesn't show up on ASCO's site any more.  1082GO75 seems like a comparable brass valve for fuel use.  Seems like they are about $165.  Depending on your batch size, you might consider using the 1082G074, which is a 3/8" valve.  It will choke your flame down a bit if, like me you are using 3/4" pipe to 1/2" pipe at the stand, but for 12 gallon batches, I still have plenty of umph for a a direct fired RIMS system and HLT.  I don' think you save a ton. 

Just be sure to get a valve rated for fuel like those I mentioned and not a cheaper general purpose valve.  The GP valve will work fine, but it's life span may be reduced by using it with NG.  Not something you want to have fail early without notice.


5
Equipment and Software / Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« on: September 17, 2014, 07:23:06 AM »
I marked my wooden mash paddle with a wood burner/soldering iron.  One side for MLT strike volume, one side for HLT sparge water volume.  I didn't feel like adding an additional tool to locate on brew day.  98% of the time, i.e. normal gravity range beers, I don't change my strike/sparge volumes.  I just let my liquor:grist ratio vary.

Boil kettle volume for a 90 minute boil is the edge of the compression fitting on my whirlpool arm.

You can see the mark under the top hole in the paddle.


6
From the FAQ in the Boilermaker section of Blichmann's site:


Do I need a clad bottom?

Clad bottoms are great for cooking viscous foods like spaghetti or gravies, especially on an electric stove. Because these foods don't convect like thinner liquids (such as beer wort), scorching is more likely. With the full rolling boil of a wort boil, and the use of a gas/propane burner, scorching is not an issue, even on the lightest worts. Our research and development team has thoroughly tested the BoilerMaker™ pots on high-BTU burners with very light beers (Koelsch, Pils, etc.) and experienced no discoloration or scorching whatsoever. While the clad bottoms look impressive, they add cost, but no real benefit, to the brewer. Because we designed the BoilerMaker™ from a clean sheet, we added cost only where it added specific benefits to the brewer. The stepped bottom, quality level gauge, adjustable BrewMometer™, and snap-in dip tube are a few examples.


I use 3 of the Morebeer type kettles (from various sources), each with the triclad bottoms.  All work great and I have not scorching.  As for the cost, they are less than the comparable boilermakers despite having the more robust bottom sections.  I direct fire my MLT with a Blichmann Tower of Power.  So it's extra insurance there as far as I'm concerned.

7
Pimp My System / Re: Brew Stand 3.0
« on: July 21, 2014, 11:57:35 AM »
No problem.  The burners are the 20 tip wok burners.  There is a hole in them that I believe is supposed to be used to to feed a pilot light through.  I use that hole to bolt them to a cross member that attaches to either side of the wind screen.  The gas piping is held up by the burners.  At some point, I will probably use some pipe straps to attach the pipe to the base of the stand, but, so far, I have not been inclined to mess with it since it seems to hold up just fine. 



You can see the bolt in this picture.




Also, for what it's worth.  I relocated the spark ignitor on the MLT burner to a position underneath that cross support.  Mounting it to the curve of the wind screen caused it to not sit completely flush.  It would move around a bit during the brew session for whatever reason and the changing gap made for inconsistent ignition.  Now, being mounted flush to a flat surface, it works great.  Not sure why the HLT ignitor never had this problem.

8
I use a CFC and recirculate into the kettle.  During the summer, I can get the wort down to about 90 (hot Texas ground water).  After everything settles, I pump it over to the keg fermenter, seal it up, and let the chest freezer take it down to pitching temp.  With good sanitation practices, this has never been a problem. 

I have a pond pump and have recirculated ice water through the chiller once I get it down as low as I can go with the groundwater.  This works great, but it is a lot of extra work.  By that point in the day, I'm ready to be done, and it's just to easy to seal up the keg fermenter and let the chest freezer do the work. 

9
Equipment and Software / Re: Natural Gas Burner Cost
« on: January 11, 2014, 08:11:29 PM »
I converted from LP to NG 3 years ago for my three burner Brutus 10 brewstand using a bbq grill quick disconnect. Even though I don't have the BTUs of LP, it is really reassuring that I never have to worry about running out of gas during my brew day.

This!  The time and money I spent running over to the propane place to get my tank filled is not something I miss since I went NG. 

Best uprgrade evah!

10
Equipment and Software / Re: oxyclean
« on: December 23, 2013, 11:14:17 AM »
Red Devil TSP 90 is not Trisodium Phosphate. 

This is the stuff I use, which is sodium metasilicate.

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Devil-0261-Heavy-Cleaner/dp/B000LNTXIQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387822366&sr=8-1&keywords=red+devil+tsp+90

11
Equipment and Software / Re: oxyclean
« on: December 17, 2013, 03:29:21 PM »
Isnt PBW just really Souped up Oxyclean?  Essentially an alkaline cleaner?

Sorry, totally missed beersk's post a few above this one when I posted the recipe below.  Same thing.  I usually measure it by volume.  It's not an exact science.  You can play with the ratio a bit to find something that works well for you.

My original post:

If you want to make some homemade PBW, use 3 parts Oxyclean (no dyes) or a generic subsitute like Sun Oxygen Cleaner (Sodium percarbonate) with 1 part Red Devil TSP-90 (Sodium Metasilicate) available at most hardware stores.  Mix well and you can have almost 9 lbs of homemade PBW for less than $10. 

This recipe is derived from the description of the make up of PBW given by Charlie Talley (owner of 5 Star) on the Brewing Network.  I have used it for several years with great success.

12
Just looking at that level of sabco system, unless I'm missing something, I'm not sure why you wouldn't just piece it together yourself.  There is no automation in that level of their system that I can see.  It's 3 keggles with fittings and presumably a false bottom, 3 floor burners, a march pump, some hose, and some TC fittings.  The Pico system seems like it offers a chiller and a second pump as well.  I could be missing a few components.   

For what it's worth, you can order keggles predrilled with valves, thermometers, and sight glass at keggle brewing.com or do it yourself.  Grab a few floor burners and a pump from just about anywhere else, and get the TC or whatever other kinds of fittings and hoses at bargainfittings, brewhardware, brewershardware, or wherever.  You'll spend a ton less and have virtually the same setup. 

I'd guess that you could do it for about $1,200 if you piece it together (that's assuming you buy the keggles retail).

For about the price Sabco is asking, you could have a professional welder build a very nice stand for you to your exact specs (in my case 2" box steel with pump and chiller mounts), buy yourself some nice shiny kettles with valves and thermometers (20 gallon bk and MLT, 15 gallon HLT) with the extra recirculation ports welded on professionally, add a pump with a switch, CCFC chiller, and burners (2 in my unautomated setup), quick disconnects, silicone hose, gas plumbing, casters, etc., and have something quite a bit more impressive that could accommodate much larger sizes (future proof) and be automated later if you so chose. 

Message me and I'd be glad to give you the specifics on how I got to that number.  But the bottom line is, if you can't weld, it's not as expensive as you might imagine to have someone build something for you.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

13
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: November 04, 2013, 03:06:22 PM »
This is how Jeff Renner does his cereal mash for CAP.  I think he has a really big pressure cooker.

I think mine is 20 qt.  With a larger inner container, I could do a pretty sizable decoction in there.
Jeff Renner's is about 22qt IIRC.

Just checked.  Mine is a 23 qt Presto.  I got it to can starter wort.

14
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: October 16, 2013, 08:06:11 AM »
I seem to recall somebody did a side by side comparison of a beer with a decoction mash and a step mash with melanoidin malt and had a bunch of people judge the beer and people noticed a difference but thought the melanoidin malt beer was smoother and more pleasant. I seem to think Nateo posted it on his blog a long time ago but I haven't seen him around these parts in a while.

Outside of maybe making more starches easily available for conversion, I'm not a huge believer that decoction mashes offer a lot that a step mash doesn't but there is probably a subtle difference. I imagine very long boils on the decoction probably makes more of a difference but a 10-15 minute boil probably isn't creating as many flavor compounds. I do know some pro brewers swear by decoction mashes when using undermodified malt. I can see the need for the decoctions to help with conversion.

Since I don't have mash tuns that sit on burners I have to do my step mashes by decoction or infusion. I've never made a beer with a decoction mash I disliked but I also haven't found that magic touch either.

I have made a bopils with a double Hochkurz decoction and have made that same bopils with a temp controlled step mash at the same temps.  No difference for my pallet and, frankly, I recall the latter to have been a better beer.  That said, the helles that I did this quick and easy decoction on was a very fine beer and had some subtle nuances that the same beer with melenoiden malt just doesn't have (I'm not saying that melenoiden malt attributes flavors resembling decocted beers). 

In my opinion, a traditional blood sweat and tears decoction isn't worth my effort.  But the pressure cooker method is so easy that I may get a portable electric burner so I can do it right next to the brew rig on occasion.  Even after 15 minutes, there was a noticeable aroma on the decocted grist that the rest of the mash just didn't have.

15
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: October 16, 2013, 07:58:47 AM »
This is how Jeff Renner does his cereal mash for CAP.  I think he has a really big pressure cooker.

I think mine is 20 qt.  With a larger inner container, I could do a pretty sizable decoction in there.

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