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Messages - littlejohn

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Pimp My System / Brew rig - in progress
« on: March 08, 2014, 11:00:56 AM »
G'day from Australia,
Well the brew rig is progressing, my priorities were for:
      minimum parts
      no 're-plumbing' mid brew
      able to clean and sanitise 'in place'
      preferably stainless throughout
So far I have made the stand and begun drilling the 15GAL kegs, the piping is all  3/4" stainless tube from Bunnings ( with NPS thread cut on the ends to make lengths as needed. The rest of the fittings and parts have come from Ebay (mostly via China).
The electrical setup includes (I work with some responsible and qualified electricians who will wire it up for me):
      digital temp controller with sensor and readout
      2400W heat element
      circuit breaker
      20A switches
      20A solid state relay
      sanitary magnetic pump
Attached is my planned setup and configurations, the use of three-way valves has reduced materials and performs as a sanitary barrier when I drain the wort to the fermenter as well as selecting between re-circulating through the heat exchange and transferring into the boil pot. My false bottom I had was too large to fit in the keg so I found some industrial strainers which will do the job nicely and I intend to hold them in place over the outlets with (nickel coated) neodymium magnets on opposite sides so that I minimise holes in the kegs.

If you see any rookie mistakes please feel free to provide any criticism before it all comes together because "an ounce of planning now prevents a pound of regret later"

Thanks for the feedback guys I will post a photo of what the grain looks like on the other end shortly.

Some of the comments so far touch on the initial issued I had building it:

The box had to be made because there wasn't anything existing in all the parts, i toyed with using aluminium housing but there are no parallel sides

One issue there was fixing the ends so it turned nicely, the first prototype had the ends held around the end using large washers welded to the plate not by pins, and the end plates would be bolted on for easy dismantling. While this covered up the beveled ends (stop grain falling through) it meant that it was difficult to place the rollers close together and stop them wobbling.

It only took a lazy Sunday to build (including failures)

Pimp My System / Home made grain mill . . . . that could crush a brick!
« on: January 30, 2013, 10:04:03 AM »
I wasn't too keen on spending around $250 on a grain mill so I made this from an old Chrysler Borg Warner auto gearbox drive spline and universal gears. Next step is to pretty it up a bit with some paint, so far it works really well and it doesn't get any cheaper than free! (free scraps and leftover car parts anyhow)

I chose the drive splines because they were made of extremely tough steel and had grooves already cut longitudinally which are perfect for grabbing grain and crushing it.

I dismantled the universal gears which gave me two crosscut gears, the tooth depth is deep enough that it allows for adjustment I welded a blob on top of the spline then lathed it down to the inner diameter of the gear which then sat snug with a few hits.

I filled the cavity with weld and lathed it flat on the end with a countersink (the other end already has one from the factory) for the turned brass pivots to hold it in place and adjust the crush width.

The body is steel plate, thick enough to tap a good thread into to hold the pins. The splines were buffered and lined up with a few thin washers (which are plentiful in the gearbox). The brass bolts were tapered to match the countersunk holes and a nut is on each to prevent them from tightening and jamming in use.

While I was at it I welded a hopper to the top and burnished it flat covering the sharp edges with a protective auto strip from 'rare-spares'. The handle is just there while I was testing but the shaft has two nuts to put the chuck of a drill over.

** in practice: The mill works great and there is no give in the set width so that everything that goes through it is properly crushed and I have not needed to run it through twice.

The hopper bottom feed could be wider to let the grain fall freer.

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