Author Topic: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design  (Read 1544 times)

Offline kgs

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All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« on: April 04, 2013, 05:26:52 AM »
So I'm mulling over this design (something to do when I wake up too early and want to think through something relaxing rather than start charging through the day's work). It's designed to be an all-electric urban brewstand that can be used indoors; minimizes lifting, hoisting, or back strain; and is sensitive to water use.

One two-shelf rolling stainless-steel cart, ca. 48" w, 18" deep
Two 8-gallon stainless steel brew kettles, drilled for ball valves and heat elements; one is a dual HLT/chiller, one is a brew kettle
Two 1500w heating elements
One 9-gallon rectangular cooler MLT
One March pump
One... hmm... plate chiller? Plus a submersible pump? Immersion chiller?
Hoses, clamps, quick connects, GFIs, rocker switches, and other kibbles and bits

The two kettles are side-by-side on the top level.  The left kettle is the HLT and chiller. The right is the brew kettle. The mash tun is on the lower level.

Cooler is filled with grain and slid onto the lower shelf;
HLT fills the cooler (water pumped under the grain);
Mash tun is pump-drained up into the brew kettle;

Post-boil (chilling) is where I get stuck; I can't visualize what needs to happen. Something with pumps and cold water.  ;) Then again, this whole design may be off... this kind of thing isn't my strong suit.

Once the wort is chilled, it drains into a fermenter sitting in a manually-operated fermenter-mover (aka Radio Flyer). After yeast is pitched and aerated, the fermenter is then rolled to the front door and lugged downstairs. This last part (the lugging) will change when I get a small fridge and modify it into a fermenter... then there will be a minimum of lifting in this whole process.

My thought is to manually manage temps and so forth at the beginning, and only introduce fancier controls downstream if need/interest warranted.

Thoughts? Logic missing here somewhere?

K.G. Schneider
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 10:15:35 AM »
To minimize space and water use, you could use a plate chiller and fill your HLT with ice water to recirculate as chilling water. You'd need two pumps for that though. One for wort and one for ice water.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 10:39:30 AM »
kgs
as an also small batch and electric brewer. i don't think i would use an element in both kettles.  i heat my water up in the boil kettle and pour it into the mash tun.  i usually prep more water than i need and do in fact drain this to either another kettle or cooler if i need it.  i can always heat it back up. in the boil kettle if i need to but i really haven't had any problem
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Offline kgs

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 10:58:17 AM »
kgs
as an also small batch and electric brewer. i don't think i would use an element in both kettles.  i heat my water up in the boil kettle and pour it into the mash tun.  i usually prep more water than i need and do in fact drain this to either another kettle or cooler if i need it.  i can always heat it back up. in the boil kettle if i need to but i really haven't had any problem

Interesting and useful input from both of you. weithman5, do you have a picture of your setup? mtnrockhopper I could see a second pump in this scenario.
K.G. Schneider
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Offline weithman5

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 11:12:33 AM »


not much of a "setup" so to speak.  really just this kettle. i haven't even put the valve in it yet.  it is 4g kettle with 1500w element.  works fine with no electric controls. just enough power to bring to a good boil.  i do have an IMUSA seafood steamer kettle that i may make into an electric unit.  i just then pour the water into an igloo cooler.  then drain from that cooler back to the kettle.  for you it may be easier to have pumps but otherwise. nothing fancy.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 11:31:51 AM »
actually, my kettle is not getting used for a while ( i have my 10 year boards coming up that i have been studying for.) i would be happy to let you try my electric kettle and see.
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Offline kgs

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2013, 09:04:10 AM »
actually, my kettle is not getting used for a while ( i have my 10 year boards coming up that i have been studying for.) i would be happy to let you try my electric kettle and see.

That's a long way to send a kettle (and back), but that's a very kind offer. And funny enough that if you're up for it, message me. (The Sister and Brotherhood of the Traveling Kettle?)

I too am about to descend into a period of No Life for a long while (PhD program)... I'm finishing up some projects because of that. I'm thinking that with my "free life" over soon, in the next several weeks I'll get fermentation temp control out of the way first and do a small-fridge conversion. If I end up not brewing, I'll store beer in it!
K.G. Schneider
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 06:07:16 PM »
I too am about to descend into a period of No Life for a long while (PhD program)...
In?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline kgs

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 07:03:20 PM »
I too am about to descend into a period of No Life for a long while (PhD program)...
In?

Managerial leadership in the information professions (aka organizational leadership for librarians)
K.G. Schneider
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 07:54:41 PM »
I too am about to descend into a period of No Life for a long while (PhD program)...
In?

Managerial leadership in the information professions (aka organizational leadership for librarians)
Wow!  Who knew such a thing existed?  I'm glad there are people who are interested in that. ;) ;D
Tom Schmidlin

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2013, 09:01:00 PM »
I need a bandaid for my tongue now

"Freedom is temporary unless you are also Brave!" - Patriot


Offline kgs

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2013, 08:20:26 AM »
I too am about to descend into a period of No Life for a long while (PhD program)...
In?

Managerial leadership in the information professions (aka organizational leadership for librarians)
Wow!  Who knew such a thing existed?  I'm glad there are people who are interested in that. ;) ;D

Some people say that to me about homebrewing. :-)
K.G. Schneider
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2013, 12:33:12 PM »
I too am about to descend into a period of No Life for a long while (PhD program)...
In?

Managerial leadership in the information professions (aka organizational leadership for librarians)
Wow!  Who knew such a thing existed?  I'm glad there are people who are interested in that. ;) ;D

Some people say that to me about homebrewing. :-)
:)  I was shocked to find out you could make beer at home, but then I immediately wanted to try it.  Glad I did.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline kgs

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2013, 01:13:16 PM »
To minimize space and water use, you could use a plate chiller and fill your HLT with ice water to recirculate as chilling water. You'd need two pumps for that though. One for wort and one for ice water.

In this scenario, would a utility pump work? I already own one.
K.G. Schneider
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Offline weithman5

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Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2013, 06:33:10 AM »
yes i am up for a traveling kettle. 
good luck on your phd.  I am miserable just having to study for this 10 yr recert.
a utility pump would work, i actually set one up such that i pull the grain bag from my igloo and put the pump in the igloo with water and ice packs and use this to recirculate.  it really has not been worth the effort because i can put the whole kettle in my fridge over night and transfer the next day.



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