Author Topic: Computer Rack 3 Tier System  (Read 2938 times)

Offline mlager

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Computer Rack 3 Tier System
« on: June 18, 2010, 07:47:39 PM »
I'm a computer guy, so I had a rack laying around with a couple of heavy duty shelves. So I spaced them out and offset them. This works pretty nicely. The goal was not to have to move the kettle at all... Only thing I have to do is lift the mash tun up to the 2nd tier, and then the HLT to the 3rd tier, but that's pretty easy. I use a latter for the HLT. Burner is on wood blocks so the kettle is high enough to drain to the carboy. Once done mashing, the 2nd tier makes a nice area to hold all the homebrews we're drinking at the time, including a place to write notes on our log sheets.


Offline richardt

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Re: Computer Rack 3 Tier System
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2010, 06:11:59 AM »
I like the simplicity of the stand.  The base is a bit narrow for all that weight.  How stable is it when it is full of water and grains?

Offline mlager

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Re: Computer Rack 3 Tier System
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2010, 09:14:13 AM »
It's actually very stable... If you took everything off, and put a full HLT on the 3rd tier it would tip, but this never poses a problem during the brewing process because any time the HLT is on the 3rd tier, there is always a full mash tun on the 2nd tier. During the sparge process, the HLT empties creating even more stability in the stand. I haven't had any instances where I've felt like the stand was unstable...

Another option is to actually drive threaded posts into the ground, if that's possible where you brew, then you could actually secure the rack to the ground, just as you would if you were going to install this rack in a server room and secure it to the floor. I don't do this just because I haven't had the need.

Offline beerocd

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Re: Computer Rack 3 Tier System
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2010, 09:43:55 AM »
That's a telco rack.  ;)
(and just those shelves are expensive even...)

Sandbags on the bottom at least?
« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 09:51:56 AM by beerocd »
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Offline mlager

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Re: Computer Rack 3 Tier System
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2010, 11:06:51 AM »
Yup, telco / network rack indeed... And you're also right, this would be an expensive solution if you didn't have these extra parts laying around :) If I had to do something from scratch, I'd probably go another direction. These sat in my garage for a couple years before I even had the idea to use them for brewing...

Haven't used sand bags... It's suprisngly stable, with the exception of a full HLT on the 3rd tier and no mash tun as I described above, but there wouldn't be a scenario in my process where this would happen... Also, the way I offset the shelves actually create some stability.

Offline beerocd

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Re: Computer Rack 3 Tier System
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 01:46:55 PM »
Yup, telco / network rack indeed... And you're also right, this would be an expensive solution if you didn't have these extra parts laying around :) If I had to do something from scratch, I'd probably go another direction. These sat in my garage for a couple years before I even had the idea to use them for brewing...

I have one in the basement, no shelves though. Priced out the shelves and ...  :o    so there it sits.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Computer Rack 3 Tier System
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 07:28:59 PM »
... I haven't had any instances where I've felt like the stand was unstable...

Ah, man...you've been lucky... so far.  Mr Murphy is always present on brew day. So consider the following:
To create a severe burn (2nd or 3rd degree), a water temp of:
120 F takes 10 minutes to result in a severe burn;
125 F takes 2 minutes to result in a severe burn;
140 F takes just 6 seconds to result in a severe burn;
150 F takes just 2 seconds to result in a severe burn.

mashing is done around 150-158 F and sparge water is often hotter (around 170-190 F)--so you're talking about having the potential of 10+ gallons of scalding hot water...

Another possibility is to make a wider base (2x4's, angle iron, etc.) and mount it to your telco base to give more stability.  The center of gravity (moment of inertia) is just too high for that narrow base you currently have.  It would just take a bump, a nudge, a tug on a hose, or a stiff wind and some bad luck and someone's having a bad day.

Offline beerocd

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Re: Computer Rack 3 Tier System
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 08:07:10 PM »
Ah, man...you've been lucky... so far.  Mr Murphy is always present on brew day. So consider the following:
To create a severe burn (2nd or 3rd degree), a water temp of:
120 F takes 10 minutes to result in a severe burn;
125 F takes 2 minutes to result in a severe burn;
140 F takes just 6 seconds to result in a severe burn;
150 F takes just 2 seconds to result in a severe burn.

mashing is done around 150-158 F and sparge water is often hotter (around 170-190 F)--so you're talking about having the potential of 10+ gallons of scalding hot water...

Another possibility is to make a wider base (2x4's, angle iron, etc.) and mount it to your telco base to give more stability. The center of gravity (moment of inertia) is just too high for that narrow base you currently have.  It would just take a bump, a nudge, a tug on a hose, or a stiff wind and some bad luck and someone's having a bad day.


They're actually not that bad. They do hold over a hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment at a time, under normal use. Again, I would just do sandbags if I was gonna give it some help. Some people need a near miss to take it to the next level of safety.
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Offline dean

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Re: Computer Rack 3 Tier System
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2010, 04:51:10 AM »
True, but $100k equipment doesn't necessarily weigh as much usually and even IF a telco rack is "completely" filled all the weight is distributed more over the center... as well as the rack being securely anchored at the bottom.   Bolt that baby down and get a pump!   ;D

Offline mlager

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Re: Computer Rack 3 Tier System
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2010, 04:12:48 PM »
Good advice on the safety precautions... I'll implement some of these. I guess my point from above stands true... As long as the mash tun goes on the 2nd tier first, and then the HLT on the 3rd tier second, you'd have a very hard time pushing the thing over in any direction. The 10 gal mash tun puts a lot of weight on the front of the rack, and my HLT is only 5 gal so there is no way for the HLT to overpower the mash.

Thought it's true, in a drunken moment of stupidity, I could accidently screw up the order and get burned ;)