Author Topic: New to all grain  (Read 1510 times)

Offline scarecrow

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New to all grain
« on: May 06, 2016, 04:17:46 AM »
I recently did my first all grain brew and now am completely hooked on this art. I have a few questions that need answered, I want to build a gravity brew stand. Is there a specific height that I want to hot liquor container to be at. Also I used a 10 Gal cooler as the storage unit for my hot liquor. I was told I should not do this but that was after the fact. Also during the sparring process how long should I take to spare and is there a way to know when enough is enough? Thanks in advance for any help.

Offline dzlater

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2016, 09:56:31 AM »
   If I was making a three tier system I would start with my fermentor on the ground and work my up, boil kettle, mash tun, hot liqour tank. That way everything would be as low as possible.
   As far as using a cooler for a HLT I don't know why you couldn't use it. Me personally would not want the hassel of heating the sparge water and then figuring out how to get it into the HLT cooler. If I have to manually transfer I migh as well just batch sparge and dump it into the mash tun. (Which is what I do.) If you plan on using a pump that changes things.
   I'll let some one else give advice about the sparging because like I said I batch sparge.
 
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2016, 04:22:46 PM »
That ten gallon cooler would be a fine mash tun. I agree that it doesn't make as much sense to have an unheated hot liquor tank at the top of the system. You might as well have a burner on a kettle at the top and gravity feed water from the kettle into the mash tun. I can understand the safety perspective of not wanting a flame or scalding hot water at eye level. I don't think this is as much of a concern if you use a larger wood frame over the metal Blichmann type tower where the kettle sits on very little support and would be easier to knock off.

For a gravity system the lowest liquid level of each level needs to be higher than the highest liquid level of the step immediately below it. If you don't do that then you'll reach a point where the liquid will stop flowing because the surface is even across both vessels. That's why you should build from the ground up not the other way around.

Presumably you are fly sparging on this set up. I'm not sure how much height is necessary to get an optimal sparge but I assume you need more than a few inches. I would definitely plan on a foot or more between the mash tun and boil kettle. As the boil kettle fills the wort will flow slower and can turn to a crawl if they get too close.

There are a number of plans available online to build these. I would rely on those plans rather than reinventing the wheel.
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Offline Stevie

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New to all grain
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2016, 06:52:50 PM »
A pump would be immensely beneficial to safety. I have watched buddies climb step ladders and lift 5+ gallons of 190° water over their heads. Meanwhile I'm standing way back with my phone prepped to call 911. <$200 all in with fittings and tubing is well worth it.

Offline denny

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2016, 07:02:19 PM »
Before you get too carried away, you might want to look at dennybrew.com.  There are also videos on the AHA website showing the equipment and techniques.
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Offline scarecrow

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2016, 04:24:28 AM »
So I had a day off and jumped on it here are the pics so far.  I did leave room for a pump in the future.
Not done yet I need to do the HLT  platform still and screw in the deck boards.  Coming along nicely.

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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2016, 11:45:58 AM »
That setup will work well for continuous sparging (fly sparging is a horrible, non-descriptive name for the process). I continuous sparge with an elevated non-heated hot liquor back.  Every traditional British-style brew house that I seen has the hot liquor back elevated above the mash tun, and most are unheated.  The distance between each level does not need to be a foot.  The runoff from a continuous sparge should be slow.

Offline denny

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2016, 02:29:18 PM »
Mark, as strict a semanticist as I ususally am, I can find nothing wrng with the term fly sparging.  It's short for "on the fly".  Why is that not nly not appropriate, but as egregious as you claim?
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Offline Stevie

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2016, 02:33:20 PM »
My only concern would be the posts next to the burner. Worry wort on my would wrap some flashing around them to act as a heat shield.

I would also consider going way tighter on the slats below the burner or replace it all together with a solid material.

Offline scarecrow

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2016, 05:56:15 PM »
My only concern would be the posts next to the burner. Worry wort on my would wrap some flashing around them to act as a heat shield.

I would also consider going way tighter on the slats below the burner or replace it all together with a solid material.
Steve I thought about how close the burn was to the 4x4s and made the bottom platform longer to keep the burner as far away from those as I could. As for the slats on the bottom I was going for the least amount incase of boil over. Less wood to worry about warping still thinking of painting OT all.

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Offline Stevie

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2016, 06:05:32 PM »
My concern with the slats is the burner legs falling through and causing a dangerous situation.

Offline scarecrow

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2016, 02:03:40 AM »
So I finally finished the rig today. Going to wait for the treat lumber to dry out before I paint it. I took your advice stevie added more planks to the burner platform.  Here are the picks of the final product until I get enough for a pump.


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Offline Rattlesnake44

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2016, 01:09:52 PM »
Man, I need to get off my butt and cobble something together. I'm over here like...

Offline Erik_Mog

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2016, 01:26:32 PM »
Man, I need to get off my butt and cobble something together. I'm over here like...


Pretty much like what my set up will look like.  I am getting ready to start doing all grain.  I guess I need to get my well water tested and get a pH meter......
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: New to all grain
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2016, 01:36:06 PM »
Man, I need to get off my butt and cobble something together. I'm over here like...


That's about as advanced as I am. Trust me, it is more in the technique/process than anything that makes good beer.  Not shiny stainless.