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Author Topic: Anvil Foundry Questions  (Read 7356 times)

Offline pete b

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Anvil Foundry Questions
« on: January 25, 2021, 06:12:58 am »
My wife is going to get me the 10.5 gallon for my birthday. I already have a brewing pump. Does anyone know if there is a reason to not use the pump I already have? I am not sure if the one you can get for it is for some reason sized differently or anything.
Also, does anyone use this without the pump? I am actually leery of the aeration and have never recirculated as I batch sparse in a cooler tun. What is the downside of not using the pump?
Also, I eventually intend to put together a brewery with a 240 outlet but for now I am going to go with 120 in my kitchen. Is anyone using this with 120? If so how does it perform, especially getting to boil temp?
Lastly, if you don’t get the condenser, how much steam does it put out? Is it any worse than say boiling a stock for a couple hours?
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2021, 06:34:47 am »
The pump you have is fine. The anvil pump is mostly for recirculating, and does ok with a whirlpool. The cost was probably one of the most important factors.

Recirculating maybe gets you a little bit better efficiency, but more evidently gets you more clear wort. Keep in mind most report starting off with 50-60% efficiency with this system and adjusting their process to bring it up to ~70%.

It doesn't put off too much steam, many see~4% boil off but it might be different for you. I brew in my garage though and crack a door or window though.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2021, 07:37:17 am »
Hitting and holding specific mash temps is maddeningly frustrating without a pump. The thermostat is very slow to respond, and you see a fair amount of temperature stratification without a pump. If you're doing a single temp mash it's not a big deal, but if you're step mashing it will drive you insane.

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2021, 11:35:26 am »
If not using a pump (I frequently do not - actually, I rarely recirc anymore, come to think of it), then consider frequent, gentle stirring of the mash (every 10-15 minutes after the first 10 minutes or so).  I go with a 75-90 minute mash often, but that is just because I want to get a few extra points.  Lastly, consider putting the power at 50%-66% level during the mash, so the heating is more gentle.  I hold temps pretty rock solid in this manner, but, of course the time the heat runs is likely greater (if that matters to anyone).  The only time I had issues with mash heat fluctuation was running the element at 240V at 100%.

There is nothing wrong with mash recirculation, though.  With the pump already on hand, try it a few different ways and find what works best for you.  My next step is considering insulation to wrap the unit in the upper chamber, keeping it above the heating/vents area.  The double wall construction works well with temperature control, but in the cold of my garage, I think it will help with winter brewing a little bit.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2021, 05:41:33 am »
Thanks for these replies.
My unit is arriving tomorrow, just in time for my birthday. Yay!
I have been watching videos and reading and have two more questions, possibly related.
First, I hear quite a bit about low efficiency, at least until one tweaks their methods. Why is this? Could it be not getting a good sparge? I usually batch sparge.
Second, I noticed that people are sparring in different ways. What is working for all of you?
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2021, 07:24:30 am »
The nice thing about the Anvil pump is that it has an on/off switch.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2021, 07:49:36 am »
The nice thing about the Anvil pump is that it has an on/off switch.
That is a good feature. My pump doesn't but I just use a power strip as a switch.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2021, 08:14:26 am »
I use a foot switch to turn my Chugger pump on/off.


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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2021, 09:17:30 am »
I use a coarse mesh BIAB as an extra internal filter in the malt pipe/mash basket.  I have the optional internal ring (panel for closing off the vertical holes in the malt pipe) for small batch brewing and use it occasionally, but I don't find it necessary, really.  It may gain a point or two, I can't be sure.  My grain crush has been at 1.040" for quite some time and my mash efficiency is between 68-75%, mostly dependent on mash time and whether I recirc or not (usually don't that often anymore).  I follow the recommended water volumes in the instructions to the Foundry, based on mash grist weight and sparge with a gallon of untreated RO as sparge water (I heat the full amount of water overnight with the timer function, drain off one gallon into a gallon insulated jug for sparging, treat the rest of the water with my salts and BTB, mash in and set the mash temp desired to be held, set the heating % at 65% and let it sit for 10 minutes before stirring).  I would hold off the recirc for the 10 minutes, as well, just to get the grain bed set.  Be sure to dial down the wort flow if recirc mashing, so you don't compact the grain bed too much.

I like my Foundry (I hope you find the foregoing helpful for consideration, but many people have found interesting tweaks to get their Foundry to work best for them, including a return baffle or T instead of using the perforated top mash plate).  Best of luck and let us know how it goes for you.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2021, 10:41:50 am »
I use a coarse mesh BIAB as an extra internal filter in the malt pipe/mash basket.  I have the optional internal ring (panel for closing off the vertical holes in the malt pipe) for small batch brewing and use it occasionally, but I don't find it necessary, really.  It may gain a point or two, I can't be sure.  My grain crush has been at 1.040" for quite some time and my mash efficiency is between 68-75%, mostly dependent on mash time and whether I recirc or not (usually don't that often anymore).  I follow the recommended water volumes in the instructions to the Foundry, based on mash grist weight and sparge with a gallon of untreated RO as sparge water (I heat the full amount of water overnight with the timer function, drain off one gallon into a gallon insulated jug for sparging, treat the rest of the water with my salts and BTB, mash in and set the mash temp desired to be held, set the heating % at 65% and let it sit for 10 minutes before stirring).  I would hold off the recirc for the 10 minutes, as well, just to get the grain bed set.  Be sure to dial down the wort flow if recirc mashing, so you don't compact the grain bed too much.

I like my Foundry (I hope you find the foregoing helpful for consideration, but many people have found interesting tweaks to get their Foundry to work best for them, including a return baffle or T instead of using the perforated top mash plate).  Best of luck and let us know how it goes for you.
Thanks for the thoughtful response, that’s some helpful information.
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2021, 01:35:14 pm »
Happy Birthday!

Offline Wilbur

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2021, 02:59:47 pm »
I'm wondering about this. I've varied anywhere from 62-72% efficiency with my foundry, but I've been playing around with different malts and batch sizes. On my previous setup, a 1V BIAB, I typically got 72-78% efficiency. I'm not sure what the root cause is, there's been too many variables. I switched from Briess to Viking malt, my previous pot was short and wide vs tall and skinny for the foundry, and I used to use a bag instead of the malt pipe. Here's my next steps:

  • Small batch adapter-ynotbrusum mentioned this, but some feel it gives a few more points
  • Update all the malt profiles in Brewfather-a quick check showed a 4% change in brewhouse efficiency using generic vs. actual # (Pale ale PPG dropped from 37 to 35)
  • Try my old brewbag
  • Play around with my crush-I think it's pretty good right now, but I'd like to get a sieve to more precisely evaluate it

Offline pete b

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2021, 05:21:31 pm »
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline pete b

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2021, 05:26:40 pm »
I'm wondering about this. I've varied anywhere from 62-72% efficiency with my foundry, but I've been playing around with different malts and batch sizes. On my previous setup, a 1V BIAB, I typically got 72-78% efficiency. I'm not sure what the root cause is, there's been too many variables. I switched from Briess to Viking malt, my previous pot was short and wide vs tall and skinny for the foundry, and I used to use a bag instead of the malt pipe. Here's my next steps:

  • Small batch adapter-ynotbrusum mentioned this, but some feel it gives a few more points
  • Update all the malt profiles in Brewfather-a quick check showed a 4% change in brewhouse efficiency using generic vs. actual # (Pale ale PPG dropped from 37 to 35)
  • Try my old brewbag
  • Play around with my crush-I think it's pretty good right now, but I'd like to get a sieve to more precisely evaluate it
Thanks for the input. It sounds like I should just make a few batches of beer and mess around with it. It seems everyone is happy with this system but needs to tweak their process a bit. I am so happy that I don’t have to lug so many parts arounD and brew outside. I think I might brew literally 5x more often.
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Offline oginme

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2021, 05:53:48 pm »
I'm wondering about this. I've varied anywhere from 62-72% efficiency with my foundry, but I've been playing around with different malts and batch sizes. On my previous setup, a 1V BIAB, I typically got 72-78% efficiency. I'm not sure what the root cause is, there's been too many variables. I switched from Briess to Viking malt, my previous pot was short and wide vs tall and skinny for the foundry, and I used to use a bag instead of the malt pipe. Here's my next steps:

  • Small batch adapter-ynotbrusum mentioned this, but some feel it gives a few more points
  • Update all the malt profiles in Brewfather-a quick check showed a 4% change in brewhouse efficiency using generic vs. actual # (Pale ale PPG dropped from 37 to 35)
  • Try my old brewbag
  • Play around with my crush-I think it's pretty good right now, but I'd like to get a sieve to more precisely evaluate it

What you are experiencing is a built in inefficiency in the Anvil.  The water between the sides of the malt pipe and wall of the vessel does not take much part in the mashing process.  When you lift the pipe, this mixes in and dilutes the gravity of the wort coming from the malt basket.   You can pick up an easy 4+ points of mash efficiency by lifting the malt pipe after 20 to 30 minutes of mashing to mix in the water from the sides with the wort.