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Author Topic: Anvil Foundry Questions  (Read 7312 times)

Offline Wilbur

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2021, 07:09:25 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.

I normally recirculate, I'd imagine that would draw some of that water out, right? Still you're right, my previous BIAB setup went wall to wall and this doesn't. Something to think about for sure.

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Offline oginme

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2021, 04:02:40 am »


I normally recirculate, I'd imagine that would draw some of that water out, right? Still you're right, my previous BIAB setup went wall to wall and this doesn't. Something to think about for sure.

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I used to think so, then I actually started to take measurements of the gravity of the water versus the wort which is being recirculated.  Just taking one of several data points I measured, the wort was at 11.6 Brix and halfway down between the mash basket and side wall, the water was at 0.8 Brix.  I have a 6.5 gal Anvil and the volume between the side of the kettle and the mash basket is around 2.9 liters.  When I lifted the basket, the wort ended up at 9.5 Brix, which was pretty close to the calculated value for the 2.9 liters of 0.8 brix combined with 11.5 liters of 11.6 brix (~9.4 brix). 

So why does the water from the sides not get drawn down into the basket?  When recirculating, we are drawing water from the bottom of unit and adding that water to the top of the basket.  This creates a pressure difference do the added head at the top of the basket.  Since the liquid will seek its own level, this will mean that the wort which gets recirculated will preferentially come from the mash basket and not from the water at the sides of the mash basket. 


Offline pete b

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2021, 05:43:32 am »


I normally recirculate, I'd imagine that would draw some of that water out, right? Still you're right, my previous BIAB setup went wall to wall and this doesn't. Something to think about for sure.

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I used to think so, then I actually started to take measurements of the gravity of the water versus the wort which is being recirculated.  Just taking one of several data points I measured, the wort was at 11.6 Brix and halfway down between the mash basket and side wall, the water was at 0.8 Brix.  I have a 6.5 gal Anvil and the volume between the side of the kettle and the mash basket is around 2.9 liters.  When I lifted the basket, the wort ended up at 9.5 Brix, which was pretty close to the calculated value for the 2.9 liters of 0.8 brix combined with 11.5 liters of 11.6 brix (~9.4 brix). 

So why does the water from the sides not get drawn down into the basket?  When recirculating, we are drawing water from the bottom of unit and adding that water to the top of the basket.  This creates a pressure difference do the added head at the top of the basket.  Since the liquid will seek its own level, this will mean that the wort which gets recirculated will preferentially come from the mash basket and not from the water at the sides of the mash basket.
Maybe a dumb question but I have only had a few sips of coffee: wouldn’t the wort in the basket just be more concentrated with the extracted sugars than if all the wort had equal contact with the grains and the finished wort after sparging have all the extracted sugars that it would have with equal contact? So in your example above if the contact was equal wouldn’t you still end up with a 9.4 Brit wort?
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2021, 08:18:37 am »
What about slowly lowering the mash basket into the strike water at the start of the mash? I do that.  It is akin to underletting in terms of avoiding dough balls and I would think it would better mix the solution outside the malt pipe. That and stirring the mash every ten minutes should minimize any stratification in the small area between the malt pipe and the kettle wall.  Finally, collecting the drippings post mash and adding them to the pre-boil will increase the overall starting gravity at the start of the boil.

As you suggest, lifting the mash basket mid mash should also help, no doubt, but I haven’t found the need for that.  I will give it a try next batch.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2021, 08:42:19 am »
I am starting to feel left out of the all-in-one revolution.  :)

Offline oginme

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2021, 09:52:38 am »
What about slowly lowering the mash basket into the strike water at the start of the mash? I do that.  It is akin to underletting in terms of avoiding dough balls and I would think it would better mix the solution outside the malt pipe. That and stirring the mash every ten minutes should minimize any stratification in the small area between the malt pipe and the kettle wall.  Finally, collecting the drippings post mash and adding them to the pre-boil will increase the overall starting gravity at the start of the boil.

As you suggest, lifting the mash basket mid mash should also help, no doubt, but I haven’t found the need for that.  I will give it a try next batch.

I have mashed in several times by lowering the basket with crushed malt into the hot water.  The water on the sides still is not actively involved in the extraction and conversion.  One of the things on my list is to change the recirculation part way through the mash to outside the basket to mix and replace much of the water with wort which has a higher concentration of sugar.  Overall, it may be more work and bother than just lifting the basket once or twice during the mash.

Offline oginme

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2021, 10:05:30 am »

Maybe a dumb question but I have only had a few sips of coffee: wouldn’t the wort in the basket just be more concentrated with the extracted sugars than if all the wort had equal contact with the grains and the finished wort after sparging have all the extracted sugars that it would have with equal contact? So in your example above if the contact was equal wouldn’t you still end up with a 9.4 Brit wort?

The answer is reflected in the mash efficiency.  I was hanging around 83% mash efficiency before the process change with recipes with a gravity of up to 1.055.  The mash efficiency dropped off quite a bit as the gravity went above 1.065-1.070 to around 78%.

After the process change (lifting the mash basket during the mash), I am averaging between 86%-87% mash efficiency for target gravity below 1.060 and it has dropped down to 82% to 83% for higher gravity brews (up to 1.088 which is the highest I have brewed since the change). 

I was looking for more consistency between the two ranges, and may just keep the process change for higher gravity brews.

Offline pete b

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2021, 12:39:21 pm »
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.
It came today, excited!
It has a dent on the front under the spigot but it doesn’t look like a problem, not worth returning.
Ynotbrusum, in the above quote you mention some people have altered the return on the recirc . I had decided to use my own pump but didn’t realize that it doesn’t come with the return tube and perforated disc. I have a stainless racking cane I can turn into a return tube by cutting to the right length. Do you happen to have links or remember where you saw these alterations. Or does anyone hav any ideas. I was sort of thinking of making a t that directed the return wort to the edges, possibly helping the issue with the water on the side.
And  Oginme, thanks for the replies about your experience with that.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline smkranz

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Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2021, 10:35:52 pm »
My first batch on my 10.5 Foundry was a Saison that came out very well.  I have three suggested mods so far:

1.  Raise the Foundry up off the floor to create more clearance under the valve, and also to keep it from sitting in water or wort if there is a clamp or valve issue.  I used this platform step-stool, and also used a folding stool for the Anvil pump.



2.  I cut a T into the output hose from the valve, and added a small dump valve there to easily drain wort from the lines into a small container after recirculating, and I return that wort to the boil.  Post boil and just after chilling begins (the pump manual says not to put boiling wort through it), I run hot wort (180F) through the line to sanitize it.  I also add a length of silicone hose to the end of the return pipe, so the return is immersed in wort and not splashing when I recirculate during chilling.

3.  The stainless immersion chiller that comes with the Foundry is IMHO badly designed.  It is intended to hang on the rim during chilling, but the top coil on mine sits at about the 7 gallon mark which puts it outside the wort by at least gallon, while the bottom coils are a good 3-4 inches from the bottom of the kettle.  I already replaced it.

Original:



Replacement:




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« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 10:48:03 pm by smkranz »
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2021, 05:22:41 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.
It came today, excited!
It has a dent on the front under the spigot but it doesn’t look like a problem, not worth returning.
Ynotbrusum, in the above quote you mention some people have altered the return on the recirc . I had decided to use my own pump but didn’t realize that it doesn’t come with the return tube and perforated disc. I have a stainless racking cane I can turn into a return tube by cutting to the right length. Do you happen to have links or remember where you saw these alterations. Or does anyone hav any ideas. I was sort of thinking of making a t that directed the return wort to the edges, possibly helping the issue with the water on the side.
And  Oginme, thanks for the replies about your experience with that.

Andy Farke posted here on the AHA forum, referencing his review:

https://andybrews.com/2020/12/06/equipment-review-anvil-foundry-10-5-gallon-all-in-one-brewing-system/comment-page-1/

I am sure there are many others.  I think there is a Reddit group on the Anvil system, but I haven’t been there.  Cheers!

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2021, 05:34:45 am »
As to the chiller, CUSS makes a great one for the Anvil Foundry:

https://cussbrewing.com/collections/frontpage/products/the-all-in-one-tricoil

Note that there are special changes in their template for the Anvil Foundry, so be sure to advise CUSS of that when ordering.  It works as advertised.  Very quick chilliing with raising and lowering the chiller a bit when chilling (it breaks up thermal dynamics around the coils for quickest chilling.  I get to lager pitch temps using about 25 gallons of low 50’s well water.  Some use ice water for even quicker results.

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Offline pete b

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2021, 01:26:41 pm »
I ended up making my first two brews on the anvil foundry without circulating with the pump. I had no problems and may not actually end up going to the trouble of using a pump and hoses that I would need to set up and clean after all.
My effeciency was ok and I am confident it can be better without using a pump so we'll see. If simple works, and the point of an all in one is simplicity, I am going to roll with it.
By the second brew, programming to heat strike water for when I woke up and weighing grains the night before, my brewday, clean up included, was 4 hours instead of five. Also, it was much easier to do other things in my kitchen than it was to do other tasks when I had to brew outside.
As to the chiller, I too was perplexed by the design. I think my solution will be to add elbows to the connection between the chiller and hoses so I can just drop it all the way in without crimping the hose. Even hanging it as designed it chilled pretty fast using ice water and moving it around now and then.
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2021, 01:49:11 pm »
I'm thinking about selling off the chiller and my old one to upgrade to the CUSS or Jaded option. I hate having the hoses dangling off, and if they can really bring the wort down to 10F above groundwater in 3  minutes then that's great.

The one thing I'm not loving is the malt pipe. Seems like grain keeps on getting stuck in the holes, it feels like a lot more work to clean than my old brew bag.

Offline smkranz

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2021, 03:39:35 pm »
I'm thinking about selling off the chiller and my old one to upgrade to the CUSS or Jaded option. I hate having the hoses dangling off, and if they can really bring the wort down to 10F above groundwater in 3  minutes then that's great.

The one thing I'm not loving is the malt pipe. Seems like grain keeps on getting stuck in the holes, it feels like a lot more work to clean than my old brew bag.
A grain bag inside the malt basket worked very well for my first brew. The 24”x26” bag with handles that I already had for perfectly.


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Offline pete b

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Re: Anvil Foundry Questions
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2021, 05:53:48 pm »
I'm thinking about selling off the chiller and my old one to upgrade to the CUSS or Jaded option. I hate having the hoses dangling off, and if they can really bring the wort down to 10F above groundwater in 3  minutes then that's great.

The one thing I'm not loving is the malt pipe. Seems like grain keeps on getting stuck in the holes, it feels like a lot more work to clean than my old brew bag.
Wow, 3 minutes to ten degrees above groundwater. I have an almost 400’ well in New England so my groundwater is about 50 even in summer so theoretically I could chill t9 70 in 2.5 minutes. Seems unlikely but even double that would be sweet.
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