The MaltMother™

A forum to discuss one pot automated brewing systems.
cerbera84
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The MaltMother™

Post by cerbera84 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:13 pm

Hi guys,

I previously made a somewhat failed basic attempt at a switch to an eBIAB rig last year (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=76322). The system was a bit of a hash together, and suffered from insufficient drainage in the grain basket. It did produce a splendid Cascade SMASH though. A few modifications were made but ultimately I gave up and went back to my 3V setup. Fast forward 12 months and I haven’t brewed as much as I’d like, so I started giving more thought to a Grainfather-esq eBIAB rig build. I have been tinkering away in the garage and the system is ready for a brewday this weekend. Gentlemen, I present – the MaltMother™.

ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr

In a nutshell, I have attempted to clone a Grainfather, with the addition of a whirlpool port. This whirlpool can also be used during the continuous recirculation in the mash, which should prevent scorching from the element and also ensure an even temperature.

The grain basket is a 33 litre Bergland stock pot, with 38mm holes in the base, with a 2mm perforated SS sheet inside. It is fitted with SS legs and has a central return pipe, in case of overflow. I have adapted a 15mm to 28m copper reducer as a filter (to prevent using a top filter) – I’ll see how this works in the brewday at the weekend. The handles have been trimmed down, and now act as guides inside the larger pot. I may attempt to use these for lifting the grain basket out. I also have an IKEA SS trivit tray to rest the grain basket on post-mash. I am planning full volume BIAB so no sparge. Will use rice hulls in the bottom to try and avoid recirc problems.

The recirculation arm was made using solder ring fittings and my heat gun (in lieu of a blowtorch) – this worked surprisingly well. I have attached silicone tubing at the moment. I had previously made a sparge fitting by drilling a brass stop end with undercut which might be reused in this project. The arm can also be used a cleaning attachment/pump out to the fermenter/drain.

The main pot is a 50 litre Bergland stock pot (which used to be my HLT). It has a pump outlet, whirlpool/drain port, temp probe and supports the recirculation arm. There are two holes currently blanked off, which I may use in the future for an internal immersion chiller. I am using a Norm pump (Flojet GP20/12) for recirculation.

The height of the central return pipe is currently set for approx. 36 litres. I am aiming for 34 litres full volume BIAB, so hopefully I’m in the right ball park.

I will use my previously built control box incorporating a XMT-7100. I would like to look to add step-mashing functionality (which the XMT-7100 doesn’t offer) so I’m open to suggestions. I have considered using a Grainfather connect unit, but will need to research further.

There are some more images on Flickr here https://www.flickr.com/gp/132217812@N06/57m35F if you wish.

Ben
Planning: Cascade SH GH recipe; Coffee Oatmeal Stout (again)
Fermenting: Nelson Sauvin SH GH recipe
Drinking: Admiral Pilgrim Pale; Coffee Oatmeal Stout; Grapefruit pale

chefgage
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Re: The MaltMother™

Post by chefgage » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:32 pm

I'm impressed :) .I did think about doing something similar to move away from my 3 vessel system. I really enjoy doing these builds. But I'm afraid i went the easy route and bought myself a grainfather.

cerbera84
Piss Artist
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 8:06 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by cerbera84 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:07 am

don't blame you chefgage, the thought of a grainfather did cross my mind. As I had most of the parts for this build, I figured spending £70 odd on new parts would a cheaper way to achieve the same thing (ish)
Planning: Cascade SH GH recipe; Coffee Oatmeal Stout (again)
Fermenting: Nelson Sauvin SH GH recipe
Drinking: Admiral Pilgrim Pale; Coffee Oatmeal Stout; Grapefruit pale

cerbera84
Piss Artist
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 8:06 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by cerbera84 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:21 pm

a few photos ahead of the inaugural brewday on the maltmother:

Grain basket in drain mode:
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr

Water level at 34 litres - I'm glad I worked out that overflow in the right place!:
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr

My calibrated filling device - top of brown tape is 4 litres! easy measure for 34 litres!:
ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr

Anyone regularly leave campden tablets in stainless steel vessels overnight? I was reluctant to do it...
Planning: Cascade SH GH recipe; Coffee Oatmeal Stout (again)
Fermenting: Nelson Sauvin SH GH recipe
Drinking: Admiral Pilgrim Pale; Coffee Oatmeal Stout; Grapefruit pale

Rhodesy
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
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Location: Glasgow

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by Rhodesy » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:49 pm

I leave a half campden in my BM overnight sometimes, seen no ill effects

dbambrick996
Steady Drinker
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:56 pm

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by dbambrick996 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:32 pm

Nice build, well done

cerbera84
Piss Artist
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 8:06 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by cerbera84 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:43 am

Brewday 1: There's potential!

Brewday over guys, I did a columbus chinook IPA recipe. I plan to document the testing of this machine in order to improve it. Had a few teething problems with the system today:
a) Pump wouldn't work - I have figured out that I broke it the other day when I was cleaning it - I took it apart to make sure it was spotless and I've assembled it incorrectly and snapped the ceramic washer inside! So, I couldn't run any recirculation/whirlpooling on this test - disappointing! I also lost 5 litres while I was messing around with the pump
b) need to be able to measure volumes during boil and end of mash
c) low end volume (ended up with 17.5 litres)
d) low efficiency at 47% but with no recirculation and losing volume because of the pump this is to be expected!

A couple of things to fix before the next brewday (hopefully in a fortnight) but looking forward to correcting these little issues.

ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr - save the mash!

ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr - manual recirculation - oh the indignity!

ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr - doughed in

ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr - grain basket easy to clean

ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr - recipe

ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr - boil

Imagetest 1 by Ben, on Flickr - issues
Planning: Cascade SH GH recipe; Coffee Oatmeal Stout (again)
Fermenting: Nelson Sauvin SH GH recipe
Drinking: Admiral Pilgrim Pale; Coffee Oatmeal Stout; Grapefruit pale

chris246810
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Location: Black Country

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by chris246810 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:48 am

Looks great Ben, well done.
What are those malt pipe legs made from? I use bolts with some dome nuts on the end but have been looking for something like those to use instead.

How do you find cleaning the false bottom, do you have to take it out to clean off properly?

cerbera84
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Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 8:06 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by cerbera84 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:01 am

Cheers Chris. It took me ages to find some suitable stainless legs, used this https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/162626023290 and took the rubber ends off - perfect height for my setup.

The false bottom will need some more work, I'm going to alter the shape slightly and fix it down with more bolts to ensure the mesh is in full contact with the base of the pot. During the brew day, some grain got caught underneath the mesh and i had to dismantle it to clean it. I don't want to have to dismantle it every brew, so hopefully having bolts all around the outside will stop that.

Managed to find some spare parts for my pump so hopefully will be ready for the second testing in a couple of weeks.
Planning: Cascade SH GH recipe; Coffee Oatmeal Stout (again)
Fermenting: Nelson Sauvin SH GH recipe
Drinking: Admiral Pilgrim Pale; Coffee Oatmeal Stout; Grapefruit pale

chris246810
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Posts: 184
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:45 am
Location: Black Country

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by chris246810 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:51 am

I suspect you'll still have issues with grain getting stuck even with more bolts holding it down.
How about cutting up a silicone baking sheet to make a gasket which fits between the filter and pot bottom, you could then just hand tighten your centre drain to compress the gasket slightly. This way you could easily take out the filter for cleaning at the end of brewday.

cerbera84
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Posts: 269
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Location: Wolverhampton

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by cerbera84 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:23 pm

that sounds like a good idea, if i can find a silicone sheet that big. my other plan involves a 12" stainless false bottom instead of the mesh screen, with the central section pulling the silicone edge of the false bottom nicely to the pot.
Planning: Cascade SH GH recipe; Coffee Oatmeal Stout (again)
Fermenting: Nelson Sauvin SH GH recipe
Drinking: Admiral Pilgrim Pale; Coffee Oatmeal Stout; Grapefruit pale

chris246810
Piss Artist
Posts: 184
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:45 am
Location: Black Country

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by chris246810 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:17 pm

Look on Amazon, theres a 60cm x 40cm silicone baking mat for a tenner.
Worth trying before splashing out on another false bottom.

cerbera84
Piss Artist
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 8:06 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by cerbera84 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:12 pm

It's time for an upgrade to the MaltMother to address the small amount of grain that became stuck under the mesh bottom. Also, I did not give much thought to having to remove the mesh for washing after the mash, which was a pain as I had to remove the legs also. So this change should address both issues:

ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
A 12" stainless false bottom instead of the mesh. Fits like a charm (thanks Treebeard!). No more stuck grain and also removes easily for cleaning.

ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr
Its held in position by a extended brass nipple I had lying about, secured with a flange nut. The brass nipple also allows for height adjustment on the copper overflow pipe, so I can adjust that for different size grain bills easily

ImageUntitled by Ben, on Flickr

I've also sourced the ceramic washer to fix the pump, so its all looking good for a brewday at the end of September.
Planning: Cascade SH GH recipe; Coffee Oatmeal Stout (again)
Fermenting: Nelson Sauvin SH GH recipe
Drinking: Admiral Pilgrim Pale; Coffee Oatmeal Stout; Grapefruit pale

dbambrick996
Steady Drinker
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:56 pm

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by dbambrick996 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:45 am

Where dld you get the stainless legs for your malt pipe?

cerbera84
Piss Artist
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 8:06 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: The MaltMother™

Post by cerbera84 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:00 pm

dbambrick996 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:45 am
Where dld you get the stainless legs for your malt pipe?
Hi - check out https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/162626023290 - i took the rubber ends off
Planning: Cascade SH GH recipe; Coffee Oatmeal Stout (again)
Fermenting: Nelson Sauvin SH GH recipe
Drinking: Admiral Pilgrim Pale; Coffee Oatmeal Stout; Grapefruit pale

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