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Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

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Re: Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

Postby PoppaZombie » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:13 am

Kev888 wrote:Yet more very useful progress!

For continuous (or fly) sparging, the false bottom would ideally cover the whole base to maximise evenness of flow, but an inch around the edge is quite trivial - I seriously doubt you'd notice any difference at all. With batch sparging there will be even less impact (in fact some would prefer breaks in the drainage to help reduce compaction when draining).

Though yes, if it were to move around (say when mashing in) and ride up on the radius at the edge of the base then you could see a gap letting more/bigger bits of grain out than is normal (you will always get fine particles when initially running off). If that happens, some method of keeping the FB central may be needed; maybe some spacers around the edge or a small pin poking down into the central/bottom drain? But nothing too tight or rigid in a way that could prevent the weight of grain pressing the FB firmly against the pot base.

Hope the test goes well. If testing with water, you can normally expect that heat loss with grain will be a little better.


I like the idea of keeping the fb central using a pin or rod down into the outlet. Maybe a SS bolt with washers? It could also handily plug the hole in the Fb where the upward elbow outlet has been removed. Obviously it would also have to be narrow enough as to not inhibit too much flow into the bottom drain. Decisions, decisions... Thanks Kev
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Re: Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

Postby PoppaZombie » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:20 am

Hogarth wrote:That looks awesome, Poppazombie. Nice work. 8) 8)

Could make a handy butter churn too. :lol:


Thanks Hogarth :D
High cholesterol for me! :lol:
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Re: Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

Postby PoppaZombie » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:24 am

orlando wrote:Slitting some silicon tubing and fitting to the rim of the false bottom should take up a little of the gap between it and the actual bottom and help take up any small dents.


Ah yes, I've seen this a lot on pics but wasn't too sure if I needed it. Do people use the hard beer line or the soft vinyl type of stuff? Also, in something this big do I have to worry about supporting the dome of the fb? It feels really solid to me but is it in danger of flattening out?
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Re: Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

Postby orlando » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:53 am

PoppaZombie wrote:
orlando wrote:Slitting some silicon tubing and fitting to the rim of the false bottom should take up a little of the gap between it and the actual bottom and help take up any small dents.


Ah yes, I've seen this a lot on pics but wasn't too sure if I needed it. Do people use the hard beer line or the soft vinyl type of stuff? Also, in something this big do I have to worry about supporting the dome of the fb? It feels really solid to me but is it in danger of flattening out?


I've used both and prefer the softer stuff, platinum cured seems to be the best. As for the FB, mine is flat with spacer bolts so don't have experience of that sort, but logically a real concern. An MT of that size could have a lot of grain dumped on top of it which absorbs its own weight in water so by the time you get to the end of draining the wort it could be supporting a lot of weight.
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Re: Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

Postby aamcle » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:40 am

I may have missed something but when it's heavy with a mash and as it's tipped won't the weight cause the insulation to be damaged/compressed by the metal support bands?

Makes my kit look primitive....... :(

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Re: Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

Postby PoppaZombie » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:26 am

aamcle wrote:I may have missed something but when it's heavy with a mash and as it's tipped won't the weight cause the insulation to be damaged/compressed by the metal support bands?


I guess you can't tell from the photos but the insulation on the cylinder is very hard. It feels pretty rock solid. It has no give or flex at all so I can't see it deforming. The bands are torqued very tight but the insulation didn't show any sign of crushing.
Hopefully I'll get the outlet and ventilation finished this week ready for the first brew in the next few weeks or so :lol:
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Re: Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

Postby PoppaZombie » Tue May 02, 2017 2:46 pm

It's been a while since my last post but finally I have a few more pics to finish the build log.

I fitted the outlet on at the back end of March. Tightening the tank connecter with the female BSP threaded elbow screwed directly onto it turned into a bit of a faff. I had to have one arm stretched right to the bottom of the tun to stop the flange from spinning, whilst having the other hand underneath on the outside. It was a stretch that's for sure. Once that was done I started winding on the elbow. However, just when it felt tight enough, the tank connecter would slip and loosen. This went back and forth until my persistence finally paid off. Tight enough but not so much it slipped. Painful.

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I also cut a silicone washer out of a baking sheet as the butane rubber ones that are provided with the tank connecters are a bit thick for me. I wanted to minimise dead space so figured the thinner the better. The 2mm gained works out to around 300ml less dead space.

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The copper pipe went on next.

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I then attached the tap assembly as tight into the body of the tun as possible. I opted for a compression to female BSP fitting onto the end of the pipe, into which I screwed in a BSP nipple, then onto a female female tap. I wanted a male female tap but the nugget who I bought it from on ebay gave me the wrong fitting so I had to use a nipple I had lying around. I opted to have a BSP socket on the end of the copper so that if I ever need a new tap in the future, I can just unscrew it without having to make a new copper pipe section (the olives screw things up).
A street elbow and 1/2" hosetail to finish.

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I fitted the thermometer onto the tun body and after a first test found it leaked quite badly. The 'back nut' provided is actually more like a washer so doesn't play ball very well. It has no threads to keep it on plane but a touch of aquarium silicone sorted any discrepancies. Soon enough, it was all watertight.

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The only missing piece left was getting a blank for where the original immersion heater screwed into the lid. After buying both a 2 1/2" blank and then a 2 1/4", finding them both too big (even though it is the stated size on the kingspan datasheet) I gave up and slapped some copper tape over the hole. Maybe I'll buy the correct size sometime but for now, at a time when I had run out of homebrew and had grain in the fridge, that'll do.

A bit off thread but I then launched into fabricating two heavy duty tables to create a two tier system capable of holding the weight, then a ventilation system for extracting the huge amounts of steam that previously turned my brew-shed into a mould factory.
(In the pic below: for storage the mash tun wheels under where the HLT/Boiler is pictured. After batch sparging into buckets, the boiler comes down onto the lower level under the ventilation hood and filled with wort)

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I attached a couple of ventilation construction pics below. I got the stainless sheeting, rim bar and a sink when I visited a local scrap metal yard. All for a bargain of £10. I highly recommend checking your local scrappy for stainless sheeting if you want to clad anything. Sure I had to hunt around in a skip but if brand new, the stuff is extortionate. The scrappy was happy getting £10 in his pocket too as I was paying well over its weight value. The brackets are just cheapo shelf support jobbys.

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Anyhow, the tun got taken for its maiden voyage with a 55ltr batch of 60 min IPA on Easter Bank holiday Monday. The tun worked a treat even if I was not at my best (a lingering hangover made it a struggle). The heat retention is fantastic. Even with the copper tape eyepatch bodged over the immersion boss, there was no detectable drop in temp at all over the 60 min mash. For reference I preheated the tun with 20ltrs of hot water straight from my kitchen tap. I also had no major problems getting clear wort during vorlauf with the false bottom. Sure it took quite a bit more volume than my previous brews of 23 ltr batches using a copper manifold but I had very little debris after 10ltrs or so. This is without anything like silicone hose to line the edge of the FB.
Cleaning is much, much easier but in my rush to get brewing I forgot to buy a big builders bucket to facilitate tipping the grain out in one. I had to tentatively tip it out into a fermenting bucket which isn't really wide enough.

One thing I will point out is that the ventilation system (inspired by the electric brewery website) sure drips a lot of water. I mean a lot! The steam condenses in the fan and 150mm duct so much that I had to drill a hole in the bottom of the fan to let it out as I was worried about electrical shorting. The pipes drip where they meet the fan and the hood too. I had to put buckets underneath to catch it all. On a positive note, once the boil is over the system soon dries out completely because of the airflow. It dries quicker infact than it takes to cool my wort so no worries about contamination through rogue drips when I put the fermenter in place underneath. Also, the shed is now mould free. However, be prepared for the dripping if you are making one similar to this. My fan pushes 720m3ph too so its not an airflow problem, just sheer weight of steam.

I'll try to take some better mashing pics next brew (next bank holiday) to show it in action. I'll get some better ones of the whole system too. I hope some of this info is useful to others.
Cheers
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Re: Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

Postby Fil » Tue May 02, 2017 5:38 pm

Another fantastic installment in this inspiring build Cheers ;)

While i dont posses your skills my builds have given me a little insight that may be useful..

To reduce the deadspace further you could consider dremilling a couple of channels through the tank connector flange :) And to fit a tank connector, next time loop some steel wire over a steel bar and pull thru the bottom of the fitting twist to tighten and the bar will catch on the two lugs atop the fitting securing it from moving some.. not perfect but can be enough to hold in place with perhaps less time wasted..

to fix the lid hole with some acid flux you could try soldering a cap on? tho i would suggest a meaty iron instead of a flame for a thin cap, unless highly skilled with a flame, (and i am not) its very easy to distort the shape.. triclamp ferrules are a dodle to solder onto thin skin stainless as you only need heat the thick heavy flange with the flame and by the time the whole peice is hot enough it is also big/hot enough to transfer the requierd heat to the skin in contact with it.. all you need worry about is adding an acid flux prior to the lead free or if using mapp hi silver solder..
a triclamp ferrule is easily closed with a blanking cap and is also future proof allowing you to add featurs such as a top entry thermowell or glas view port with led lamp to illuminate hehe..
here is a 2" (51mm diameter, 64mm flange) triclamp ferrule i added to a standard 98l stockpot lid and you dont get much thinner ss in brewkit ;)
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using mapp gas 55% silver solder and a liquid acid flux applied with a needle bottle, i rolled the solder into a ring sat it in the ferrule heated the flange top with the torch running flux down the ferrule wall opposite the flame took an age to heat up but once hot the solder fell into a nice clean joint letting me drop a qmax punch down the centre to remove the hole plug.

trace cable to heat all that stainless steel might help with condensation, a single mid winter brwday in the kitchen under the SS cooker hood alerted me to such issues.. a couple of plastic ridges to act as condensation guides may help steer the moisture into a bucket or 2 strategicly sat ;)

.. fwiw to remove brewday steam from my shed i open the window and door and sit a fan behind the kettle to stimulate the airflow in the window and out the door, strong winds do battle me on occasion, but the sealed plasterboard interior has remained pristine for 3 years now, more spiders tha i would like but no condensation /damp issues..
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(
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Re: Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

Postby PoppaZombie » Wed May 03, 2017 3:50 pm

Thanks for the input, Fil.
I had thought about cutting some grooves in the tank connecter but found there is so little left in the bottom as is, there seems no point. If I want it completely dry after cleaning I just lock the tun in the upside down position and leave it.
Thanks for the tip on the tank connecter. It was a real faff and that sounds like a sound technique for next time.
I am certainly not very experienced with soldering but know that sooner or later I'll need to take it on. I'm not planning on blanking the cap permenantly yet for as you can see it finishes the look swimmingly already :lol:
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Seriously though, its been quite a long haul getting my brew shed to the point where I can get to 70ltr brew lengths. Since January infact. No I can do that I am ready to let the odds and sods wait until the end of the Summer whilst I get down to making some beer. Same applies with the ventilation. I am going to hang a couple of plastic paint pots on it whilst I brew and live with it for a bit.
On the point of soldering though, where did you get your acid flux? The bloke in my local plumbers merchant didn't have a clue and screwfix have nothing.
A glass viewport and an LED would be fantastic. Making it look a bit like this?
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One pic of another finishing touch below. I plugged the false bottom with a SS bolt and a couple of washers from work. The False bottom stood the weight of the grain no problems so I'd recommend it to others who are considering buying one. Its the 40cm one from the Malt Miller. Solid.
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Pic showing thermometer fitted and hose connected for strike water
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and lastly, packed away for storage
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Re: Hot water cylinder tipping mash tun build

Postby Fil » Thu May 04, 2017 1:55 am

I have flux pm sent.. I was following US posts and ebayed the brand of products employed by the chaps i copied ;)
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(
Fil
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Posts: 4836
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: Cowley, Oxford

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