New BIAB boiler build.

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wolfenrook
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New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Thu May 17, 2018 9:39 pm

So, my last brew day (BIAB #12, a mosaic APA, not logged on here), my ACE mash tun/boiler packed up. A cable to one of the elements burned right through. I tried to replace the terminal crimp on it, but the screw that held it on is kaput too... So, went ahead and started building a new boiler....

When I say new, it's actually using my original 33 litre stainless steel stockpot, a 2.4kw element from brewbuilder, the tap off my ACE, a small pick-up pipe and some fitting I had already.

Drilled 2 pilot holes, then cut 1 x 20 mm hole for the tap, and 1 x 40 mm for the element, using Q-Max punches. The 40 mm was a beast to cut, but the 20 mm went through like a hot knife through butter...

Anyway, plan is to put a stainless steel pan scourer on the pick-up pipe to act as a hop and trub filter, can't be any worst than my old bazooka, especially if I give it a good whirlpool before I transfer the cooled wort...
IMG_20180517_204950.jpg

I used the elbow because it turned out I'd made the hole for the tap a tiny bit too high, with the elbow on though the pick-up tube sits right on the bottom of the stock pot, so very little dead space. :wink:

IMG_20180517_204439.jpg

It's not quite finished just yet, but definitely well on the way. Leak tested it in the bath and no sign of any leaks. Obviously it'll need a leak test whilst hot too with metal expanding when hot.

Still to do:-

Cut a 20 mm hole in the lid, to take the return from my recirculation pump.

Rig up a false bottom (I have an IKEA spatter guard, a 33 mm pizza tray and a load of 70 mm marine grade stainless steel M6 nuts and bolts to act as feet. Need to figure out if the spatter guard will do the job on it's own, as if it will that will free up the pizza tray to act as a sparge plate on top of the grain. As I want to re-circulate, and probably ultimately temperature mash, a false bottom is a must to keep the bag away from the element.

I'll be doing re-circulating BIAB still, already bought a BIAB bag from Maltmiller for this. As to control (including temperature for mashing), I'll post more details about this soon...

On the bright side, my stock pot actually has a slightly higher volume than my ACE did. Be nice to finally use it for more than just heating up my sparge water again... \:D/

dbambrick996
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New BIAB boiler build.

Post by dbambrick996 » Thu May 17, 2018 11:27 pm

Looks good, I like the pick up tube, happy brewing


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Last edited by dbambrick996 on Thu May 17, 2018 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fil
Telling imaginary friend stories
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Location: Cowley, Oxford

Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by Fil » Fri May 18, 2018 12:07 am

full steam ahead ;) looking top shelf so far..
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 :(

Haydnexport
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by Haydnexport » Fri May 18, 2018 8:55 am

You will never be happy now you've started tinkering...... looks great so far

wolfenrook
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Fri May 18, 2018 6:53 pm

Thanks all. You're not wrong Haydnexport, I've already been thinking of building a 50 litre boiler. My thinking is to use this one for sparge water etc, a single pot system for my regular brew days (eg. The Angel Homebrew BrewDevil), and a 50 litre boiler for the occasional brew with a higher OG, or if I just want a bigger batch.

Been working on it again today.

First up, I made the false bottom. Not entirely happy with it as it's not quite big enough, but it should keep the bag away from the element.
IMG_20180518_143305.jpg
With the bag in.
IMG_20180518_142118.jpg
Then cut a 20 mm hole into the lid, and added the fittings for a return from my recirculation pump to use whilst mashing and vorlauf. Found on my ACE this seriously helped to give me crystal clear wort.
IMG_20180518_142152.jpg
Then I just added the pump and put it together to see how it looked (I point the fitting on the lid to the left now, which helps with the excess hose).
IMG_20180518_143147.jpg
I've also tested the element, and ran a leak test with water at 80 degrees C. Touch wood, no leaks. :D

Oh, and re. the pick up tube. With no tipping I measured 400 mls of water left in the boiler after emptying. With a quick tip this dropped to 40 mls left in the boiler after emptying. :wink:

The problem I have now is, my wife keeps looking at it, and saying things about stews and soups.... :shock: :lol:

bottles
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by bottles » Fri May 18, 2018 7:24 pm

Ummmm nice clear soup!
Like the look and getting ideas for pimping my Biab tank.
Andrew

wolfenrook
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Sat May 19, 2018 1:47 am

Yeah, she started saying it before I built the false bottom etc, so I think she just liked the self boiling pan idea... lmao

I've got the bug now to be honest, and would really like to build a 50 litre version! So fed up of struggling to get 23 litres into an FV without using tricks like sparging, diluting etc... lol

wolfenrook
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Sun May 20, 2018 4:27 pm

Finally added the insulation, including to the base this time. Lid and base I used the same camping mat I had used on my ACE boiler. The rest I cut more of that bubble stuff off the roll I bought for the ACE, 2 layers of it.
IMG_20180520_142526.jpg
IMG_20180520_141127.jpg
IMG_20180520_141158.jpg
I also had a play to see how I could make a gasket. If I can find a suitable adhesive, then it seems that a section of 1/2" platinum cured silicone hose would be perfect.
IMG_20180520_121255.jpg
I emailed a supplier about a sealant I use regularly, I know it's non-toxic once cured, and will stick to pretty near anything, but needed to know if it could cope with boil temps and the low pH of a mash. Fingers crossed. Oh, and that was just me playing with some bits I have sat around, obviously I'd be using enough hose to go all of the way around the false bottom.

wolfenrook
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Mon May 28, 2018 10:43 am

Just checking in with the latest pic of my build, from a few days ago.
insulatedboiler.jpg
I've also started gathering the parts to build a PID driven digital temperature and voltage controller.
SSR.jpg
So far, that's probably the most interesting part to have arrived, as other than that I have another hot condition lead and some M3 countersunk screws.... :lol:

wolfenrook
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Wed May 30, 2018 5:14 pm

More parts arrived (more coming tonight, and maybe next month... lol):-
parts1.jpg
Also, couple of wiring plans (would love feedback from folks who've done this!). First up, with a voltage controller in both circuits, controlling during both the mash AND the boil:-
ControlWiring.jpg
Then, if I find I don't need voltage control during the boil, I'll switch to this:-
ControlWiringNoVoltBoil.jpg
Switches are 4 pin, illuminated, DPST switches. Rated for 16 amps at 240 volts (so should do the job), the first is there to isolate the SSR from mains power (basically removing it from the circuit powering the element), the second is there to allow power to the element still when the SSR is taken out of circuit (basically for boiling).

Temp probe will have to go after the tap, before the pump, into an equal T fitting. Only way I can continue to use the PID to monitor temperature whilst cooling the wort (I like to recirc whilst cooling (speeds it up big time), but not with the lid on where the mashing return is mounted). I won't be using the alarm function on the PID anyway, so will just ignore it during most of the boil (I start recirculating 15 minutes before the end, to sterilise the pipework, at which point it'll become useful again).

So, there it is. Eventually I want 2 probes, 1 in the body of the boiler, 1 in the return in the lid, so I can switch between them. For now though, I figure this should do the job?

wolfenrook
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Thu May 31, 2018 12:09 am

Made a bit of a start, end of the day wiring can be changed if needs be anyway. Had to put the SSR and heatsink in an unusual place, the bottom and the side of the box are reinforced with plastic ribbing, makes them hard to work on. Not the best hole cutting ever either, but heh I'm using a drill, a hole saw, a power jigsaw and a padsaw... :lol:

Oh yeah, and the socket went in the bin. I opened it up so I could mark the holes, what a mistake... :oops:
PanelBuild1.jpg

wolfenrook
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:46 pm

Really getting somewhere with the panel build now. Power controller and probe arrived from China today, so was able to nearly finish the build. Still need to wire up the switches (hence no power to the power controller... It's powered either from the out of the SSR which will be connected to switch 1, or via switch 2 in a direct circuit for use when boiling).

But, I plugged it in and wasn't killed instantly, that's always a plus for sure... :wink:

PanelBuild2b.jpg

You can see I had to make some tweaks, moving the cable in higher up the side, rotating the PID 90 degrees, and also moving the fuse holder for the PID onto the side too. All to make room for the bottom of the PID. :lol:

The reading isn't quite accurate though, hopefully autotune or something will help with that. If not, I'll just have to get a better probe. I don't really want to lose the kettle end disconnect though... :(

wolfenrook
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:28 am

After quite a few annoying rewires, trying to get it to work WITHOUT the boil switch flashing when the SSR got sent a signal from the PID (didn't matter if I put the switch on the in of the SSR, or the out of the SSR, it flashed horribly), I ended up compromising on a single circuit build like so:-
FinalControlBuild.jpg
I will be buying a better PT100 probe (the ebay one is reading a good 4-5 degrees C too high) and fitting it to the boiler itself so it can be used for mash and boil. I'll need to fit a plug to the probe wire, and a socket into the control panel box, so that I can disconnect it for storage. Shame to lose the ability to unplug at the kettle end, but I don't fancy going through umpteen probes trying to get an accurate one...

The voltage control HAS to be mounted on the in of the SSR feed, mounting it after the SSR in the circuit it flashes on and off as it isn't powered from a different circuit (would be better if you had power in to power it, and power through for the feed you want to control the voltage on). The SSR (a 40 amp model) is happy to go right down to 32 volts though, so no issue there (it might even run cooler).

If it turns out that I really do need to remove the SSR from the circuit during the boil, I'll try adding a 12 volt switch on the control feed between the PID and SSR, so I can actually isolate the SSR from the control signals from the PID completely. Like this:-
FinalControlBuildOptional.jpg

wolfenrook
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:10 pm

Typically (for me), the final build of my control panel is anything but simple... :lol:

I really wanted to be able to flip a switch to remove the power control from the circuit at will. I ended up been able to do this for both boil and mash... All thanks to 2 x 3 position 6 pole rocker switches. Position 1 and the power regulator is a part of the circuit, position 2 and power is fed direct. Depending upon which rocker switch is on the power is fed either to the SSR (for mashing), or directly to the 15 amp fuse then element (for boiling). Giving me the functionality I wanted.
panelbuild3a.jpg
panelbuild3b.jpg
The original lit switches, 1 controls the power to the entire panel so I can turn it on and off (I could just unplug the panel, but heh... lol), the 2nd allows me to turn off the element with the panel still powered.

1x12 Volt push button latching switch (red LED) allows me to isolate the signal from the PID to the SSR. A 2nd 12 Volt push button latching switch (green LED) allows me to control the pump, basically the psu feeds into the switch, then back out to the pump. Eventually I'd like to get a larger box and build the PSU for the pump into the box itself, that way I'd have just one power cable going into the box.

I've had it plugged in (with an RCD between it and the socket) and looks ok. Need to actually try it out with some liquid in the boiler though, to make sure it continues to operate ok once power is actually been fed to the element.

wolfenrook
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Re: New BIAB boiler build.

Post by wolfenrook » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:56 pm

More work done. I've fitted a second tap to the boiler for the pump exclusively (the original tap will be used to transfer, with the pickup tube), with no restriction on the inlet for it interfering with flow into the pump (I'm confident that the false bottom will keep enough particles out of the pump, so no filter on it). As a bonus, I'm thinking this should make transfer less prone to blockage too (I used to find that running the pump for the last 15 minutes of the boil would clog up the bazooka before I even started to transfer, making for slow transfer). I have swapped out the 90 degree elbow on the return in the lid for a T, once it arrives I'll be fitting a 2nd PT100 probe to this for use whilst recirculating during mashing. I also want to fit a whirlpool port, with a tap so I can close it off whilst mashing (when the hose won't be attached to it), I have a nipple for this, but no tap yet.
Boiler1.jpg
InsideBoiler.jpg
Also, I've done a bit more work on the false bottom, attaching an Ikea spatter guard to the pizza tray, and fitting a silicone pressure cooker gasket. I need to put a bead of silicone around the top and bottom of where the gasket goes onto the false bottom though, to keep it in place whilst fitting the false bottom. I also want to make bigger holes into the pizza tray, as I suspect that as it is now it's going to restrict flow too much whilst mashing, and I know how this goes when it happens... :lol:
FalseBottom.jpg
The false bottom is really heavy!

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