new 3 tier gravity system

Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:15 am

After several months of casual discussions and planning, my engineer/metalworker friend and I go to work a few weeks ago on the Donnelly Wort-o-Matic 3 tier gravity brew stand. I learned a lot from this project and had a blast making this! Much thanks to this forum for ideas and suggestions.

The finished product! Looks great with the silver hammertone finish RustOleum paint, Now I just wonder how long it will stay on vs. burn off. More on that in a moment...

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The plumbing was fun – used 1/2” black pipe and fittings, then a bunch of different Male/Female reducers and connectors to fit my needle valves and finally 3/8” OD copper tubing with flare fittings. I spent more time in the plumbing isle of various Lowes/Home Depot stores this past month that the rest of my life combined. Of course, then I painted everything silver to match. I think one of my cats is also now painted silver, I may have gotten out of hand.

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Ready to roll!

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Zero to 40 PSI adjustable propane regulator – the reason I have this one is they don’t make one that goes any higher! Yes, I wanted the ability to impact global warming by myself.

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Self-leveling feet on all 4 corners so it will be stable anywhere in my garage brewery I want to put it.

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The way it will be used currently –

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1) hot liquor tank on top (I made a PVC ‘shepherds crook’ to fill it from my hot/cold running water in the garage, no lifting buckets or ladders for me).

2) 70 qt Coleman Xtreme cooler for my mash tun. I put a burner under the mash tun as well so I can move to a different arrangement at a later date if I want, ie. keggle with false bottom so I can directly heat the mash.

3) converted keg for the boil kettle. I will continue batch sparging for now because it's easy and that's how I set up my mash tun, but I can convert to fly sparging down the road if so desired.

Let there be FIRE! With a 40 PSI regulator and needle valves per burner the BTUs are almost unlimited on this setup, as I learned by setting off this atom bomb for my first test burn. I wanted to see how it would take to heat 8 gallons of water from 110F to 150F. Turns out it doesn’t take very long at all, and I also learned it takes less time to melt metal than I thought too…

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I got a little concerned when the ¼” metal grates started to turn red and sag… :shock: OMG what have I created! It’s gonna be a beast!!! :D

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I ran my first batch last weekend and it was a breeze! I finally have a one-man setup that I can use without to much strain, let the fun begin! Time to make more beer to top off the 10-tap keggerator for football season! :jnj
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Todd
 
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Re: new 3 tier gravity system

Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:50 am

I believe I can safely speak for Bub in this instance: We hate you.

Nicely done. :jnj
"Mash, I made you my bitch!" -Tasty
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Dirk McLargeHuge
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Re: new 3 tier gravity system

Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:43 am

Killer work man! Looks great. Now we just need some photos of you brewing with no pants! :asshat:
"A bad man is a good man's job, while a good man is a bad man's teacher."
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Re: new 3 tier gravity system

Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:58 pm

Nice work, where did you get the 0-40 psi regulator?
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bryngelbrau
 
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Re: new 3 tier gravity system

Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:22 am

Nice work!
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InsaneInTheGrain
 
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Re: new 3 tier gravity system

Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:58 am

Looks pretty awesome. I like the self leveling feet and your propane setup. I'm trying to work out my propane setup on my sculpture but I keep getting leaks. My have to go with plumbers putty.
Work is the curse of the drinking classes.
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On deck:English Pale Ale, American Stout
Primary:
Secondary:
Kegged:Jamil's Doppelbock, Jamil's Scotch Ale, English Special Bitter, Black IPA
Bottled:
JXLT
 
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Re: new 3 tier gravity system

Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:20 am

Thanks everyone! It's nice to be hated, especially by Bub!

Misc responses to questions:
The burners, regulator, needle valves and gas orafices all came from Bayou Depot:

http://bayouclassicdepot.com/bg10_cast_iron_burner.htm
http://bayouclassicdepot.com/misc_propane_burner_parts.htm

For leaks - make sure you are using the liquid pipe thread compound that you brush on, it should say it's appropriate for propane/natural gas on the label. Also - use flared pipe fittings if you are going to use copper tubing like I did (not compression fittings). They can take some wiggling/re-flaring to get them to be perfect but they work like a charm once they are set.

Thanks!
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Cleveland, Ohio http://www.beersnobs.net
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Todd
 
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Re: new 3 tier gravity system

Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:04 pm

Todd wrote:After several months of casual discussions and planning, my engineer/metalworker friend and I go to work a few weeks ago on the Donnelly Wort-o-Matic 3 tier gravity brew stand. I learned a lot from this project and had a blast making this! Much thanks to this forum for ideas and suggestions.



Wow. Your setup is exactly what I'm going to try and create. Anyway you could provide some measurements/dimensions of the stand.

Did you do all the welding yourself?
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