Hardware question for my new sculpture

Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:00 pm

Hey guys,
I have decided to bite the bullet and step up to building a sculpture. The design is still up in the air. My main question is what hardware is recommended. Do the valves have to be stainless? Is silicone tubing preferred over stainless tubing? Cam locks, quick connects or barbs? Gravity or pump? Obviously, I'd like to keep costs low but where does quality override cost?

Any help is appreciated.
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CaptainMorgan04
 
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Re: Hardware question for my new sculpture

Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:35 am

When i get around to redoing my sculpture I'm going to make the HLT gravity feed, but keep pumps on the Mash Tun and Kettle. I really like my cam locks, but in a perfect world i would have used triclamps. if you go with cam locks, be sure to get a silicon gasket. I bought all of mine from http://www.proflowdynamics.com/


I'd look at what other people have done, and copy what you like. You don't need to get very fancy to make great beer. But for me building the equipment is probably my favorite part of the hobby.
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Bad Goat Brewing
 
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Re: Hardware question for my new sculpture

Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:14 am

+1, building/designing stuff has always been a real fun part of the hobby for me as well.

I would highly recommend using stainless whenever possible, but you can get by with brass parts (surface clean them with acid first). Pumps are great, you'll definitely add a few new curse words to you vocabulary.

You can make great beer on $60 worth of equipment, but sometimes it's about the ease of use, sometimes it's about building it or designing it and sometimes it's about pimping your system just to give it some badass points.

Look at some photos, take notes, sketch some ideas on some graph paper. Don't be afraid to scrap ideas & start from scratch. Don't think you're building your last system first.
Lee

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Ozwald
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Re: Hardware question for my new sculpture

Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:58 pm

Thanks for the feed back gents.

I've been brewing on a simple camping stove for about the last 3 years. My extract and mini mashes batches have been quite successful so the logical next step ALL GRAIN. What a better way to mix my two hobbies (brewing and welding) than to build a sculpture. I couldn't agree more with the fun of designing. Most of my current setup is going to be cannibalized. My problem is deciding when to stop designing and start building. How do you guys feel about hard plumbed systems and opposed to silicone tubing? What sizes lines should I consider using if my capacity is going to be between 5gal and 10gal batches? Also, is it really necessary to have 3 burners, or can I get away with 2 (one for HLT and one for BK)?
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CaptainMorgan04
 
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Re: Hardware question for my new sculpture

Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:23 pm

Start off with 1/2" silicone tubing and barbs, you can always convert to stainless tubing and all the fancy fittings later on. There's no sense in locking your kettle positions in right off the bat. You can easily get away with 2 burners as long as you can move them to be under the pot that you need to heat (or move the liquid to the appropriate pot). Depending on how much you like to drink, it might be best to go with 10 gallon batches since it takes about the same amount of time as it does to make 5 gallon batches. For 10 gallon batches, go with 15 gallon pots. Keggles are great for a 10 gallon batch size.

While everything is fun to think about for the ultimate brewery, the most important thing to focus on is fermentation. You can have the sweetest brewery in the world and ruin every beer with your fermentation. Or you can have the ugliest brewery and have great beer with your fermentation. Proper yeast pitch rate and temperature control are what make great beer.
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JoeBeer100
 
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Re: Hardware question for my new sculpture

Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:50 pm

CaptainMorgan04 wrote:Gravity or pump?

I have used both gravity (my personal system) and pump (Sabco V350). My personal choice (by several miles) is the gravity rig (I do use a pump on my rig for HERMS).

In my hands they have similar efficiencies (75% Sabco, 78% gravity) but the V350 requires a lot more attention and is more difficult to clean. I also get better control and more precise readings on the (fly) sparge rate with the gravity system.

The platform heights on my gravity rig are 60" HLT, 36" MLT, 27" BK and 0" fermentor. so it's downhill all the way. I won't be filling a conical with that fall, but it's plenty for a carboy.

I have several gripes with the V350, but I suspect that it was designed the way it was to emulate a production system, and that's fine if what you want is a pilot rig.
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Charlie
 
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Re: Hardware question for my new sculpture

Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:21 pm

JoeBeer100 wrote: You can have the sweetest brewery in the world and ruin every beer with your fermentation. Or you can have the ugliest brewery and have great beer with your fermentation. Proper yeast pitch rate and temperature control are what make great beer.


Yep. That pretty much sums it up. I tell that to all my buddies who want to start pimping out their systems. You would laugh if you saw what I brew on. :mrgreen:
"A bad man is a good man's job, while a good man is a bad man's teacher."
brewinhard
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Re: Hardware question for my new sculpture

Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:27 am

brewinhard wrote:You would laugh if you saw what I brew on. :mrgreen:

Same here. It's sturdy and gets the job done, but pretty it ain't!
"Yes officer, I know that I smell like beer. I'm not drinking it, I'm wearing it!"
Charlie
 
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