Gentlemen (and ladies), the brewing system of my dreams is complete. Special thanks to Bob Wright for the equipment, Sam Scott for the inspiration and brew stand design (AKA: Stanley), and many others including my father for cutting and fitting the stand.
Now all I have to to do is figure out how to brew.
Pictures show: "Stanley", 3- 15 gallon Italian kettles (2 with thermometers, 1 with thermowell), Rims system (looks like a pipe bomb), digital thermostat, 5 inch casters (300 lbs capacity), silicone hoses, 2 march pumps, and other cool stuff.
Nice! Looks great.
Just some feedback... I've got some concerns about the way your pumps are mounted. The march pumps are not self-priming and, from the way your pump heads are orientated, I'm afraid you're going to get air trapped in there. If there's air, they won't prime.
These pumps are notoriously difficult to prime... If you do an image search you'll notice that most have the pump head positioned with the intake at 6 o'clock (this isn't a coincidence!). Also, to throttle the flow of the pump you'll want to apply back-pressure by adding some ball valves to the outlets. (Never starve the pump by restricting flow to the input; best case you'll lose prime, worst you'll burn the pump out.)
If I could do it again, I would have added ball valves that came with a bleeder. It would have made it much easier to fill the pump. As it is, I have to disconnect the hose from my kettle to let the air out when priming my pumps.
Good luck with the system!
Hey thanks Bill. As long as I can figure out how to use it by May, I will have it there. As far as quick disconnects, I have one but I am not using it. I might get a few more if I find that I have to switch hoses. I think, as it seems right now the only hose I would move is one attached to the mash tun in the picture above to the HLT on the right.
I think is is the best way to set this up. Let me know if you guys think I can eliminate or bypass something to make it more practical.
As always thanks for the knowledge gentlemen.
That is a seriously impressive set up. Not only am I impressed...but I'm slightly (very) jealous.
Question for you - what type of heat source did you end up mounting?
Thank you in advance, Carl G.
Thanks for the feedback. I love the smell of jealousy in the evening. Now, I just have to figure out how to use it. All show and no dough I guess.
Heating question. I have propane burners under the 2 outside kettles. On the middle section (mash tun) I tried a few different set-ups. I set up a RIMS system where the wort was pumped through a stainless pipe and heated with a hot water coil. I didn't like that because it took way too long to get to mash out temp, and also the heating element corroded. Plan B was to put another burner under the mash tun and direct fire to keep/raise temp. Didn't care for that either.
My current set up is a HERMS system. I keep water in the HLT at my mash temp. From the mash tun, I pump my mash through a wort chiller (located in the HLT) and back into the top of the mash tun, to recirculate the wort. The science is that the mash passes through the wort chiller and raises the temp to what ever the HLT is set as. I control the temp in the HLT by the propane burner under it. This seems to be the best way to control the mash temp, and quickest way to get the mash temp up to mash out levels.
Hope it helps
That's great that you seem to have it dialed in. Tough that it was a trial by fire (or in this case not so hot fire). How many BTUs are the burners rated at - must be pretty high.
Seriously awesome set up.
take care, Carl G.
I think that the smaller rated burners were dialed back specifically, because with a high-psi regulator people were blowing out the flames on the burners...especially in the smaller-burnered turkey fryers.