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Hey there chaps, im in the throws of building a single teir 3 vessel + HEX brew rig, i have been reading through many of the electric builds on here and figured id bang up my own blog for when i inevitable have questions for some of you clever blokes.
Anyway, i have been collecting the vessels and a few other things for some time now, just slowly getting bits as i find them / can afford it. So this is how my plan i drew on sketchup to suss things out in my head, i have condensded it down a little but this gives an overview of the pipework i will have etc, it will be using a range of 3 way ballvalves loosely based on the late great Paul Wicksteeds system, he actually helped me a lot in the design of mine not long before he left us. The BK / whirlpool side will be all threadless for sanitary and cleaning reasons.
anyway here is the original plan-
and here it is with squashing it up a bit and moving the manifold etc-
Like Pauls system i will be using a small 12v hot water pump to recirc the Strike / sparge water in the hlt and this can then be diverted by use of 3-way valve to direct it to the manifold and onto the mash tun, i like the idea of transferring by just redirecting a valve rather than turning off the pump.
The pump that will be used to recirculate the wort in the MT and transfer to the BK is a termpercon magnetic jobby cos i got it cheap second hand and the last pump used for whirlpool and cooling is a big peristaltic jobby which im quite proud of, i love the idea of having nothing but a hose that the wort is going through, cant get much more sterile than that.
anyway here is how it all sits at the moment, need to get some steel to build the frame for the bench and cut a bit off the end to allow for the blichmann burner-
The HLT is a large and heavily double skinned jobby that i think is ex dairy, it holds about 130 litres which i like becuase i can heat strike / sparge and cleaning water all at once, this will have a 4 to 5 kw element installed at some stage. check out the thickness of the walls -
The MLT albeit slightly smaller than what i would like now is again a pretty cool piece of kit, its a well made double skinned and insulated vessel that will hold about 65-70 litres to the top of the inlet. I gave it to the talented Chris Banks a year or so ago and he build me a stainless false bottom and added the draw/dip tube which is all sanitary welded to the 3 piece ball valve.
My heat exchanger is nice and simple, its a little 5 litre 1600watt urn that i have installed about 8 metres of 1/2" copper tubing inside, i will most likely stick some kind of sealed stainless float etc in the middle to further reduce the water volume / increase ramp time.
and my latest purchase because i want to stay gas for the boil is the blichmann burner, i have heard nothing but great things about the efficiency / power / quietness of these burners and the build quality of the stainless sheild etc is great
I currently have a couple of sparky mates scouring their parts bins for a decent control panel enclosure and soon i will order a bunch of sestos PIDs and SSRs and switches etc to start building the control panel. Like Scott Bennisons great setup i plan to use a slightly modified belkin WeMo so i can wirelessly switch the HLT element on while im still lying in bed :-) I have also ordered a bunch of tri clover fittings etc for the BK and will get all the parts together then hopefully get Chris Banks to wave his magic Tig wand at it.
Any thoughts / ideas / suggestions please let me know, im still have an open mind at this stage.