What's your next brewing improvement?

Discussion in 'Brewing Photos & Videos' started by Ozarks Mountain Brew, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    tell us or show us what your adding or designing for your brew rig

    I'm designing a motorized mash stirring device, I have it 50% thought out I'm just picking the materials, the idea is similar to a commercial mash tun where they use a rake the keep the grain loose, this will not actually stir but keep it from compacting and only turn 1 rpm, I have a strong pellet stove motor I'll be trying and I'm making it to where it comes apart easy

    the idea is I have a simple pivot device attached to my false bottom, looks like a coupling a rod slides down into it or out if needed the vertical rod will have a few small horizontal rods spaced out at specific heights and angles, this will not grab the grain at all just separate it and be hooked up to a switch on my control panel but also easy to remove, the horizontal rods will be no more 1/4" thick

    what’s your next idea?
     
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  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking about how to make a pulley rig for BIAB. I've got a lot of spare wood and stuff in the basement, so I'm probably part way there material wise
     
  3. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Posted this yesterday and have added a bit to it. Seems like this is a good place for it.
    Changed the configuration of my kettle/pump and now have the pump direct mounted to the kettle port. Once I got it plumbed did a CIP test and it cleaned very well. Also drilled a hole in the lid and installed a bulkhead and QD. Today I rummaged through odds and ends and found some stray parts to put together what I hope will work well distributing wort on top of the mash when I go back to BIAM this coming summer. Here's some pics: [​IMG]

    Sprayer.jpg
     
  4. The Beerery

    The Beerery Active Member

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    I just put together some dynamic, mash parameters for my system so it dynamically calcuate volumes and whatnot. I also just finished and tested an automated fly sparge setup the dynamically uses proportional ball valves to sync.





     
  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I don't really have a brew rig improvement in mind but I won some gift certificates and the only thing that appealed to me was a SS fermenter. So I'm going to be trying out stainless fermenters when it arrives, got an SS Brewtech Brewmaster Brew bucket (that's a lot of Bs) for half price so let's see if it's really better than a fermonster.
     
  6. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    You won’t be disappointed. I have the brewmaster edition 7 gallon Brew Bucket that I added to our home brewery earlier this year. No more broken glass carboy, tiny scratches that harbor nasties in a plastic fermenter, and it’s a snap to clean. The beer never sees the light of day from wort to finished product, save for transferring to keg.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    On topic... I plan on purchasing a “Tilt” hydrometer to make life even easier throughout fermentation.
     
  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I will, my wife wants to buy me one for Christmas too but I don't feel right her spending that much money so I think I'll try an Anvil one. Then I'll have 2 SS and 2 Fermonsters. Should last me a good while.
     
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  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    this is one idea, not my original but might work as well
    mashrack.jpg
     
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  9. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    You must have a lot of stuck sparges!
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    yes the issue is if I want to increase the temperature even 4 degrees I have to run the pump on full or it will take too long, that compacts the grain too much and I end up shovel stirring way too much
     
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  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Assuming that motor on top is strong enough to turn it, it should work. You mentioned running your pump on high - how are you heating? There might be an easier solution than a mash rake.
     
  12. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    That’s quite a project OMB. One solution could be a coarser grind. But I suspect you are trying to avoid reducing efficiency.

    My next improvement is a Tilt.
     
  13. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    the motor is a gear motor with a lot of torque 1 rpm, I run a herms and the element is in the HLT tank so it heats up the water, that heats up the herms coil and the wort recirculates through it back on top sucking the grain down, a bigger crush works but I've reached my limit without avoiding not crushing some grain, the fix is to stir every 30 minutes and it's getting tiring, looking for a push the button and it works approach lol
     
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  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I can't bring myself to spend the money on a Tilt - I can't see how it will improve my beer. Same holds with a lot of brewing eye candy. LHBS hates me but my advice to anyone looking to buy equipment is to ask how it will improve the beer they make. If they don't know, I don't recommend the buy.

    I'm still wondering why you have to run the pump on high. Either HERMS or RIMS, the time the wort is in "contact" with the heat determines how much heat it takes up. Of course, if the outlet temperature of the wort is denaturing your enzymes, you're running too slow. If all you were doing is going for a couple points of efficiency I'd advise against the rake but since you're battling stuck mashes, different issue.
     
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  15. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    so the issue is if you mash in and suddenly it drops to 145 and your target is 152 it will take 30 minutes to reach that temperature with 25 pounds of grain in it and that's half your mash time
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Disregard above. You answered it.
     
  17. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Because I can only check my fermentation once or twice a day, it would be nice to see where I am on the fermentation curve for dry hopping and to see (other than reduction in bubbles or pulling a gravity sample), how long before fermentation slows. And who doesn’t like a little tech toy now and then.
     
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  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Ah, much clearer now. You're brewing much bigger batches than I brew. I'm looking at building a RIMS system but it will only have to heat a max of 10 gallons of mash. And I'm thinking in engineering pragmatism here, looking for the easier solution.
     
  19. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Alternatively, can you add enough rice hulls?
     
  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    #20 Nosybear, Dec 15, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
    I can do this with a refractometer and a spreadsheet: upload_2018-12-15_12-20-1.png
    The "hump" at Day 2 is when I added the candi syrups. It's one reading a day, too (two readings when adding the syrup, one before and one after). I've tested the system against my hydrometer and it is within 1/2 gravity point. I have nothing against tech toys (not quite true but as a general statement it works) but when I spend my money I want to make sure I'm getting a return.

    By the way, that's the fermentation curve for a Belgian Quad. I need to take one more gravity reading today, then it's into the lagering cave for about 3 months.
     
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