The Doghouse Brew Rig Build Part Four – “The Plumbing”
|June 11, 2012||Posted by 2nobledogs under Equipment, The Doghouse|
In part Four of The Doghouse Brew Rig Build series I’m going to discuss the plumbing system. I’m sure this does not need to be pointed out but basically your plumbing system moves your strike water and wort from one vessel to the other. This system is what keeps you from having to lift up those heavy 10 gallon batches. I don’t know about you guys but I’m not the young buck I used to be. Those batches get heavy….
So, the components that make up the plumbing system are as follows:
- 3 – Keggles/Kettles of your choice
- 2 – Food Grade Pumps (March 809)
- 21′ – 1/2″ High Temp Silicon Tube
- 5 – 1/2″ Ball Valves (Brass or SS)
- 14 – 1/2″ Female Cam-Locks w/1/2″ Barb
- 9 – 1/2″ Male Cam-Locks w/1/2″ Male Thread End
- 6 – 1/2″ Male Cam-Locks w/1/2″ Female Thread End (4 are used for the plate chiller)
- 2 – 1/2″ SS Tee
- 2 – 1/2″ Male to 3/8″ SS reducer
- 2 – 1/2″ 90 Degree SS Street Elbow
- 5′ – 1/4″ Coiled Copper Tubing
- Various 1/2″ copper fittings
Note: You can also use quick disconnects instead of cam-locks.
The first thing you want to do is set up you keggles/kettles. You probably already have these set up but you need to make sure that in addition to the typical 1/2″ ball valve you also have a return fitting near the top to allow for proper recirculation. You can see this in the picture above. You also need to have one of you keggles set up for to be a mash tun. This means you will need to have some type of false bottom with pick up tube. In order to recirculate you mash you will also need to fashion some type of sparge arm to reintroduce your wort back into the grain bed.
My sparge arm was made from 1/4″ copper with small holes drilled around the top of it. The silicon tubing you see in the picture above is used to keep the sparge arm at the correct height over your grain bed. I keep mine positioned about 1″ below the top of the grain. This arm disperses the flow back into the grain bed and helps prevent channelization. The length of the tube can be changed depending on the amount of grains you have in the tun.
The HLT and the boil kettle should be set up similarly to what you probably already have. Both need the valve and top return along with a dip tube. My HLT and brew keggles also have sight glasses built in. I do not have a sight glass on my mash tun simply because I already have one on the HLT. If you know how much is coming out of the HLT then you know how much is going into your mash.
So, now that your keggles are set up you need to build the Tees. The tees contain the temperature sensors to are wired to your PID’s (See electrical system post HERE). Make sure you are using teflon tape at all your connections. These are critical components to the whole system working properly.
Now, you need to get your pumps installed. I used the March 809 pumps. They seem to be the most common. Mine hang from the frame with a sheet of aluminum as a splash guard. They plug directly into the panel box and are control with the switches you wired up in part three of the series. When you mount the pumps make sure the inlet is on the bottom and the outlet is on the top. Gravity will force fluid into the pumps and push the air out of the top. This helps prime the pump.
The last thing you need to do is cut your hoses to length and start brewing. If you are using a plate chiller you will need 6 hoses. Kettle —>Pump—>Chiller—>Kettle x 2.
So, that’s about it for how everything goes together. I’ve got one more post in the series explain explain how everything works together so stay tuned. If you’ve missed an earlier installment in the series check out the links below.
As always, please leave feedback or questions in the comment section below. Happy brewing!