Home » Equipment, The Doghouse » The Doghouse Brew Rig Build Part Four – “The Plumbing”

The Doghouse Brew Rig Build Part Four – “The Plumbing”

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:

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!


The Doghouse Brew Rig Build Part One

The Doghouse Brew Rig Build Part Two – “The Gas System”

The Doghouse Brew Rig Build Part Three – “The Control Panel”

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8 Responses to The Doghouse Brew Rig Build Part Four – “The Plumbing”

  1. […] The Doghouse Brew Rig Build Part Four “The Plumbing” /* Tags: Brew Rig, Equipment, Mash-tun, Methods […]

  2. I have been reading a lot about your system and the detail you have into it is very insightful. I have been looking around for a while trying to get my own brew rig setup going and this has put me in a much better position. Do you have any further materials that might be helpful before I get it going? Thanks so much for all of your insight.


    • Hey Zach- Thanks for stopping by. I do have a powerpoint presentation I put together for presentation to my homebrew club. It may be of some help but most of the info is already covered in the posts in this series. It’s too big to email. I will try to post it up in the Resources page in the next day or two. I have had a couple requests to put together a manual. I’ll try to get that done pretty soon. Good luck with your build and let me know if I can help out. I’d love to see some pics as you progress through the process.

      Happy Brewing.

  3. […] as BEER. In earlier posts we discussed the frame, the gas system, the electrical system, and finally the plumbing. I have to admit that when I finally got all of this put together and working properly I felt a […]

  4. Hey! Fantastic setup you have here. I’ve spent 3 months fabricating my system using yours as a major influence/guide. One question: can you go into a little more detail about the “T’s” you made for the thermometers? I am using camlocks and already have them in hand, just wondering which parts went on the thermometer side of the T? And specific instructions? I’m really trying to avoid the thermowell route! Thanks again for all the help I love your system and hopefully I’ll love mine too!

    • Hey Brandon- I’m unclear which T’s you are referring to. If you are asking about the thermometer/sight glass T then the Thermometer screws right into the T fitting. If you are asking about the temperature probe T then the probe screws right into the T fitting. I’m not sure this helps you out. If you need additional help contact me through the contact form and we can work through it with emails and pictures.

      Thanks for the kind words and good luck with your build. Cheers!

      • Oh! You have the screw in thermometers. I have the probes with no threads so thanks for the reply anyhow! I will be able to find it somewhere else with google how to rig up the style I have. Cheers!

  5. Sorry, supposed to say any* specific instructions?

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