Tall Dave

Welcome to How I Brew

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I've been brewing since 1992 and doing all grain since 1994. One of the best investments I've made is a grain mill. Its allowed me to purchase grains (mostly base malts) in bulk at a reduced price. The savings paid for the mill after the 5th sack of grain. I use a JSP adjustable MaltMill. The preset gap on it gives me such a nice crush that I've felt no need to adjust it and can recommend purchasing the non-adjustable model to save some money. Its motorized with a high torque drill. I can crush 12 lbs. of grain in about 3 min.
I mash in a 10 gal. Rubbermaid/Gott cooler with a Phils Phalse Bottom. I plumbed it by removing the spigot assembly and replacing the bushing with one that is slighty thicker. This bushing accomodates a high temp. CPVC pipe (O.D.=5/8" I.D.=1/2") such that no sealant to the cooler is needed. This pipe is connected to the false bottom by a short piece clear hose (O.D.=1/2" I.D.=3/8"), the pipe end of the hose is glued. The 2 brass fittings hold the false bottom down and prevent an accidental disconnection from the false bottom when they are slid to the center. The outflow end of the pipe has a barbed plastic ball valve (O.D.=1/2") glued in place (see pict below).
This is a typical mash (note the high tech floating thermometer).
My arrangement during conversion. You can see the barbed ball valve on the end of the CPVC pipe. My system is 2-tiered so I heat my infusion and sparge water in a 32 qt. enamel canning pot on a propane fired King Kooker (170K BTU) and move the water manually. The gravity feed also necessitates that I manually collect and recirculate the first runnings until clear.
Here is the sweet wort moving to the boil tun.
The wort is moving down the keg wall to minimize aeration.
I boil in a donated (thanks Zymie!) converted 1/2 bbl. Sanke keg.
I received the keg with the top precut and a short threaded drain pipe. Inside I added a brass compression fitting to hold the soft copper dip tube in place (the copper ChoreBoy helps filter hops and break). I added a brass ball valve to the outside of the keg which accepts a plastic connector threaded on the keg end and barbed on the other to hold vinyl tubing for moving the wort to the primary (see pict below).
This is the boil tun in action (note the nice foam forming).
I remove this foam with a hand held kitchen sieve. I feel removing the foam reduces my chances of a boil over and removes proteins that will end up as hotbreak.
I use an immersion chiller to cool my wort.
The wort chiller in action (I have a pizza pan to cover the boil tun during cooling).
This is the finished product of the day being moved to the primary fermenter.
Of course, at the end of a brew day its appropriate to enjoy the fruits of brew days past.

May your sparge never stick and your wort run clear!!




March 18, 2011, 5:52 PM