Tag Archives: Stout tanks

Playing catch up!

I think one of these days I’ll start one of these posts without apologizing for it being so long since my last one but it is what it is! I’ve had the opportunity to brew a couple of times now but for the sake of documenting the journey I want to get some pictures and words up on the steps that I’ve taken so far.

After getting the panel setup and I wanted to run all the equipment through its paces with water before the actual brew day. Also it gave us a good opportunity to mark up the sight glass.  Additionally before using the equipment we passivated the stainless steel as per the recommendations from Stout Tanks. We used a citric acid solution and barkeepers friend to get the job done. This removes any contaminants on the outer layer of the vessels and allows the chromium to re-oxidize and provides a protective layer for the stainless steel.

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After that it was pulling out fittings, hoses and pumps to see if what the brew day might look like.

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Didn’t get the pumps hooked up to the control panel properly but we made do!

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Took some fenageling to get the pumps figured out and in all honesty still something I’m working on.

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Get to see the sparge arm in action finally!

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Had to check to make sure we have fittings for all the things that we need, so excited to ferment in stainless steel and in a conical fermentor.

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Held on to this beer for awhile and decided it was time to celebrate with something memorable. Ale Apothecary makes phenomenally complex and delicious beer.  Everything from their location to their process is unique and they have something special going on up there. If you get the chance to try anything form there don’t pass it up!

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Eureka!

Okay, I’m really bad at this and I’m several months behind but dammit I’m not giving up!  Finishing up wiring everything in the control panel was a pain but hey I took some pictures along the way!

The big picture

The big picture

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So easy a child could do it!
PIDs wired up
PIDs wired up
More slow progress
More slow progress
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Beautiful organized wires
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Look at the right angles

After getting the inside all wired up, a big shout out to my Dad who finished up wiring all the 3 way switches and temp probes solo, we mounted it to the wall in the garage next to the 50 amp service and plugged it in!

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Hanging out in its new home
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Houston we are go for launch
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Look it reads temperatures!
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Next stop water test

Nothing blew up and no one got electrocuted so I call it a success! Everything powered up and seemed to function as intended which was a great surprise.  After getting some labels stuck to the control panel, hoses cut and drinking water hoses purchased it will be time for a trial water run!

Is this thing still on…

Sorry everyone I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything but I’ve had some exciting new developments and thought I needed to share with everyone!  On Christmas I became the proud new owner of some new stout tanks 1 barrel kettles!  My partners (aka my parents) surprised me with these shinny beauties on Christmas morning!IMG_20141225_083434 From left to right in the picture there is the Hot Liquor Tank (HLT), Mash Tun (MT) and the Boil Kettle (BK).  Also there is a pile of sanitary tri clamp fittings!  There are extra ports in the HLT and the BK for installing hot water heating elements so this will be 100% electrical heated system.   IMG_20141225_083447  Everything will work on 1 1/2″ TC fittings. It is set up for reducing down to 1/2″ hose but we are going to look into possibly sizing everything to be 1″ and upgrading to butterfly valves instead of ball valves. IMG_20141225_083502Inside of the HLT is a stainless steel HERMS (Heat Exchange Recirculating Mash System) coil.  While mashing this gives me the flexibility to to change the temperature (or hold it constant) of the mash by pumping the wort through the coil while there is hot water in the rest of the HLT.IMG_20141225_083518Sorry for the blurry picture but this is the inside of the MT.  There are 3 ports on top for recirculating wort and attaching a sparge arm.  The sparge arm will sit above the grain bed and after mashing is done it will sprinkle hot water evenly over the grain bed to properly rinse and collect as much wort as possible.  The bottom has a perforated false bottom for separating the grain and wort. IMG_20141225_083625I should probably not be so excited for the bottom of the MT but it has a center drain which will eliminate dead space and allow for more wort to be collected.IMG_20141225_083609

The BK has a fancy tangential outlet (the one on the side) that is used for whirlpooling.  This allows for the wort to be pumped out and back through the tangential outlet that will cause the wort in the kettle to rotate.  This whirlpooling helps clarify the wort before its transferred to a fermenter, its also allows for a great time to add more hops!!

Now that the bulk of the brewing systems there is a wide variety of additional things to get before the inaugural batch of beer can be brewed.  Since there will be a electrical heating elements installed in the kettles components for a control panel need to be purchased so it will be easy to control the temperatures of the water and wort during brewing.  There will also be pumps, hoses, chillers, fermenters, kegs, filters, fittings and a whole host of other things to purchase so stay tuned for more updates hopefully fully of shinny stainless steel Things.  Cheers and happy new years!