Automated Single Vessel Brewing System revisited

For those with a soldering iron perhaps? :)
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jhwerner1
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Automated Single Vessel Brewing System revisited

Post by jhwerner1 » 9 months ago

A few months ago, I was asked to post photos of my revisions to my Automated Single Vessel Brewing System (A-SVBS). Photos and info system was first documented here three years ago, link to that post. http://www.biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=154&t=2238

Some of the readers of this post will be asking, Why, build a BIAB system like the one documented here? Good question, since BIAB brewing concepts as I understand them, to simplify the brewing process, simplify the equipment required, lower equipment cost and consistently brew excellent beer.
Pat may correct me on these concepts or add a coupe I missed. Which will only increase my knowledge and understanding of BIAB and home brewing. Pat came up with the BIAB concept and spend his time and resources to perfect and promote, :thumbs: for Pat doing so. Thank you, Pat.

So why did I break every one of these concepts? It is obvious that this system is not simple, it is not low cost, it does not reduce the equipment required, but,
1.      It simplifies the brewing process for me, by not allowing me to forget any of the brewing process steps, like – letting the mash temp get to high or low, not adding hops at the right time, etc. which I have done many times, in other words, it pays attention when I’m not.
2.     It allows me to brew good beer consistently and
3.      I enjoyed the journey Time flies when you enjoy what one is doing. In retirement I have plenty of time, either to do something constructive or getting bored, fat, sassy and unhealthy.
As I wrote “time flies”, I realized it has been 15 years since I retired and I will be celebrating my 80[sup]th[/sup] birthday in about 7 weeks. WOW!!!, I getting old. Yes, it does!
For me that enjoyment comes by doing what I’ve done most of my life. Designing and or redesigning, building and using that equipment and/or gadgets. (Retired - Mechanical Engineer) In others words a sense of accomplishment, seeing the results of my efforts.

My original need for a (compact) single vessel brewing system came after I build a Brew House (Shack) in my backyard, because my better-half told me she wanted my brewing equipment out of the garage so she could use it for her pottery. Visit my website -  http://www.oldgeezerbrewery.com/backyar ... y-building to see photo documentation of that construction project. After it was complete I realized I didn’t have enough square footage (120 sq ft) inside to move my old system, brewing accessories (gadgets), myself in it and still able to move around to brew.  Now you know why I broke every reason for the BIAB concept. Continued with .pdf file attachment

For some reason, when I preview the post I originally attempted to post here, the page was loaded told me there was a 60,000 character limit, and the post was publishing had 688,000+ characters. When I checked the character count of the post with MS Word, it reported roughly 7200 characters. I removed the photo images in the post and allowed me to publish. But the post did not make a lot of sense without the posts. Not saying it ever did.
So I re-created the post into a .pdf file and that link is below. 

Joe
 
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Last edited by jhwerner1 on 08 Feb 2017, 09:23, edited 4 times in total.
Joe Werner
Old Geezer


On Tap...
Scottish Ale Export
Oatmeal Stout
American Imperial Stout
American Imperial Stout
Red Irish Ale
New England IPA
American IPA


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Re: Automated Single Vessel Brewing System revisited

Post by Scott » 9 months ago

Hi Joe,

Seems interesting. Not that I would elect to do anything like this at this point in my life...my existing super simple BIAB system works great! But my feelings may be different if I was 80 years old and I was trying to do this... So I applaud you for still being interested in spending the energy to brew beer!

Something I would be at least concerned about - is your screen bucket (not correct name) fine enough to get out trub?  Even if it allows too much through, fermentation and a cold crash could take care of most of the trub. 

Also - going all RO with the water. I'm not a pro with the water...but supposedly you need some minerals in your water, so following that - if it is correct - you would want to perhaps mix your RO water with tap water. Something to look at, if you haven't already. 

Thanks for posting and I would like to see how it turns out. With the winch - may be able to make good and workable BIAB systems much in excess of the 10-gallon limit of my present system... Very interesting.
Last edited by Scott on 08 Feb 2017, 10:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Automated Single Vessel Brewing System revisited

Post by jhwerner1 » 9 months ago

Scott wrote:Hi Joe,

Seems interesting. Not that I would elect to do anything like this at this point in my life...my existing super simple BIAB system works great! But my feelings may be different if I was 80 years old and I was trying to do this... So I applaud you for still being interested in spending the energy to brew beer!

Something I would be at least concerned about - is your screen bucket (not correct name) fine enough to get out trub?  Even if it allows too much through, fermentation and a cold crash could take care of most of the trub. 

Also - going all RO with the water. I'm not a pro with the water...but supposedly you need some minerals in your water, so following that - if it is correct - you would want to perhaps mix your RO water with tap water. Something to look at, if you haven't already. 

Thanks for posting and I would like to see how it turns out. With the winch - may be able to make good and workable BIAB systems much in excess of the 10-gallon limit of my present system... Very interesting.

Scott,

Thanks for your comments.

If I had to do it over again, I would not have gone this route, but now that I have I'm enjoying the experience of brewing with it. Plus, it maybe slowed down the process of my brain cells fossilizing. Don't use them, lose them. I enjoy the designing of beer recipes, learning about yeast characteristics, what effect water has on the brewing process, designing gadgets, BJCP judging even with my taste buds are related to those on a wood pallet, entering competitions, and even drinking the beer I brew. Which my family thinks is strange, considering that I didn't like and would not drink beer until 2006. I stared brewing in Nov 2007. That's another story.

Concerning the Mash Basket screen. Trub was a big consideration when I decided to go this way, because there was excess trub that got past the Blichmann false bottoms I used as a filter in the previous design. So, the screen for this Mash Basket was 1ml, the finest SS Screen I could find, As a backup to this screen I use a Brewers Hardware Trub Filter with the 1ml filter screen in it when when running sweet liquor to the Plate Chiller during pre-chilling and while transferring to fermentation. As a result very little trub is getting through to fermentation, unlike I what had with my original system and the original setup with the SVBS.

RO Water. - I have studied the book "Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers" by John Palmer (Author) and Colin Kaminski (Author)  When I started to read this book, I thought, "boring", however when I started to study the material and relate the information to my brewing results, it got very interesting. Plus, I've had the assistance with understanding water principles from Martin Brungard (Bru'N Water creator, & Martin Brungard -Technical Editor for the above mentioned book)  who lives in the Indianapolis area. As home brewers we can brew drinkable beer or very good beer, but we will probably not brew excellent beer until we start treating our water with mineral salts in the correct proportions for the beer style. So, yes I use straight RO water, then treat it for the style I brewing, making sure my pH is also correct to the style.

The 12v DC winch works great, at my age I would never attempt to pull enough wet malt to brew a 10 gallon batch.  Winch connected to a 12V car battery which is kelp charged with a 2 Amp trickle charger.

One problem I have with the new system - Exhaust system - I built the hood above the SVBS and used an old exhaust fan from a residential kitchen hood. I need to replace that Exhaust fan to one with greater CFM capabilities. On my schedule, probably yet this month.

Joe





Joe Werner
Old Geezer


On Tap...
Scottish Ale Export
Oatmeal Stout
American Imperial Stout
American Imperial Stout
Red Irish Ale
New England IPA
American IPA


Scott
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Re: Automated Single Vessel Brewing System revisited

Post by Scott » 9 months ago

Very cool... And absolutely No Joke about needing to keep the brain cells working in retirement. 

You know what most of us use for our brew bags. I'm not sure how fine that material is, in comparison to what you are using, so not much of a frame of reference. 

The electric winch idea would be a great idea for an older guy I'm advising for BIAB in my homebrew drinking group. I'm concerned about him hurting himself doing something like pulling a bag out. Will pass it along. Did you say what you are using? Besides 12V with car charger to power it. And if you lose power, does it stop it in place; want to make sure the bag doesn't drop.  :peace: 

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Re: Automated Single Vessel Brewing System revisited

Post by jhwerner1 » 9 months ago

Scott wrote:Very cool... And absolutely No Joke about needing to keep the brain cells working in retirement. 

You know what most of us use for our brew bags. I'm not sure how fine that material is, in comparison to what you are using, so not much of a frame of reference. 

The electric winch idea would be a great idea for an older guy I'm advising for BIAB in my homebrew drinking group. I'm concerned about him hurting himself doing something like pulling a bag out. Will pass it along. Did you say what you are using? Besides 12V with car charger to power it. And if you lose power, does it stop it in place; want to make sure the bag doesn't drop.  :peace: 

Scott,

Yes, I'm aware of what Material BIAB brewers are using for their bags and I'm sure swiss voile has a finer mesh than the 1ml of the SS mesh I used. My better-half made one for me a couple years ago when I was having problems with the Blichmann false bottom filter allowing too much trub past it. And will have her make another for me if necessary to fit inside the Mash basket I now have, if needed. As I said in the previous post, I'm not seeing a problem at this time. I'm cold crashing my Helles Bock at 35F now to encourage yeast and other sediment suspended in the beer to flocculate and sink to the bottom. When I moved it to the Walk-in I noticed that there was very little trub on the bottom of the carboy. BTW: I force carbonate the clarified beer, so I'm not worried about not having enough yeast to bottle condition,

The electric winch is a great idea for young guys as well (or a block and tackle, chain host, etc), why take a chance of hurting yourself. Attempting to lift and being in some awkward position is all it takes. The bag will not drop, unless the cable, rope or chain breaks. The battery stays charged at all times with the trickle charger attached to it full time. I do take a chance of having a dead battery. I have unplugged the trickle charger from its 120v power source to see how long it would take with normal use to go dead. Lets say I'm not worried about a dead battery unless a cell goes bad within it.

Disconnecting the 12V source to the winch will not cause the load to drop. this is a winch that is normally that you would see mounted on the front frame of a 4 wheel drive truck. The one I have has a 2000 lb capacity, which of course is way over sized for home brewing.

Joe
Joe Werner
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On Tap...
Scottish Ale Export
Oatmeal Stout
American Imperial Stout
American Imperial Stout
Red Irish Ale
New England IPA
American IPA

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Re: Automated Single Vessel Brewing System revisited

Post by Mad_Scientist » 9 months ago

No sight glass?  How on earth do you know your volumes? :lol:

I am very impressed with your brew day history, competition entries, etc.

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Re: Automated Single Vessel Brewing System revisited

Post by jhwerner1 » 9 months ago

Mad_Scientist wrote:No sight glass?  How on earth do you know your volumes? :lol:

I am very impressed with your brew day history, competition entries, etc.
Hi MS,
At the present time I'm using a plastic spoon with markings every 1/2" to equal the volume in gallons. 

I'm building a Sight Glass, hope to have installed on system very soon. Slight Glass will actually mount on wall behind SVBS with tube between BK and SG. On the SG will be 2  Capacitive Proximity Sensors mounted to the glass tube with the ability to slide them up or down. One mounted low to measure require water depth to prevent dry firing the heating elements, the other at the level of my desired volume. SS shield behind the Glass Tube will be marked for volumes in 1/4 gallon increments.

The lower sensor will be shut-off the heating elements if the water volume is too low to cover the elements. The upper sensor will control a motorized valve connected to the RO tank, when required volume is achieve the valve will close.  I would have preferred a pressure sensor to measure the volume, however that would require additional software and configuring it to the PLC. Not something I want to do right now, maybe in the future.

I have a CNC DIY Smart Saw to build for my Wood Working Shop first. Wood Working, another hobby to keep me busy, not get bored, fat, sassy and unhealthy. 

Thanks you for your question and comments.

Joe
Joe Werner
Old Geezer


On Tap...
Scottish Ale Export
Oatmeal Stout
American Imperial Stout
American Imperial Stout
Red Irish Ale
New England IPA
American IPA

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