Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Getting Organized!

While I am generally the kind of guy that takes meticulous care of his brewing equipment, I have not been the most organized person in terms of making my visible storgae areas presentable. My wife (who is very tolerant of my hobby) and I live in a fairly small and old house. Our house was built in 1949, approximately 1250 sqft, and virtually no closet space. Where the hell did people put their stuff 60 years ago? But back to my point, I have finally gotten a little bit more organized and I was even able to incorporate my kegerator in to the "display". Isn't stainless just beautiful?

My last real project for this is to create something to mount my CO2 regulators to. I want them mounted and out of the way, yet accessible enough for adjustments.

And if you can't tell, I'm just finding things to write about so I can get some pics up of my stuff.

Upgrading My Mash/Lauter Tun

Because I am never quite satisfied with anything, I continually tinker with my brewing equipment in an effort to make things easier and more efficient. I recently switched to fly sparging (from batch sparging) and subsequently added a copper sparge manifold and copper mash manifold. I use a standard SS 1/2" ball valve (weldless kit) for run off into the boil kettle.

The sparge manifold is pretty simple and in it's current incarnation, it just drains from the "corners" lightly into the mash. I think I will eventually cap the corners and drill holes for the sparge water to sprinkle over the mash. I not sure that will help achieve anything, but may give a better sparge water distribution over the mash.

The HLT is located above and to the right. The sparge water is delivered to the MLT through a short length of tubing through the lid of the mash tun. A pic of the quick disconnect in the lid in below. It has proven to be an effective gravity fed system thus far.

Now for the mash manifold. I have just finished cutting and fitting all the pieces needed. My previous manifold was made of CPVC and serviced me well for the sort time it was used. I did have a couple of problems with it becoming disconnected and decided to make a more secure version of copper. I still have to solder a few connections and drill the bottom (which I am not looking forward to doing) so the mash can drain properly. My old manifold allowed me to hit 80% - 82% efficiency and I expect equal or better results with my new copper version.

I'll post an update when this project is complete and I can confirm my mash efficiency.

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Camera!!!

My wife and I finally got around to buying a new camera this weekend since our last died several months ago. That means I can actually start posting my own pics and go back to update some older posts with pics of my brewery, kegerator, and other equipment.

Stay tuned for more...