Bri's old AG system- help please

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Equipment Discussion' started by Manxnorton, Feb 15, 2017.

Help Support The Homebrew Forum UK by donating using the link above.
  1. Feb 15, 2017 #1

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Hi all,
    Been a long time since I used the 3 tier AG system...
    But unfortunately my memory is shot! And learning dificulty set in.
    After contacting Fil who I bought the system from for all the losses etc.
    But tbh I struggled til now, piecing the info into what made sence to me..
    Thx Fil for your emails & pm's.
    So looking how I should work out it:
    AG losses
    boiler - 1l dead space
    hops - ~0.5L (for 100gm of hops)
    Boiler off- ~2L
    mash tun- 1l (with manifold)
    grain - grain bill amount 5.19kg
    (grain -5.19l )
    HLT - 3.5L (dead space again)
    = 12.74l
    = amount to have at the end..(23l) + losses.thats strike water + sparge water.
    = 35.74l
    The boiler was a PITA could put 5l as usual...had to put 20l then the water run out!!! Due to the type of the manifold..
    [​IMG]
    I knew I had 27l post boil before cooling...
    Cooling was approx 4l lost, ending up with 23l in the FV.
    Is there anything wrong with my working out? Lol
    recipe I'll use.
    Centurion Ghost Ale clone 23l
    3kg Marris otter
    360g crystal 90l
    970g choc malt
    850g roasted Barley
    = 5.19kg grain bill
    8g fuggles @ 60 mins
    10g challenger @ 60 mins
    5g Bramling cross @ 15 mins
    8g fuggles @ 15mins
    5g Bramling cross @ 5 mins
    =34.02g hops bill
    Irish moss @ 15 mins
    English Ale Blend WPL085
    Compton tablet, Gypsum in the HLT.
    Mash @ 68C
    Est OG 1.048
    Est FG 1.015
    Est ABV 4.4%

    I've spent been days like a jigsaw getting the info how I made my brews all them years ago!
    And I've thinking I'm confident to use the kit again, for notes and when my pal wanted the system..
    It'll be a week or so once I finalise the set up and the recipe.
    One thing I would have transfer the post boil Into the GF for cooling as my wort chilling is still up Scotland..
    Any pointers in this setup and recipe I'll be really apreciate it.
     
  2. Feb 15, 2017 #2

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    Newcastle
    The dead space on the HLT seem a bit too much!! Hmmm might have to try it again, mind it is me doing it lol :-(
     
  3. Feb 16, 2017 #3

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    Newcastle
    the mash tun needs sorted...(the insulation that is)
    was at 66.7C after priming it.
    then after an hour 62.7C
    4 degree...if i get the insulation inside sorted..
    there was warm outside it...even got an insulation jkt over.
     
  4. Feb 16, 2017 #4

    Slid

    Slid

    Slid

    Forum Friend Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Messages:
    3,646
    Likes Received:
    1,117
    Location:
    Bolton
    Hi Bri

    For a 25L brew using the GF, I would do, say a 21L mash and a 14L sparge, so 35L in total. Not far out from your 35.74L.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Manxnorton likes this.
  5. Feb 16, 2017 #5

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    Newcastle
    hmmmmmmm!!!
    never thought about the GF calculations:lol::lol:
    i knew how i done the losses now...but all of sudden brain fart crept in as usual.:doh:
    for the life of me cant remember how much strike water...then sparge water.just the whole ammount..:!:
    thx Sandy
     
  6. Feb 17, 2017 #6

    Fil

    Fil

    Fil

    Regular. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,090
    Likes Received:
    959
    Hi Bri, missed the thread but have replied to the PMs, FYI everyone else this is my old brewery ;) so have had some experience with it..

    in case the pms went stray ( mine seem to??) or you didnt spot em..

    1) Yes huge hlt deadspace due to bucket form for the most part, but 70l hlt with 45l kettle provides the capacity for a full liquour volume in the hlt pre brew to enable any water treatment or enhancement undertaken, tho i would simply apply a crushed campden tab..

    2) Tun, with grain mass it will perform a lot better the lid will benefit from a bit of an insulation upgrade iirc currently its got crushed up bubblewarp pieces bunged in its lid cells iirc. As it is now i would get a max drop less than 2c in winter patio brewing, though i would also lay spare coats atop and around for the mash duration.

    As for the volumes to use, well i would batch sparge, So it would be a case of determining my preboil target assuming a 4-5l boil off (will come back to this..) So lets say 28l and thats the only number needed to remember until the first batch sparge has been completed. ;)

    iirc and if using the same hanna thermometer, stir the hlt well to ensure a consistent temp throughout the full volume and ensure the probe is making good positive contact with the end wall of the thermowell (or dip the probe in the liquor hehe) And strike temp should be written on the hlt @71.9c

    While the hlt had been heating up adding a couple of off the boil kitchen kettle fulls of water to the tun to preheat it while the grain bill gets weighed out and mixed.

    then before striking the mash empty the tun completely add grain and mash in, dont worry about the volume, go for the right consistency think medium thick porridge :) mix out all doughballs, and you should find the mash temp @ 67-68C with a 4-5kg grain bill,
    a jug of cold water and a kettle full of off the boil water are useful to tweak the mash temp if necessary but a strike of 71.9c and quick drain directly into the tun worked a treat on my patio..

    after the mash period return to the tun and fill with strike water to circa 1cm below the depth the lid penetrates into the tun, and stir well before recovering and letting sit for 25-30 mins. Its at this stage i would lump it up to waist height in prep for the drain.

    Jug back the liquor from the tun til its running clear of bits, tho i never managed to draw the crystal clear wort some seem to :(

    drain the tun into a graduated bucket you can trust before decanting into the kettle. Now subtract the volume of wort collected from the only number you needed to remember (28l) so if you drew off 17l
    28-17 = 11
    Now adding kettle deadspace of 2l iirc ok 2 numbers.. which also will include the hops and absorbed liquor, you get 13l.

    So you need 13l for batch #2 so measure 13l into the tun and repeat the stir n stand.

    (tho i dont recall using 500g of hops in any brews in that kettle..)

    you can drain an extra litre or so from the tun with a wedge under its backside to tip it and if you wait for the last of the liquor to drain thru the grain.


    3) The kettle.. a bit of a special kettle this one, High mounted tap and elements, the elements were mounted high to keep radiated heat off the base/mould seam, as the few interweb horror stories i did track down regarding hdpe kettle failures seemed to indicate the mould seam as a week point and all those fails with pics showed elements almost touching the base, The down side of this is that you need at least 20l iirc to cover the elements sufficiently to start heating up.

    So you may need to wait for the results of batch sparge #2 if following my technique before you can start the boil heat up.. .

    Boil off As i was a patio brewer with this kit and wit was generally late in the day when the kettle was finally boiling i tended to boil with 2 x elements quite a lot,

    However another feature of this boiler due in part to the element height and also in part due to its hdpe construction is that it can start to undulate in sync with a violent 2 element boil, or belly dance, its a treat when it happens as its an absolute hoot, But if left running too long i think it could escalate to an overspill situation so NEVER LEAVE UNATTENDED WITH 2 x ELEMENTS POWERED UP!! NEVER!!

    keep a video camera handy for the boil cos if you can catch a vid of the kettle dance its a real treat ;) i regret i never did :(

    Also sit the kettle on a nice flat surface, above 80c hdpe softens some, its the reason the lid has its centre cut out, so it can hold the mouth open in a circle, without it the mouth will close to an oval @ boil temps.. All stuff we covered when you came down for the Kit Bri but worth a re-mention now i think.,..

    Post boil, post chill let the hops (if loose) settle for 20-30 mins before draining into the FV and pitching,
    the hops will then settle on the base and mesh loop fiter and help filter out flour and break material that can clog the mesh filter.

    Post boil asap get a green kitchen scrubby( you may need 2) and attack the elements, after a minute or so of elbow grease it will start to flake away from the element and progress will escalate from that point on, if left to dry out it will set to stone so go at it!!

    other than a good rinse and dry you only need pay a bit of attention to the hop filter, let it dry completely over a day or so and then flex it violently compressing expanding it outside and the flour will fly, and then soak dry and flex again and again til the flexing results in no flour flying, its then ready for a new brew.
    If you dont do the soak/dryflex cycles it can clog up the next brew.

    Think thats about it..

    oh yes dont forget to add a length of standard 3/8" pvc siphon tube over the tap spout to complete the siphon with the internal dip tube for the full drain, you may need to dip the tube in hot water to get it on but its not an uber tricky fix :) if a real problem let me know and i will send you 6-8" of silicone tube which is much more stretchy ;)
     
    Manxnorton likes this.
  7. Feb 17, 2017 #7

    Fil

    Fil

    Fil

    Regular. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,090
    Likes Received:
    959
    a few pics of an old brewday

    mash consistency/level for a 4.5kg grainbill iirc
    [​IMG]

    the spirits were rising in the thermometer as i snapped its not a 50c mash ;)



    Mashing with a lil extra lid insulation ;)
    [​IMG]


    Filling for batch sparge #1
    [​IMG]

    batch sparge #1 mixed in ready for the lid and a stand.
    [​IMG]
     
    Manxnorton likes this.
  8. Feb 17, 2017 #8

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    Newcastle
    I found this scibe mark on the mash tun...
    Thinking back it was strike water...
    [​IMG]
    So I measured it...
    To the dead space ( now seems 2l!) is 17.5l...
    So with all my fingers n toes to work out..thinking 19.5l off the totals...
    Might as well say 20l..
    Mind I can't remember if I done a 60 min or 90 min boil...
    Not getting confused....YET!
    And for all yous say it's not important at this stage etc but to me I would like to know the strike water...sparge water..
    The rest I can get from my memory!
    Even if I do the GF calculation for 23l it's all trial n error and taking notes..pics for evidence this time lol.
    Ok if the strike water is off! Either too big or too small I'll note it down as long as the water is just above the grain bed...might be a bit runny...but if it's under that would suit me great..
    Hope you understand my ramblings???
    Now I addust the losses (2l mash tun)
    Thx for viewing.....
     
  9. Feb 17, 2017 #9

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    Newcastle
    UPDATE ON LOSSES
    boiler- 1l
    Hops- 0.5l
    Boiler off- 2l
    Mash tun- 2l
    Grain- (5.19kg) 5.19l
    HLT- 4.75l
    = 15.44l
    Plus the 23l
    Total loss plus amount wanted
    = 38.44l
    But before I get confused, frustrated it is pointed out that the volume isn't too important..coz I'll batch sparge..and stop the sparge when it gets to 0.099 or what ever it is..
    But is it right for working out the ratio of:
    2.5l per kg...?? (5.19kg x 2.5l)
    = 12.975l for a start at least and work out if it's not nuff..
    Think I'm getting frustrated by a simple how much strike water....and over complicating it! Do you agree??
    Still want the strike water measurement for piece of mind hahaha!!
    Me n thinking+ maths= Mash head, and you all getting confused or p'd off...
    Now going into a dark room..listening to soothing music...
    Thx for bearing with me...all will be fine...:-)
     
  10. Feb 17, 2017 #10

    Fil

    Fil

    Fil

    Regular. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,090
    Likes Received:
    959
    if its bugging you its bugging you ;)

    if set on calculating all the volumes in advance - thats the way you want to do it so do it that way ;)
    And if you Want to fly sparge - go for it ;)


    For the strike volume and with a 2.5l to 1 kg of grain ratio the 12.9l value above just needs adjusting to Add the below False Bottom volume, as liquor below the fb is not going to effect the consistency of the mash.
    So if 2l sit below the FB im afraid i cant recall the volume, 12.9+2=14.9l strike volume..

    if 3 tier sparging with gravity into the kettle may i suggest you mark a dipstick up in advance to indicate your pre boil volume target in the kettle so you have a easy to check at a glance progress indicator and can stop the sparge on cue.

    though my flippant advise is to stop the worrying and flip the hlt switch on asap ;)
     
    Manxnorton likes this.
  11. Feb 17, 2017 #11

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Haha!! Yeah the strike water is bugging me!!! Just for the notes and pass onto my pal..
    All the measures are happy in my heed!!
    From that once I know the strike water....all will come as I remember...but I think I batch sparge!! Ohhh well can't be sure..can remember open the hlt in the grain bed!! At the same time the runnings were parring at the same rate!!! (After getting the wort clear)
    Then shut of when the Magic 0.099 in the FV....(27l)
    Thx pal...eases my battered heed!!!
     
  12. Feb 18, 2017 #12

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    Newcastle
    all i can say...nearly wore this......
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Feb 18, 2017 #13

    Fil

    Fil

    Fil

    Regular. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,090
    Likes Received:
    959
    as long as its only 'nearly'!!
     
    Manxnorton likes this.
  14. Feb 19, 2017 #14

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Hahaha!
    Couldn't get my bad arm n leg in!!! Lol
    But it did smash me...a simple thing like that....
    Can still start up a main battle tank n all the tech workings of it!! But fluffing a strike water!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!
    He he!!!
    Later pal
     

Share This Page