19 September 2009

Brewery Part 2

Good progress yesterday and today. Having cleared the shed and built a sturdy bench for the pots to stand on, today was about testing and refining that design. The pots are now insulated with pink-stuff, and I have some old aluminium printers' plates that I'll use to encase them in Full Metal Jackets. (Duct tape doesn't work in the heat! ;-)

I've assembled the main plumbing bits and pump, and added supports to the bench for mounting all that plumbing machinery. I would have like to get stainless steel pipe-connectors, but sourcing it in a small town has proved too challenging. Instead I've gone with galvanised steel. Yes! It'll rust in time, but I should get a good bit of use out of it first, and -- who knows! -- by then the brewery might be able to pay its own way for new parts...

I've also added mounting structs and steel shields for supporting the burner, and more-or-less decided that I need a second burner. As much as I want to keep the whole setup as simple as possible, initially, I can see that shunting the one burner back and forth between the Hot Liquid Tank and the Boiler is
  1. way too much hassle, and
  2. a recipe for a disaster involving very hot liquids!
So a second burner and the various bits of gas piping, T-pieces, etc. are on the shopping list (subject to price.)

I also built a support frame for the counterflow chiller I built yesterday. Just a simple, lightweight wooden frame so that I can hang the whole affair up and out of the way while it is not in use. The only real cock-up so far is the connector for hooking the chiller onto the boiler: The guy at the hardware shop gave me the wrong size. :-( Not serious -- I'll just exchange it -- but it set me back from testing the boiler/chiller system today or tomorrow, as they won't be open again until Monday.

The major Outstanding Obstacle at this stage: The Crushinator.

I have a couple of designs in mind for a crusher, but none of it is simple, despite the simplicity of the concept. As with anything, the devil is in the details, and the details ramify out fractally.

Update: I forgot to mention -- I'd post some pix, but I seem to have mislaid the connector lead for the camera. Oh the joys of aging memory...

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