Most complete all grain breweries include three heating elements to allow for the heating of all three brewing vessels: hot liquor tank, mash tun, boiling kettle. This system incorporates a magnetic drive brewing pump (or two) to gain the comforts of brewing on a single level, and the quality improvements from recirculation.
Recommended Components - All Components are Linked Below this Discussion
Mash Tun Design
The mash tun is created from a HEAVY DUTY 8 gallon stainless kettle for greater insulation and diffusion of the heat from the burner. The mash tun kettle is fitted with a custom sized false bottom screen for greater efficiency in draining the mash. The kettle includes two welded ports, one fitted with a drain valve. The kettle has a second welded port (plugged), so a thermometer can be added to the kettle in the future. Equipment needed:
• Heavy Duty Kettle - 32 qt - 8 gallon - Stainless Steel with Two welded ports & One valve
• False Bottom Screen - 34.5 cm
Three tall propane burners provide the heat, fueled by a standard BBQ propane tank (not included). All three can be connected to the same propane tank using a 3 way propane tank splitter. Equipment needed:
• Quantity 3 - Propane Burner With Tall Legs, 55,000 BTU
• 3 Way Propane Tank Splitter - Brass
Kettles for Sparge Water and Boiling Wort
Two additional kettles are needed to heat the sparge water and collect the wort from the mash. In this system, both kettles are outfitted with both thermometer and valve. Equipment needed:
• Quantity 2 - Stainless Kettle - 32 qt - 8 Gallon - Two Welded Ports - Includes Valve & Thermometer
A magnetic drive brewing pump is outfitted with cam and groove disconnects to allow connection to any and all of the kettles.
With only one pump, there are two options for sparging. Option 1 - The pump can be connected to the drain valve of the hot liquor tank to pump the sparge water to the top of the mash, with a diffusion plate attached to the pump's exit tubing to avoid splashing the grains excessively. Gravity can then be used to drain the wort into the boil kettle which is placed on the ground during sparging. Option 2 - Transfer the sparge water by hand into the mash tun using a kitchen pot. Connect the pump to the drain valve of the mash tun to transfer the wort to the boil kettle which is placed on the third burner.
With two pumps, the three vessels can remain on the three burners, and all three vessels can be connected with the two pumps.
• Brewing Pump Kit on Trolley - SS Head Pump - Bleed Valve System - Cam & Groove Disconnects
• Silicone Tubing - about 6-8 feet per pump
• Clamps for the Silicone Tubing
• Cam and Groove disconnects attached to the ends of the tubing - Type C - 1/2" Hose Barb to Female Adapter
• Cam and Groove disconnects attached to the kettle valves - Type F - Male 1/2" NPT to Male Adapter
• Diffusion Plate for Mash Sparging - Connects to 1/2" Hose - Stainless Steel
Mash Reciculation and Whirlpooling (Optional)
Using the brewing pump and diffusion plate for mash sparging (above), the mash can be recirculated to improve wort clarity. Also, a whirlpool kit can be connected to the pump and attached to the wall of the boiling kettle to allow for whirlpooling. Equipment needed:
• Whirlpool Kit for Kettle - Mounts on Kettle Wall
Transfers from hot liquor tank to mash tun to boil kettle, and to the fermentor, may be done with the pump, or by manual transfer in the case of sparge water, or by gravity run-off through the kettle valves. The greatest convenience will be achieved by using two brewing pumps.
• Stainless paddle for mash - Drilled Holes - 30" Length
A copper wort chiller is the most effective at transferring heat out of the wort through the highly conductive copper.
• Wort Chiller - 3/8" X 25' Copper - Immersion-Type with Hose Ends
How to Perform the Mash and Sparge
The mash is performed in the heavy duty kettle fitted with the false bottom screen. Three burners are used, all connected to one propane tank, so that heating of the sparge water, the mash, and the boil can all be performed easily.
A magnetic drive brewing pump allows for liquid transfer from one kettle to the next, and for recirculation of the mash or the boil. Note that magnetic drive pumps must be primed and the air bled from the system before they will operate. Two pumps will allow you to fully mechanize the transfers. With only one pump, some manual work will be required as discussed above. Cam and groove stainless disconnect fittings are used to connect to the kettles. A diffusion plate is used to avoid splashing the grains in the mash.