Home > Miscellaneous, Tech geeks > Spackling is my life…

Spackling is my life…

For days now I’ve been working on getting Donna’s welding area ready for her. This means hanging the dry wall, taping, mudding, spackling… It’s a never-ending and extremely dusty process. Things are turning out pretty good, and I hope that we’ll have things ready and painted for her by this Sunday. The receptacles (both the 20A and 50A) work perfectly – we switched on the welder and it didn’t kill the house main, so that’s a good thing. We’ll just have to be careful about running major appliances like the dryer while Donna’s busy. Her welding bench was just ordered tonight, so it should be here by next weekend. Happy mother’s day to her!!!

Since Donna’s welding area is nearly a reality, I’ve started trying to work out what I will want my brewing sculpture stand to look like. It’s alot harder than I thought it would be. I had roughly worked out the major requirements in my head, and those are not a problem – its all the nitpicky details that are making me nuts.

I do want it to be all at a single level so I can look down into the tuns and kettles without a stepladder. That definitely necessitates the need for a pair of pumps, which I fortunately already have. I also wanted to be able to brew 5, 10 or 20 gallon batches without significant problems or compromises – which I think will be totally possible with this setup. I also wanted to make use of a grant to prevent direct suction against the bottom of the grain bed in the mash tun – again, no problem – I even prototyped the grant setup using a PICAXE controller nearly a year ago.

The problem has really been working out placement for the pumps, grant, electronics, etc – Which I am slowly working through. The screenshot above is the bare-bones, no frills stand prototype that may still be changed. One feature that I definitely think will stay is the interchangeable burner grill design – thought here was that I wanted to be able to pull them out and replace them if it were ever necessary (notice the little 1.5″ metal strips tacked into the corners). It also lets me do things like put a “non burner” insert if I use the Igloo cooler setup I currently employ for 5 and 10 gallon batches, and I could put a smaller grill pattern in to accomodate the smaller kettles, yet still properly support them and distribute the weight. Turndown on the burners (I’m thinking 200K btu jet burners at this point) may be a problem, but I’ll work it out… I’m thinking of somehow making the height between the kettle / HLT bottom and burner adjustable to allow me to move the burners down for the smaller batches. That could just mean taller inserts. I also figure I only need gas on the HLT and kettle – the mash tun doesn’t really need it because when you are heating mash water, you can just as easily do that in the kettle (which is not being used at that stage).

I’ve still got a while before Donna’s ready to take on the structure, and I am confident that I’ll have a very precise design ready at the point she is ready to execute it. I may even have my user interface / control software (BrewzNET) ready as well.

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Categories: Miscellaneous, Tech geeks
  1. May 9, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Cool design, been having a little fun with that software.

    If you go the interchangeable burner grills, then I totally think a taller grill would be the easiest way to change the height difference between the burner and the smaller kettles.

    At this point (I know this is far in the future) are you thinking of using burners with a pilot light or ones you’ll need to manually light or something else?

  2. brewznet
    May 9, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    I plan on automating the HLT burner and having some sort of pilot light or burner ignition so it will kick on and maintain a setpoint temperature. I think the kettle burner will just be manually lit since it is on or off for extended periods of time.

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