Minor Surgery

My buddy from Hausler Bierworks dropped by today and we performed a little minor surgery on the pickup tube on this new kettle that he will be using for his small batch Brew in a Bag system. This is a sweet little setup. In a Brew in a Bag setup (henceforth referred to as BIAB) the kettle acts as both the mash tun and boil kettle.The grains are contained in a muslin bag, and are mashed in the kettle. Once mashing is complete, the bag is pulled out, allowing all the wort to drain back into the kettle, where it is boiled. My favorite part of my buddy’s setup is that the heat is provided by an induction plate. No open flames or heating coils are involved. The plate  creates a magnetic field which heats up the kettle itself. Here’s a shot of the kettle in its natural habitat.

IMG_3140

 

The one minor problem with this setup was that the pickup tube left too much wort behind when the kettle was drained. Perhaps Mr. Hausler will comment here to tell us the total capacity of the kettle, his expected batch size, and how much liquid was left in the kettle after it was drained (he told me but I forgot.) At any rate, the amount of liquid left behind was considerable for small batch brewing.

Basically we rotated the pickup tube until it touched the bottom of the kettle and used a Sharpie marker to roughly approximate an area at its tip that would need to be removed in order to allow it to drain as much wort as possible. It ended up requiring that we cut the end of the tube off at a very acute angle. I was doubtful that a hacksaw would do it. The angle grinder was an option and would have made quick work of the cut. We opted to use a Dremel tool with a reinforced cutoff wheel, which took a little longer, but seemed to be a bit more precise. We ended up with a pretty close fit.

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The newly trimmed pickup tube drains the kettle almost completely. We measured the liquid left in the kettle after draining to be right at seven ounces. A big improvement over the untrimmed tube. This should be a great system for developing recipes and I can’t wait to see it in action.

 

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One thought on “Minor Surgery

  1. I think before the cuts on the pick up tube we were leaving almost a gallon of wort in the pot. The angle on the pick up tube made a huge difference, there really isn’t any losses on an actual brew day – the hot break usually occupies that 4 ounces of dead space.

    The kettle s a 20qt stainless cheapy I got off of Amazon, the thermometer is a blichmann weldless brewmometer and the valve is 3/8 2 piece from bargain fittings.

    The induction plate is 110v and I find it is strong enough to produce 1.5 gallons of wort-into-fermenter, roughly 2.75 gallons preboil. Anything over 3 gallons it really struggles keeping the boil vigorous. I highly recommend this setup for 1-2 gallon brewers, it is very convenient to not have to be attentive to the heating process. If you’re looking to do 3-5 gallon batches it would really be better to go with a 220v induction plate.

    Cheers!

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