Brewery Work: Lots!

Last weekend, the weekend before it and tonight have been very productive on the brewery build front. It’s getting very close to done. At this point the only thing I really have outstanding is valve wiring and final plumbing hookups. All the kettles have all their bulkheads installed and tonight I finished installing the heating element in the boil kettle and tested it.

I had to chase down some noise and interference throughout the control panel which was causing the LCD to scramble now and then. The pumps needed snubbers which I build from a 47 Ohm resistor + .1uF capacitor wired in series placed parallel to the hot and neutral on the plug of the pump. The solenoids all needed suppression diodes which I have been working on installing right into the coil head of each solenoid as I wire them up. 4 of 11 done so far.

Tonight after the final kettle work I spent some time heating water in various kettles and testing my heat exchanger. It seems to work pretty well although I am either having some pump priming issues or the heat exchanger is too restrictive. The flow is not very good through it. I am pretty sure it’s a pump prime issue. Tomorrow I am going to rotate the head of the pump to a configuration a lot of brewers are having success with and see if it helps. The result will have the inlet of the pump facing down and the outlet facing up. The idea is to have any air trapped in the head go to the top and be evacuated so the entire pump head can fill with liquid.

I am really hoping to be able to brew this weekend but it’s probably not going to happen. I need some final pipe fittings to get everything finished and the eBay seller I want to get them from is being slow to respond. We’ll see!

Lots of pictures to come – I’ve been too busy working on it to take any!