The beer plumbing network is required to route fluids between different locations at different times during the process.
A few check (one-way) valves were used to manage flows in different modes. Rather than use motorized valves under software control, which are expensive in all respects – the check valves allowed simple but fixed flow control.
The various flows can be divided into the following 5 modes.
1 – Kettle Fill
The first step in the process requires the kettle to be filled with cold water.
2 – Mash In
After the kettle has been filled and the liquor heated to strike temperature, it then needs to be transferred to the Mash Tun.
3 – Recirculate & Boil
During the mash, the wort can be recirculated between the Mash Tun and the Kettle. It also must all be transferred to the Kettle for the boil phase.
4 – Chill
After boiling, the wort is chilled before being transferred to the fermenter. It is the role of the Chiller to reduce the wort temperature from 100°C to approximately 25°C
5 – Clean
Cleaning the system involves pumping hot water from the kettle around the system to flush and sterilize.
The Chiller requires to be back-flushed to remove any stuck grains. This means pumping in the reverse direction from the fermenter to the kettle.
- Spray Balls
Both vessels are fitted with spray balls to distribute cleaning fluid across all internal surfaces.
Paths are provide from Kettle output back into the Kettle and Mash Tun. The pump on kettle output however is not powerful enough to spin the spray balls sufficiently. The plumbing is still kept in place so a more powerful pump can be used in the future.