Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Beer Washing Machine

Non-brewers, sorry this will make no sense at all.
  [vote for,

I was thinking about ways of scaling up my beer production today and it occurred to me that, in addition to being great for producing yogurt and washing clothes my top loading washing machine might be good for coaxing the sweet essence from malted grains. This is what I propose to try:

Acquire a top loading machine with stainless basket and tub.

Clean thoroughly. Replace hoses with food grade high temp equivalents.

Strip housing and control systems. Leave motor and discharge pump.

Install a heating coil on the outside of the tub.

Place grains in the basket.

Add water. Steep and mash as normal. Heat with the external coil. Slowly spin the machine and circulate the fluid through the grain bed.

The fluid is directed into a second container (chilling vat) draining the extract down to a level in the tub below the bottom of the basket.

The basket is then spun at high speed circulating the remaining fluid to force the grain into a layer in on the inside surface of the basket.

At this point the recirculated fluid is forced through the grain bed, filtering the debris and excess solids out.

The remainder of the fluid is passed through the filtering grain bed to clarify it.

Finally if the extraction was inadequate additional fresh water could be used to leach the grain.

Your mashing is complete. Boil and brew as normal.

In my best case scenario the basket can be removed at this point with the grain in it. Then a stirring setup can be put in it's place. And the boil could be done in this same vessel using the heating element. The pump allows easy transmission into the chilling vat.

WcW, Jan 05 2010


       is this based on experience? This is a lot simpler than using a ice chest gravity mashing setup.
WcW, Jan 05 2010

       Sorry to disappoint. I did give fair warning. Shocked you don't drink beer.
WcW, Jan 05 2010

       you might like to try those alcoholic hand-washing gels, 21.   

       lets face it you don't enjoy the drink but just want to get inebriated.
po, Jan 05 2010

       The Sun is over the yardarm somewhere.   

skinflaps, Jan 05 2010

       // try those alcoholic hand-washing gels //   

       Yes, with ice, lemon and tonic they're remarkably palatable .....
8th of 7, Jan 05 2010

       Tried something like this with apples, once. Mashed 'em all up with a drill equipped with an L shaped rod, then put everything into a linen bag and spun it in the washing machine. It was for making "Panel wipe". That's an anagram for something.
Ling, Jan 05 2010

       A UK advert for a bank (seeking to position itself as a word bank) shows this scenario, I think.   

       An Eastern European washing machine manufacturer employee heads off to Asia to find out why they are buying their machines, only to find they are doing something drinks-based with it. The machines are top-loading.
Aristotle, Jan 05 2010

       I actually think that my design is better than the one linked but I feel greatly encouraged that I'm not the first person that this occurred to.
WcW, Jan 05 2010

       could it make beer ice-cream?
xandram, Jan 05 2010

       I would imagine the heating element might seriously inhibit ice-cream creation.
kaz, Jan 05 2010

       Centrifugal sparging. Very good, sir.
afinehowdoyoudo, Jan 05 2010

       Funny. I've been wrestling with this very problem this week - how to scale up and quit lugging carboys. I'm an extract brewer, though, so the spin cycles would be used first for stirring and then later for shedding the liquid and hopefully separating the hops.   

       [21], beer's too weak and watery for you? Try an Imperial IPA. Around ten percent alcohol and tastes reminiscent of milkweed and skunk piss. I'm working on a batch this week.
normzone, Jan 05 2010

       I thing Ling was just making Nipple Awe. I would worry that the good Nipple would get moldy tastes from the drain on the washing mashing and you would be left with a bag of dried out Awe.
bungston, Jan 06 2010

       sounds to me like you've never had a good beer. All that carp in the stores is just like you say, carp. Good beer on the other hand......
WcW, Jan 06 2010

       I've been a hybrid extract brewer stovetop scale for awhile and I'm taking the big leap and dropping some money into it. Seems like most washers are good for about 30 gallons. I'm hunting for a commercial machine that I can salvage for this project.
WcW, Jan 06 2010

       well if it was a Coors, Bud, Pabst, Miller then yes, that is what I am suggesting. A great beer is anything but thin and skunky and you can have any strength you want. As for the intoxicating potential I recommend that you seek to appreciate the subtle intensity of moderation and consciousness. Your attitude is like an advertisement for AA.
WcW, Jan 06 2010

       WCW - be sure you taste the effluent from your new machine first.   

       Also the heating coil piece scares me.
bungston, Jan 06 2010

       I wonder how this turned out, WcW?   

       I was also wondering if one of those front loaders is sealed well enough you could actually leave the wort in there to ferment?   

       Probably something less fussy than beer would be good to test the fermenting idea: maybe sugar water with yeast and a little Miracle Gro.
bungston, Feb 06 2016

       I have yet to try it, scaling up my vineyard and wine production has consumed the last decade. I was comforted to see that someone had done the thing, and felt less pressured to try it myself. I believe that the high efficiency washer is well proven as an extractor of fluid, the trick being getting the right balance of speed and recycling of the mash run.
WcW, Feb 06 2016

       AND here I am again, six years later. I think this design would benefit from substituting insulation for the heating coil originally suggested, although they do make some very low heat flex circuits for keeping carboys from getting too cold.   

       I'd run the heat for water externally and insulate internally. I have passed through all grain brewing and into further alcohol endeavors better unnamed since the earlier post.
normzone, Feb 06 2016


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