83L Direct Fire Trio Manifold Options

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Page 1: Design Considerations
Page 2: Intake Manifold Option
Page 3: Output Manifold Option 1
Page 4: Output Manifold Option 2

The Direct Fire Trio as sold requires a few hose changes during the brew process. This simple step simplifies the system immensely, requiring far fewer parts, and allowing the free positioning of your brew kettles on the brew stand. Cost is optimized, cleaning is easier, heat loss is minimized by using silicone tubing instead of stainless steel components, and frictional resistance is reduced by having fewer bends and reducing the overall length in the external circulation loops.

I highly recommend brewing with the standard system a few times to see where you would like to make changes, if at all. For most people the standard design is more than adequate, and if you agree that simple is better, then you will probably not want to make any changes.

If you are still interested in upgrading your system for fewer hose changes and don't mind the additional cost and cleaning requirements, this article will show you a few design ideas and provide the parts lists required to implement these changes.

Intake Manifold Design Considerations

One pump in the three kettle Direct Fire system is used for the hot liquor tank (HLT) to recirculate hot water within the HLT and transfer hot water to the MLT during the sparge process. The second pump is used for both the mash-lauter tun (MLT) and the boil kettle (BK). Because the second pump is used for two kettles, a hose change is required on the pump intake side between the mashing and whirlpooling steps. This hose change can be avoided with a pump intake manifold between the MLT and the BK.

Output Manifold Design Considerations

With the output side of the pumps it gets more complicated. Here are the flow requirements:

  • HLT pump back to HLT
  • HLT pump to MLT
  • MLT/BK pump back to MLT
  • MLT/BK pump back to BK

The manifold on the pump output side will need to connect both pump outputs to the HLT whirlpool port, the MLT return port, and the BK whirlpool port. In other words, two in and three out, with valves on each side of the manifold outputs to control the flow. The design examples will clarify things.


Intake Manifold Option

The pump intake manifold is simple and is composed of the following parts, shown here are only the parts not included with the original Direct Fire Duo 83L set:

You will need 1 Tee, 2 elbows, 1 2 cm spool, and 5 each of the clamps and gaskets. Please check your pump configuration to determine how best to connect from the manifold to your pump. You may need an additional straight hose barb.


Output Manifold Option 1

This manifold has two parts. First, a tee in inserted at the BK whirlpool port on the right side. Second, a tee and two ball valves are added to the MLT sparge arm port. Note that if you want to recirculate the water in the HLT when heating it up (really not necessary in the direct fire system) then you will have to make one hose change.

Here is the parts list for the output manifold:

You will need: 2 3/4" valves, 1 1" tee, 1 DN15 tee, one 45 elbow, 8 clamps, and 10 gaskets.

The Direct Fire Trio set comes with 4 straight hose barbs and 4 90 degree hose barbs. You can get this option to work with the existing hose barbs, but a better fit is to add 3 straight 1" hose barbs to the set.


Output Manifold Option 2

The port on the bottom left connects to the HLT pump. The port on the bottom right connects to the MLT/BK pump. On the top left, the elbow connects to the HLT whirlpool port. On the top right, the elbow connects to the BK Whirlpool port. In the middle, the tee out connects to the MLT sparge arm.

Here is the parts list for the output manifold:

You will need: 2 valves, 3 tees, 3 elbows, 2 hose barbs, 10 clamps, and 10 gaskets. Optionally, you may want to include two Tri-Clamp mounting clamps located at the whirlpool valve connections. These are to help support the weight of the manifold and help provide stability. You can also rotate the clamp on the 1" quick clean ball valves so that they rest on the table, helping to support the weight.

Keep in mind, this option as shown uses 4 90 degree hose barbs and 6 straight hose barbs. The direct fire trio set includes 4 of each.

If you want to add a sight glass, the best placement is between the MLT/BK pump out and the manifold, or at the middle tee out before the sparge arm.