Outgrowing the Kitchen
I've been a solid extract and partial mash home brewer for the last four years working with good, but basic equipment. And, fortunately, its yielded some pretty decent brews. But I'm tired of being on red alert watching for boil overs. I'm growing impatient with the post boil chills in the kitchen sink. I'm done with competing for fridge space with yeasts and finding creative storage spots for equipment. Its time to design a brew system for somewhere else. This leads me to my first realization of homebrewing - there are two locations for brewing. Kitchen or Not Kitchen. I've realized that this is no easy task moving to the not kitchen set-up. Its like Ford retooling to make fuel efficient cars; the equipment is foreign, designs out there seem complex, and the price tag is scary. I'm not an engineer or have a ton of cash at my disposal. So that leaves me with the option of going at it slow or cheap. Since I'd rather design a quality system that looks awesome, I'm headed with the first choice. Here are my goals for designing a system: 1. Make better beer 2. Easily make partial or full mashes 3. Create something like a man cave 4. Have all equipment, ingredients, information in one location. A true homebrewery. 5. Upgrade equipment to make brewing an easier experience with more control. The motto of all this - Go Big or Go Home. I'm in the process of drafting up a design and then setting about it in phases, but I don't want to limit myself. So the design will have it all. The first phase is getting equipment upgrades that can be used in kitchen or not kitchen settings. The second is ponying up and buying the big ticket items for the garage. The third is aesthetics. I'll post the design soon, but if you have any thoughts of must-haves for a design, let me know.