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Old 08-23-2014, 11:03 AM   #1
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Default It's time - help me set up my dedicated brew lair!

So, I'm finally moving out of my 15' x 15' studio apartment into a big, shiny 3 bed house! I currently brew 5 gallon batches using BIAB, and one of the motivations for getting a house was to upgrade my setup (hey, everyone has priorities!!). The requirements for the house were at minimum a nice garden, garage or shed so that I could move my brewing outside. This place has two rooms that are like sheds, because they are outside, but because they are attached to the house they are a bit like un-insulated brick rooms. I've been told by the missus that I can have one of these for a dedicated brew room. I have only seen the place once, and can estimate by memory that the rooms are about 5' x 5' and about 7 feet tall.

I am renting this place, so I cannot change the rooms dramatically, but I plan on putting either a work bench on one end to brew on, or else build a wood sculpture at the end to do the same thing only be more purpose built.

These rooms have no electricity, and I would like to keep the setup to use propane. If I need to boil outside for safety I will, but I want all mashing and sparging done in the room.I also want the capability of 10 gallon batches or bigger beers, but these will be done only on the rare occasion if at all - I think I'll stick to 5 or 6 gallon batches at under 1.068 og.

I would appreciate advice on the following:

1) my budget is limited, but I would like to be able to build on the system over time. I have settled on using a 10 gallon igloo cooler for mash tun, and a 70 litre brew pot. Should I break into using pumps / temp control systems, or for now just keep it gravity fed? Any recommendations?

2. I was thinking about using a smaller cooler for a hlt, and fitting an element to it and using a stc 1000 to keep the sparge water at a constant temp. Do you think an stc 1000 dedicated for this purpose is necessary, or would it be enter just to dump sparge water into a cooler at the right temp and just accept a possible slight temp drop?

3. Altogether different option - Brutus 20 using the 10 gal igloo and the 70 litre pot --- any thoughts on this?

Cheers everyone - I can promise that your recommendations will be taken into account an when I move in and start building pics will be posted to document the build.






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Old 08-23-2014, 12:55 PM   #2
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You have some great ideas! I think the biggest limitation will be the 5x5 dimension limitation.

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Old 08-23-2014, 01:02 PM   #3
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Please, whatever you do, do the boiling with propane outside.
5x5 is tough. It's a tight fit to move around in especially if you have a 3 vessel system. I'd perhaps see if you can do it but it sounds tight to me.

I'm not sure about the stc. I would think it could work though. If you're on a tight budget then sticking with gravity fed may not be a bad idea.

I too want a brew shed but I want to be all electric when I do.

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Old 08-23-2014, 02:34 PM   #4
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Use the rooms to store your stuff, and roll it outside to brew. I agree with gravity fed if you're on a budget.

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Old 09-06-2014, 06:43 PM   #5
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Right - lately I have been thinking about electric more and more. I was considering the following setup:

Brutus 20 type design, but with using 2 x 10 gal igloo coolers. Is there any problem using a 240v 2400 watt electric element in a igloo cooler? I have read quite a few posts and it doesn't seem to be a problem, but I cant help but thing 'why arent more people using igloo coolers as BK'?

At first, I would just switch stuff around and do no-sparge (not utilising pumps, so I would forego recirculation). When I can afford, I could buy pumps and add on a PID so that I could recirc and have a brutus 20 design with only the BK heated using the element.

Any thoughts?

Would it be better to buy a SS kettle instead? It may be vain but I think the look of 2 igloos would be good - plus, I could potentially add on a third SS vessel at a later date and use it as a HLT.

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Old 09-06-2014, 06:46 PM   #6
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nm - I think perhaps stainless may be better.

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