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Old 05-22-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
HeavyKettleBrewing
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Default Turnkey All Grain Brew Stations

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I would like to take a moment and ask for the community to lend some input regarding my new endeavor. I own a machine shop in SoCal and have decided to diversify by offering custom brew stations for the novice and experienced all grain homebrewer. My goal is to construct a turnkey brewing stand with safety, efficiency, ease of use, and affordable pricing. Before I actually draft up prints for this new brewstand I would like to ask for advice and opinions. Basic idea behind what I intend to build is a tiered brew stand with three kettles/LP burners, two pumps and a wort chiller. No sophisticated or automated controls on a base unit. Please take a moment and help a brewer out.

1) Demand -- Who wants a brew stand? (Just a poll, could be any brewstand)
2) Price point -- What are you comfortable spending (shipping not included)?
3) Batch size -- What would/do you typically brew in volume?
4) Materials -- Stainless steel, low carbon steel, or aluminum?
5) Dimensions or Footprint -- Size matters.

Some basic questions and I'm sure, more to come. My description is somewhat general but I intend to construct a functional, affordable, safe and compact system. Since I have the equipment, I can make just about anything. Your comments will be appreciated.

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Old 05-22-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
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1) I think there's a decent demand for it.
2) As long as the markup isn't outrageous I think people will buy
3) I'd make it fit a 25 gal kettle as that will give plenty of room for keggles and everything in between. I'd bet most people are in the 10 gal range.
4) I'd think aluminum would make the whole stand hot. Stainless would be cool and maybe that's an option, but I think most would gravitate to regular painted steel.
5) Small is better (obviously). I'd maybe make a single tier as well as a 3 or maybe even 2 tier system.

I'll looking at stands soon and was planning on welding my own, but we're crappy garage welders so a well made, reasonably priced stand would be considered

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Old 05-22-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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It doesn't seem like anyone has a bolt-together brew stand, which many of us non-welders would appreciate. The only bolt-together brew stands I've seen are built with slotted angle iron and it doesn't look very sturdy.

Anyway, in answer to your questions:

1) Yes, I would like a single-tier metal brew stand for my basement brew room. But I'm looking to go natural gas instead of LP.
2) About $350 - $450.
3) Currently we do 10 gallon batches but we would like to upgrade to 15.
4) Don't really care, as long as it's durable. Aluminum would kinda put me off, but if I could be convinced that it will last a very long time then I would not care.
5) Um...I suppose nothing longer than 7 feet wide? And 2 feet deep? Four feet tall? This is more up to the designer than the customer. As long as it works good.

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Old 05-22-2012, 11:21 PM   #4
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I think there is room in the market for brew-systems that are affordable, and more manual than say a Brew-Magic. Your average consumer will be using a converted keg, so 15.5gal pots being used for 10 gallon batches.

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Old 05-23-2012, 12:12 AM   #5
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I like the idea of modularity. This might include various welded sub-frames that get bolted together so that the same parts could be configured differently according to the brewer's needs / preferences. This might make shipping easier, moves using smaller vehicles and perhaps, in some cases more storage options.

One rig I built had the burner built like a drawer unit with an integral windscreen. It could be easily moved and slid into place beneath different vessels into their support frames.

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Old 05-23-2012, 01:19 AM   #6
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I think there would be a big demand for a sub $500 stand that was modular enough to get shipping down to reasonable amount. Include the gas manifold and burners for that, charge an upgrade for banjo burners but go stock with the BG10's for cost effectiveness. For some reason, CA has more than their share of shops selling brewstands. Shipping to the midwest from there is crazy expensive. if you could solve the shipping puzzle that would be half the battle.

I traded a few emails with the guy from Badass brewstands and those guys were selling a knock-down user assembled brewstand but he said the demand wasn't there, that by the time people were going to cough up the dough they wanted $$$ bling and so forth.

Nobody prices a rig in the $300-$500 space that I am aware of. In fact once you price it out, Blichmann top tier at $850+ is one of the cheaper ways to go because you can order from brew stores and get $7.99 shipping!

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Old 05-23-2012, 01:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandoLincoln View Post
It doesn't seem like anyone has a bolt-together brew stand, which many of us non-welders would appreciate. The only bolt-together brew stands I've seen are built with slotted angle iron and it doesn't look very sturdy.
For the record, the angle iron builds are sturdy as they can be. You could drive a truck over 'em. But I agree, bolt together, ship flat, make it cheap. Nobody does that. Maybe offer one config gravity, one config horizontal.

That's the appeal of the angle iron (yes I made one....under $200 burners included), you can take them apart and try different things. Adjust shelf and burner height and so forth.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:32 AM   #8
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I built mine from a Lowes heady duty rack. It is very sturdy and has no bolts. The burners are the bayou classics with their own stand. I also mad a tippy thing for my MLT.

I am sure there are plenty of people out there that could use one that has a shelf for one of the burners they already own. I like the idea of pin together and ship flat.

Two Pumps and single tier would be my dream. Good luck.

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Old 05-23-2012, 02:40 AM   #9
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If a center post design was built with carbon steel tube, arms and expanded metal for shelves, and arms with a support star for pots on burners it would be an inexpensive fabrication with paint or powder coating for a finish. With 2 or 3 designs for components the user could mix and stack as needed, or build in steps as budget allows.
The same concept could be applied to a horizontal setup using horizontal U shaped legs and a square tube at the back to hang individual components in users preferred order or spacing.
Having built a vertical tiered design from stainless pipe, the flexibility of configuration, and storage of individual components on a garage wall is handy.

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Old 05-23-2012, 11:53 AM   #10
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Come on stand manufacturers. Get to it!

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