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Old 05-03-2009, 02:16 AM   #1
Wayne1
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Default Brewstand build finished! 1st brew today

A little over a year ago I decided to get back into homebrewing after a seven year layoff. I used to brew professionally and I guess I just got tired of having to please everyone with my brews.

I borrowed a burner from jds and made an extract brew last year. It was good and got me anxious to have my own rig.

Bobby M was very kind and shared some plans he had of his brewstand. I modified the layout slightly. My cousin was able to locate the Unistrut used for the frame as surplus. The stainless steel floor and front panels were also surplus. He had a friend of his cut them to size.

I had one keggle left over from my old rig. I purchased another from my LHBS. I found a welder who installed four fitting for a 6-pack of Bud Light. That hurt.

The MLT is my old Gott 10 gallon cooler. All the valves and close nipples are stainless steel. I wanted to use stainless for everything, but I really couldn't afford all stainless disconnects.

Here is a picture of the rig earlier today during the first brew.


I followed Bobby's instructions for keg polishing and I also purchased the fittings for the sightglasses from him. I did change out the glass for polycarbonate.

I have two banjo burners under the kegs. On the top front panel and piezo push switches to cause a spark to the burner to ignite the propane. I used needle valves to control the propane to the burners. The two switches in the middle control the two March pumps mounted behind the bottom panel.

I chose to use disconnects mounted to a panel to replicate the diverter panels I used in the brewpubs I worked in. I made up silicone hoses to use. I can connect the hoses from the different valves and pumps inlets and outlets to move the liquids anywhere I want.

The valve in the middle of the front panel is connected to a cold water line. I use a sanitary grade water hose into a filter. Then that is hard piped with copper to the valve.

I have my CFC heat exchanger connected to disconnects on the front panel. It makes brewing and cleaning very easy.

In the picture above, I was heating up water more mash-in. I have a valve on the top of the HLT so I can recirculate the water while I am heating. It will ensure no stratification.


This shot shows water being transferred from the HLT prior to mash-in and at the same time I am using the other pump to recirculate SaniClean through the fermenter and the heat exchanger to sanitize it.



Here is the wort being recirculated in the MLT prior to transfer to the kettle and sparging.


Here is the set up for transferring the water from the HLT to the MLT for sparging and then runnig the sweet wort to the kettle while the burner is heating it up.

Everything went very smoothly with the brew today. All the different elements came together and worked just the way I hoped they would.

It did take me over a year to gather all the parts and put it all in one system. I tried to get it to work last weekend, but my original TEEL pump died. A quick order from AHS and all was fine.

I brewed an American Pale Ale today. I based the recipe around the taste profile of Dale's Pale Ale. That is one of my favorite beers. This version is more of a session sipper. I planned on OG of 1.045. It came in at 1.044.

I used a new base malt from Colorado Malting Company. It is a new "Craft" malting company in southern Colorado. All the hops used are pellets.

My brew kettle is set up to use the pump to whirlpool. The final picture is the trub pile in the bottom of the kettle after the brew was transferred to the fermenter. I also used Five Star's Super Moss and defoamer in the kettle. Very little trub went into the fermenter. There was NO hop residue in the heat exchanger when I cleaned it out.


I have had a lot of fun putting this system together. I couldn't have done it without HBT. I learned a lot about how homebrewing has changed since I started 20 odd years ago. Hopefully some of you will pick up a thing or two from this build.

Happy National Homebrew Day!

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:37 AM   #2
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Congrats on the successful brew on your new rig! Sounds like you got a great deal from the welder. What hurt, that he wanted buttlight over your homebrew? He has probably never had homebrew. I bet if you brought him a couple bottles as a bonus thankyou, he will be kicking himself for requesting that swill. He might also offer his services and materials for any future mods you might want to make.

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:51 AM   #3
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Having to go into a store and actually buy Bud Light is what hurt.

He did request a six of homebrew, whenever it was ready. I do plan on brewing an American Wheat for the BMC types.

It is worth a making a lighter brew now and then to keep anyone who can weld stainless happy.

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Old 05-03-2009, 04:09 AM   #4
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Nice rig! I really like the design and features. Now I'm rethinking my build plans.

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Old 05-03-2009, 04:53 AM   #5
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Awesome Wayne - I might have to give Colorado Malting a ring for a few bags.

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Old 05-03-2009, 05:08 AM   #6
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velotech,

Thanks for the comments. You are welcome to come by some weekend and brew with me. Check out the system and see what might work for you.

culaslucas,

Please DO give them a call or send them an E-Mail. They are great to work with. They used to supply COORS with barley. Their maltster used to work in the pilot malting plant in Golden. They definitely know what they are doing.

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Old 05-03-2009, 05:14 AM   #7
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Awesome rig! Im considering going to silicon hoses myself. Do you have any pump issues with the long run up to the top of the MLT?

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Old 05-03-2009, 06:41 AM   #8
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Nice set up! I'll also have to look up Colorado Malting.... I have a few friends still at Adams State up there. I had no idea there were decent malting companies in the SW.

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Old 05-03-2009, 07:48 AM   #9
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Cool, I was thinking along the same lines for a single tier, using unistrut and a cooler I already have. Now I see an example...

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:39 PM   #10
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Very nice, I love the flexibility of the pump connections in the front.

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