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Old 03-19-2011, 07:29 AM   #1
hafmpty
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Default Gravity Brew Stand (Seeking Input)

So, I'm considering putting together a brew stand. I use a gravity system and don't foresee using anything but gravity. I don't want to mess with pumps, electronics, etc. I'm using the KISS method. So...I've come up with the following design for a brew stand.

As you can see, it's not much different than any of the other systems. I use a keg for my HLT, a Rubbermaid cooler for my Mash Tun, and another keg for my boil kettle. The yellow thing is a hydraulic table lift. I use this when the boil and chill is over to jack my boil kettle up so I can transfer the wort to the fermenter. It's got wheels so I can maneuver it at any time.

To cook I use two Bayou Classic SQ14 burners. These will be sitting on steel sheeting (or something like that). To get the propane to the burners, I'm going to use flexible hose rather than pipe. I'll probably attach it to the brew structure with zip ties or metal clamps.

Dimensions are:
48"L x 24"W x 56"H

Basically, what I'm trying to build is a brew stand that allows me to use the equipment I've got, allows me to continue using the method's I currently employ, without having to buy a bunch of new stuff.

Anyway, I'm wondering if I'm missing something or if something doesn't look right. Anyway, let me know your thoughts. Thanks for the input and any suggestions you might have.

brew-structure-rubbermaid-1-.jpg   brew-structure-rubbermaid-2-.jpg   brew-structure-rubbermaid-3-.jpg  
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:49 AM   #2
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I like it! I like the hydraulic lift idea. Funny how some people think using a pump is anything but easy! I think transfering wort from Mash tun back to mash tun for resirc is far from fun or the KISS system. This is why most use a pump. For the real KISS system. All in all though nice system. You'll need a few gussets on the bottom though.
Jay

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Old 03-19-2011, 06:56 PM   #3
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Looks good. I may have to take some notes. Hydraulic lift sounds cool, but also expensive. Can you rent these somewhere?

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Old 03-19-2011, 07:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michur View Post
Looks good. I may have to take some notes. Hydraulic lift sounds cool, but also expensive. Can you rent these somewhere?
You can rent them I'm sure, but I bought it from Harbor Freight. Plus with those "25% Off One Item" coupons they send out regularly, the price isn't bad. Plus, it's beats the hell out of trying to lift a keg full of water or wort. Here's what I got:

http://www.harborfreight.com/500-lb-...ble-94822.html

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Old 03-19-2011, 08:41 PM   #5
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I like the hydraulic lift table and it's reasonably priced as well. The only potential problem that I see is the overall height which will probably exceed 8 ft. This may not be a problem if you are planning to brew strickly outdoors, but you'd better have a very tall ceiling if you want to use it indoors. This is the main drawback I see with gravity fed systems. It just occured to me that if you had three of those hydraulic lift tables you would not need the stand at all. Hmmm...

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Old 03-20-2011, 12:16 AM   #6
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Here's my brewery if you want to check out a gravity system that works well and has done QUITE a few batches for me: http://www.lancedrolet.com/?p=7

Here are some things I considered when I made mine. First, I'm not crazy about keeping the Cajun Cookers intact. Even clamped onto the frame, I just wouldn't feel comfortable with the stability. It's easy enough to take the burners off and mount them to the frame. Another stability issue I see is the wheels. You want portability, but you aren't going to be wheeling the thing around with 10 gallons of scalding liquid in the HLT or kettle. I put wheels on one side of the system, but not the other. This way, I can move easily enough into place before I brew and put it away when I'm done, but it's stable when the vessels are full (note, the wheels are on the opposite side from the kettle / hlt... this way the weight of the wort actually helps keep the system stable). If you do go with wheels on both sides, please make sure you've got locking casters. On your HLT, you should put two valves on a sideways "T" connector. This way, you can put a hose fitting on one of them and fill the vessel without having to get on a ladder. Just plug in the hose and open the valve. Since you've already got the lift, I probably can't talk you out of using it... but again: locking casters... The boiling liquid on a burner on a stand on a rolling lift... that's just a little scary to me.

These are just a few suggestions. The frame looks awesome. In fact, now that I have a cheap welder, I've been thinking about changing my frame to something like that.

please post your progress and pics as you go.

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Old 03-20-2011, 01:14 AM   #7
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Minus the conical, what'd your set up roughly cost you Uncle Fat? I like the weldless route, seems cost efficient.

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Old 03-20-2011, 04:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt22 View Post
It just occured to me that if you had three of those hydraulic lift tables you would not need the stand at all. Hmmm...
You know, I never thought of that. You might have just changed my structure design completely.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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Maybe it's me but for $500 for three of those hydraulic stands I would build something lower and buy a pump. I am not sure I would like a propane burner and keggle full of boiling wort or 170* water sitting on something like that. If you do it, don't depend on the wheel locks, chock those bad boys. I have wheels on the bottom of my Sabco stand and before I brew I pull the wheels and put two 1x6's under the legs so it can't be moved accidentally.

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Old 03-20-2011, 02:25 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice everyone.

re: Cat22
After thinking about it a bit more, I couldn't use three hydraulic tables after all.

I fly sparge so the I wouldn't be able to get my HLT high enough to transfer from the HLT to MLT to the BK. So, I'm looking into my original design (with modifications based on input received here). I'm going to try to do the casters that you can raise and lower with your foot. That way I can lift it onto it's wheels when I need to and then lower it down when I want it to be stationary. That should eliminate some of the instability people are concerned about.

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