It's an exciting time in the life of Ken. I'm getting near the end of the design stage of my first custom brew setup. The one hangup I have is the gauge of 304L stainless I should be using. So far here's what I've figured.
Three tanks, M/L tun, Kettle and Primary Fermenter. 3 tiered brew system, gravity fed with a recirc pump on the M/L. Copper for the recirc and cooling.
Tanks are 23 3/8" tall (same as a 50L keg) but with a larger diameter which increases the volume to contain 115L. The batches would be 100L with 15L of space to allow for the kettle boil and space in the primary for fermenting.
I'm going to probably use propane as a heat source to start, I know it takes long to boil but I'd like to get this made before I move back to the west in a couple weeks. Hopefully I'll be able to upgrade to electric in the spring.
I worry that direct contact between burner and kettle with thin gauge steel could result in burned wort/damaged or cracked stainless so I've been considering putting some kind of buffer plate in between. Mild steel would be loads cheaper.
Any thoughts on the setup, gauge or kettle boil situation would be really appreciated. I feel like I'm trying to find the lightswitch in a dark room with this stuff sometimes. I just found this site and the prospect of drawing on the wealth of knowledge and experience here is freaking revolutionary for the way I've been approaching all this. Finally people to talk to!
Oh! and for a secondary... I could make another stainless tank... other than that I'm not sure what the hell to do. Carboys? Wood Casks? Are glass carboys larger than 23L available?
PS. I'm an ironworker by trade so I'm hoping to make all these tanks myself in co-operation with my stainless provider's rolling machine and plasma cutter.