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Old 03-03-2009, 07:45 PM   #1
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Default build a stand first or brew first

i know this kind of seems like a useless question, but i figure at least one person would be able to shed some light on this idea for me.

i am about to do my first all grain brew. i have a turkey fryer pot for my hot water. i plan on heating this on my grill. my mash tun is a cooler with a stainless braid. my brew pot is a 15 gal pot i found at my aprents house, and my only burner right now is a turey fryer.

i dont have a pump, so i will have to gravity feed everything.

i woul also like to eventualy build a stand for everything. i figure i will need a three tier stand for the gravity setup.

should i try my first batch just using tables and chairs and moving things around to find the heights i like or should i do some research on stands and use other's pros and cons from their stands and make my brew stand first?

i am sure it really doesnt matter what i do first, i am mainly looking for pros and cons that people have found in their design of the three tiered setups.

pictures are a plus. thanks.

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Old 03-03-2009, 07:50 PM   #2
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A lot of people never do build a stand.

Utilize a sturdy bench. Heat water in the kettle and then add it to your mash tun. Heat the rest of your water in the fryer kettle, on the burner. Drain the first runnings into the kettle and start heating it. When the mash tun is empty, sparge with the water from the fryer kettle, into the boil kettle.

As you can see, a second burner is pretty handy.

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Old 03-03-2009, 07:56 PM   #3
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so first step will be a econd burner, but i think the grill will be fine for now. then i'll worry about a stand.

i just started welding so i kind of just want to play and build something usefull

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Old 03-03-2009, 08:01 PM   #4
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I say brew first...maybe a few times. That will give you a really good idea of how you want to build your stand. Like you said, use tables, chairs, tailgates, whatever to improvise your gravity stand. Oh, and don't forget to run the numbers to calculate the cost between building a stand or just buying a pump. I was surprised that a march pump was just a few dollars more that the cost to build a stand.

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Old 03-03-2009, 08:19 PM   #5
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oh, good call. i will look into the prices.

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Old 03-03-2009, 08:31 PM   #6
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Also, take a look at your current equipment to see if it will work with a 3-tier system. Most of the 3-tiers I have seen have ball valves on both the HLT and the boiling kettle. If you don't have the ball valves on your brew pots, it will be very hard to go from the HLT, to your mash tun, and then to the kettle using a three tier system. Honestly, I just use a folding table to hold my mash tun on and do all the rest from the ground basically.

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Old 03-03-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
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No question, brew a few times first. That way, the first rig you build will probably last you for a while before you decide to redesign it and start over. Trust me, brew first and see what works well for you BEFORE investing the time and money to do what looks good on paper, only to find out later that you can't do what you want to do.

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Old 03-03-2009, 08:50 PM   #8
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sounds good everyone. thanks for the input. i'll give it a few tries first and decide where to go from there, plus i dont have ball valves in my HLT or my boil kettle yet.

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Old 03-04-2009, 02:23 PM   #9
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Also, check for a metal scrap yard in the area. They often have good metal for very cheap instead of buying all new expensive metal.

Welding is fun!

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Old 03-04-2009, 03:36 PM   #10
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I was in the same situation as you a couple months ago. Glad I waited to build the stand because I decided to go HERMS anyway. Of course I still need a stand, but the configuration will be different.

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