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Old 07-23-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
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Default Help!: Small brew rigs for broom closet brewers

Hi everyone!

I must confess: I'm a total homebrewing newb.

I've been doing all sorts of research for a couple months now, trying to get a feel for the brewing process. I've been reading the books and magazines -- as well as these forums -- searching for inspiration on where to start.

But there is a bit of a problem -- I have no room to brew.

My studio apartment has a kitchen that is literally the size of a closet. I mean, you can basically step in it, turn around, and walk out. It's roughly as wide as your standard refrigerator, but somehow there's a tiny stove and sink squished in there. The stove's burners are electric and only one of them actually works. There's no overhead ventilation of any kind, and the sink can't fit more than a few coffee cups in it before it's full.

Yes. It's quite literally a converted broom closet.

The rest of the apartment consists of a bed, a small chair, and my TV for the most part. There's little storage space for anything, and I don't have access to a garage or basement. So I was wondering if anyone on here had an idea as to how to brew in such a small space.

What is the smallest rig you can get? Does anyone on here have some photos of their own small scale setups? I know everyone drools over the monster systems, but I'm looking for the Mini Cooper of homebrew rigs. Something that can fit in a very small space, like the size of a teensy stand-up shower. Not just small. But DWARF, even.

Any ideas?

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:11 PM   #2
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I would suggest doing 1 and 3 gal batches for now. My brother does this since he is also tight on space.

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:14 PM   #3
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You could also try to find a Mr. Beer / The Beer Machine! fermenter... I've found they fit in smaller places better than a 6 gallon carboy.

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:19 PM   #4
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Eh, I was hoping to avoid the whole Mr. Beer thing. Not that there's anything wrong with it, of course. I'm just wondering if anyone has come up with a setup that, like Mr. Beer, is small enough to fit almost anywhere but also allows a bit more freedom beyond extract-only brews. Think a few-tier system that fits in my closet, if that's even possible.

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:23 PM   #5
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With such space limitations, I suggest doing 5 gallon extract brews on your stove top. Here's a link of a kit from Northern Brewer. It is all you need to get started except for ingredients, brew pot, and two cases of empty bottles. This will take up VERY little space.

NORTHERN BREWER: Beer Starter Kits

EDIT - If you are dead set on all-grain brewing, here is a thread where DB illustrates his method for all-grain stovetop brewing. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-90132/. My suggestion is to begin with extract and then progress to all grain, if desired, once you get your process down.


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Old 07-23-2009, 03:25 PM   #6
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5 gal pot (3 gal will work for a 1 gal recipe)
regular 1-2 gal stock pot
nylon mesh bag
1 gal fermenter (CR bottle work well) or
3 gal fermenter (suggest 3 gal better bottle)
bottling/racking equipment

There's your really basic setup for a partial mash brew.

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:27 PM   #7
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mine will sit on the top shelf,except for the burner. i use a 100 cup coffee urn as the hlt, a 5g round cooler for the mash tun, and a turkey fryer setup for boiling. you dont have to have a garage to brew this way just a flat spot to setup on. i found a small used kitchen cart as my stand for the hlt and use a milk crate to set the mashtun on for a basic 3tier. no pics as yet tho

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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There are a couple of ingenious apartment/loft HBTers that I can think of who might chime in with their solutions to brewing in cramped conditions.

Brewtopia
Revvy
fastricky

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:30 PM   #9
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Here is my design attempts. Please contribute to my thread if you come up with some other ideas!!! Thanks

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/ques...rewery-127359/

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:30 PM   #10
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These are good ideas.

Question, though: is it possible to brew 5+ gallon partial or all grain batches in a really small space? Has anyone on here tried it or built a rig to do it?

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