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Old 02-12-2014, 08:18 AM   #21
bajaedition
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If I was to decide to make a really big system and needed advice on how to go about it

I would

go to someone who builds and sets up systems the size I want to get

there are many manufacturers out there that will set you on the right choice

here are a few things you need to consider, first is the cost, second is the expertise and third is the return on investment

extremely few people here have the knowledge you need to seek out
you are asking hobbyist to design a system that should be tackled by an engineer.
A professional is going have answers to questions we will not even think to ask, as well as he will have questions to ask we do not even think about.
At the level you are talking about doing brings in federal and state regulations on far more things than just brewing beer, there is waste management, water management, EPA standards for exhaust etc.
Just the amount of cleansers and other chemicals you will be using and how the water they are used with is contained and treated comes to mind

My Advice is to forget getting advice here and ask someone who deals with systems that produce barrels and not gallons.

Sure a lot of guys here can set up a 10 or 20 gallon system real trick, but if you ramp up to barrel amounts there are so many issues that will come up. such as how do you transfer that from kettle to fermenter, sure not going use a 1/2 food grade poly hose are you?

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AH, Does that look right?
let Dave try it.

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Old 02-12-2014, 12:51 PM   #22
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Duxnut- I wish you the best of luck with this endeavor. I think you can do it. I for one would like to see pictures of your progress.

You don't say where you are located.
I recommend you contact an industrial engineer that has experience with small brewery builds and get as much advice from them as possible.
Good luck, man!

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Old 02-12-2014, 02:36 PM   #23
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Start with the 620mm tube, cut it in half and weld bottoms on to form your mash tun and boil kettle. This gives a pair of ~45 gallon tanks which will yield 1BBL of finished beer pretty easily. Make your HLT out of one of the larger pipes (4 gallons per inch of height) as that can be any size and made for future capacity. you could put a short HERMS coil in the bottom 10" to make it useful for your small system or just go with a rims tube for mash heating on the smaller system. Go tri clover on all your vessel fittings you will be much happier in the end and have a quality pilot system. 15kw of electric heat will get you 50 gallons of water from 55* to 170* in 60minutes and 37 gallons of wort from 160* to a boil in 20minutes, so you are looking at some decent power requirements and should plan on 2-3 elements per vessel. A barrel of 8% 80 IBU IPA is going to cost you $60-$70 and a hefe is going to run ~$35 based on bulk grain and hop pricing. Look at Stout tanks and that will give you some good ides on what smaller scale vessels look like and a starting point for your system.

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Old 02-12-2014, 02:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by WPStrassburg View Post
A barrel of 8% 80 IBU IPA is going to cost you $60-$70 and a hefe is going to run ~$35 based on bulk grain and hop pricing. .
Those numbers do not seem right... 5 gallons of an 8% 80 IPA costs me around 35-40. I don't order in bulk or anything so I understand it won't scale proportionally but this doesn't seem to fit.

Even with a high efficiency system, that has to be at least 70 lbs of base malt. There's still specialty malt, a crap ton of hops, yeast, water, power, sanitizing / cleaning chemicals, oxygen, etc... I'd think it would cost more per batch when all is said and done.

I also second the idea about looking at pro-brewer forums. I would think there are problems they have encountered and can advise on that do not affect the small scale (5-15 g batches) homebrewer.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:06 PM   #25
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Isn't the question posed akin to asking "I recently acquired a set of Hoosier racing slicks, can anyone tell me the best way to build a funny car" I'm not trying to be a hater, but like everyone else has said, it looks like you may have the raw materials to fabricate (with extensive cost and labor) one component of a brewery that is well beyond practicality and usefulness for the homebrewer; not to mention the myriad of other components and considerations that would go into such a build. Sell your parts and use the money to duplicate one of the many set-ups documented on here. At least that way you know there will be people with first hand experience to help you with any issues that come up.

That's my $.02 (from the guy who brews in a 10 gallon cooler on a card table in the garage).

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Old 02-12-2014, 08:00 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadWolfBrewing View Post
Those numbers do not seem right... 5 gallons of an 8% 80 IPA costs me around 35-40. I don't order in bulk or anything so I understand it won't scale proportionally but this doesn't seem to fit.

Even with a high efficiency system, that has to be at least 70 lbs of base malt. There's still specialty malt, a crap ton of hops, yeast, water, power, sanitizing / cleaning chemicals, oxygen, etc... I'd think it would cost more per batch when all is said and done.

I also second the idea about looking at pro-brewer forums. I would think there are problems they have encountered and can advise on that do not affect the small scale (5-15 g batches) homebrewer.
It is tough to compare when you are using LHBS prices and scaling them up, but when you realize some of the savings bulk you'll never look back.

Recently we did three 15 gallon batches and were only out $120 which included some store bought yeast, hops, and grain, but mostly bulk purchased items. Old Chub clone, Grainstorm clone, and a Cream Ale were the recipes so 2/3 were pretty hefty grain and hop bills.
80# grain @$0.60/#= $48, 14oz hops @$0.80/oz= $11.20, $5 harvested yeast, $4 power, and a few bucks in water, chemicals, and O2 by the time you divide up the miniscule amounts of each you use in each batch.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:13 PM   #27
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I have 3 pipes @ 900mm and have just acquired a pipe with an ED of 620mm and a length of 980mm. The pipe walls are 8mm thick. Can I do something with them? I really think this could be a dream project but need advice from brewers and brewing engineers with more experience than I have.

Thanks again.
First it Sounds like you don't live in the US, so I would check out if your countries laws on homebrewing limit size, etc.

Do you have this pipe? Even the 620mm OD pipe is going to weight over 100 kg (220#) with nothing else attached to it - I would guess it would be between 150-180 kg empty all up, and that only has 280 litres (75G) capacity! For a fabricated kettle/mlt/hlt I would expect the wall thickness to be around 1.5-2mm.
How long is the 900mm OD pipe(s) - if you had the 1m of the smaller and 3m of the larger and scraped it all at $5/kg you would get over $3000! Do that and then put you extra $5000 and look at something from Stout tanks or the like (http://conical-fermenter.com/home.php)
For ~8k you could get HLT/MLT/BK/2xConcical fermenters (no pumps, hose, etc. though)
Or going with a 1bbl setup from them you could probably get close to a full setup with 2 conicals and a brite beer tank plus pumps, hoses and basic controls.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:23 PM   #28
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Isn't the question posed akin to asking "I recently acquired a set of Hoosier racing slicks, can anyone tell me the best way to build a funny car"
I would go 1 step further and say "a set of 4x4 tires"
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:26 PM   #29
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Hi all

I have managed to acquire several 900mm diameter 316 SS pipes which I want to weld up and convert into a brewery. Obviously this is big undertaking and as such I would like to do it properly. Is there any advice or even a template I can follow? Has anybody done that here? I would really like it to be fully automated and efficient.

I am a relatively new brewer but have a keen interest in developing further. I also have the opportunity to build a first class home brewery. As such, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards

Clint
Clint, are you looking to set up an eventual commercial brewery, or are you looking for a great setup to supply beer to yourself, family, friends, etc.?

If you're looking to do something on this scale commercially, you might have a lot better luck getting answers at one of the forums targeted towards professional brewers.

If you're looking for personal use I think you'd be a LOT further ahead to sell the stainless you have (which should be worth a small fortune) and invest in components geared towards home brewing. I don't say that to be dismissive, but genuinely helpful. If it were me, that's exactly what I'd do.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:29 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WPStrassburg View Post
It is tough to compare when you are using LHBS prices and scaling them up, but when you realize some of the savings bulk you'll never look back.

Recently we did three 15 gallon batches and were only out $120 which included some store bought yeast, hops, and grain, but mostly bulk purchased items. Old Chub clone, Grainstorm clone, and a Cream Ale were the recipes so 2/3 were pretty hefty grain and hop bills.
80# grain @$0.60/#= $48, 14oz hops @$0.80/oz= $11.20, $5 harvested yeast, $4 power, and a few bucks in water, chemicals, and O2 by the time you divide up the miniscule amounts of each you use in each batch.
Oh snap, I've been getting hosed!!! Anybody in southeaster MI looking to do a bulk buy? I'm sold on the idea.
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