Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > CBGB's - Countertop Brutus Gravity Fed Brewing System

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-17-2010, 06:48 PM   #1
JetSmooth
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,881
Liked 43 Times on 39 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default CBGB's - Countertop Brutus Gravity Fed Brewing System

Fresh off the MS Visio design board:


(not to scale)

After being snowed in and running out of beer, I have decided to pick up my old hobby and begin stocking the cellar and never be stuck in that situation again.

I surveyed my leftover equipment to find a 4 gallon kettle (too small for FV AG batches), 5 gallon glass carboy (should do for now) and my trusty red bottle capper. I wrestled with myself over getting back into extract brewing or going all grain. I figured what the heck?

jkarp's Countertop Brutus build inspired me but I don't have the coin to drop on the pump or electrics at the moment, so I've been working on a gravity fed scheme that can incorporate them eventually. Storage is also key as I only have the space under the stairs available for the setup and product.

I have a 32qt aluminum tamale steamer for a BK on order and have a friend who's father's construction company folded, leaving him with some brand new coolers for the MLT. He's also skilled at copper soldering and we'll be following Bobby_M's counterflow chiller tutorial and mounting it in one of three Lowes buckets. (Can't stand the HD orange)

I hope to have this all in place by the end of March, when my wife is out of town. My friend will also be joining on the inagural brew.

I realize this is a rough sketch and I will update as things start to fall into place. But can anyone see anything glaringly wrong with this?

__________________

Last edited by JetSmooth; 02-17-2010 at 06:49 PM. Reason: My friend has a "father", not a "feather"
JetSmooth is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2010, 03:21 PM   #2
HarkinBanks
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Wayne, PA
Posts: 681
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

If you can, I'd get a larger cooler for the MLT. 5 gallons is a little small and I think you would be happier with a bigger one. You can make bigger beers and mash thinner. With an 8 gallon BK, you can boil 5 gallons on the stove pretty easily so a larger MLT would help.

HarkinBanks is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2010, 03:35 PM   #3
AiredAle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 474
Liked 17 Times on 13 Posts

Default

JS,

The only problem I see is getting hot water from the stovetop to the mash tun. Wrestling with a kettle full of 180 F water has definite hazards when you are lifting it up to the MT. If you put the MT on the floor and add the water that way, then lift the MT with water and grain back into position, it might be safer, but you are still dealing with 35to 50 pounds of hot stuff.

__________________
AiredAle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
JetSmooth
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,881
Liked 43 Times on 39 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

Harkin, Yeah. I figured that was a small issue. I'm assuming the free cooler coming my way is five and was going to stick with that, but ultimately upsize it once I've "paid off" the rest of the equipment I'm buying. ;P I didn't think I needed to hold my full volume in the MLT at once, so I figured I would be safe for now. I might get lucky and find out he's got 10 gallon coolers.

AiredAle, Hence the sort of arc in the air to say "how the heck am I getting this up there?" Haha. Depending on the weight of the MLT when full, I might do as you suggest and fill it on the ground and lift it.

It's a work in progress, I suppose. Now, I'm wrestling with the CFC vs IC dilema. I like the idea of the self-contained CFC, but wonder if I'll run less tap water through an IC, cooling the whole BK at once. Gah! The obsession continues!

__________________
JetSmooth is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
HarkinBanks
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Wayne, PA
Posts: 681
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

I built my CB20 by hand and the only thing I really didn't want to tackle was that CFC so I went with a shirron plate chiller. In your system, I think an IC would be ideal and you would be happier in the long run and have more flexibility for outdoor boils. I have an IC and the only reason I didn't use it in my system is because of my electric elements in my BK. During the fall, winter and spring, an IC is great. In the summer it struggles with the warmer tap water, but you can always just do a no-chill brew and try that out for fun.

HarkinBanks is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2010, 05:20 PM   #6
JetSmooth
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,881
Liked 43 Times on 39 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

I intend on adding electrics to the setup eventally, which is also why I was thnking of the CFC. At this point, Iit's a matter of spending the money on the IC now with an intention of building the CFC later (and buying more copper tubing).

That is, unless I could potentially reuse the same copper tubing in the CFC project later on. HMMMMMMMM.

I guess it's a cheaper purchase now because I won't be buying the rubber hose at the same time.

__________________
JetSmooth is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2010, 05:52 PM   #7
JetSmooth
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,881
Liked 43 Times on 39 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

My BK is on order from Amazon. I spotted a 32 Qt Aluminum Tamale pot with steamer tray for $20. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ARYXNW). I figure it'll get me through a couple of boils before I upgrade to a bigger stainless model. I was thinking the tamale pot looked promosing becuase of the stem tray, which I could wrap with SSH screen and hopefully use as a false bottom. My quandry is whether that's too high of a false bottom. Any issues with that big pf a space? I figure I can put the output as close to the bottom in that space with a simple, bent pickup tube and not have to worry about hop stoppin'.

__________________
JetSmooth is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2010, 06:09 PM   #8
OMJ
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Camp Hill, PA
Posts: 582
Liked 18 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JetSmooth View Post
I intend on adding electrics to the setup eventally, which is also why I was thnking of the CFC. At this point, Iit's a matter of spending the money on the IC now with an intention of building the CFC later (and buying more copper tubing).

That is, unless I could potentially reuse the same copper tubing in the CFC project later on. HMMMMMMMM.

I guess it's a cheaper purchase now because I won't be buying the rubber hose at the same time.
I used an old IC to make my CFC.
__________________
OMJ is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2010, 07:15 PM   #9
DKershner
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bend, OR
Posts: 1,870
Liked 25 Times on 21 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarkinBanks View Post
I have an IC and the only reason I didn't use it in my system is because of my electric elements in my BK. During the fall, winter and spring, an IC is great. In the summer it struggles with the warmer tap water, but you can always just do a no-chill brew and try that out for fun.
I don't see why a IC would struggle and a CFC wouldn't...it's the same water. Either will work fine.

I would also like to point out that some way to transfer your HLT water into the MLT slowly & gently would be good as well. Maybe ball valve it and plop it on top of the cooler with some high temp hose.

Also, is your stove gas? May have trouble bringing 7gal of water to boil otherwise.
__________________
DKershner is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-19-2010, 08:18 PM   #10
AiredAle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 474
Liked 17 Times on 13 Posts

Default

If you put a valve in the HLT you could transfer it with a pitcher, and if you get one with volume markings, you can keep track of your mash in/mash out/sparge volumes that way. I presume you are going to batch sparge with this set up, so this would work. Be sure to add a hose barb and piece of hose to the valve, since the nice hot water will be hard to manage without them. Guess how I know.

I have been known to use 1 gallon koolaid pitchers for this step, before I found a way to make gravity work for me.

__________________
AiredAle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Countertop Brutus 20 jkarp DIY Projects 618 02-07-2014 02:57 AM
Countertop Brutus 20 jkarp Home Brewing Photo Forum 43 07-07-2011 02:14 AM
Brutus 10 type system help JSomps6 Equipment/Sanitation 9 08-25-2009 06:58 PM
Burner gas modulation on brutus system? sourmash DIY Projects 6 03-12-2009 12:16 PM
Brutus Ten gas system pluto DIY Projects 8 03-08-2008 02:41 PM