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Old 06-04-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
Nostrildamus
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Default Modular Brew Structure

Has anyone come up with a modular brew structure which breaks down into separate components?

I was thinking about how traditional brew structures need to be either really tall or really long or both to accommodate keggles or 10-15 gallon brew pots. It would seem advantageous for those of us who don't have garages or large sheds to store brew trees or brew benches. So I've begun spitballing a design.

Here are my thoughts:

- I would make three stackable brew platforms with built in burners.
- Two would be 30" tall. One would be 12" tall.
- The legs or upright supports would run through the platform so that they would interlock with each other when stacked.
- They would be wider than the circumference of each keggle (16").

The 12" would sit on the ground and the boil kettle would sit on it. One of the 30" stools would sit on top of that and reach over the boil kettle and suspend the burner for the direct fire MLT on it. The MLT would sit on this platform and the remaining 30" stool would again sit around/above the MLT and suspend the burning for the MLT on it.

Please tear this apart or improve on it.

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Old 06-04-2011, 06:01 PM   #2
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Be careful with a direct fire MLT. I have scorched a batch before going with my RIMS system.

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Old 06-04-2011, 06:41 PM   #3
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I've been rocking a direct fire for years. The trick is heating the mash water in it and then adding in the grain with the fire off. Turn 'er back on to heat back to temp and then leave off and only refire when needed during the mash. I would imagine you could seriously caramelize a batch really fast with anything but low, low flame.

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Old 06-08-2011, 04:28 AM   #4
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I direct fire and only burned my mash once, when i inadvertently had 3/4 of my burner clogged with mash schmeg and burned the hell out of a small spot on my mlt. Other than that i recommend that you simply stir like crazy as long as your heating...

Your modules sound doable, and i think it would be cool to have individual parts that work by themselves or together. Not sure how they are exactly supposed to 'stack together' but i keep envisioning it as 3 'stools' one taller than the next by 20" or so. Maybe with each burner tucking under the next tallest one.

As far as mobility is concerned, there is a guy at our local homebrew club has a 'brew ladder', its pretty neat for breaking down, transportation and storage, maybe you could look at that option as well.

I have a three tier where each shelve is a rectangle my burners are staggered from top to bottom. my hlt is furthest back and my cooker is closest,both on the right, my mlt is left and centered. (i have a pic on my profile page) this way my HLT is not directly over my Cooker, which saves some space.

I'm designing a new structure where my rectangular shelves will adjust up and down and the burners will sit in the shelves by only gravity. I'll be able to adjust the burners forward or rearward or swap them out and use them on another stand if necessary.

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Old 06-08-2011, 05:49 AM   #5
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I prefer a modular system. Mine has evolved into a direct fired RIMS set up. There are basically three modules: the platform tower and the two turkey fryer burners. The platform supports the elevated HLT, water filter, hose hangers and power outlets. The HLT is electrically heated with a bucket heater on a timer. The middle shelf functions mostly as a tool bench for misc brewing accessories, but it can also be used for a bottling bucket operation.

The taller Camp Chef burner and the pump nest together on the bottom shelf for storage. The BK burner goes on the middle shelf and the HLT stays on top. There are two hangers for hose storage. The wooden platform weighs less than 60 lbs and I can transport it on the roof rack of my SUV. I can load and unload it without assistance. It is strong enough to support me standing on the top platform. The tower footprint is just over 2' X 2' and it's about 5"5" tall (not including the cooler height). It has casters on the back side so it's easy to tilt and roll it when moving it around.

IMO, a pump is the way to go because you can keep everything at a lower, more convenient height as you no longer need to worry about gravity draining anything. I only have a single pump, so I still rely on gravity for the sparge water, but the HLT is filled directly from the tap (filter), so there's no need to pump water into it. The pump is mounted on it's own portable stand.







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Old 06-08-2011, 05:50 AM   #6
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Why not just use the standard bayou stands that come with the burners? If you had 3 of the same kind you could stack them much like what you are talking about anyways...

You could even jam a pump into a tool box that would sit under the 1st stand for storage, using pots that can nest will take up even less room...I just came from a system very much like this and will be finishing off my weldless shelving single tier brew stand (and I got a sweet fermentation rack from the rest of the shelves!) in a day or 2. I will post up pics in my own thread for that.

Best of luck! I hope you get the design and functionality you are looking for!

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Old 06-08-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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Here is my space saver design it rolls away and stores in a 36 X 16 area next to my Keezer

imag0039.jpg   imag0037.jpg  
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolboxdiver View Post
Here is my space saver design it rolls away and stores in a 36 X 16 area next to my Keezer
Do you have any moar pics? I'm really liking this design.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:12 PM   #9
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I've wanted to do a modular setup for a while, but I don't even have garage space. All my stuff needs to collapse and fit under the stairs.

The setup I'm completing now is a Bayou SP-50 (the tall one) burner and I mount the MLT (cooler) on top of a six-foot wooden brewladder.

I will be brewing on it next week and will post a thread documenting the setup here.

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Old 06-08-2011, 07:04 PM   #10
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Back when i designed my first 3-tier and was looking for compactness, I had an idea to turn the HLT on it's side in a V shaped cradle. If you were to cut some kind of access panel on the "top" side and added a valve down low on the end, you could save a bit of vertical height. Never built that design though.

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