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Old 02-21-2013, 07:58 PM   #371
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It was a local place so small it wasn't even mom n' pop...it is just mom....or pop I guess, the guy there DID have a handlebar mustache so he couldn't be "mom".

I bought his last 50' (5 x10'). It was a laborious search, and his shop didn't even have a website. It took old fashion phone calling to see what he had in stock and his price. He was also a good 45 minute drive away each way (that turned into and 4 hour excursion due to California traffic and a fender bender on the freeway).

The cost IS killing me and even making me doubt myself on going all stainless. But when I think about how I will be happy with it, say, a year from now, I keep going. And after much thought I decided I would rather tighten up on some other expenses for a couple of months than to have to deal with zinc burn off (cause you never really know if more isn't going to burn off later) and then the inevitable rust that follows once the zinc is gone. And for the record, I am not saying the guys using galvanized are doing it wrong...I am fortunate to have the budget I do for this. If it was two years ago, I would have had to decide between a galvanized stand with the drawbacks or nothing at all....to which I would have chosen the galvanized with the drawbacks.

Pics coming...well, maybe not soon, but they are coming.

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Old 02-21-2013, 08:12 PM   #372
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Do you have fittings in the path of the flame? Aren't your fittings internal anyway? Just trying to speed up your process so I can see the brew pron! :-)
They aren't internal, and they would be exposed to the elements and the liquid from a brew day. And from the pictures I have seen of zinc burn off it looks like the fittings get hot enough to lose the galvanized coating...but I don't know for sure. It is still a ways away from a fire up.

However, if I could go back in time, I would have maybe bought aluminum or galvanized casters. I was a bit over zealous (and by a "bit" I mean completely) when ordering those and I went right to the SS section of the website. I feel I shopped around and got a good price for SS casters but now I am kicking myself for WASTING that cash...they won't get remotely hot enough to warrant that extra cost. As I am typing this I have decided to see if I can exchange them and use my head a bit more with some future purchases.

As for the porn (or pron as you and my 18 year old cousin calls it), maybe I am making it out to be more than what it really is but I cannot tell you how many times I go out to my workshop to get a light bulb or something and end up spending 20 minutes staring at it and pondering what to do next.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:30 PM   #373
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The stainless fittings are killing my budget though. And there is no point in having SS strut and not use SS fittings and bolts. eBay has been a project saver but it is taking longer than expected to build on budget. Either more money or more time to scour eBay for random parts on the cheap is needed.
It's nuts isn't it?

The SS strut itself is fairly reasonable. Even the SS bolts weren't too bad.

I did stainless fittings except for the corner pieces. They wanted $44 each for those. I think it's because they were welded. The other pieces weren't that bad.

I just added some length to the stand keep the flames away from the corners. If it's a problem I might look to replace them later, but that's unlikely.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:10 PM   #374
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It's nuts isn't it?

The SS strut itself is fairly reasonable. Even the SS bolts weren't too bad.

I did stainless fittings except for the corner pieces. They wanted $44 each for those. I think it's because they were welded. The other pieces weren't that bad.

I just added some length to the stand keep the flames away from the corners. If it's a problem I might look to replace them later, but that's unlikely.
Yes the strut is reasonable. It's comparable in price to stainless tubing everybody uses in welded stands and relatively speaking the cost of the fittings and specialized nuts ( Here) is the same as hiring a welder. I looked into welding, I would need to take a short course in welding and get my hands on a machine, both of which would be even more money, but I liked that I can customize the stand and change it on whim with strut. There is no downside to using strut vs welding.

Still, those welded corner pieces are EXACTLY what is killing me. I have 2 but am still sourcing two more. Good idea about lengthening the stand but one of the things I wanted to do was make a compact stand. Still, that is a great workaround. I do love working on/engineering this project.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:56 AM   #375
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Yes the strut is reasonable. It's comparable in price to stainless tubing everybody uses in welded stands and relatively speaking the cost of the fittings and specialized nuts ( Here) is the same as hiring a welder. I looked into welding, I would need to take a short course in welding and get my hands on a machine, both of which would be even more money, but I liked that I can customize the stand and change it on whim with strut. There is no downside to using strut vs welding.

Still, those welded corner pieces are EXACTLY what is killing me. I have 2 but am still sourcing two more. Good idea about lengthening the stand but one of the things I wanted to do was make a compact stand. Still, that is a great workaround. I do love working on/engineering this project.
I'm about 75% through mine. I opted for about 75% SS. The whole top and sides are SS. The bottom pieces are galvinized.

I would have rather done a shorter stand, but i'm adding casters on the side so I can store it up on it's side and roll it around. I thought that was a good compromise. I was more concerned with storage space.

Very happy with it so far. Can't wait to fire it up this weekend.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:16 PM   #376
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Made it through our maiden voyage today. The 23 tip jet burners hooked up to 1/2" natural gas brought 6 gallons of cold hose water to a rolling boil in exactly 30 minutes. I used a quick disconnect at the house to prevent kids from being able to turn the gas on. The width is 15.25" wide, as wide as my smallest pot could reach. 3" casters help move it around and the diamond plate protects my cooler from the heat. I haven't done a total cost yet, but guess its around $300-$400.00.

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Old 02-22-2013, 09:59 PM   #377
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Looks awesome! So you went with the same QD's as I referenced? They are working great for me.

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Old 02-23-2013, 06:31 AM   #378
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Looks awesome! So you went with the same QD's as I referenced? They are working great for me.
Thanks man. Yeah, the quick disconnect is the only way to go. 3/8" is easy to find, the 1/2" takes a bit more looking.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:54 PM   #379
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Default Compact Three Tier Strut Build

I've seen a lot of single tier and two tier systems on this thread, but there weren't too many three tier systems. I have been working on this for a while, but finally finished it, and used it for a brew this week.



I built mine with the idea that it should be able to store in a 24"x24" floor space in my shed. I wanted the system to be portable (if I wanted to take it somewhere) and be able to brew anywhere with or without power.

The main tower is 24"x24" and about 5' high. It has two BG12 burners, one for the HLT and one for the boil kettle. The bottom shelf is set at about 22" high, so I can syphon directly into the fermenter.

The shelf on the right hand side is built using two heavy-duty folding shelf brackets, and holds my Gatorade mash-tun. Its set about 45" off the ground (just enough to syphon into the BK). Because it folds it means that I can fold it down and store the whole system easily, without taking up extra floor space.

The top is 60" high, and holds the HLT, with another BG12.

I attached the burners is attached using threaded rod and a standard piece of angle-iron, so I can adjust the height. The threaded rod has a nut on it at the top (to make it hold through the fitting), and two at the bottom to sandwich the piece of angle iron.

I was a little afraid of condensation on the top bracket dripping back into the BK, but that seems to be ok (theres enough distance to not make that an issue).

The biggest problem I have is with the zinc on the crossbars flaking off - but that will go away soon I hope.

Since I wanted to be able to move this, I put harbor freight 7" or 8" wheels on the back strut supports. The supports are about an inch off the ground, and you can see where I had to level the stand to get it sturdy on my uneven (muddy) ground, but it held up well, and was nice and sturdy yesterday.

As you can see I still have to figure out a good way to attach the propane manifold, but the zip-ties are working for now

I'm really glad I did this.. I realized that I spent way too much time lifting and balancing pots and fermenters before. Now brewing seems so much easier

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:01 PM   #380
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Great job. I like how you got a tree tier system out of a two tier setup by adding the shelf. Good idea.
Mark.

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