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Old 06-26-2009, 04:22 PM   #41
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Wow, easily this is the most Epic, customized reply to a post I've ever received. Much appreciated.

I need to analyze this a bit closer, but first impression shows me that I could likely eliminate the built in chillers. I'll be using a plate I think... that should save me some cash. At first at least.

Now, if I only knew someone who could weld. And/or chop the kegs up with the proper holes.

And, get kegs.

I'm impressed. I need to look this over more in detail. Thanks Boerderij!


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Old 06-26-2009, 04:49 PM   #42
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Bait and switch... Blichmann kettles in the pictures. ;-)


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Old 06-26-2009, 09:42 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Bait and switch... Blichmann kettles in the pictures. ;-)
My Kung Foo is strong.


BillyVegas- Cutting the holes is very easy with a step bit, a cordless drill, and a bit of vegi oil. Search "unibit" on ebay, and buy a bit that goes up to 7/8" at least. I think the #4 is the one I have.
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:45 AM   #44
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BillyVegas; I must add to this thread that Bobby_M in reply number 15 said it all nothing else can be added, also Boerderij_Kabouter with his many replies especially his reply number 40.

With all due respect you want and can have a great brewing system within the app $2K range but first I must add that your wanting a system within a set budget but are not willing to put your labor, sweat and time into your build to meet your set budget.

Bottom line what gives here?

Do you have the equipment, talent, physical and mechanical abilities to scratch build your brewery? No offense on my part just asking a straight up question to you here?

Can you build your brewery system completly from scratch once you have a direction to aim at? With this do you have a Tig machine to save money welding your keggle fittings, grinder with cutoff wheels for the top or a plasma cutter, UniBits, holesaws plus a bandsaw or chop saw to build the frame? many unanswered questions here.
Sure a person with all the proper tools willing to spend hours of labor can have a full blown brewery at your $2,000 budget that can later become automated as they grow into their system like adding a BCS-460 to it. (my favorite owning one).
Nothing's free here, pay to have the work done and be over budget or put labor into building it and use the saved money for upgrading your system later into a fully automated system or how far you want to automate it.
Think about the saved money put towards a fermenter as well corny's and your bar with taps and a refrigeration system.

As seen by many brewing members projects you do not need a stainless stand that costs $600 in raw uncut materials alone.

You can't get something for nothing.
Best of luck on your project and the success of coming in with your budjet.
JMO's here, cheers.
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Old 06-28-2009, 03:09 PM   #45
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Thanks BrewBeemer for the inquiry...

Maybe I didn't clarify enough... The goal is to spend as little as possible, and ultimately have a barebones, stand-alone, full-on 15-20gal capable AG setup that can be modified as I proceed with my experience and wants, and I won't have to ditch as I grow.

Do I have skills to weld?
No.
Did I just find a friend who knows someone who welds?
Yes.
Do I want to learn to weld?
No.
Do I mind drilling holes?
No.
Do I mind putting blood, sweat, and tears into a new AG rig?
No.

Just looking for opinions of optimal setup, equipment, and layouts right now... I suppose I've evolved a bit from the OP. I've gotten some great ideas thus far... and always on the look out for more.

/this remains the greatest online community, btw
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Old 06-28-2009, 03:37 PM   #46
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Bobby, you made mention you can't insulate a direct fired MLT. Is this due to worry of fire hazard? I direct fire all three of my insulated kettles and have never found this to be an issue. The insulation which is a hot water heater blanket is secured to the kettles with aluminum tape. Even the boil kettle which gets the hottest has never been a problem.

The MLT is insulated lower than the other kettles because of reduced heat used to prevent the grain bed from boiling up or scorching. The BK and HLT which take the full brunt of the burners have never had a fire issue, but for saftey when they were insulated I insulated the upper 2/3s. They were insulated to reduce heat loss(HLT and sparge tank) and reduce boil times and energy consumption(BK).
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:14 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyVegas View Post
Thanks BrewBeemer for the inquiry...

Maybe I didn't clarify enough... The goal is to spend as little as possible, and ultimately have a barebones, stand-alone, full-on 15-20gal capable AG setup that can be modified as I proceed with my experience and wants, and I won't have to ditch as I grow.

Do I have skills to weld?
No.
Did I just find a friend who knows someone who welds?
Yes.
Do I want to learn to weld?
No.
Do I mind drilling holes?
No.
Do I mind putting blood, sweat, and tears into a new AG rig?
No.

Just looking for opinions of optimal setup, equipment, and layouts right now... I suppose I've evolved a bit from the OP. I've gotten some great ideas thus far... and always on the look out for more.

/this remains the greatest online community, btw
Billy; you just answered a lot of questions I had on your build.
If you do 90% of the labor including getting everything ready for
your welder so that he does not have to jig and hold parts and kegs
together this will save the welder's time. This is also 75% of the PITA
for the welder not the welding process. This way less labor and money
spent at the welder. Yes you can make your brewery come in within a
price range you can live with and afford. You can't have it all for nothing
unless you know of a big sucker of a friend which isn't right to use as one.
And yes take your time and look at manufactured brewing units, sneak in
their show room floor area and take measurements while collecting ideas.
Use many different manufactures of brewing rigs and use what part of their
system you like. With this you should be able to collect enough ideas to have
a direction to aim at in your build. You can keep the costs down for now and
later add automation later. A BCS-460 would be my first must have item as well
a supply of corny's and 15.5 gallon kegs. Get the hard to get items now
the regular items as the budget fits. This is how i'm building my next system.
hang in there plus check other bier forums for ideas also. I'm in the same boat collecting parts.

I have collected a Baldor industrial motor w/gearbox for the Monster Mill 3-2.0, stir motor for the prop in the HLT, BCS-460, 24 corny kegs 1 coke, two 7.75 gallon kegs, sixteen 15.5 gallon kegs, six computer fans with a ECROS speed control for the yeast starter with stir bar, four 20# Co2 bottles, one 150 cu/ft Argon which will become the Nitro stout mixed gas bottle, regulators and gauges. My rat packing collection to start with. Plasma, Tig and Mig, lathe and Bridgeport mill in the shop at home. bad back has me stopped dead in the water on the surgery mend. It can be built within a limited price range, keep an eye on craigslist and ebay for deals when they pop up.
Good luck with your parts hunting, that is half the fun of the build. cheers.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:49 AM   #48
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Since BrewBeemer mentioned the BCS-460, I will mention the Brewtroller. The Brewtroller is meant to manage anybody's brew system, regardless of build and style. It will also handle fermentation control and the build is still expanding to include steam mash, double HLT fill, remote access, logging and IIRC 32 outout controls. Just about anything a user asks for. It is a flexible system designed to meet the needs of all brewers at a inexpensive price point. Check them out at BrewTroller | BrewTroller.
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Originally Posted by the_bird View Post
"I've got a fever... and the only prescription is, MORE CARBOYS!"
primary- Tangerine Dream, SWMBO slayer,
serving- amber ale hop experiment #6, Roggenbier, apfelwine
planning- Cru?
conditioning- 9/9/09 barleywine
Drink water?... Never, fish fornicate in it.--- W.C. Fields
Most problems can be solved with the proper application of force.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:10 PM   #49
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Just to toss in my two cents... (which I'm sure is worth LESS than two cents).

If you're going to build something up, don't ignore aluminum pots as a possibility. I have a 15-20 gallon batch size capability (depending on OG and grain bill) out of aluminum pots. I have two 25 gallon pots, one as a HLT and one as a BK and then a 20 mounted inside a 30 with spray foam insulation blown in between for my MT.

I have all weldless fittings that were easily found on McMaster and I love my rig.

It is a single tier HERMS that I went a bit overboard on with solenoid valves and temp controllers etc... but you could EASILY strip it down and still have it very functional for well under $2k.

Of course the only problem is aluminum will cause you to have four headed children... with Alziemers.
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:03 PM   #50
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Did you ever decide on a design? Any progress?


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