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Old 09-30-2009, 09:39 PM   #1
Julohan
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Default Help with building a brew stand.

Well I just got done brewing. I realized I really need a brew stand. From burning my foot (should had been wearing boot), to just get the pump an the plate chillers in perfect spots to work.

I am thinking of building a single or 2 tier. Haven't decided yet. If I got with the 2 tier, I think I may prefer the MLT on the second tier in the middle. I have one pump, and one plat chiller. One propane burner (will need another). I am using a keg as the BK, a Rubbermad coller as the MLT, and ac crappy old 60qt aluminum pot as a HLT.

I want to use struts, I have no welding skills. They are expensive on mcmaster.com. I may try a steel recycling center. How many feet of stut will I need. I will probably buy casters for it too. Any advice would be great.
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:35 AM   #2
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I'd find a friend who works for a construction supplies vendor... I used - I mean I think you would use approx 50 ft.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:37 AM   #3
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Steel prices are really low now. Bed rail frames are something you could get for free I'm sure. If you drew it up, cut out all the pieces, it wouldn't cost much to find a welder to put it together for you. You could cut it with a sawzall or even a hcksaw if needed. I'm building my structure now and I used 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1/8" angle iron. I'm building a 3 tier to gravity into my MLT. If I would have had all the pieces cut I could have put it all together in 3 hrs. I got the casters for McMaster Carr for about $10 each. I would build a stand large enough to accomodate 10 gallon batches. The ease of using a structure lends itself to larger batches and more beer. Good luck with your build.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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I'd also recommend finding a welder. It shouldn't cost you much and you'll have a nice sturdy stand you can depend on.

I'm a fan of the single-tier stands. My first stand was a 3-tier brew tree, but I got tired of how high everything was. Even with a 2-tier, if you don't put the first tier really low you'll need a step ladder to stir the mash (if that's where you put it). I do understand the why people like to gravity drain the MLT, but if you're careful slowly pumping the wort from your MLT -> BK doesn't cause any problems.

Also, a single tier should be the easiest/cheapest to build. Basically, you just ask your welder to put together a steel box of the dimensions you want. I used 2x2" scrap steel that I got for free, but it's way overkill. I think 1x1" is probably fine if you support the middle, and lots of people have used bed rails/angle iron successfully. You should be able to plumb and mount your burners if you've got any kind of DIY in you.

Here's a pic of my two stands side-by-side. The BK on the 3-tier is really low, and you still have to use a step stool to stir the mash. No problem with the single tier, though.

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Old 10-02-2009, 01:04 AM   #5
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One thing I never thought of. How do people sparge having only one pump on a single tier?
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:14 AM   #6
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You only need to transfer to/from a single pair of vessels at a time when you batch sparge. You need two pumps to fly sparge.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:17 AM   #7
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So I may need to batch sparge until I invest in a second pump.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:31 AM   #8
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wood is a viable alternative for a stand...looks nice too.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
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So I may need to batch sparge until I invest in a second pump.
So whats wrong with batch sparging? I don't know how much money you plan on spending but some commercially made stand are not that expensive. This stand is $695 with two 200,000 BTU burners. If you don't weld it's not a bad alternative.



http://www.synergymetalworking.com/
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
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So I may need to batch sparge until I invest in a second pump.
Haha, you may just decide you don't need that second pump and spend your $$ on ingredients or something else instead. I did. I know it's a religious debate, but batch sparging is just too easy, and whattya know - it works well, too!
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