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Old 09-26-2011, 02:45 PM   #21
nationslargest
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Dec 2008
San Francisco, CA
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Thanks for the interest 2 years later. I'll get some pics up next week.

The system works great and I've had some fantastic 50 gallon batches. (The smallest part of the system is my trash can for spent grains.) I never upgraded the false bottom from the 10 gallon stainless one I had for my cooler / mash tun and I think I loose some efficiency there.

Whatever that coating was flaked off the boil pretty quickly but (despite rapid speculation) was exactly what you'd expect: an inert food grade coating of some kind.

I am getting a fair amount of rust in the barrel but the wort doesn't stay in it very long, just a few hours, so I am not concerned about it. Think about the surface area to volume over a short time. And 2 years later, no iron oxide poisoning. I am thinking about replacing the boil barrel with one of my spares and possibly adopting a 1 year life on it - the price is right so why not.

 
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:22 PM   #22
EarthBound
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I'm glad to hear of your continued success! If it works for you, more power to ya. Since the drums were free, it was definitely an idea worth trying. However, even after two years, I am still unconvinced until I see some pics. I look forward to seeing them. Personally, I won't use normal steel for a brewing vessel. It's all SS for me from here on out.

Did ya hear that, Bobby and wyzazz? No iron oxide poisoning, no bodily harm, and no hospital visit. Still a stupid idea? If so, how about you actually explain your opinion? That's what I try to do. Even if I all have to provide is criticism, I at least present it as a logical, responsive action... That way I don't sound like such an *******.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:54 PM   #23
wyzazz
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@nationslargest - Glad it's working for ya!

@EarthBound - No need for nasty name calling, my previous statements were meant jokingly & that's that. I wouldn't use "ordinary steel" for a brew system because the risks just aren't worth the benefits in my case. I don't want rust (or any of the associated off-flavors) in my beer, nor do I want a surface that I cannot easily clean before/after a brew session. While I don't know that making beer in a standard steel drum will cause you bodily harm, I do know that I don't cook food in a rusty pan, cut my steak with a rusty knife, or use really anything that isn't considered generally food-safe in preparing things for consumption. That's my opinion, take it or leave it.

You can take off that Cheerleaders Outfit now...
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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)

 
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:02 PM   #24
audger
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Apr 2011
., Connecticut
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Quote:
I don't want rust (or any of the associated off-flavors) in my beer, nor do I want a surface that I cannot easily clean before/after a brew session. While I don't know that making beer in a standard steel drum will cause you bodily harm, I do know that I don't cook food in a rusty pan, cut my steak with a rusty knife, or use really anything that isn't considered generally food-safe in preparing things for consumption. That's my opinion, take it or leave it.
and thats why we pasturize our milk and sterilize our surgical equipment. sure you dont necessarily have to (except by law), but its best practice. if you want to brew in a rusty bucket, i have no problem at all with that. im sure beer will still be made regardless of the vessle, just dont expect me to be drinking it.

 
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:10 PM   #25
wyzazz
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Just an afterthought, I do cook on Cast Iron but it's not rusty (because of the oil I keep on the metal) and I completely clean and re-season the pans/grill every 6 moz.
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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)

 
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:30 PM   #26
EarthBound
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyzazz View Post
@nationslargest - Glad it's working for ya!

@EarthBound - No need for nasty name calling, my previous statements were meant jokingly & that's that. I wouldn't use "ordinary steel" for a brew system because the risks just aren't worth the benefits in my case. I don't want rust (or any of the associated off-flavors) in my beer, nor do I want a surface that I cannot easily clean before/after a brew session. While I don't know that making beer in a standard steel drum will cause you bodily harm, I do know that I don't cook food in a rusty pan, cut my steak with a rusty knife, or use really anything that isn't considered generally food-safe in preparing things for consumption. That's my opinion, take it or leave it.

You can take off that Cheerleaders Outfit now...
Yeah, I wouldn't want any rust in my beer, for sure!

I was joking, as well, and I was saying that sometimes I, not you, can sound like an ******* because of how easy it is to misinterpret my tone on this forum. You're right, though - I suppose I am kind of hard on myself.

Wait a minute... You're gonna have to buy me at least a couple drinks before I take off my skirt for you, buddy. Oh, and I hope you don't mind the smell. I haven't showered in a couple of days.
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:43 PM   #27
nationslargest
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Dec 2008
San Francisco, CA
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OK. 4 images posted. I couldn't figure out how to get them in the message body so click through.

Image 70: boiler / hot liquor tank and mash tun. The masher is so big that I don't need a separate boiler / hot liquor tank. I know that there are some inefficiencies with having so much water in the masher during the sparge but I think it works well and its nice having a 2 vessel system.

Image 71: the inside of the boil kettle. Yes, that's rust. I have 2 years of experimental evidence to suggest that it works fine. From the start of the brew day to the transfer to the fermenter, the wort is only in the boiler for maybe 10 hours. You might think its a big deal but come over for a beer and you'll see it isn't. (Or try it yourself.)

Image 72: pump connecting the hot liquor tank to the mash tun during sparge. I sparge into four 5 gallon buckets or so while the hot liquor tank empties then I start the boil.

Image 03: The walk in fridge with the 60 gallon conical fermenter, six 5 gallon fermenters, and half a dozen or so kegs.

We can have another thread on what I would do differently with the walk in and the conical. And planned upgrades to the mash tun.

I brewed a 40 gallon batch on Friday. 86 pound grain bill. I separated the 1st and 3rd 5 gallons of run off for a double IPA in a separate boiler - 1.088 SG - and the remaining 30 gallons into the primary boiler for a golden ale - 1.050 SG. Without some extract, 40 gallons is close to my max since that's all the spent grain that will fit in the trash can
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:03 PM   #28
bottlebomber
 
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@whoever said he probably has never brewed before:

Yeah it doesn't really look like it does it. I wouldn't ever do this, because I don't want 50 gallons of anything, but if I did for some reason id definitely throw together a set of these, since I can get these drums for free as well

 
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:43 PM   #29
EarthBound
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nationslargest View Post
Image 71: the inside of the boil kettle. Yes, that's rust. I have 2 years of experimental evidence to suggest that it works fine. From the start of the brew day to the transfer to the fermenter, the wort is only in the boiler for maybe 10 hours. You might think its a big deal but come over for a beer and you'll see it isn't. (Or try it yourself.)
Do you use BKF (or other cleanser) to get the rust out before brewing?
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:17 PM   #30
nationslargest
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Dec 2008
San Francisco, CA
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The boil kettle, the one pictured, is in worse shape than the mash tun but even the masher is starting to show a little rust. I do a pressure rinse before and after each brew - but no cleaners on the boil kettle. Its an interesting thought though.

You'd be surprised how fast 50 gallons goes. We also have a beer co-op of sorts here called Brew Lab - I'm not a member yet but I am moving in that direction.

I do find that I get "style lock" and need to drive more variation into my brewing rotation. Recently I have been separating 10 gallons from the sparge into a different kettle. Mostly the first run for a double variation of a recipe but sometimes a later 10 gallons for a small beer (long days, old age, and hot summers revealed an unexpected down side to 6% beer: naps). I have the fermenting capacity to vary yeasts or use some fruit or dry hop or whatever. Besides I like lagers so 50 gallons ensures that you have some left by the time its really ready. I have a beer library that goes back 8 years.

Obviously I don't exceed California's limit of 200 gallons per year but I have been brewing for a long time and should brew my 200th batch next year.

 
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