We moved from an apartment into our first house in April 2010. I had a nice little 5 gal setup with a 5 gal drink cooler for an MLT, a couple of decent sized pots and a heat stick aid in stove top boils.
Upon moving to my new house, I set up to brew in my kitchen on my nice new gas stove (no more crappy apartment stove!). This went OK, the boil I achieved was just shy of a full rolling boil, so I decided it was time I get a propane burner and move outside. I picked up a KAB4 and quickly discovered my 8 gal was not cut out for the violence of the boil that burner can produce. I spent two brew sessions riding the gas the whole boil and it was not fun. On top of that, it was much harder to maintain fermentation temps with the plastic tub full of ice water in the house - who knew how much extra insulation surrounding apartments gave!
The decision was made about May 2010 that I would build a brew stand and fermentation chamber, and that I wouldn't brew again until I had those done. Fast forward to now and I've almost finished my brew stand! I have the mini fridge I will be using to build the chamber and that should be only a week or so out from being started as of the time I write this.
The Brew Stand:
So I present to you my brew stand so far. The equipment use to put it all together is as follows:
- MLT: Coleman 70qt Xtreme Cooler, copper manifold
- BK/HLT: Sanke Keggles with Thermometers and Sight Glasses, Whirlpool Fitting on the BK
- Stand: Angle Iron, just like the 'Wallace' brew stand
- March Pump with top, center inlet
- Dual KAB4 Burners
- All SS fittings purchased from Bargain Fittings
- Polysulfone Quick Disconnects
I picked up this March Pump on e-bay a while back, and at the time didn't realise there was a difference in the pump heads. Turns out I got lucky as the centre inlet head is supposed to be much easier to prime. The one slight downside is that the center inlet is a 3/4" MPT instead of 1/2" MPT, but that's nothing a SS 3/4" to 1/2" adapter from Bargain Fittings couldn't fix
I picked up a couple of kegs from a source that is connected to the brewery displayed on the kegs, not 100% sure this person was supposed to give them to me, but after the kegs were offered I explained to the person what I would to them and was assured it wouldn't be a problem for me to take the kegs... so I did.
I am using two KAB4 burners, picked up from Amazon for ~$80 each. I was originally planning on plumbing in black iron pipe and running one propane tank for both burners, but with as hungry as these burners can be I'm going to go for a while using one tank per burner (I already have 3 tanks anyway) and no hard plumbing.