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Old 06-03-2012, 03:19 PM   #1
Tomtanner
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Default The adventures of a complete noob and a brew rig

Hey guys,

I've been brewing for about a year and a half. Not long after starting to brew I found hbt and have been a avid reader of this forum ever since. At one point I stumbled upon the DIY pages and was amazed to see all the gadgets and toys that could be incorporated into brewing. I now pretty much only go to the DIY pages and am inspired by all the great things us brewers can do. I've been so inspired that I decided to build my own brew rig and get in on all the fun.

I will be documenting my experiences as an unhandy inexperienced never attempted anything like this before noob. My intention is to show anyone like me who doesn't have a clue that it's not too difficult to do if you have the time and are willing to ask a ton of annoying questions to the more experienced brewers on these pages.


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Old 06-03-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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First things first.

Why did I chose to build instead of buying one already made? Well after a SMALL amount of research of cost of parts verses cost of buying prebuilt and shipping costs, I thought I could do it cheaper than say buying one of those fancy blichmann rigs or even one of those awesome brew steel rigs. In theory it is cheaper if you are handy and have all necessary tools. I didn't calculate that and I will guarantee it would have been cheaper and easier to buy one from the pros.

There is my first lesson learned in this process.


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Old 06-03-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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First things first. Seed money.

I'm a musician, however now that im married and have a career it's been harder and harder to find like minded musicians to play with. Since I've spent more time brewing lately I chose to sell my professional level badass bass rig. This was a tough choice but I knew I would need the dough and stopping mid project due to lack of funds was not an option for me
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:38 PM   #4
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After getting my money I needed to decide what route to take. Weldless or teach myself to weld. Single tier gravity fed?



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I decided to teach myself to weld. Mostly reading these threads and looking ok YouTube.


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I did set a few things on fire. Don't wear frayed jeans and don't keep towels and paper lying around.



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Most of my welds look pretty ugly.

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Angle grinder makes up for most ugliness.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #5
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Here is an excellent site for getting started.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneHoppyGuy
Here is an excellent site for getting started.
Nice!
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:14 PM   #7
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Whilst honing my welding skills I decided to go ahead and get to work on my brewing vessels

First I had to purchase three kegs. There is a lot to discuss about legally obtaining kegs. .... Not here please. After an extensive search I managed to buy three kegs at $50 a piece. A little pricey but I had been searching for months so I took what I could get!

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I built a keggle jig after getting myself an angle grinder. Yes the Barbour freight one was cheap, but I had to replace it within 2 months.



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Another view



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It made a pretty clean cut



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Next came the drilling. This was quite labor intensive for me. I bought a step bit $45 and it took hours of work!



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I inserted typical weldless ball valves on all three vessels



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Here is my typical weldless false bottom on my mash tun.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:20 PM   #8
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On my mash tun I added two blichmann thermometers in addition to the false bottom



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On my brew kettle I used bobby m's weldless sight glasses and thermometers



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Same thing on my hot liquor tank



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At first I wanted to use the cutoff discs from my keggles as lids, but it ended up being a failure and a hassle so I just went to Ike's for this. They look better anyway. I plan to use a fly sparge on the mash tun that I will incorporate into the lid. For the hlt and bk ill only use the lids to heat things up more quickly and that's about it.



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I probably took 50 mock up pics of all stages of this project. It's just fun!
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:19 AM   #9
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At this point I decided that I wanted to do a single tier stand. Mostly because they look super cool.



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I started by purchasing the three burners. I soent about $50 a piece fir a total of $150 I intend to make this a direct fired rims system because in my mind It seemed the easiest. I'm sure that is actually false but I'm going with it anyway.



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Next I realized I needed a miter saw so I picked one up from home depot for about $90.



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Next I purchased the steel. At my local steel outlet it only cost about $90 for all the 2x2 steel you see here and some extra angle iron for another project later that will involve sanke kegs to be used as fermenters.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:01 AM   #10
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I felt like I was as practiced up as I was going to be. My goal here was to just start learning. This will not be the coolest brew stand you have seen, instead it's going to be relatively simply and low tech. No automation no beautiful stainless steel construction. Just a noob.



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Next I went ahead and put in my center braces. Here Is something I wish I has thought of. Making it longer, you will see why later.



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After realizing I miscalculated space for my kegs to sit on a had to embark on a lengthy process of cutting pieces for the diamond openings made famous by brew steel. They look cool but are quite time consuming to measure cut grind weld and grins again.



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Here they are tacked up



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A month later I had this. It weighs a ton!



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And isn't pretty yet


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