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Old 08-29-2008, 10:26 PM   #1
Aug 2008
Posts: 15

Hey, I'd like to bounce an idea off of the more experienced brewers around here. I have been gathering the materials to go all grain and I think I'm just about there. I want to be able to do gravity feed, so here's my basic idea for a 5 Gallon Rubbermaid-based three tier system. Please take a look and let me know if you see any major problems with my design.


By orfy

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Old 09-01-2008, 02:32 PM   #2
Jul 2006
Posts: 20

4 Wheels. I built a wood stove with 3 wheels and it can get tippy when moving it.

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Old 09-01-2008, 02:34 PM   #3
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BigKahuna's Avatar
Feb 2008
Eastern Colorado
Posts: 5,970
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That's a cool idea. I've been working on a plan for something that I can easily store, and easily take on the road to do brewing demonstrations. This has expanded my brainstorm. Thanks.
Seriously. I'm here for BEER
It's Not The Size Of Your Rig That Counts....It's How Often You Use It.

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Old 09-01-2008, 02:40 PM   #4
The Pol
Feb 2007
Posts: 11,454
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Three wheels would work fine, BUT the wheel base (width) on the back would have to be significant to allow for some level of stability. Remember the old Honda three wheelers? The 250R? Those were dangerous machines.

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Old 09-01-2008, 02:42 PM   #5
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Sea's Avatar
May 2007
Southern Oregon
Posts: 1,478
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Looks good! Where's the burner go? Have you thought about making the brewpot high enough to gravity feed into yourfermenter after the boil?
I plan on living forever. So far, so good! - unknown.

Corrupt Brewers

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Old 09-01-2008, 07:37 PM   #6
Aug 2008
Posts: 15

Wow, when it rains it pours! Thanks for all the responses!!

In response to the 4 wheel thing... I was trying to figure out a way to make the cart turn easily without making a complicated interface. I also don't have the most level ground in my back yard, so I was hoping that three wheels would level better than 4. Harbor Freight has a good deal on 10" fixed pneumatic tires, but they don't have an equivalent swivel mounted one. I figure that's going to be the cheapest place for me as long as they're running a sale. Maybe I'll just fix some outriggers or some skids that can drop down on the "tippy" side.

The burner will go under the angle iron stand on top. I ordered one of those SQ-14s people seem to love on here. I haven't quite worked out the logistics of the flow yet. I was thinking I'd fill the keg with 10 gal and drain off 5 into the Mash Tun once I reach my dough-in temp, then continue to heat the remaining 5 to mash out temp. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm hoping this will work because I definitely don't feel like lifting 10 gallons of water 4 feet in the air

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Old 09-02-2008, 05:03 AM   #7
Feb 2006
small island paradise, the lost atoll
Posts: 3,500
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Reaching up to 6' 3" would be into the nose bleed altitude as far as a brewing system I would not want to own and work with. JMO.
My system will be a single tier at the added cost of two pumps yes added cost plus more hose. My bad back will appreciate a single tier.
Bier Jagdwaffe... Bier 30 zeit.....~~=o&o>..........

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Old 09-02-2008, 01:52 PM   #8
Sep 2008
Posts: 34

I did a 3 tier gravity fed using rebar. I made 3 separate stands that linked together. The tallest stand was the widest and the width reduced as you went down. When not brewing the stands nested into each other and I was able to store my kettles and burners in on got me through but as someone mentioned having the wort at the bottom presents an issue especially if you use a CFC. With 5 gal batches it was no problem but doing 10 gallon batches got really heavy as I tried to get the hot wort up to a place where the CFC could work.

All in all not a great system but it has served me well over the years...but...I am about to ditch the whole thing and do a single tier. I really wish I had saved a little extra money early on and just gone with a single tier.

The 3 tiers certainly work but you will want to upgrade at some point.

Other than thinking about how you cool and transfer your wort I think you have a good design.

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Old 09-02-2008, 09:05 PM   #9
Aug 2008
Huntington Beach, California
Posts: 283
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3 tiers is very high. I always want to be able to see inside, so I settled on a two tier system. This means an expensive pump, but now that I have built it, I am very glad I did. I highly recommend square Steel tubing. At 80 cents to a buck twenty a foot, I built my frame for 90 dollars. I also recommend roller caster wheels that have a locking mechanism, you can find them for 3 or 4 bucks.

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Old 09-02-2008, 11:09 PM   #10
Apr 2007
Everett, WA
Posts: 135
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I just had the same problem and ended up building a 3 tier single pump brewstand. I had a tight budget and already had the pump, so I went with 2 single wooden stands that cost about 30 bucks to build. I only pump water thru the pump, and only pump once to fill the hlt, move the hose over like 6 inches, and what's left is the MLT strike water. Then it's gravity all the way into the fermenter (I use an IC for chillin'). Very minimal lifting, I can see into the mash tun just fine, and the only thing that will be updated anytime soon is a sight glass on the HLT so I don't have to use a step for filling. Mine turned out the approx dimensions as what you've got on your plan. I do like one of the above posters said, and store everything on the shelves and it stores away in a pretty small footprint. The ferm chamber is a computer data cabinet I got off my work for 25 bones.
You can see it here (to scale):
Good luck and have fun building whatever you decide!

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