Brew system idea

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Active Member
Jul 13, 2008
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I'm designing my new brewing system and I have access to both full sankey kegs and 7.75 gallon pony kegs. I really like Chosenwon's Rig and want to design something similar. I want to replace the HLT with a pony keg that would simply be a holding vessel for sparge water. I would use the boil kettle, a full keg, to heat water and then for the boil. It seems like a cross between a brutus 20 design but with an extra vessel which would hopefully let me get a bit higher efficiency than is possible with those systems.

I would put the Mash tun on top, the boil kettle in the middle step and the pony keg (HLT) on the bottom step, under the mash tun. Does this system seem reasonable to you? Is there any reason why I should use a full size keg for the HLT?

Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated.


Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2009
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"Is there any reason why I should use a full size keg for the HLT?"

Yes, in a word, capacity, but it depends on your max planned batch sizes. I often use more than 7.75 gallons of sparge water for the larger batches and I always heat a gallon or two in excess of what I plan to use. Any surplus heated sparge water, I use for clean up at the end of the session. Also, you will need some way to insulate the pony keg unless you heat it either electrically or with a burner. It will lose heat rapidly without insulation. FYI, I use a 50 qt cooler as my HLT/holding tank and gravity drain to the MT for fly sparging. IMO, the never ending pursuit of higher efficiencies isn't worth the effort.


Since 1998
Mar 8, 2006
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I would look for another 1/2BBL keg. You want as much hot water as you can get. Better to have it and not need it than the other way around.